Category Archives: ActionScript

gotoAndSki("Switzerland") 2012 – Simple P2P for the common mortal

I’ve been meaning to attend gotoAndSki for several years now, but it never seemed to work out – until now. If you don’t know about this unique event you should definitely check it out! In summer it takes place in Norway, in winter in Switzerland.

This coming January 2012 I’ll join a fantastic lineup of speakers (Mario Klingemann, Mihai Corlan, Bhakti Pingale, Michael Plank, Steven Peeters, Dominic Graefen, Hugo Fernandes, Eugene Zatepyakin) in the beautiful town of Stechelberg. Its a relatively small scale conference, giving you excellent opportunity for networking and general “geeking out”.

During the day you can get out and see the Swiss Alps, ski or do other fun activities. The evening is conference time with several sessions over a period of three days.

 
My session is called “Simple P2P with Flash & Flex for the common mortal” and I’ll be showing the latest developments of the CocoonP2P framework. I’ll show how to set up device discovery, messaging, file sharing, video streaming (and hopefully some other cool surprises) between various devices *all without a server*.

The goal is to make it so easy your grandmother could do it – and I think we’ve pretty much accomplished that.

 
I hope to see you there, if you want to make it out – be sure to grab your ticket now – its without a doubt the best conference deal around (not to mention it includes accommodation and all your meals).

 

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The Flash Platform saga… one week later

[update] There is now some more solid information on the future direction of Flex available here.

 
We’re a week after Adobe’s shocking announcements around its future vision of the Flash Platform – time to get some perspective and see what exactly has happened.

Unfortunately on a number of topics we’re no closer to having real answers but this is my personal take and summary of what is publicly announced:

 
Flash Player for mobile (e.g. on Android) will not be further developed nor receive any further updates after version 11.1 (which was made available earlier this week) apart from critical bug fixes and security updates.

The Flash Player is still available for download and existing SWF content is supported, at some point in the future SWF content targeting new features will likely no longer work on mobile browsers. There has been talk about Adobe allowing OEMs to license Flash Player and do their own implementation, something which RIM reportedly wants to do for their PlayBook and upcoming QNX based devices (lets hope for more willing OEM partners to do their own Flash Player porting).

Adobe will invest further in AIR to package applications to mobile across devices, the recent acquisition of Nitobi and the involvement in the PhoneGap project also fits into this picture.

Unclear to me is if Flash Player 11.1+ content will be supported in AIR for Android and other devices. I don’t see how that would work if they don’t want to continue to port newer versions of the Flash Player – unless they take a strategy like on iOS where the runtime gets cross compiled to native binaries for each platform.

 
The Flash Professional engineering team has had a number of layoffs, though the product is still under development.

Product management is located in the US but the development is being outsourced to India. The next release of Flash Professional will have a feature to export to HTML5. If its anything like Wallaby or Google’s Swiffy project, ActionScript support – if any at all – will be very limited.

My own personal take on this is that its only a feasible proposition if Javascript support is introduced as a scripting “dialect”.

http://www.mikechambers.com/blog/2011/11/10/flash-professional-and-the-future/

 
The Flex SDK is going to get donated to an open source foundation and the Spoon project and Adobe (unclear how active and to what extent) will be involved in shaping its future.

The blog post announcing this however goes on to mention that HTML5 and web standards will be the best long term strategy – which undermines their case for continued support of the framework.

 
Flash Builder will still be developed and reportedly some Flash Catalyst features will merge into that product. The Falcon compiler project is still being worked on.

That seems like a pretty sensible move to me, imagine that at some point soon HTML5 will also become an export format here too.

 
LiveCycle and Acrobat Connect are being “wound down” – best guidance I’ve found on it is that they’re cutting investment on it, though continue to support it for existing clients in the government and the enterprise financial services market.

http://www.underprise.com/2011/11/11/the-future-of-adobe-livecycle/

 
I am still baffled at what Adobe was thinking in the way they communicated these changes. Clearly serious mistakes were made and I’m already seeing consequences everywhere.

Flash Player on desktop technically has a bright future ahead for gaming in particular, the issue here is if the actions of last week have not undermined Adobe’s credibility to such a point that nobody is willing to invest. After all, they’ve now proven that the very thing you’ve been working on for months or years can be pulled out from under you at any point in time.

