Screencast: Using the Library Panel in Flash Catalyst

I think the Library Panel in Flash Catalyst is one of the most important parts of the product when it comes to working in a team environment and the design-develop workflow (more on that in a later post). I’m also trying to do more small, detailed Catalyst tutorials as we ramp up to MAX, so I’ve posted a tutorial on using the Library Panel. Most of this will be pretty obvious but there are a couple of nuances to what shows up in the Library Panel so hopefully it’s valuable to folks. I suggest toggling into full screen mode so the tutorial is actually watchable.

AFCS Presentation to BAADAUG Slides

I just posted the slides for my BAADAUG presentation on Adobe Flash Collaboration Services.

I had a great time with the group and I appreicate them putting up with a brand new slide deck. I’ll be giving a version of this over at the ActionScript Conference in Singapore, so if you’re in the area, you can still register!

New tutorial on Flash Builder 4 data integration

I just finished uploading a new tutorial that shows how easy it is to integrate server-side data into your Flex 4 applications using Flash Builder 4. In the example I display results from the Twitter search API in a datagrid without having to write a single line of code. These new features make it incredibly [...]

Adobe AIR Support for Mac OS X Snow Leopard

Today, Apple made Mac OS X Snow Leopard available for purchase. You may be asking: how well does the latest version of Adobe AIR (1.5.2) work with Snow Leopard? Based on our testing and feedback from customers, AIR applications appear to run fine on Snow Leopard. We have encountered one very minor issue that AIR developers may run into:

  • Launching adl with the command ./adl and with the AIR SDK bin directory set as your current directory fails with an error message that the runtime can’t be found. This is easy to avoid, as basically every other form of invocation works: put adl on your path, use a relative path from a different directory, or use an absolute path.

If you encounter any issues with Snow Leopard, we most definitely want to hear about it! Please send us feedback with any details required to reproduce the issue: http://www.adobe.com/go/wish/.

Status of Flex Data Visualization Components

There have been some questions over the last few days on the status of the Flex data visualization components and I wanted to make sure everyone knows our intentions.

First of all, you may notice that the 3.4 downloads page has an updated copy of the data visualization components (charts and the Advanced DataGrid and OLAPDataGrid). While we have made it easier to view the source (you don’t have to run the DMV-source.jar anymore), we still consider these components to be under the Flex Builder license, and the source to be considered “Professional Component Source Files” as described in the Flex 3 SDK EULA. So I hope that clears up the licensing question.

The other concern I’ve heard raised is that Flex 4 is not seeing many changes to the data visualization components, and therefore folks are worried that Adobe is not investing in them. Data visualization remains a “core competency” of Flex, and we absolutely plan on further development of these components along with supporting partners who have expanded upon them like the ILOG team at IBM. In the Flex 4 time frame we plan on making some improvements to the GroupingCollection, a fundamental piece of the ADG in the hopes of addressing one of the larger performance bottlenecks. However, we chose to take on 2 significant agendas that preempted doing significant work in the data visualization components.

The first is the data connectivity features in Flash Builder; the way we’re making it even easier to connect your data from the back end into the data visualization components in the front. We hope that this will make the data visualization components even more accessible for developers, making it simple to get up and running and build powerful data-driven applications.

The other agenda is the introduction of the Spark architecture. As everyone knows, this is a significant improvement to the fundamental component architecture in Flex, but it is too much to bring every component forward into the new model in a single release. While the charting components do not need to be modified significantly to fit well with Spark, the DataGrid (and therefore the AdvancedDataGrid) will take significant effort, and that is work we intend to do in the following release. Knowing that a fundamental re-architecture of the DataGrid is coming, we decided not to make significant investment in the current one for this release other than addressing the most important bugs.

So that’s the status and we hope you’ll understand and agree with our prioritization. If you’ve got any questions, feel free to comment here or post to the forums!

Tutorial: Sexy transitions with Flex 3 (as used in the MAX widget)

When I showed the first versions of the MAX widget to a few colleagues, most were very surprised to hear that this was all built with the Flex 3 framework and that no Flash Catalyst or Flash CS4 was involved in this.
“Including the animations?“, was a question I got a lot. And yes… Even the [...]