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Monthly Archives: March 2007

This was a better turn out than the last meeting. It was very exciting to talk about what’s going on.

Lord Alex talked about his experiences at the Apollo Camp at San Francisco earlier this month. There is certainly some interest out there. (Aparently, the Apollo code name will be likely the product name that will be released.)

Lee Sutton gave a presentation on Adobe Acrobat. He is involved in the Digital Editions project in labs. It’s pretty cool that you can all all kinds of media elements into pdf. So pdf is much more than a print document. You can add all kinds of media elements into it. There is also an emerging e-book market out there. Imagine, download your Disney e-books with added interactivity, videos and text. Brilliant for my kids! Also there is talk about releasing a modified pdf extension .pub which will encrypt all your media content within which includes pdf, swf, movies, etc. There is a lot of flexibility in regards to security on distributing electronic documents.

Martin Arvisais gave a presentation on Flex interacting with Communication server. He whipped up a quick chat application in 15 minutes. Unfortunately, it did not work out on Apollo. Still, Apollo is in beta.

André Bouchard gave a talk on the Delegate class. (He’s Butcho on the montreal adobe user group bulletin boards.) I just realized about the importance of this class in AS 2.0 while banging my head on the key board for a couple of hours. In short the Delegate class resolves scoping issues. What was great was that Francis Bourre that created the pixLib classes developed a better implementation of the class by adding parameters to the class. I have to give a presentation at work. It will greatly benefit.

I also got a spanking new book on “Flash Applications for Mobile Devices” as a thank you from Lord Alex. I was even considering buying the e-book on this. Cool!

A whole bunch of them are also planning a trip to FITC 2007 April 22nd (Sunday) – 24th (Tuesday). Oh how I would like to go, but my fifth child will be born around that time. Maybe next year!

DJ

It has been called to my attention that there is an emergence of competition for rapid e-learning. In short, take your powerpoint presentations, insert a plugin and export it as an e-learning course. So far, Adobe Connect (formerly Breeze) might be the forerunner of this. Today, I had been informed that there are other developers out there trying to get into the rapid e-learning market notably: Articulate (www.articulate.com).

I’ve been working for this business for over 10 years now, and I am always finding out that there is a killer app is out there for training. But for the past 5 years, Flash has been my mainstay. What I have loved since then is the power to create awesome simulations, games, and interactive tutorials that I have been developing. And its fun!

So as my supervisor said it, rapid e-learning is like fast food. Either go with the cheap way, or you go for the more flexible, rich interactive experience with more possibilities in instructional design and value. Buy hey, if the client wants it that way I’ll be happy to do it for them.
DJ

Lynda.com has a video series of Apollo presented by Mike Chambers who is the senior product manager and developer relations for Apollo. (Click here.)

I like the idea that you can provide a runtime for multiple platforms. However, I have experienced with clients that they do not fancy the idea of installing software on their machines. It has to go through a lot of red tape on the IT side of your client. Anyway, if this really takes off, it’s cool.

In the meantime, if someone needs to build standalone executables either on a CD-ROM or as a download, you can try:

NorthCode SWF Studio, or MDM Zinc 2.5
There are other projectors and screen saver applications out there.

I personally use SWF Studio v. 2.3, and 3.2. (They’re based in Ottawa which is not far from I live in Montreal. They’ve been very helpful in terms of support.)

MDM looks like a powerful package that permits you to also build apps for the Pocket PC.

DJ

Okay boys and girls, bring out your totally geekiness out and salivate at the new Creative Suite (CS3) production line separated into Designer, Master Collection, Web Development, and for Production series. See www.adobe.com

The launch is today at 3h30 (EDT), but you can view the rest of the stuff at the Adobe site. Other usergroups around the world are reviewing the presentation at their meetings.

To view the webcast, click here.
DJ

Adobe labs just released the Apollo runtime for windows and mac along with its SDK and an extension for Flex Builder.

Check it out at: labs.adobe.com

DJ

I just stumbled upon this:

http://www.xleff.org

Antonia De Donatis (author of the Friends of Ed book: Advanced Components) whipped up this site last month. (Feb 2007)
XLEFF stands for: XML  Layout Engine for Flash

Basically it is an xml document that describes the layout of your UI components for use in Flash MX2004 or in Flash 8.

It seems to be an alternative to using Flex. (Antonio seems to lean toward this way. He doesn’t say it explicitly on his site.) At least, you have to use AS2 and the Flash IDE (I suppose you can use an external editor as well with MTASC.)

I’ve used this method since working on Flash 6. (Well, in a very primitive way.) I always preferred using XML to place UI objects on the stage. It’s much better to modify text content in an xml file and let graphic artists concentrate on animating instead of opening up the Flash IDE, and making changes through there.

Antonio does mention though that as we are close to the next version of the Flash IDE (Flash 9), he still expects that it could be useful for the next couple of years. I tend to agree that the clients that I work with are very slow to upgrade, and many of them just upgraded on Flash 8, few to Flash 9. At my job, the company also tends to upgrade software once the first service pack comes out. (Can you believe that I work with Windows 2000?) There is always the issues of security and stability.

DJ

Now, this is a bummer. Still, it’s kind of exciting to know what’s coming up.
Here: http://www.macworld.co.uk/news/index.cfm?RSS&newsID=17410

According to this article it will ship both with Dreamweaver and GoLive. Now, tell me what’s the point of getting two HTML WYSIWYG editors? I hope it’s better than that!

The official release will be a few weeks later.

DJ

Here’s a post:
http://www.macworld.co.uk/news/index.cfm?RSS&newsID=17399

I don’t know any updates to the Studio line (formerly of Macromedia) like Flash CS3, Fireworks CS3, etc… will be included. Anyway the question is: “What’s in the box?”

DJ

A lot of posts are praising the capabilities of paperworld3D. Although Flash has not reached the speeds of C++/Java, still, the potential for gaming (or 3D applications) is there. This is very exciting. So far, the developers have developed a Star Wars obstacle course with the engine, creating the world in 3D Studio max, exporting it to a file to be read with the engine.

Here are the links:

Blog: http://www.rockonflash.com/blog/?p=37

The obstacle course link:
http://www.paperworld3d.com/demos/obstaclecourse/ObstacleCourse.html

Man, I suck at this game… I better keep my day job…

DJ