Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Taking "Gumbo" For a Test Drive

I wanted to try out my preview copy of Flex Builder 4 (aka Gumbo) that we received at MAX so I thought I'd put together a simple little AIR application. I always find myself looking around for a calendar to quickly reference so I thought this would be a perfect little application to build. If you're like me and still stuck in the Windows XP world this handy little apps just chills out in your system tray and displays the current date. Hover over it and you get the full date, click and you get a fully functioning calendar.

Download the app at

Enough about that, on to Gumbo. Initial impression, I like it. It's stable, even for an early build. It seems to be quicker than previous permutations of FB. I like the new code hinting and ties into ASDOCS, they are good for quick reference into what you can do with the components. I haven't had a chance to do much with the new "Gumbonents" yet, I'll have to save that for my next app.

I am having some trouble however, and I haven't been able to find any information on it so far. Since this is an AIR app I wanted to include the update frame work. However, whenever I add in that code (taken from the Tour de Flex app) I receive the following error:

VerifyError: Error #1053: Illegal override of seek in mx.effects.effectClasses.TweenEffectInstance.

Any ideas?


Monday, November 10, 2008

Chrysler AIR app up for a MAX Award

While at Knoware I had the opportunity to work on a very cool AIR application for Chrysler. Joe Johnston has a good write-up and some screenshots and video over at his blog. Congratulations to everyone who worked on the application, and good luck!

Update: Here's the link to the MAX site where you can vote. The app is listed under the RIA section.


Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Yesterday I was having trouble with FlexBuilder so I upgraded to ver. 3.1. Ever since then I've been receiving the following error.

'NOSERVER_FLEX_OUTPUT_FOLDER\bin-debug\' is not a valid location. The location is relative to undefined workspace path variable 'NOSERVER_FLEX_OUTPUT_FOLDER'.

If I go into the project properties and remove 'NOSERVER_FLEX_OUTPUT_FOLDER' from the Output Folder path I can compile the project. However, when I reopen the project that path gets put back in there and the project won't compile again. Anybody else experience this and know how to fix it?

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Move Over iPhone

The latest greatest thing in mobile technology, can't wait to get my hands on one.


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Copy Children From One Flex Container to Another

Okay, this shouldn't be so difficult but I'm having a helluva time with it. I have two canvases. All I want to have happen is when I add a child to canvas A I want it to also be added to canvas B at the same time. Sounds easy right, but for some reason it's only showing up in the second canvas, not the first. It's driving me crazy. Any ideas out there?

var imageContainer:WallItem = new WallItem();

When I do this the item only shows up in the "navCanvas" but if I take out the second addChild it shows up fine in "dropArea." What am I missing?

Monday, July 07, 2008

Flex 4 Skinning Video

Looks like there is some very cool stuff coming in Flex 4 with regards to skinning components.


Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Brightkite & Spamalot

Ryan Stewart kindly sent me a Brightkite invite a few weeks ago. Admittedly, at first I wasn't very impressed. It seemed like a more complicated Twitter without any new added value. I don't really care where people are posting their tweets from. I decided to give it another chance though and the more I looked around the more I liked it. I like that you can post photos of where you're at and what you're doing at that moment. I however, do not have a camera on my phone (pathetic, I know) so this feature isn't particularly useful to me but it is fun to see what people are doing "around me."

There was one thing that really sold me on the service though. This past week the musical Spamalot was in town for several performances. A couple of the cast members had Brightkite accounts and were posting notes and photos of their adventures around town. It was very cool to see what they did while they were here. It provided an interesting view into how a visitor sees your hometown. The things they enjoyed doing, what they felt was interesting enough to take a picture of and post for everyone else to see. I can see where this could be useful if you were going to be traveling to a new place also. You could check out what's going on around that location and get some ideas on what (or what not) to do while you're there.

So, I think I'm sold on Brightkite. I have a few invites to give out if anyone is interested. By the way, Spamalot is a great show. If it comes to your town I'd definitely recommend it.


Thursday, May 22, 2008

FlashLite Disappointments

I've had an interest in mobile development for several years now. Where I work however, I don't have an opportunity to do much of it. Every once in a while though I get the chance to build a small prototype to use as a sales or demonstration tool. Being a Flash/Flex guy I of course turn to FlashLite to build these apps.

FlashLite is great for building attractive, rich interfaces in a relatively short amount of time. In addition, Adobe Device Central offers some fantastic tools for running simulations to check various conditions and situations. So what's the problem? The problem is (at least here in the States) that in most cases we are limited to distributing our applications to Windows Mobile 5+ devices only. Verizon does offer distribution program for developers to distribute their content but it is somewhat expensive and quite convoluted. This restriction severely limits how and where we as developers can distribute our applications. In my opinion this renders FlashLite an inviable option for developing mobile applications except in very targeted instances.

