I took some time to get familar with AIR development on the Blackberry Playbook. Overall it was pretty easy to get started but I did run into a few hurdles that I had to overcome to get the SDK and Simulator installed on Windows 7 64-Bit.
In order to get the Blackberry tablet SDK and Simulator installed on Windows 7 64-Bit you must modify the installer to use a 32-bit Java installation. Luckily the support forums for AIR on Playbook is actually really good, you can see the installation tip here: Windows 7 64-bit Installation Workaround.
Debug Launch Configurations
The other issue I had was getting the Debug Launch Configurations to show up. Turns out after you install the SDK you need to run Flash Builder as and Administrator for the first time. This will complete the installation and the debug configurations displayed correctly.
Application development for PlayBook
Webcast series on AIR for Playbook Development
Free PlayBook Promotion
As you may have heard, Adobe has decided to rebrand Flex Builder as Flash Builder to go along with the Flash Platform initiative. I actually think this is a really good idea. Flash Player has always been the platform and the vehicle that has allowed developers to deliver amazing experiences for years. Flex is a great framework that I personally use on 90% of my projects, but I don’t think the IDE (Flash Builder) should be limited to a single framework.
The only problem I have with the name change is that it doesn’t go far enough. When I say Flash, what is the first thing you think of? If you’re a Flash developer, you probably think of Flash Professional. This is an authoring tool that has been around for years and until Flex Builder it was our only “Adobe” tool for creating SWFs. It’s NOT a programming tool. Therefore most Flash programmers welcomed Adobe’s attempt at a real programmers IDE with Flex Builder. It isn’t perfect, but it’s better than any alternative. (Yes I’ve tried FDT, but I can’t live without the debugger.)
So my problem with the new Flash branding is the name of Flash Professional. This tool is based on a timeline and is geared toward designers. I personally think this should be renamed to Flash Designer. This would help reduce confusion for new developers to the Flash Platform and put clarity into the entire Flash product line.
I gave a presentation at MN.swf Camp on Peer-to-Peer communication in Flash Player 10. That presentation is now up on my presentations page. The Library that I created to simplfy the P2P commcunication is also posted on my labs page.
I also created two sample applications. The first is a Video Chat application that runs in the browser and the second is an Collaborative Shopping application that runs in AIR. The shopping application was created by Jason Grey, I just added the collaborative functionality.
To anyone that has heard me talk about Silverlight vs Flash you know I think the true issue is with the plugin adoption rates. Here is the first attempt I’ve seen that compares Flash Player and Silverlight plugin adoption. I find it interesting that Microsoft doesn’t publish its plugin adoption like Adobe does. But I guess if my plugin was at 16% and the competition was over 95%, then I might not publish it either.
I haven’t done anything with ColdFusion in a long time, but I may need to reconsider it as a middle ware between my Flash/Flex/AIR client applications and the database. Adobe released the ColdFusion 9 beta (Centaur) at MAX and one of the features that caught my eye was the object-relationship mapping. This will make it really easy to go from Flex-to-ColdFusion-to-Database using a consistent object model.
Adobe announced the Cocomo beta at MAx last week. This is a service hosted by acrobat.com that allows developers to add real-time social capabilities to their applications. Cocomo also has Flex components that should make building these social applications really easy. You can sign up for the beta on labs.
Once I get some free time I plan on playing around with these new services and components. It looks very exciting. :)
Yes, we’re going to do it again! MN.swf Camp was such a huge success in 2008 that we’ve decided to make it an annual event. It will be held at the Library again this year on Monday, April 6, 2009.
We’re currently looking for people interested in speaking. If this is you, please go to the MN.swf Camp web site and fill out our speaker form. You don’t need to submit your session topics yet. We’ll be holding an orientation meeting for all interested speakers. After that meeting you will have a couple weeks to submit your final topic ideas and selections will be made.