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Apache Flex 4.11 Released!

October 28th, 2013 33 comments

Apache Flex 4.11 Released!

The Apache Flex project, the all-volunteer group of developers, and stakeholders in the development framework, today announced the release of Apache Flex 4.11.0. This release makes some important improvements over previous versions of Apache Flex and Adobe Flex including new and improved components and performance enhancements.

What’s new in Apache Flex v4.11.0?

The Apache Flex 4.11.0 SDK allows application developers to build expressive web and mobile applications using MXML for layout and ActionScript 3, an ECMAScript based language for client-side scripting.

The Apache Flex 4.11.0 release contains many improvements that professional software development teams will appreciate. This advances the framework forward. It is truly one of the best cross-platform programming languages used to write applications that are testable and can be compiled to run on multiple technology platforms from a single set of code.

Apache Flex 4.11.0 highlights include:

Support Flash Player 11.9.

Support for AIR 3.9.

120 and 640 dpi mobile resolution/skin support, fixes to 480dpi skins.

mx:AdvancedDataGrid and mx:DataGrid speed improvements.

Added column sort type access to the datagrid columns in mx:Datagrid, s:Datagrid, and mx:AdvancedDataGrid.

Able to easily change mx:AdvancedDataGrid row and column item renderer spanning.

s:DataGridEditor will now be visible in ASDocs and be visible in the Tag inspector.

Minor changes to make SDK compile with Falcon compiler.

Added access to imageDecodingPolicy in BitmapImage.

Changed UIComponent removedFromStageHandler from private to protected to allow override

New experimental mobile spark datagrid.

Updated OSMF swc to latest version (2.0)

Renamed experimental supportClazzes package to be supportClasses.

Mobile Callout moved to spark and can be used in Desktop and Browser apps.

Support for [Experimental] metadata tag.

Over 50 bugs/issues were closed with this release

Apache Flex is available in source form from the following download page:
http://flex.apache.org/download-source.html

If you are a developer that wishes to use the Apache Flex SDK in your projects, it is recommended you install Apache Flex by using the Apache Flex IDE installer:
http://flex.apache.org/installer.html

When downloading from a mirror site, please remember to verify the downloads using signatures or MD5 hashes.

For more information on Apache Flex, visit the project home page:
http://flex.apache.org

Categories: General Tags:

If Carpenters Were Interviewed Like Programmers

April 18th, 2013 8 comments

Interviewer: So, you’re a carpenter, are you?

Carpenter: That’s right, that’s what I do.

Interviewer: How long have you been doing it?

Carpenter: Ten years.

Interviewer: Great, that’s good. Now, I have a few technical questions to ask you to see if you’re a fit for our team. OK?

Carpenter: Sure, that’d be fine.

Interviewer: First of all, we’re working in a subdivision building a lot of brown houses. Have you built a lot of brown houses before?

Carpenter: Well, I’m a carpenter, so I build houses, and people pretty much paint them the way they want.

Interviewer: Yes, I understand that, but can you give me an idea of how much experience you have with brown? Roughly.

Carpenter: Gosh, I really don’t know. Once they’re built I don’t care what color they get painted. Maybe six months?

Interviewer: Six months? Well, we were looking for someone with a lot more brown experience, but let me ask you some more questions.

Carpenter: Well, OK, but paint is paint, you know.

Interviewer: Yes, well. What about walnut?

Carpenter: What about it?

Interviewer: Have you worked much with walnut?

Carpenter: Sure, walnut, pine, oak, mahogany — you name it.

Interviewer: But how many years of walnut do you have?

Carpenter: Gosh, I really don’t know — was I supposed to be counting the walnut?

Interviewer: Well, estimate for me.

Carpenter: OK, I’d say I have a year and a half of walnut.

Interviewer: Would you say you’re an entry level walnut guy or a walnut guru?

Carpenter: A walnut guru? What’s a walnut guru? Sure, I’ve used walnut.

Interviewer: But you’re not a walnut guru?

Carpenter: Well, I’m a carpenter, so I’ve worked with all kinds of wood, you know, and there are some differences, but I think if you’re a good carpenter …

Interviewer: Yes, yes, but we’re using Walnut, is that OK?

Carpenter: Walnut is fine! Whatever you want. I’m a carpenter.

Interviewer: What about black walnut?

Carpenter: What about it?

Interviewer: Well we’ve had some walnut carpenters in here, but come to find out they weren’t black walnut carpenters. Do you have black walnut experience?

