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Great competition, Great Outcome

SkinToWinChallenge is over!!! Winners are declared!!! The quality of the themes is really great. Especially the first and the second prize are looking really cool. Congratulation to Alberto Alcaraz and Nahuel Foronda. I had also submitted the almost seven themes for the competition 🙂 with motivation of “Air Notebook” and “Adobe MAX” but competition was really tuff. At the end I am happy for that at least one of my theme is got selected for the spot prize.

Basically, I am not a designer but I play with my curser in free time that gives me great joy. I have learned lot of skinning techniques during the designing of the themes. Thanks Event

As per “Juan Sanchez” blog post the entire theme will be available next week for everyone.

Congratulation to all the winners!!!

Thanks Adobe, Thanks Effective UI, Thanks Juan Sanchez, Thanks all the members who had take a part in the competition.

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Categories: Adobe, AIR, Flex, News, RIA

Wow !!! You have have a local file access within your browser.

Few days back FlashPlayer 10 (Code name Astro) released, as usual again with new milestones. This version include lots of new feature like native 3D support (Yes it means myMovie.x, myMovie.y and now myMovie.z available), new text rendering engine, custom filters and effects, improved new drawing methods. All above this feature, I like the most is access of local files within your browser.

http://www.gotoandlearn.com/player.php?id=76

http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/flashplayer10/demos/

Great going Astro !!!

Categories: Adobe, Flex, News, RIA, Web 2.0 Tags:

Layout design !dea

For developer it’s always pain to decide position, layout, navigation and containers. here i found very interesting web site which has numbers of layout design ideas. go and explore the site http://www.layoutcookbook.com/

Categories: Adobe, Flex, News, RIA

Adobe Flex goes open source

Adobe Flex goes open sourceAdobe is announcing tonight that the Flex SDK will be open sourced under the Mozilla public license, the same license that they open sourced the Action Script VM under (the Tamarin project). The move is just the latest in a trend of an increasingly open ecosystem around Flash and Flex which started with the Tamarin project.

The News Rundown

The Flex team has talked about open sourcing the project since its very beginning and did things like starting labs.adobe.com and giving people very early access to the betas of Flex 2. In chatting with them, it sounds like the impetus for this was just that the Flex community had grown large enough where a lot of exciting open source activity was happening, and they wanted to be involved. As part of the initiative, Adobe will be releasing the source to the following parts:

  • The Flex Compilers (mxmlc, compc, asc) – the command line tools that compile flex code
  • Flex command line debugger
  • View source utilities
  • Automated Testing Framework
  • Flex core component library – this includes Apollo components
  • Build Scripts
  • Web tier compilers
  • Flex-Ajax Bridge – already open source, but moving from MIT license to MPL License

Adobe will start by opening the Flex bug base in June and providing daily builds of Flex 3 at that time. Then between June and December, Flex 3 will be released under its current license. Shortly after this they will fully open source the SDK and open it up to external contributors. Adobe also has plans for a “second phase” in which people outside Adobe may be granted commit privileges to the core SDK and granted ownership over “sub projects” of the SDK. They would then be in charge of managing those projects. In chatting with David Wadhwani, the vice president of product development for Flex, he had this to say about how external community members can contribute code to the Flex SDK:

“Initially people will be able to contribute code by attaching it to a bug or enhancement request in the public bug database and we’ll clearly state our development philosophies at this time. After a few months we’ll start looking for external committers. We’ll look for individuals who have been active contributors of high quality code that most closely maps to our development philosophies.”

Developers Win

For Adobe and developers, this is really win-win. Adobe gets to leverage the community and ecosystem of open source, and the framework fits very well with an open source model. Developers can now actually contribute code and fixes to the framework and have those appear in the core distribution. One of the most exciting things for me is that some of the better custom components could, in theory, make it into the core release. This gives a lot of incentive for the people out there extending Flex by themselves, and gives developers using the framework the best components out there.

In talking to people, the general consensus seems to be quite good. Adobe is going to offer a commercial license for the companies who want support and warranty from Adobe, but there are no plans to branch the two code bases. As a result, the companies who want to have more openness in their technologies will be happy and those that still want Adobe to stand behind it can feel secure. I do wonder about the implication for OpenLaszlo, which has, until now, been able to carry the banner of open source in the Rich Internet Application community. I’ve also been hearing a lot of rumors about Microsoft having more open intentions behind Silverlight, so we may hear about that at MIX next week. Interesting times ahead. Adobe has set up a Google Groups for anyone that wants to discuss the news and project over at http://groups.google.com/group/flex-open-source.

Integrating Flex 2 and Ruby on Rails

In this article you will learn how to integrate Flex 2 with Ruby on Rails and a MySQL database by building a simple issue tracker application. By following the steps in this tutorial, you will also learn how to add functionality to the application, such as adding a new bug to the database, reading existing bugs, updating a bug, and deleting a bug.

Requirements

Flex Builder 2

Ruby 1.8.4+

Rails Gem 1.1.6+

MySQL 4+

Recommended: RadRails

Sample files:

Prerequisite knowledge:

Basic understanding of ActionScript, MXML, and Flex Builder.

Why Rails?

