Author Archive: Peter Ent

Adobe LiveCycle Mosaic ES2

A number of people have been asking about Adobe LiveCycle Mosaic and wondering what it is, exactly. I hope this condensed answer helps. You can find more details on the Mosaic site.

Mosaic, fundamentally, is about combining “super” components together in an environment that lets them communicate (messages) and exchange data (contexts). Layered on that, is the ability to create arrangements of these components in layouts that are either static or allow some degree of change by the end user.

The “super” component is the Tile: either a Flex-based application or module that is built from other Flex components or an HTML page. The Flex application Tile is usually a specific-purpose application (e.g., displays a chart) that relies on data from a back end and/or from another Tile.

Mosaic also has a repository of Tiles and Tile arrangements (Views and Panels, today) – the Mosaic catalog, from which a Mosaic developer can compose a Mosaic Application or from which an end-user may add new Tiles to their running Application and save that configuration for themselves for later use.

Mosaic “applications” combine Tiles and layout together through our XML structured format called “CRX” which is similar to Flex MXML. A simple Mosaic application might look like this:

This will display two Tiles, one on top of the other, with a Financial News area and a chart below that. The idea is that clicking on one of the articles would extract the company stock symbol and send it to the chart. While these are fictitious Tiles, you can see that each Tile could operate on its own, but together than provide a more complete package.

<app:Shell>
<catalog:CatalogReference uri=”fin_catalog” />
<view:Panel width=”100%” height=”100%”>
<view:Layout name=”VerticalLayout” verticalGap=”10″ />
<tile:TileReference name=”FinancialNews” catalog=”fin_catalog” width=”100%” />
<tile:TileReference name=”FinancialChart” catalog=”fin_catalog” width=”100%” />
</view:Panel>
</app:Shell>

The structure of the application is enough like Flex to make writing the XML fairly easy and provides a great deal of freedom to combine Tiles in interesting ways.

If this intrigues you, please visit the Adobe LiveCycle Mosaic ES2 site.

I’m Back!

After a long hiatus, I’m back blogging again at Adobe.

For the past two (2!!) years I have been working on the Adobe Mosaic project. Here’s link to a video presentation of it: Adobe LiveCycle Mosaic ES2 – Tiles 101.

I’ll be posting about Flex and Mosaic as well as other topics of interest.

Adobe AIR passes 100 Million Installs

Adobe has just announced that the AIR platform has passed 100 Million installs. You can read more about this on the Adobe AIR Blog.

In addition, Flash Player 10 has been installed on 55% of computers worldwide.

The article describes how these numbers were determined.

Adobe AIR 1.5 Announced at MAX 2008

Adobe has announced the availability of Adobe AIR 1.5. The new version of AIR also includes all of the capabilities of Flash Player 10.

More details can be found on the Adobe AIR Blog

Genesis at MAX 2008

If you planning to be at MAX, make sure you head to the Genesis session. As you may know, I’m part of the team working on Genesis.

Follow this link to learn more about Genesis:

Project Genesis at Adobe

The presentation will be given by Matthias Zeller who will introduce Genesis and explain its purpose and capabilities.

MAX North America

It’s only a couple of weeks away – Adobe MAX North America.

Nov 16 – 19, 2008, in San Francisco, CA.

With over 4,000 registered attendees, you can’t miss this opportunity to connect with others and share your experiences. MAX gives you the chance to learn about Adobe products and gain insight into what’s coming down the road from Adobe and other leading-edge web, application, and service companies.

MAX is probably the best investment you can make to get the most out of your Adobe products.

Check out the MAX site at http://max.adobe.com.

A month of iPhone

I’ve had my iPhone for about a month now, so I thought I’d chime in with the rest of the iPhone reviews flooding cyberspace.

I’ve been reading about the various problems people have been having and I’ve got to say that I haven’t experienced these problems yet. I have been updating the software when the updates become available, so perhaps that’s been keeping me clear of the issues.

I live in an area that gets excellent 3G coverage. This past weekend I was in Philadelphia and the 3G coverage was also good with just a couple of exceptions. One thing I did have trouble with was the Maps application in a moving vehicle. I found that if I had my position identified when the vehicle was stopped, I could then track my progress for quite some time. If I stopped Maps and attempted to do this while moving, then Maps had trouble.

I previously had a Windows Mobile “smart” phone. The iPhone is so much better than that. The two just do not compare (so I will). The iPhone starts faster, is more responsive, has better call quality, and is so much easier to use. The Windows “smart” phone was like using an old ASCII terminal (yes, I am that old). Poorly designed with poor software, I couldn’t wait to get rid of it. The thing didn’t even know about daylight savings time until I downloaded a hard-to-find patch for it!

But the iPhone isn’t perfect yet. It definitely needs stereo bluetooth, better battery life, and a memory expansion slot. I like the keyboard, actually, and am pretty good at typing on it. That “smart” phone had a terrible keyboard. And who thought overlaying numbers on the keyboard was a good idea? At least the iPhone can draw whatever keyboard it needs at the appropriate time.