Carpenter: Sure, a little. It’d be good to have more for my resume, I suppose.

Interviewer: OK. Hang on let me check off the box…

Carpenter: Go right ahead.

Interviewer: OK, one more thing for today. We’re using Rock 5.1 to bang nails with. Have you used Rock 5.1?

Carpenter: [Turning white…] Well, I know a lot of carpenters are starting to use rocks to bang nails with since Craftsman bought a quarry, but you know, to be honest I’ve had more luck with my nail gun Or a hammer, for that matter. I find I hit my fingers too much with the rock, and my other hand hurts because the rock is so big.

Interviewer: But other companies are using rocks. Are you saying rocks don’t work?

Carpenter: No, I’m not saying rocks don’t work, exactly, it’s just that I think nail guns work better.

Interviewer: Well, our architects have all started using rocks, and they like it.

Carpenter: Well, sure they do, but I bang nails all day, and — well, look, I need the work, so I’m definitely willing to use rocks if you want. I try to keep an open mind.

Interviewer: OK, well we have a few other candidates we’re looking at, so we’ll let you know.

Carpenter: Well, thanks for your time. I enjoyed meeting you.

NEXT DAY:

Ring…

Interviewer: Hello?

Carpenter: Hello. Remember me, I’m the carpenter you interviewed for the black walnut job. Just wanted to touch base to see if you’ve made a decision.

Interviewer: Actually, we have. We liked your experience overall, but we decided to go with someone who has done a lot of work with brown.

Carpenter: Really, is that it? So I lost the job because I didn’t have enough brown?

Interviewer: Well, it was partly that, but partly we got the other fellow a lot cheaper.

Carpenter: Really — how much experience does he have?

Interviewer: Well, he’s not really a carpenter, he’s a car salesman — but he’s sold a lot of brown cars and he’s worked with walnut interiors.

Carpenter: [click]

Categories: General Tags:

Apache Flex now has a REAL website

February 11th, 2013 24 comments

The original Apache Flex page was dull and boring.

They’ve recently added a lot more pizzazz and sparkle…very nice!

Check it out!

http://flex.apache.org/

Categories: General Tags:

First Version of Apache Flex Released

July 24th, 2012 76 comments

Apache Flex is an application framework for easily building Flash-based applications for mobile devices, the browser and desktop.

On the 31th of December, 2011, the Apache Software Foundation has accepted the Flex SDK into incubation. Apache Flex is now a community project managed by Apache (ASF).

The Apache Flex team is pleased to offer this ‘parity’ release, available as of 7/19/2012. This is the first available Flex SDK under the Apache Licensing model, and is designed to be compatible with the Adobe Flex SDK version 4.6.0.

Download the latest SDK here:
http://incubator.apache.org/flex/download.html

Categories: General Tags:

Flex Mobile Social Networking App “Xuland” is LIVE in Android Market!

January 19th, 2012 6 comments

A couple of years ago I started working on a Flex 4 powered social networking application called Xuland.

It was a web-based app that had the look and feel of Facebook with geo-location abilities (based on IP). Essentially, you could change the on-screen map to any location in the world (or it would discover your current location) and you could read or post comments to that area. It was a nice idea…but ultimately didn’t work.

During creation, Apple and Adobe had their infamous falling out and the world moved to a mobile stage. Now Flash on mobile has been deprecated by Adobe and Flex itself has been accepted into Apache’s incubation process. It seems that the days of considering Flex for general public consumption as a web-based application were gone.

I opted to pick up the pieces of Xuland and re-assemble them into an AIR-powered mobile application with a different objective: find a way to make it easier for folks to make friends.

Facebook and Twitter are great vehicles for announcing your current status to your family, friends, fans or followers. But they do little to strike new connections between people.

Xuland attempts to place more importance on a person’s profile. It is through the profile that you can find common similarities in passions, occupations, religion and so forth. Xuland allows you to ask anonymous questions, request that folks “guess” your age or other personal attributes. Xuland tries to ease the connection-making process to allow new friendships to strike without odd winks, pokes, virtual gifts or other gimmicks.

Using Flex 4.6′s mobile enhancements and Adobe AIR, I adapted the previous web-based application to a mobile-based friending app that is now live on the Android Market:

https://market.android.com/details?id=air.com.xuland

Xuland

The iOS version (using the same code-based) has been submitted to Apple and is currently waiting review. I had to fabricate some test data and accounts to ease the review process and will remove those soon.