There is hope, however. The recently announced Adobe Open Screen Project aims to bridge this gap. To put it simply, Adobe plans to work with carriers and manufacturers to develop a standard platform that will run on PC's, devices and mobile phones. That platform will be SWF and FLV. If they can successfully pull this off it finally mean we can build our Flash (and AIR) apps and freely distribute them to any device available (which, with any luck, will include the iPhone). That will be a good day :)


Tuesday, May 20, 2008

FlashLite Demo App

Late last week I quickly threw together a prototype of a mobile app for a big box retailer in the area. It's been a long time since I worked on anything in the mobile world so I was excited to do this. I only had about a day to throw this together so there's still a lot of tweaking but it turned out alright I think.


Monday, May 05, 2008

Flash, Flickr, AIR

I decided I wanted to try creating an AIR app with Flash instead of Flex just to see what it was like. To date, I've never created the obligatory Flickr app that it seems like all developers make at some point so I thought what the hell. The result is this relatively useless but kind of fun little app that pulls the first 50 images from a randomly selected page (up to page 10) of "interesting" photos from Flickr.

I kind of liked the experience of creating an AIR app with Flash. Managing the settings seems to be a little easier since Flash offers a form based approach to creating your app.xml file. In Flex you have to manually edit the XML which really isn't too difficult but just entering a few values into a form is nice.

If you're interested you can download the app here.


Thursday, April 03, 2008

Twhirl Acquisition

Congratulations to Twhirl on their recent acquisition by Seesmic. It's great to see an AIR app getting this kind of exposure.

Seesmic Acquires Popular Twitter AIR Client Twhirl


Thursday, February 07, 2008

User Group Advice

A friend and I are considering starting a local Adobe user group. Anyone out there have advice on how to make it successful or things to watch out for?

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

BakTrax iPhone Web App

A few of the guys here at Knoware have been working on an iPhone web app. Today it was added as a featured app on the Apple site. Design by Finch.


Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Beware Free Hosting

The old adage "You get what you pay for" reared it's ugly head today. I've spent the better part of two days working with the Wordpress API and various XMLRPC Actionscript libraries. Having never worked with XMLRPC before I expected it to take a bit to get the hang of things. I was having a helluva time however and could not figure out why I couldn't even get a call to a simple "hello" method to work. It kept coming back with a "malformed XML" error. Wordpress comes with and xmlrpc.php file when you install the software so I couldn't believe there was something wrong with their code, after all, other people were able to make it work. Then, this morning when I was looking at the data being returned it hit me. GoDaddy's free hosting accounts have banner ads across the top of the page. The HTML for those adds was being returned with my request data and causing the XML to go all wonky. I tried a Wordpress account on a paid hosting plan and everything was fine...ugh.


Monday, January 28, 2008

Ribbit Amphibian

I'm sure by now most of you have heard of Ribbit and their Flex based VOIP service. There is a new article on TechCrunch today talking about their new service, Amphibian. Amphibian in a nutshell, is the “convergence of your personal mobile communications with your personal web experience.” One of it's main features is that it allows you to aggregate all of your different phone numbers into one rich dashboard experience. Another feature I found particularly interesting was the ability to gather a person's "feeds" (flickr, their blog rss, LinkedIn etc...) while your talking to them. Seemed to me like an interesting way to achieve a certain level of collaboration with the caller. The best part for us is that it's still Flash based so the developer community can build additional services and make them available through the Ribbit market space.


Sunday, January 27, 2008

AS3 Wordpress Library

Anybody out there know where I can find some examples on how to use the AS3 Wordpress library from Orange Flash? I started messing around with it tonight but didn't get too far (I'm sure watching 300 at the same time didn't help...).

Saturday, January 26, 2008

More on Parsing Feeds with Flex/AS3

Several days ago I posted a couple lines of code that came in quite handy while parsing an Atom feed. Mike Chambers has put together a more in depth post on parsing Atom/RSS feeds using the as3syndicationlib.

Check it out here


Friday, January 25, 2008

Re-Release: AIR Blogging Tool - "Catharticus" beta release

Okay, I'm an assbag. I forgot to re-test single blog accounts before I released the app. Thanks to Matt Wright for the feedback. Things should be working a little better now - give me another chance :)

--------------Original Post

A few weeks ago I thought I'd build a "quick, little AIR app" to post to my Blogger account. As I got into I realized that it was a little more involved than I thought but I also realized that it could be a much bigger, much "cooler" application if I extended it a bit.

Here is my first release of the application. There is still a long way to go but it's usable and actually has some useful functionality I think. Currently you can login to your Blogger account (plans to include WordPress later), select your blog if you have more than one. From there you can add and edit/view posts.

There is also a "Twitter Drawer" where you can keep track of the last 15 tweets in your timeline as well as post your own status updates.

You can download the application here.

You'll need the Adobe Integrated Runtime installed on your machine to run the app which can be downloaded here.

Try it out and let me know what you think.


Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Parsing Atom Feeds with Flex/Actionscript

Very important, if you are trying to parse an atom feed, say from Blogger for example. Make sure you include the following lines of code. If not, you could spend several days trying to figure out how to "trick" the system to work. I'm not saying I did this, I'm just saying it could happen...

// Define and use atom namespace
private namespace atom = "";
use namespace atom;