I also dislike the earbuds it comes with. I guess I have little ears because on the plane trip they made my ears sore and kept falling out. But I did feel sorry for the woman seated next to me who kept juggling all of her equipment – I just had my iPhone for entertainment (watched a movie – perfect for an airplane) as well calling home when I arrived. I’ve now ordered some new earphones that come with an assortment of tips.

I love the fact that it is expandable and there are so many apps for it. I have this terrific tip calculator that is positively ingenious. I also have the Pandora app. Plus you can get apps to stream radio and podcasts.

Oh, and the very first app I downloaded was “Remote” – turning the iPhone into a remote control for iTunes. I have my Macs upstairs, but downstairs in the living room I have an Apple Airport Express plugged into the stereo. Now with the Remote application I can control iTunes from the sofa without having to run up the stairs. This app is awesome – it is so ‘real time’ that adjusting the volume on the phone instantly adjusts the play volume. Whoever wrote this deserves a huge bonus.

The bottom line is that I love this phone. It does everything I want and if I want something more, someone has, or will, write an app to do that, too. The iPhone 3G was definitely worth the wait, for me.

Now if Apple will just merge Apple TV with the Mac Mini…

(re)Genesis

I started a whole new career path in November 2004 when I joined the Flex Support team at Macromedia. In the 3+ years since, I have answered a lot (and I mean, a lot) of questions from Adobe customers. Starting on Monday, July 14 2008, I will be joining a new team on something we call Genesis.

Visit the Genesis Blog at http://blogs.adobe.com/mashup.

You can read more about Genesis in this article at IT World: Adobe readying new mashup tool for business users.

I have enjoyed working for the best managers (Eric Anderson, Jim Schley, and Judy Ricciarelli) and with the best teammates (Woojin Choi, Kurt Mossman, Lin Lin, Brandon Purcell, Kyle Quevillon, Patrick Simon, Nick Watson, Peter Watson, John Zhao). Customer support is a team effort and I think the Flex Support team has proven that with the best-in-the business product support.

My new adventure with the Genesis group turns me back into a developer working on an exciting product sure to find a home in any coporation. Everyone needs a change of pace now and again and I’m delighted to be able to stay with Adobe and work with the best people in the business. I just hope I’m up for the challenge.

I’m still going to keep blogging and making Flex and AIR more accessible. Stay tuned for more articles.

Adobe Reader 9 is Here!

Adobe Reader 9 adds new capabilities, better performance and stronger security. Here are the highlights:

Improved launch speeds
Looking for faster launch speeds? Adobe has enhanced general performance and, in particular, has reduced launch times with Adobe Reader 9. Try it: You’ll notice the difference.

PDF Portfolios
Packages, introduced in Adobe Reader 8, have been greatly enhanced and renamed. Portfolios provide easy navigation when you work with multiple PDF documents and other document types. They also enable you to work with a collection of materials such as drawings, e-mail messages, spreadsheets, and videos as a single file, which makes distribution, storage, retrieval, and collaboration easy for end users.

Native Adobe Flash support
Adobe Reader 9 can natively display rich media content, which you’ll notice immediately with Portfolios. Interested in viewing SWF and FLV files? Adobe Reader 9 is the answer.

Acrobat.com (beta)
In addition, Adobe Reader 9 includes easy access to Acrobat.com (beta), an exciting new set of online services from Adobe. With Acrobat.com, you can create PDF files online; create and coauthor documents with others; host live web meetings; upload and share PDF files and other types of documents and control who has access to them; and even embed a rich, interactive preview of your document in a web page. All of these services and more are provided online, so you can access them from anywhere. And you’ll find easy access points from within Reader 9. As an added convenience, Acrobat.com leverages Adobe AIR, so you can interact with Acrobat.com from your desktop. Acrobat.com on Adobe AIR is a small application that is included with your download of Adobe Reader 9. Available in select languages.

Security enhancements
Adobe Reader 9 provides new digital signature functionality for an improved user experience. The new version also adds support for 256-bit AES encryption and new advanced security capabilities.

But, that’s not all. Adobe Reader 9 offers a new PDF Standards Pane, improved CAD and geospatial functionality and accessibility enhancements.

So, download Adobe Reader 9 now! Or, distribute Adobe Reader 9 in your enterprise or bundle it with a CD or computer!

MAX North America Site is Up

Please visit the MAX NA Experience site:

http://max.adobe.com/na/experience/

It is a 100% Flash based website with interactive landscapes (click the background). The backgrounds were created by several of the best digital design agencies on the planet. If you can figure out the puzzles, you discover who built them.

After the site launches, click on the background. When it appears, click again. There are three backgrounds – the one in the middle, one to the right, and a very cool tropical one to the left.