Any feedback on the app in general, the concept, appearance or performance is appreciated of course. I rely on the Flex community and have done so for years. Recommendations or questions are welcome!

I’ll post another article once the iOS version has made its way to the Apple App Store. Until then, happy Xulanding!

Adobe Flash, Part II – “The Resurrection”

November 10th, 2011 6 comments

I’m sure most have heard about the latest announcments happening in the blog-o-sphere and from Adobe:

http://blogs.adobe.com/conversations/2011/11/flash-focus.html

For many of us, we’re not surprised, although many were. The Flash plugin on mobile browsers has always been an up-hill battle. With Apple and Microsoft’s decision not to support the Flash mobile plugin, the sheer number of emerging mobile devices (with browsers) to support and the wide adoption of HTML5 for mobile browsing animations and effects – it seems this is a timely decision. It would have been nice to continue to see support, but times change. How this will affect the Flash plugin on desktop browsers remains to be seen.

The fast rise and popularity of Adobe AIR has give Flash a new life. AIR is now supported on the PC, Mac, Android, iPad/iPhone, BlackBerry, Amazon’s Kindle Fire, B&N’s NOOK, and Sony mobile devices – amongst others. Platforms that we’d never thought would support Flash now do (like televisions, cars and even alarm clocks)…with more devices to come. It’s the best option there is for deploying games or applications from one single code source to multiple platforms.

This is a step in the evolution of Flash towards amazing GPU-based 3D gaming (which we saw at Max from the Angry Birds and Unreal makers) and Enterprise-level dashboards and RIA’s and away from annoying banner ads. Although Flash “on mobile” is officially dead, Flash in essence will have been resurrected through Adobe AIR.

I’m anxious to see what Flash 12 brings us as it will help bridge the gap between HTML5 and Flash.

Flash Player 11.1 and AIR 3.1 were just released today: http://blogs.adobe.com/flashplayer/2011/11/adobe-flash-player-11-1-and-adobe-air-3-1-are-now-available.html

Other interesting articles:
http://www.leebrimelow.com/?p=3151
http://forta.com/blog/index.cfm/2011/11/9/Some-Thoughts-On-Flash-And-Devices

Categories: Adobe AIR, Adobe Flash, Adobe Flex, General Tags:

Adobe MAX 2011 “Sneak Peek” Sessions Now Online in HD!

October 17th, 2011 3 comments

At the end of the second day of sessions at the Adobe MAX 2011 conference in Los Angeles, Adobe holds their annual Awards and Sneak Peeks gathering inside the huge Nokia Theater. This year Rainn Wilson from NBC’s “The Office” emceed the awards and afterward sat on-stage in a make-shift office complete with desks and leather (or vinyl) chairs alongside Greg Demichillie (Senior Director of Product Management, Developer Tools at Adobe Systems).

The entire show was fantastic. Rainn was on-point and delivered witty one-liners throughout like a veteran comic. But I have to say he was quieted down considerably once Greg, with the help of Adobe’s own engineers, showcased new features that may (or may not) get released in future versions of their products.

As far as I’m aware, for the first time ever Adobe has offered these “sneak peek” videos online for free in full HD:

http://max.adobe.com/blog/2011/max2011_sneakpeeks.html

They’re all amazing, but as far as I’m concerned the real show-stopper was an image “deblurring” feature that Adobe has been working on in collaboration with engineers from MIT:

You truly have to see it to believe it.

Adobe also offers 160+ hours of free training online from most of the sessions offered at Adobe MAX this year. If you weren’t able to find a way to go to the conference, this is the next best thing:
http://tv.adobe.com/show/max-2011-develop

Enjoy!

The full press-release:
Adobe Systems Incorporated today posted videos of the technology “sneak peeks” that were showcased recently at the company’s annual MAX user conference in Los Angeles. Included in the videos is the image deblurring technology, demonstrated in an on-stage demo by Adobe senior research scientist Jue Wang, which has become an Internet sensation.

“We sneaked some early-stage technology from our labs during the recent Adobe MAX conference that exemplify the kind of technology innovation that is thriving across Adobe,” said Kevin Lynch, chief technology officer, Adobe. “Adobe’s technology leadership is ensuring that designers and developers have the tools they need to help shape the future of digital media.”

