The latest beta of Amethyst, SapphireSteel Software’s Visual Studio IDE for the Adobe Flash Platform, is now available for download.
Amethyst is drawing very close to the final release now and SapphireSteel Software’s Visual Studio IDE expects to have one or two release candidates in a month or so. The final product will ship soon thereafter (date to be confirmed).
The following features are new to this beta:
Ability to target Flash Player instead of browser for run and debug ‘Amethyst Flash Player’ also supplied as an option for debugging AIR projects supported in the Amethyst Designer User Component creation supported in the Amethyst Designer Z-Ordering support (bring to front/send to back) Third Party Controls supported (preliminary - more in next release) Auto bracket-pair completion supplied as an option More auto-expanding snippets supplied Code formatting improved with previewer built into Format Options dialogs More code coloring options
>> How would you introduce yourself and your job to a non-technical person?
Every time I’ve tried explaining my job to my mother it hasn’t been a success. In the end what she did grasp was that I work with computers. In this answer I’ll try to be as clear as I possibly can in the hopes of a better result.
I was born as a developer, and from the tender age of 12 I began my first steps with Basic trying to create my own video games. Though they weren’t very popular, I continued to work in the fascinating programming world for development’s sake. This was until I met the Amiga 500 BBS and created an elementary terminal program to download new files from my favorite BBS.
In 1996 I began I got bitten by the Internet bug and it was love at first site.
My first approach to HTML development for the web occurred just as Flash Player (version 2) was coming out and becoming increasingly popular. I was fascinated straight away by the potential of creating more rich and effective sites and applications and got straight to work on getting to know more about ActionScript and Flash Player. My knowledge of Adobe’s (formerly Macromedia) technology grew when I became a Macromedia consultant for Italy in 2001, where I toured Italy between events and business meetings to promote the use of Flash, Flash Media Server and Flex.
After over ten years of experience in the field of application development with Flash/Flex/AIR/Flash Media Server, especially in the enterprise context (banking, financial and so on), I created my own company, Comtaste (www.comtaste.com/en), in which I am CTO. Now my role is to supervise Comtaste’s development team, find new clients and projects around the world, and deal with project management and cost estimation models.
I am a professional speaker, participating in major international conferences on Flash Platform, and an author of several books on Flash , Flex and AIR (Flex 4 Cookbook, AIR Cookbook , Professional Flash Catalyst , The Essential Guide to AIR with Flash CS4, Flex Solutions: Essential Techniques for Flex 3 developers).
Today, the actual developing part of the job takes up a marginal portion of my time, but I keep busy with the example applications for books that I write and talks I give during conferences, events and community meetings.
Technology isn’t my only passion. Sport has always been a big part of my life and, although most people don’t know and I tend to hide it, I’m a professional Latin American dancer and an advanced diver.
To unplug and relax from my quite stressful and frenetic job, I like to cook and taste fine wines.
If one day I wanted to change industry I have some shortcuts on standby: I’m a licensed chef in one of the most prestigious International Culinary Schools and a Sommelier with a diploma from the Italian Sommeliers Association, part of the W.S.A, ‘World Sommelier Association’.
Wow great news from Adobe at the Mobile World Congress 2010, Barcellona :
Adobe AIR on mobile devices, a consistent runtime for standalone applications to come out of the Open Screen Project™, an industry-wide initiative led by Adobe that has grown to close to 70 ecosystem partners.
support for the Android™ platform expected in 2010
Adobe also announced that a beta of Flash Player 10.1 was made available to content providers and mobile developers worldwide. With the general availability expected in the first half of 2010, Flash Player 10.1 is the first consistent runtime release of the Open Screen Project enabling uncompromised Web browsing of expressive applications, content and high definition (HD) videos across screens including new tablet devices, smartphones, netbooks, smartbooks, desktops and other consumer electronics.
Resources for Flash developers optimizing mobile content to deliver uncompromised Web browsing of expressive applications, content, and video across devices with the upcoming release of Adobe Flash Player 10.1.
Videos highlighting various aspects of Adobe Flash Player 10.1 and Adobe AIR 2 prerelease software, including websites and applications, on devices from Open Screen Project partners and other providers.
Follow Adobe at the official Mobile World Congress blog at blogs.adobe.com/flashplatform.
Adobe ha realesed the first whitepaper where it explains that:
" The mobile version of the Flex framework (code-named “Slider”) will provide structure and guidelines for creating application experiences that translate well across platforms, and make it easy to build adaptable multiscreen applications. “Slider” may be used by a broad spectrum of Adobe customers, from traditional media brands and agencies to internal IT organizations. Initial applications built with “Slider” will range from simple companion applications that complement existing web or desktop applications, to more complex contextual applications where multiscreen delivery is a core requirement from the outset.
There are several reasons why developing for non-PC devices requires a framework that is different from the Flex framework currently used to create applications for the desktop. First and foremost, the input mechanisms, screen real estate, and interaction patterns, commonly found on mobile devices differ in significant ways from the desktop. Supporting interaction patterns such as five-way navigation, soft keys, and gestures, are important factors in building mobile applications and need to be considered by any framework targeting mobile devices. Second, target devices are expected to be more constrained in terms of both memory and processor speed for the foreseeable future. In the long run, as devices become more capable, some of the key elements of “Slider” will likely be integrated with the desktop Flex framework to provide a more unified software development kit (SDK) across platforms.
Based on the Flex 4 codebase, “Slider” will include significant changes to optimize performance and user experience for more constrained device environments. The initial “Slider” framework will be optimized to run on high-end smartphones (phones with a processor speed of 400Mhz or more and 128MB of RAM), and will initially target standalone application environments such as Adobe® AIR.® This matches the category of devices targeted by Adobe Flash® Player 10 and fits with the type of device that will likely be most interesting for application developers.
While the features of Flex may be modified from their desktop counterparts, the goal will be to preserve the core capabilities of the desktop framework that make sense for mobile. The “soul of Flex” will be maintained, including the underlying Adobe Flash API, the language, and core capabilities such as binding, skinning, layout, styling, and media support. In all cases, any modifications will be balanced with the goal of getting great performance on mobile devices.
“Slider” will also include new capabilities specifically designed for mobile development, such as a construct for managing “screens” of an application, and the notion of resolution-independent sizing to deal with screen-size variations. A new set of user interface components designed for mobile form factors and input methods will be added. Finally, “Slider” will encapsulate design principles and guidelines that make it easy to create applications that fit in across a range of native platforms."
In this article, Andrew'll provide some hints and tips that will make it easier for you to move design assets from Illustrator to Flash Catalyst in a structured way. He'll also highlight some best practices in Flash Catalyst that will ensure you achieve the right result and minimize re-working or re-structuring your assets once work continues inside Flash Builder.
This is the list of best practices given by Andrew:
Illustrator's Best Practices for importing artworks in Flash Catalyst:
Plan your Illustrator file structure
Design on a single art board
Give everything a name
Don't link to external image files
Mark duplicated component assets
Use "create outlines" for text with filters and effects
For data list components define a single element
Don't define all component states in Illustrator
Flash Catalyst's Best Practices:
Use "Save as copy" on a regular basis
Undertake tasks in the right order
Use optimized graphics
Consider component reuse
Define meaningful state names
Rename components in the Library
Use code view to spot optimizations
Preview state transitions in the browser regularly
Remember that changes only apply to a single state
Yeasterday on the Flex Team's blog, Adobe has announced that, in order to make the enhancements required and get additional feedback from the community the final release of Flex 4 SDK and Flash Builder 4 will be moved from late 2009 to early 2010.
Maybe to most of you this could not be a good news but to me it gives me a bit more breathing space