Archive for February, 2009

Share News with ShareFire

My colleague Dan Koestler and I just released a new version of ShareFire (formerly known as Apprise), a news aggregator written for Adobe AIR. ShareFire has several useful features, but what really differentiates it is the ability to share news stories with friends over various social networks right from the application. We currently support sharing via email, AIM, Twitter, Facebook, Delicious, Digg, MySpace, and Newsvine. Another nice feature of ShareFire is that it has been localized into 16 languages which you can switch between dynamically (without having to restart the application or download other versions).

The source code for ShareFire is available on Google Code as well as all the libraries it uses:

  • as3corelib: Contains general utilities for things like date parsing, and working with various file formats.
  • as3localelib: Utilities for helping to localize your Flash applications.
  • as3nativealertlib: Library for creating modal alert windows in AIR.
  • as3syndicationlib: Libraries for parsing all versions of RSS and Atom.
  • as3preferenceslib: Library for managing the storage, retrieval, and encryption of application preferences.
  • as3notificationlib: Library for showing Growl-like alerts on Mac, Windows, and Linux.
  • wimas3: Code for integrating AIM into your Flash applications.
  • Adobe AIR Update Framework: A framework to assist in updating your AIR applications. (This project is now included in the AIR SDK, but it wasn’t at the time ShareFire was started.)

Here’s a screenshot of ShareFire, or for a demonstration, check out the video below. To install ShareFire, check out the ShareFire homepage.

Adobe AIR 1.5.1 Released

Today we released Adobe AIR 1.5.1, a relatively minor update that includes a number of bug fixes. The new builds are available for Windows, Mac and Linux on the Adobe AIR download center.

Oliver Goldman, a member of the AIR engineering team, posted a blog entry titled "Using InvokeEvent.reason in AIR 1.5.1" that describes a new API that was also added. If you have built an AIR application that launches at startup, you may want to check out Oliver’s overview of how this feature works.

You do not need to recompile your application to take advantage of the 1.5.1 improvements. However, if you want to take advantage of the new APIs introduced in this release you will need to update your application descriptor to 1.5.1 (see New APIs section of the release notes) and recompile your application.

If you have any feedback about the release, please feel free to leave a comment below. Currently, our blog is configured so that comments must be first approved, but we do our best to approve comments as quickly as possible. We hope to change this soon once we can better tune our spam filtering system.

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Creating cinematic effecs with Adobe Pixel Bender and JavaScript


The team at Ext created an Adobe AIR application called Pixel Bender Explorer that demonstrates how to apply compelling animations and other effects to your JavaScript-based AIR applications. The effects are accomplished using Flash Player 10’s new Pixel Bender technology, the same technology behind many filters and effects in Adobe After Effects software. Aaron Conran from Ext discusses on the blog post how he was able to to access these effects from JavaScript and integrate this functionality into the Ext JavaScript framework.

The application allows you to load a sample video and image and then apply filters effects in real-time. It’s impressive to see the responsiveness when you load a video, apply an effect and adjust the supported properties (angle, direction, center point, etc.). Try loading the sample video, selecting "RadialCaleidoscope" and then slowing adjusting the "angle" property.

Adobe AIR + Netflix API + Dojo Toolkit = Queued Movie Manager

SitePen announced an impressive new technology demonstration called Queued that showcases what’s possible when you combine the new Netflix API with the Dojo Toolkit and Adobe AIR.

Queued is a desktop application built on AIR that offers some of the functionality available on the Netflix website including support for search for and prioritizing your movie queue, but also adds new capabilities such as allowing you to view and manage your queue while offline (a synchronization engine updates your queue when you’re back online). In addition, since this application runs in the background, you can receive popup notifications when Netflix receives or sends you new movies. The source code is available on Google and can also be accessed directly from within the application as well. This application, built using JavaScript, takes advantage of the Dojo Extensions library for Adobe AIR built by SitePen.

For more information, be sure to check out Revin Guillen’s blog post and watch the video demonstration below (if you’re a Netflix customer, be sure to download the application too!). Congratulations to the SitePen team for pulling off another stunning AIR application!

Updated AIR Marketplace Launched


Today, an updated version of the Adobe AIR Marketplace launched that includes an improved look-and-feel as well as a few new features. The goal of the release is to provide a more user friendly destination for showcasing and downloading AIR applications.

New features include:

  • Enhanced feedback support where users can rate, review, comment and flag an application to provide feedback to the developer. In addition, users can share applications with colleagues and friends and also subscribe to RSS feeds from the Marketplace.
  • A new self-service web interface that allows developers to manage their profile and applications. Developers can also view download statistics, ratings and reviews through a new application dashboard.
  • The ability for a developer to specify a link to purchase the application. While the Marketplace does not enable e-commerce transactions directly, users can click on a link to purchase an application from the the developer’s website.

Please be sure to check it out and let us know what you think by leaving a comment. Also, please let us know what you would like to see in the future.