The sneaks are intended to give MAX attendees a look at future technologies. These technologies may, or may not, make it into future versions of Adobe products. The demos are currently being hosted on AdobeTV, and include:

– Image Deblurring — removing blurriness from digital photos caused by camera shake while the pictures were being taken;

– Local Layer Ordering — a new way for graphic designers to create layered compositions that better reflect the way real world objects act;

– InDesign Liquid Layout — using InDesign to create high quality magazines that automatically adapt layouts across devices and screen orientation;

– Near Field Communications in Adobe AIR — using Adobe AIR to create applications that communicate with the physical world;

– Automatic Synchronization of Crowd Sourced Videos — synchronizing video clips taken with different cameras and from different vantage points into a single immersive video;

– Reverse Debugging in Flash Builder — the ability to step backwards in time while debugging a Flash application to better find the root cause of bugs;

– RubbaDub — automatically replacing the dialog of a video clip with separately recorded audio with perfect synchronization;

– Pixel Nuggets — searching through a large library of images by identifying images that contain the same people, backgrounds, landmarks, etc.;

– Monocle — a new visual tool to help developers find and fix performance problems in Flash applications;

– Video Meshes — an entirely new way to edit videos, including the ability to create 3D fly-throughs of 2D videos and change focus and depth of field;

– GPU Parallelism — using a device’s graphic processing unit (GPU) to accelerate performance of general purpose computing.

About Adobe Systems Incorporated

Adobe is changing the world through digital experiences. For more information, visit www.adobe.com .

(C) 2011 Adobe Systems Incorporated. All rights reserved. Adobe and the Adobe logo are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Adobe Systems Incorporated in the United States and/or other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

SOURCE: Adobe Systems Incorporated

The best selling iPad app on the App Store was created with Adobe Flash

September 10th, 2011 305 comments

Kudos to the Amanita Design team for pushing all the other paid iPad apps out of the way with a little help from Adobe AIR ;)

http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/machinarium/id459189186?mt=8

According to Lee Brimelow:
“Few in the technology press have picked up on and correctly reported about this workflow that allows Flash developers to target Apple’s popular iOS devices.

Most people still only think of Flash as the browser plug-in that Apple doesn’t allow in Safari on iOS devices. But being able to create apps and games for iOS is a huge win for Flash developers, for Adobe, and for Apple.”

Via:
http://thenextweb.com/apple/2011/09/09/the-best-selling-ipad-app-on-the-app-store-was-created-with-adobe-flash/

Categories: Adobe AIR, Adobe Flash, Adobe Flex, General Tags:

Adobe shuts down AIR Marketplace and InMarket

July 25th, 2011 7 comments

Adobe has decided to close the doors of both InMarket and the Adobe AIR Marketplace.

“After reviewing our efforts and based on feedback from developers, we have decided that we will deliver the most value by helping developers author and publish their apps on multiple platforms. Given this focus, we have decided to discontinue development and support of Adobe InMarket. We are going to continue to provide support for publishing to different app stores through our tooling. The recent Flash Builder 4.5 and Flash Professional CS5.5 provide support for publishing to multiple mobile platforms including Android and Apple iOS devices.”

According to ReadWriteWeb:

“Developers have until August 31st to download their app analytics, revenue reports and other data, and update any widgets or links to their app’s webpage. Developers who published to AppUp will receive an email from Intel over the next few days with more details about direct publishing.”

Unfortunately, I have noticed at least one site claim this to be “another win for Apple” (undoubtedly from a fanboy). I’m not sure I understand how much Apple has to gain over this decision or whether they were aware such a marketplace ever existed.

This sounds more like Adobe is giving the nod to the more popular app-stores that have already defined their place in the world of commerce, namely the Apple App Store, Android Market, BlackBerry App World, Intel AppUp center, Samsung Apps, and Toshiba App Place.

Categories: General Tags:

Adobe Feeds now has it’s own mobile app!

July 20th, 2011 26 comments

This was a two-day project that I started mostly as a way to learn the process of deploying an Adobe AIR app written in Flex 4.5 to Android and iOS devices.

This app is now available on the Android Market, with iOS and Blackberry versions coming soon.

     

Adobe Feeds
in the Android Market

The process of creating the app was generally very easy. I’ll post the source-code here in a separate article that details my experiences later but I just wanted to get a quick little announcement out there for anyone that has ever wanted to view Adobe Feeds in their mobile device through an app rather than the browser ;)

I *would* have the iOS version in the Apple App Store, however I need to upload the app via Mac OS X (which I don’t have)…not surprisingly enough :(

Once I figure out how to install an emulator on my PC and actually upload the app to Apple for approval, I’ll post the link to that as well.