Most shockingly is still how MAX attendees were misled – thousands of people paying thousands of dollars to make it out to an event that claims to give them insight into the roadmap at Adobe. It is now also clear that Adobe employees did not know about these upcoming changes until the day itself, so this is no criticism on their part.

 
I still strongly stand behind my call for a leadership change at Adobe. Spending billions of dollars over the years on developing a mobile platform to then abandon it without any advance guidance or clear transition path to your user base is inexcusable. The enterprise Flex market is one few that actually prefers proprietary solutions, they want a strong company backing the technology they use and a roadmap they can trust on.

We’ll see how these decisions play out, the move towards web standards can proof to be a good one in the long run but the more critical problem is restoring confidence in Adobe.
 

What have I been doing lately?

I realize I haven’t been blogging a lot about what I’ve been up to in the last few months so thought I’d better get a post out and share some of those things with you.

Cocoon P2P

The open source Cocoon P2P library has been released and got Dirk Eismann on board as a contributor after speaking at FFK11 in April. With his help we were able to take it from more of a proof of concept to a solid solution for doing local IP multicast with the Flash Player (no server required).

We have great support for device discovery, messaging and object-replication. Reworking the video streaming and fixing some bugs on the accelerometer support is still on my todo list for the very near future.

HTML5 Solutions

I’ve had the pleasure to work on a book called “HTML5 Solutions: Essential Techniques for HTML5 Developers” with fellow authors Marco Casario, Charles Brown, Nathalie Wormser and Cyril Hanquez.

My contribution to the book is on using the Geolocation API – which, if you haven’t already tried it – is one of the most exciting features that is starting to become widely available with HTML5.

It turned out – in my humble opinion – to be a very good publication and should be shipping soon. I can’t wait to get hold of my author copies and hear reader feedback when it hits the stores.

Continue reading

What have I been doing lately?

I realize I haven’t been blogging a lot about what I’ve been up to in the last few months so thought I’d better get a post out and share some of those things with you.

Cocoon P2P

The open source Cocoon P2P library has been released and got Dirk Eismann on board as a contributor after speaking at FFK11 in April. With his help we were able to take it from more of a proof of concept to a solid solution for doing local IP multicast with the Flash Player (no server required).

We have great support for device discovery, messaging and object-replication. Reworking the video streaming and fixing some bugs on the accelerometer support is still on my todo list for the very near future.

HTML5 Solutions

I’ve had the pleasure to work on a book called “HTML5 Solutions: Essential Techniques for HTML5 Developers” with fellow authors Marco Casario, Charles Brown, Nathalie Wormser and Cyril Hanquez.

My contribution to the book is on using the Geolocation API – which, if you haven’t already tried it – is one of the most exciting features that is starting to become widely available with HTML5.

It turned out – in my humble opinion – to be a very good publication and should be shipping soon. I can’t wait to get hold of my author copies and hear reader feedback when it hits the stores.

Continue reading

Adobe MAX 2010 Schedule

This years Adobe MAX conference is fast approaching, end of next week myself and Nathalie Wormser of the Project Cocoon team will be traveling to Los Angeles.

Its been a long time since I’ve been this excited about the topic I’ll be talking about. If you haven’t tried P2P with Flash Player 10.1 yet, this is your chance to learn how to use it. In our session we’ll talk about how to do device discovery on the local network, send data between mobile to desktop applications, use mobile specific APIs like the accelerometer etc. to have those control desktop applications, games — all this without requiring a connection to a server.

After the conference I’ll be blogging about this a lot more, but if you’re there feel free to register for our session.

Looking at the MAX session schedule there are some themes that jump out: Flash Player and AIR for mobile and television, new 3D features for Flash Player and HTML5 with Dreamweaver. Of those things the one I didn’t expect to break through was Flash Player for television (presumably we’re talking Google TV to start with). I’m sure Adobe has a couple of other surprises up their sleeves as they usually do.