When using Flex you have several options to choose from for back-end server software. So why might you want to choose Rails? Ruby on Rails, like Flex, is a well thought out, elegantly simple framework. As you will see, Rails uses code generation and metaprogramming to make it incredibly easy to integrate with a database using almost no SQL code. Furthermore, when you use Rails, you also get to use Ruby, a programming language that is both extremely powerful and easy to use. Using Flex and Ruby on Rails, you will be able to get more done with less code.

Flex + Rails + Ruby = RIA Nirvana.

Categories: Adobe, AIR, Flex, Open Source, RIA

Yes or No, is Ajax a RIA Technology?

I was reading a post by Ryan Stewart, who is my main source of news and information about anything to do with RIA (Rich Internet Applications). Wikipedia defines RIA as “web applications that have the features and functionality of traditional desktop applications.” When I think of RIAs, I usually think of Adobe’s Flex or Microsoft’s WPF (Windows Presentation Foundation). Probably the most famous example of RIA is Flash. I also regard Ajax as a RIA, because it enables desktop app-like interactivity. But something Ryan said reminded me that there is a bit of a disconnect out there on what is a RIA exactly? Ryan wrote:

“I see a couple of big reasons RIAs have become much more popular in the past few months. One is that a good experience has become a primary requirement for the web. I don’t really count Ajax as a full RIA technology, but it has raised the expectation level and made people start to wonder how much better the web can be.”

Ryan doesn’t see Ajax as a RIA. Perhaps because he has high standards on what an RIA app should be able to do. Ryan writes more about the topic on his personal blog; also see this post by Adobe’s John Dowdell from 2005.

We all know Ajax has its limitations – Google is probably the biggest proponent of Ajax, yet its web apps have been known to cause frustration at times. I bet every user of Gmail pounds their desk whenever a page refresh problem arises.

So in order to try and get a consensus about Ajax and RIA, I’ve created a very simple poll. Please take a minute to tell us whether you think Ajax is a RIA technology.

Categories: Adobe, AIR, Flex, Open Source, RIA

Adobe’s Development of Thermo – Web App Development for Designers?

Thermo Logo

So I have been at Adobe MAX 2007 in Chicago all week. The whole experience has been really great. What was even better than that was a sneak peek at a new application that Adobe says that it will be releasing sometime in 2008 – code name “Thermo”.

I can not tell you how excited I was about this app. What is Thermo you ask? Well let me tell you from my perspective what Thermo is….

Just a week before MAX I was finally wanting to write my first project completely in Flex Builder. This was a really really frustrating thing from a design standpoint. I would be what the industry is referring to as a “Devigner” Half Designer / Half Developer. I can write some code when it comes down to it and I really enjoy figuring out the functionality of an app but I have always done all my sites or apps in the Flash IDE and laid them out in Photoshop before I move everything over to Flash for animation and coding.

When it comes to doing a project by setting up your design in Photoshop and then getting that design into Flex Builder….. well …. let’s just say it. IT IS A PAIN IN THE ASS! As far as I am concerned.

Now what is this new Thermo app mean to me you might ask? Well imagine combining Flex Builder with a visual design tool. Kind of like Flash with out the drawing tools and such.

In the Demo Adobe showed how they had a really nicely designed Photoshop layered comp. Once they launched Thermo they were able to choose the template they wanted to design there app around. In this case it was a comp from photoshop. Once you choose your PSD file you are able to view the layers in a dialog box just like the import dialog that you get in the Flash IDE. Choose your settings for each layer if you like and Boom all your assets are put on a stage that looks kind of like the design view in Flex Builder. Also over to the right you get a view of all your layers. Kind of like the layers view in Photoshop. We took a photo of the app in it’s present stage of production. Sorry for the image quality. The adobe example was showing the design and development of a music browsing app.

Thermo At MAX

Click for Full Size

When you switch to code view you will see code that is MXML code. Adobe explained that the code view is just like using the Flex Builder interface. You will get all the code hinting and power of editing code that you get by using Flex Builder.

Another really cool example that Adobe gave during it’s demo of Thermo was the ability to click on graphical layers or text layers and change them into functional Flex components on the fly. A great example of this was a graphical scroll bar that they had designed in photoshop. Basically consisted of two layers. You had your background square that looked like the track of the bar and the scrub bar that was also a darker square in photoshop. They where able to select these two layers in Thermo > Right Click and tell Thermo to change these layers into a horizontal scroll bar. As soon as they did this if you switch to code view you where able to see that Thermo had rewritten all of the code to tell the app that these layers are now the functional scroll bar. To spare you more reading there where some other graphic and text areas they where able to click on and convert to other components in the app.

Just a week before I was trying all kids of ways to do this same thing. I was laying out my design in Photoshop, taking it to flash to create my MovieClips, then exporting all my assets as a SWC file to use in Flex Builder. This is a really cool thing being that Flex Builder will treat your assets in the library as Components so that gives you great code hinting. The down side of this for me is you can’t just drag a new “component” out of your SWC file and place it on the stage in Flex Builder. Thermo on the other hand will give you a viual representation of where the button or graphic is located and you can drag it around and move layers how ever you like. As a “Devigner” This totally rocks. I think even hardcore code head developers will find this to save them a lot of time.

Look for Thermo next year sometime at http://adobe.com or you can check back here on my blog. I am so excited about this product that I am sure I will be talking more about it as Adobe relases more information about it.