Let me know if you have any comments or suggestions for the app. Enjoy!

Categories: Adobe AIR, Adobe Flex, General, Websites Tags:

Self-portrait (Android-Style)

July 17th, 2011 12 comments
Categories: General Tags:

List of Adobe Flex & AIR Mobile Apps for iOS, Android (Updated)

July 15th, 2011 32 comments

Here’s a long list of Android, iOS and Blackberry apps created using AIR for mobile that originates from a smaller list at http://swfhead.com/blog/?p=1416. This serves as an awesome example of the work and dedication made by Adobe engineers and Flash/Flex developers around the world that wish for a simpler way to develop and publish apps across multiple devices using the same codebase.

I’m hoping to add my own AIR app for Xuland once I’m finished with it. It’s coming along but I ran into a bit of a snag with the Google Maps SWC under iOS. I’ve overcome that and will post a separate article on that later ;)

Follow me on Twitter for more updates: http://www.twitter.com/erichcervantez

Congratulations to all those that have worked so hard to create the following apps:

Gravity Lander
Android

Gridshock
Android

Zombies Hate Pumpkins
Android

Adobe Feeds Mobile
Android
• Resource: Blog post right here on eonflex! ;)

Red Bull Illume:
iPad
• Resource: Lee Brimelow’s blog

UFO Pew Pew:
Android

Boing Boing Santa (by Terry Paton):
Android

MY UNO:
Android

RIDGID Digital Bubble Level
Android

BeFunky Photo Editor PRO
Android

Kids Numbers HD:
Android

Trip to Aztec Temple:
Android

Adobe Connect Mobile:
Android

Flipit (by Terry Paton):
Android

Physics Ball:
Android

Kellogg Garden Products:
Android

Moai FLV Player:
Android

MuniTracker:
iOS
Android
• Resource: Flex Developer Center Samples
• Resource: AdobeTV

Politifact:
iOS
Android

Meteor Storm (by Terry Paton):
iOS
Android

Tweet Hunt
iOS

Digitas Cache:
On iPad

Dr Stanley’s House II:
iOS
Android

Lapse It
Android

Rossignol Experience:
iPad

Conqu:
iOS
Android

Comb Over Charlie:
iOS
Android

Apolline & Leon:
iOS
Android

Queue Manager:
iOS
Android

Twisted Whiskers, Twisted Time Wasters:
iPhone/Pod

Mr MixIt:
iOS
Android

Jacks
Android

Optimistic Weather
iOS
Android

Dillo Hills:
Android

MazeBall (by Terry Paton):
iOS
Android

Treasure Caves 2 (by Terry Paton):
Android

Stealth Sub:
Android

POGZ:
iOS
Android

GameHound:
Android
iOS

Digitas Trends:
iPad

Bear Bounce:
iOS

Fotagraft Galleries:
iOS
Android

World Without Photoshop
iOS
Android

BreakIt4 (by Terry Paton):
Android

43 Words
iOS

Letter Star
iOS

Sissy’s Magical Ponycorn Adventure
iOS

Circ
Android
iOS

Solar Defense
Android

Solar Defense Lite
Android

Foodoo Hit
iOS
Android

CubeHunt
Android

Solitare2 (by Terry Paton):
Android

PuzzPix (by Terry Paton):
Android

Action Chinese Chess
Android

Letter Practise
iOS

Pryamix:
iOS
Android

Balland
Android

ScratchMaster Pro
Android

MoeGirlTouch6
Android

Categories: General Tags:

Twitter buys TweetDeck for $40-50 Million

May 24th, 2011 1 comment

If you’re not aware of TweetDeck, it started out as an AIR application for the desktop created by a Flex developer, Iain Dodsworth who is still CEO. Rumors have been going around for a couple of months about this acquisition but it’s been confirmed on a few different sites now.

I used TweetDeck for a minute when it first came out and thought it needed some work. They’ve come a LONG way. It’s nice to see that a Flex application can sell for $40-$50 million (cash & Twitter stock).

http://money.cnn.com/2011/05/23/technology/twitter_acquires_tweetdeck/

Another nice win for Flex ;)

Adobe Flash Player 10.3 released

May 13th, 2011 6 comments

“We’re excited to announce that Flash Player 10.3 is now available for Android, Linux, MacOS, and Windows. Flash Player 10.3 improves stability, enhances security and user privacy protection, and provides new desktop video and audio capabilities for enterprises and developers.

