Monthly Archives: June 2006

Flex Components – Visualization Explorer by Ben Stucki


Ben Stucki created a great visualization component for Flex 2. He recently published the component into the new Adobe Flex Exchange. The visualizer takes data from a sound object and renders it to screen with support for filters.

Adobe Flex Exchange

Ben Stucki’s Blog

Starting next week I will be posting some very detailed information on creating components for Flex 2 and announcing Adobe’s efforts in creating a component marketplace. If you are creating components for Flex 2, drop me a note at tpatrick(A)adobe.com.

Great work Ben!

More to come…

Ted :)

Flex 2 Launch Articles and Blog Posts


Here are all the press releases and blog posts regarding the Flex 2 launch. Enjoy the reading!

Press Releases:

Adobe Ships Flash Player 9 by Peter Cohen

Adobe Pumps Up Rich Apps with Flex 2 by Paul Krill

Adobe Updates Flash Player, Flex Tool by Martin LaMonica

Adobe Releases Flex 2 and No One Notices by Ryan Stewart

Adobe Sets Flex 2 Free by Darryl Taft

Adobe Updates Flash Player by Gregg Keizer

Adobe Releases Flex 2

Adobe Releases Flex 2

Adobe Releases Flash 9 and Flex 2 by Stan Beer

Adobe Flex 2 Has Been Released Today! by Yakov Fain

Flex 2 Is Here!

Flex 2 Overview

Flash Player 9 Released by Kristie Masuda

Adobe Releases Flash Player 9 by Nick Farrell

Adobe’s Flash Player 9 Now Available

Adobe Upgrades Flash and Web Development Systems by Antony Savvas

Adobe Unveils Adobe Flex 2

Adobe Flash Player 9 Leads a New Generation of Dynamic Media and Rich Internet Applications By Shawn Lunn

Blog Posts of Note:

A pocket guide to the Flash Player 9 launch (with a mini-sneak about the Intel Mac beta)

Flex 2 Released by Flex Team Blog

Flex 2 is Out by Sho Kuwamoto

Player 9 Released – This Changed Everything by Me

Flex 2 Released by David Zuckerman

Flex 2.0 Now Available by Peter Ent

What’s new in the debugger since Beta 3 by Mike Morearty

Flex 2 Released

Flex 2 Released – Flex 4 TEH W1N – Jesse Warden

Flex 2 Released, Flexforum launched!

The Launch of Flex 2 and Beyond by Brian Deitte

Congradulation Adobe by Darron Schall

Flex 2.0 released by Abdul Qabiz

Flex 2 is out… Expect more code soon! by Josh Tynjala

LiveDocs – Flex 2 Language Reference


The Flex documentation team has outdone themselves with the livedocs language reference for Flex 2. It is easily one of the best resources for Flex development and is always open on my desktop during development.

LiveDocs – Flex 2 Language Reference

I encourage you to improve the documentation and post your comments. Comments give the documentation context and help flag common development issues.

More to come…

Ted :)

FLEX.ORG – The Directory for Flex


Today the Flex team launched Flex to establish single site to provide a directory to the world of Flex. We will be adding features to accelerate Flex adoption, enable developers, and document the best resources both within the community and at Adobe.

I look forward to working with you on making Flex.org a world class resource for Flex developers. Today we begin this journey with a simple site but things will change rapidly.

Visit Flex.org!

Ted Patrick
Flex Evangelist
Adobe Systems

Player 9 Released – This changes everything!


I have watched the release of 7 versions of Flash Players but somehow Player 9 is a wildly different release. This release adds AS3 support, a JIT compiler, and a wildly improved AS3 API. FP9 is very advanced and yet remains smaller than 1.2MB.

Making things fast and small is not very easy. To think that Flash Player 9 includes a JIT compiler that emits X86 and PPC native machine code from AS3 bytecode is simply incredible. It is a true accomplishment for the Flash Player Engineering Team at Adobe and will revolutionize applications and the Internet.

I believe this release is a change in direction for Flash Player. It is a sneak attack as it arms the innocent graphical Flash Player with a real class based programming language capable amazing things. Combined with rich vector graphics and pixel perfect text, we will see a new class of application emerge.

Better still is the effect that Flash Player 9 will have on Apollo. As one of the primary engines in Apollo, Flash Player 9 enables a new class of Rich Desktop Applications that merge the best of the Internet and the Desktop.

