Friday, June 26, 2009

Flash Builder 4 - Auto Getter/Setter function generator

Here's another GUI improvement that I liked. Flash Builder 4 can generate getter/setter function automatically for you when you select a variable nad either right click on it:

Or select Source from the menu bar and then Generate Getter/Setter...:

It brings up this window:

It's nice, it'll save just a little bit of typing time for me.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Searchable & Indexable SWFs - In Depth

This is the most insightful recourse on Flash searchability I've found so far. It's a session on Flash and search engines in MAX 2008.

It is a monumental task what Adobe and Google have undertaken. Google programmed an automated virtual user that sorts the interactivities of any given SWF to present all the different states in that swf. Adobe has created a customized flash player called Ichabod that is tailor made for the virtual user to access and control. Apparently Ichabod runs much faster than the normal player so that the process is as efficient as possible.

Even dynamically genererated textfields populated with content loaded at runtime like XML, txt, etc is now being indexed apparently.

This is an unbelievable undertaking, but one that was absolutely necessary to ensure the viability of the flash platform into the future and the continued supremacy of Google as the Nr1 search Engine.


Monday, June 8, 2009

More Flash Builder 4 niceties

I am posting these as I go along surprising myselft with new UI features that make my life easier.

Here is a couple more:

To the left of the code row numbers a green arrow appears that signals that the current method is being overridden and also, when you place the cursor over a method or variable, all instances and declarations of it get highlighted in the code in gray. I've already found these features very good in helping me keep track of my code very quick and intuitively.

Good stuff Adobe!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Flash Player to harness hardware acceletarion

Soon, Flash Player is going to start making use of GPUs power for video and graphics acceleration. This is a feature that the Flash 3D community is clamoring for quite some time now. Nobody is saying how soon though, maybe on the next version of the player? I hope so.

This expands the currently available hardware acceleration in the FP which I believe is geared for scaling, particularly in fullscreen mode.

Here is an nVidia press release that announces the collaboration. This makes me think though, what happens if I have an ATI Video Board? Are we going to start recognizing hardware now as we routinelly do with browsers?

Here's an answer to this question with the currently available FP hardware acceleration from Adobe so that we can get a hold of the complexity that this could bring to the table:

Will hardware-accelerated scaling work on all computers?

For hardware-accelerated scaling to work, you need Microsoft® DirectX 9 with VRAM 128 MB for Windows and OpenGL for Apple® Macintosh®, OS X v10.2 or higher. There might be compatibility issues with older hardware and drivers. (See Flash Player system requirements.) With older versions of Flash Player, you should not see dramatic changes as the player reverts from hardware-accelerated scaling back to software scaling.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Flash Builder 4 Beta - First Impressions

I've installed the beta and here are the first things that stood out for me which look very promising:
  • Imported Flex Builder 3 with no problems, it let me know that the project being imported was created under an older version of the Flex Framework and offered the option to select which one I wanted to utilize for it in Flash Builder.
  • It also listed the Path Variables that needed to be setup.

  • UI Glitches are gone. Many (including me) have complained of disappearing UI elements in Flex Builder 3, in my case I always have problems under Project/Preferences screen.
  • I was pleased to see that under the project source folder (src by default) there is now a Package node, which is clearer instead of showing (or not showing in the case of default packages) subfolders.

  • There is also a new node on the Package Explorer for Referenced Libraries which holds all imported SWCs.

    More to come as I continue to use it!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Adobe Flash Builder 4 Beta now available (Formerly Flex Builder)

Adobe announced the release of Flash Builder 4 which was previously known as Flex Builder 3. As they say in their posting in Adobe Labs, the shift in name has to do with the differentiation between the open source free Flex Framework and the commercially available developing product suite. Also, dropping in the F brand into the name of this awesome product is definitely going to attract more flash developers who might have been reluctant to pick it up until now.

A video of the new features can be found here.

The 30 free beta is available here.

I am downloading it now, so I haven't tested it yet but I am excited with the improvement of the workflow as it has to do with working with flash graphic assets, which anyone doing pure Actionscript Projects will attest to, it desperately needed simplification.