On the device side, with the rollout of Android 3.1 users of Honeycomb tablets like the Motorola XOOM will experience performance improvements introduced in Flash Player 10.2.”

http://blogs.adobe.com/flashplayer/

Good job Adobe…keep it going!

Just received a new Flex 4 book to review

January 28th, 2011 12 comments

I’ll post a review here on my blog in about a month ;)

Categories: Adobe Flex, General Tags:

Xuland: Added Twitter-like ability to “follow”

January 8th, 2011 2 comments

After a lengthy hiatus due to holidays and vacation, I returned to working on my experimental Flex 4 & Swiz social-networking site, Xuland, by adding the Twitter-like ability to follow people.

Only available to logged-in users, the “following” tab allows you to view comments by people that aren’t necessarily in the location shown on the map. There is also a new “followers” tab which allows you to view comments by people that are following YOU.

Although I am still ironing out small bugs here and there, the functionality works rather well. Give it a whirl and let me know what you think!

Categories: Adobe Flex, General, Xuland Tags:

Flash Player Penetration Study

January 6th, 2011 10 comments

Interesting note from Adobe today:
http://blogs.adobe.com/flashplayer/2011/01/new-flash-player-penetration-stats.html

The study reveals Flash Player 10.1 (just this version) has reached 85% penetration…breaking previous records of market penetration by other versions. There have also been over 3 million downloads of Flash Player 10.1 from the Android market.

The main take-away from this is that more people are upgrading to the next version of Flash Player faster than ever before, which is good news when Flash 10.2 comes out which includes GPU-hardware acceleration (currently Flash uses all CPU), multiple-monitor support and 3D API’s.

Now imagine playing a fully 3D first-person shooter from an average website (no download necessary) with no CPU-utilization ;)

Categories: General Tags:

XULAND: World’s First FLEX 4 Based Social Networking Application?

November 4th, 2010 30 comments

Truth is, I’m not sure if this is the technically the world’s “first” Flex-based social networking application, but I can say that I haven’t see anything else like it in Flex – so there’s a good chance it is. Nevertheless, hopefully the title was enough to grab some attention ;)

I came up with the idea for Xuland a year ago. At the time I simply wanted to come up with a project that would allow me to dive into the Flex 4 Beta and try out some new frameworks (other than Cairngorm). I chose Swiz for its “brutal simplicity” and I was immediately impressed.

I present this first to the greater Flex community as I’m really interested in feedback at this stage of its development. Does it make sense? Does it load fast?

My biggest concern: determining whether Flash was the right platform for a site like this. Honestly, I don’t see why not. Flex is a great framework. Flash is a great multimedia platform. Add a little social networking features and you could have the makings of something great.

I wasn’t able to attend MAX this year although I did enter Xuland into the 2010 MAX Awards. There were several other amazing sites that Adobe chose over Xuland and I don’t blame them. There truly is some fantastic talent out there and I feel blessed to even be remotely part of this group.

To put it simply, Xuland is a social network centered on location, rather than a friend’s list.

It started off as a way to get to know your neighbors…the people that are most likely *not* on your friend’s list. I’ve always thought Facebook was a great way to re-connect with old friends and family (not “old family”, sorry Mom) but you wouldn’t necessarily meet new people on Facebook. I remember back in the days of MySpace when random strangers would friend each other…some folks had thousands of “friends”. It was always so bizarre to me. I’m not sure if that same trend has crossed over into Facebook since its advent of fan-pages but still sites like these didn’t feel like the appropriate place to establish new friends.

A better opportunity arose through Yelp. Yelp centers itself on geography. You can see reviews of the restaurant down the street which is fantastic but it was difficult to carry on a conversation with past reviewers. Sure there’s message boards, but it would be nice to carry on a real-time conversation with someone in your same town that you did not already have a past relationship with (i.e. “on your friend’s list”).

Xuland eventually morphed into a FLASH-ier alternative to Craigslist, complete with a commenting & rating engine, Google map that pools postings into the comment stream based on location and selected radius, a built-in ad & local event submittal system and there’s even a simple image editor. No, this isn’t your father’s Craigslist.

I’m going to add a lot more, including extending the project to include mobile. What I’ve done so far took a lot of work (spare time with a family, mind you) but I’m happy to keep chugging forward as long as the site finds some real use out there.