Wow, exciting times ahead.

More to come,

Ted Patrick

Adobe Developer Week Sessions


Here are links to the Adobe Developer Week sessions that were recorded live last week. There is some really great training here and I encourage you to dive when you have time. I am debating doing a regular live session on Flex, anyone interested?

The Adobe Engagement Platform

Introduction to Developing with Flex

Introduction to Adobe LiveCycle

Building Flex Apps with Flex Builder

Flex Data Services

Building Killer RIAs? Meet: Adobe’s Next-Gen Technology

Architecture and Overview of Adobe’s Security Model

ColdFusion Powered Flex

An Introduction to Adobe LiveCycle Workflow and Qpac

ActionScript 3 for Flash Developers

Looking for IT Agility, Sizzling Apps & Fast Processes

ColdFusion and Model Glue

Using InDesign Server with Flex

Building Applications using LiveCycle and Flex

Flex and AJAX – Better together

Smart Client Architecture and Processing Models

Cheers,

Ted :)

Flex Extensibility – Blink for Flex


It seems that many developers do not realize that Flex is extensible. Sure its XML, but Flex allows you to create new components and extend MXML in your applications. To make this point clear I wrote the dreaded Blink tag for Flex.

Blink Tag for Flex 2 (View Source Enabled)


Blink Tag Source(ZIP)

HTML and its success has always been tightly bound to a browser HTML/JavaScript version. Each browser embeds its logic for interpreting HTML and JS within each 5MB-30MB Download of Internet Explorer and Firefox. The only way to upgrade this logic today is to download a new browser.

With Flash Player, the browser and os are completely independent resulting in the ability to run new Flash Players and applications (Flex, Flash, Breeze) in older browsers and operating systems.

Exercise:

– Go find an old copy of Netscape 3.0
– Install Flash Player 9
– Build a Flex 2 application and it will work seamlessly!

Given that Flash player is upgradable with a 1MB download, long term Flash Player will be more compatible than the base browser for building applications. The result is a wide compatibility footprint for Flash Player for delivery of applications.

In supporting components within the Flash Player, Adobe decided to deliver component to the Flash Player within the SWF and RSL formats. Basically, components are delivered with your application, they never ship in the Flash Player. This keeps the player very small and allows developers to creatively extend applications using ActionScript and all formats supported by Flash Player (SWF, GIF, JPG, PNG, FLV, XML, AMF, MP3, and others).

In Flex development you can write a new ActionScript Class and extend MXML and the applications you are creating. In writing the Blink Tag, I simply extended the mx.controls.Text component like so:

package com.ted.text{

    import mx.controls.Text;

    public class Blink extends Text
    {
        public function Blink():void
        {}

    }

}

Basically this is a custom component that simply extends mx.controls.Text with no changes. Drop this into the com/ted/text package folder and name it Blink.as and you have a custom component for Flex. As this extends mx.controls.Text, 100% of the logic in Text is present by default, my new Blink component only contains the differences. Ahhh… Inheritance. Ok lets make this component Blink like it should.

package com.ted.text{

    import mx.controls.Text;
    import flash.utils.Timer;
    import flash.events.TimerEvent;

    public class Blink extends Text
    {
        private var blinkTimer:Timer;

        public function Blink():void
        {
            this.blinkTimer = new Timer( 1000 , 0 );
            this.blinkTimer.addEventListener( “timer” , toggleText );
            this.blinkTimer.start();
        }

        public function toggleText( event:TimerEvent ):void
        {
            if( this.visible ){
            this.visible = false;
            }else{
            this.visible = true;
            }
        }

        public function get interval():uint
        {
            return this.blinkTimer.delay;
        }
        public function set interval( value:uint ):void
        {
            this.blinkTimer.delay = value;
        }

    }

}

Ah that’s better. I added a Timer to the class and added a getter/setter called ‘interval’ to change the delay of the Timer class, and a method to change the visibility of the component. So now we have a working Blink tag for Flex 2.

So a few things to remember:

1. You can extend MXML with custom AS Classes.
2. Components are delivered within your Flex Application SWF file.
3. Old Browsers are compatible with new Players.
4. Old SWF content is always backward compatible with Flash Player.

More to come!

Ted :)