Here is a look at the sessions I registered for:

Monday, October 25, 2010

9:30 am – 11:30 am General Session: Welcome to the Revolution Nokia Theatre, L.A. Live
2:00 pm – 3:00 pm Deep Dive into Flash Player Rendering 512
3:30 pm – 4:30 pm Flash Platform for TV: A New Ecosystem 513
5:00 pm – 6:00 pm How to Build Adobe AIR Apps for the iPhone and Android 514
8:00 pm – 10:00 pm Meet the Teams Los Angeles Convention Center

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

8:30 am – 9:30 am Developer Tips for Building Great Games using AIR for Android 515B
10:00 am – 12:00 pm General Session: User Experience: The Next Generation Nokia Theatre, L.A. Live
1:30 pm – 2:30 pm jQuery: A Web Designer’s Secret Sauce 515B
3:00 pm – 4:00 pm Building P2P Multiplayer Games 515B
4:30 pm – 5:30 pm Flash Player 3D Future 511A
6:00 pm – 8:00 pm Sneak Peeks Nokia Theatre, L.A. Live

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

9:30 am – 10:30 am Mobile Devices as Application Controllers 504
11:00 am – 12:00 pm Programming HTML5 Canvas 510
1:30 pm – 3:00 pm Developing Your First AIR for TV Application 409B

 
On the 24th we’ll also have our Community Summit event with all the Adobe User Group Managers and Adobe Community Professionals. Thats always a great day and nice to meet up with everyone again.

Hope to see you in LA!

Big boys and their litl toys

There is a bit of a change of plan – rather than give an overview talk on open source projects in the community – I’ll be doing my session at Flash on the Beach on Flash Player 10.1 development and the litl webbook.

Ever since Flash and the City earlier this year I’ve been playing around with this somewhat unusual device and am sold on its potential. It is quite unlike the typical hackable geeky gadget I’m usually interested in but opens up opportunities for web enabled content feeds around the house and of course uses my favorite development platform.

I’ll be talking about how you can get started developing channels for this device using the developer SDK and test your work in the simulator or on the device itself. We’ll walk through various examples of channels and look at some creative use cases. I’ll also be covering best practices for Flash Player 10.1 on devices in general.

It’s going to be a fun session and will hopefully inspire you to start experimenting with Flash Player 10.1 content on the litl or a variety of other devices and form factors that are hitting the market.

Hope to see you there!

TWiT Live Desktop 2.2 goes open source

It took me a long time to finally get round to it, but have updated the TWiT Live Desktop AIR application and released it as version 2.2. I’ve also gone ahead and made it open source under an MIT license, so feel free to check out the code and I’m open to having contributors to the project.

For those that haven’t tried it yet, TWiT Live Desktop lets you watch a live video stream of Leo Laporte’s TWiT network shows as well as interact in the IRC chatroom and check out the twitter and other feeds.

A lot of people were having problems with the “black screen of death” in the previous version. Those issues luckily seem to be resolved and you now have the option of switching between the various video streams or even go for an audio-only version (just right-click for those options). You also have a feature to take image captures of the video stream.

Some minor improvements include saving your last video feed, window size and position when you relaunch the application. You can also double click the video to toggle between full screen and normal mode.

Since its an AIR application this runs on Windows, Mac and Linux — if there is enough interest we can port it to support Android devices as well.

The old uservoice page will be faded out and I recommend people to use the issues page on the Google Code project to file any bugs or feature requests.

Note: the application loads in the default video players from the various streaming services and renders them in the background. This means the controls are not accessible to you. I’m working on having custom controls for the application that work across the different video streams.

I have plans for a 2.5 update in the next month and a 3.0 later on that will include the following features:

  • Controls for changing video feed, image capture etc.
  • Twitter stream widget
  • Volume control and mute button support
  • Production schedule interface (with timezone support)

There is built-in support to “check for updates” so when you have the application installed new version will get pushed to you as they become available.

[airbadge]TWiT Live Desktop,http://twitlivedesktop.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/releases/TWiTLiveDesktop_2_2.air, 2.2,https://peterelst.files.wordpress.com/2010/09/twit-badge.jpg%5B/airbadge%5D

Thanks for everyone’s patience waiting for this update, and Leo and the TWiT team for their support. Enjoy the application and look forward to hearing from users on how to improve it further!

 
http://twitlivedesktop.googlecode.com