What I really hope is to prove that Adobe Flash & Flex can be used for much more than dashboard and charting widgets or for unseen back-office intranet apps.

I had a lot of fun exploring Flex 4′s new skinning architecture, the Swiz inversion-of-control framework, the cloud technology that I’m using to host Xuland and many other bits and pieces of knowledge I had to find to assemble this all together.

I don’t think the site is ready for global public consumption quite yet. There’s a lot of little details I need to iron out but it works for the most part. I invite anyone reading to try it out and let me know what you think!

http://www.xuland.com

The map should geolocate to your general area, but it won’t be exact. If it’s off, drag the map around and set your new default location (you’ll have to login).

You can also (change) the map to anywhere else in the world which is nice. Talk to folks in Munich, or Paris. Change the map zoom, too. As the radius changes, so does the number of viewable comments. The red dot in the middle essentially shows the center of the map around which it pools comments.

Login with your Facebook or other social networking accounts, or create your own Xuland account via the registration form. Try posting a comment, attach an image, or real estate posting. There are many categories similar to what you’d find on any classified ads website. You can also post a local event (I got a little tired of getting invited on Facebook to events that were in other cities!).

I’ll post more on this blog and on Xuland’s own Tumblr blog. It’s getting a little difficult juggling all of this so bear with me if I seem a little slow, otherwise thanks so much for reading and trying out Xuland.

Flex 4: Switching to Railo from ColdFusion

July 5th, 2010 3 comments

With the Xuland Flex-based social networking application I’ve been working on for the past eight months, I decided to switch things up on the back-end, most notably in the services layer where I’ve been using ColdFusion 9 for my data-access objects.

ColdFusion has been a perfect fit for Flex since I had used the software quite extensively for much of my programming career. However, as I prepare Xuland for go-live (August 13th – which also coincides with the Adobe MAX Awards deadline for entry date), I realized that without a license for the software I would be restricted to shared hosting services – a solution that would not work in the long-run, especially if Xuland were to suddenly gain popularity.

As I considered dedicated or “cloud” hosting, I would have to either buy an $8,000 ColdFusion license (umm, no) or switch to an alternative. BlueDragon piqued my interest, but it unfortunately does not yet support AMF. Without the ability to remote, my application would launch already dead in the water.

Another alternative, completely unknown to me before today, is Railo (pronounced “Rhylo” after a fictitious alien dog in Star Trek).

“Railo is a free, open-source alternative for ColdFusion application development.” It currently supports the AMF3 format (whereas in the last version it only supported AMF0) and comes shipped with its own application server and servlet engine (Caucho Resin). In fact, the Express versions can be downloaded, configured for Flex and launched within minutes. The best part is it’s completely FREE.

I’ve since switched from ColdFusion to Railo and with hardly any tweaking, Xuland was running against Railo executing the same CFC’s I had already written for ColdFusion 9. After starting the Railo service locally the first time, it automatically created the necessary Flex remoting-config and services-config XML files needed in the WEB-INF directory. Remoting worked perfectly, and I dare say it seems a bit faster (I have not run any benchmarks quite yet, however).

If you’re looking for a solution similar to this, definitely consider Railo as it works as well as ColdFusion without the sheer cost.

Categories: Adobe Flex, ColdFusion, General, Xuland Tags:

Adobe Targets Apple in New Ad Campaign

May 13th, 2010 5 comments

Today, Adobe launched a nationwide advertising campaign promoting “choice” and criticizing those (read: Apple) that try to control it.

Adobe Loves Apple

In addition to the ad campaign, a new web page was added to Adobe’s website: http://www.adobe.com/choice/?sdid=GXRUX, which discusses the Open Screen Project, and includes a Flash fact sheet (no doubt, from Adobe product manager Mike Chambers), and a message from Adobe’s founders John Warnock and Chuck Geschke.

This is undoubtedly in response to Steve Job’s memo published on Apple’s website, http://www.apple.com/hotnews/thoughts-on-flash/ back on April 29th. The letter, which publicly blasts Flash as being a closed, proprietary technology that is no longer relevant or in “touch” with today’s mobile devices has received a massive response from the Adobe community and today from Adobe, itself.

Read other posts about this subject:

Mashable: http://mashable.com/2010/05/13/adobe-responds-flash/

NY Times: http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/05/13/next-round-in-the-adobe-apple-fight/

Categories: General Tags: