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AS3 Chrome Extension

Most of us being Actionscript 3 or Flex developers, very often require quick access to adobe documentation. After CS4, the docs don’t come along with the IDE. Although some of the reference can be obtained from intellisense and code hinting, very often I am in real need for complete docs. Today I was suggested by my friend about AS3.0 Chrome Extension. It caches all as3 classes the first time (first time alone it performs index retrieval and takes two or three seconds), and after that you get search suggestions of the classes you type in no time. It is very handy and I would recommend it to all AS3/ Flex devs.

Install it from Chrome Store.

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Well, I have been doing a lot of small code UI components that are heavily reused. One such component that I made today was a game score ticker. Remember seeing scrolling numbers in lottery or jackpot genre games, where the numbers keeps flipping until a target number? If you have been playing games, you would have noticed similar elements being used score displays on HUDs in games.

I recently created a similar cmoponent which I intent to use in a future game. But since this can be used useful to others I thought I should share the code behind it. I am not making it a perfect component that is completely customizable. But its very easy to change its features. The slider above allows you to check the functioning of this component, but is no way tagged to the slider component (Illustration purpose only).

Benefits –

1. Simple to skin and extend – its just a movieclip that you can explore and edit.

2. There is also a feature where you can make it blink. Blinking is quite an important glitter effect as it can capture the player’s attention. It can be used when user crosses a milestone or a high score.

3. Designed for 4 digit numbers but easy to extend.

Usage is pretty simple –

simply use (MovieClipName).showValue(numberToShow: String, milestone :int);

// First parameter is the number to which the score ticker scrolls to (0 – 9999). Second parameter is the milestone(0-9999).

You can use this component available as a MovieClip in this FLA(Download). You are free to modify / re-use / distribute it. But I ll be glad if you simply drop in a comment here.

just wanted to pass some infos of a conference: Android Open Conference Looking for Speakers.

___________________________________________________________________________

View this information as HTML in your browser, click here:
http://post.oreilly.com/rd/9z1zejtt8790e5ljpp06is9pioa9k8klq12g3v027ko

Hi there,

We wanted to ask you to share some information about our new Android Open Conference happening October 9-11 in San Francisco, CA. We’re currently looking for speakers for the inaugural event and wanted to see if you can help us get the word out.

Android Open is for the whole ecosystem – from app developers creating next cool apps to OEMs and carriers hacking the platform for their specific business needs. This is one opportunity to meet and learn from some of the most brilliant minds on the frontier of mobile computing. Our tracks include App Development, Platform Development, and Business & Marketing.

Here is the link to the CFP, deadline is June 1st: http://post.oreilly.com/rd/9z1zkl6ak398qr2eplknjc4u55kdkj3h78s5ts77nu8 and here is some discount info to share:

O’Reilly Android Open Conference
October 9-11, 2011
San Francisco, CA
Get 20% off any pass with code an11ug
http://post.oreilly.com/rd/9z1zj8grl0j0rp0f8lahhuffht6bvt20ete9dhd59ng

Via Alessandro Pace

 

So after using the Playbook for nearly one month, I thought I shall list down some interesting apps and games built in AIR that caught my eye.

GeeReader and Pipeline

Both these RSS readers have Google Reader synch options which is very important to me. Similarly I know most of you would also be using Google Reader for managing the several blogs you would follow everyday. Both these apps are free. GeeReader comes with the conventional blog reader UI, but Pipeline has little more electrifying UI though the Google Reader synch option is only valid for 14 days in the Free version. Pipeline also offers offline reading of feeds which is very important.

Scorekeeper

Easily the best UI of any party / family boardgame scorekeeping application. The app focuses on tiny-mini aspects that scorekeeping becomes such a pleasure. You should watch this video ..

Conqu

This is a task management software built on Adobe AIR. This same app is also available on Android marketplace and I saw it being demo’ed by one of the Adobe Evangelists. It comes with a very smooth and sleek UI. Having a task manager with a great UI is very important, when you admire the UI you tend to open the app more frequently and you hence get to check your To-Dos.

Await for another post on my fav games very soon..

Around last month, Blackberry introduced debug tokens that can be used to test/debug applications for developers in the Playbook. My good friend Mitch, wrote a blogpost on how to use the debug token.  He describes the entire process in four steps

  • Initial Requirements, which involves checking whether you have all the files necessary.
  • Command Line and Terminal, instructions to create and install your debug token onto your playbook.
  • Preparing your App for Debug Mode, which requires some small changes to your blackberry-tablet.xml file.
  • Publish to Blackberry Playbook, which involves creating your .BAR file and sending it to your device.
Read the entire post here.

As I had mentioned in my previous post, I wrote an AIR application for the Blackberry Playbook, the newest of the tablets that run Flash. I got a Blackberry Playbook device yesterday and these are my early impressions –

1. Great hardware build and finish. When you have it in your hands, you get a good feeling. It’s not heavy and it feels right.

2. Though launching one year after the launch of iPad, it equals the hardware of the second iPad or iPad2. It has dual cameras, Bluetooth, HDMI connection ports. So the device on the whole is very sophisticated.

3. What the Playbook lacks is the services around it. It does not have a preinstalled E-mail client or a native facebook or twitter application. There are still many categories in the store that are malnutritioned- without apps or content.

However I think the third point will be tackled soon as..

— Android and Java application players will soon be coming to Playbook in a software update, due in summer. This means Android and Java apps just need to be packaged for the Playbook and they will run smoothly on the Playbook. This is an excellent initiative by RIM as it brings a large community of developers with tons of games, apps into the Playbook ecosystem.

— When I was working with Blackberry toolkit in December / January it was primitive versions of the SDK that lacked signing and other features. It was not all that developer friendly.  I remember in late February, SDK 0.9.3 was released which had tools to sign the apps and RIM have been regularly improving the SDKs (which had both good and bad effects). Around last week, RIM released SDK 1.0.1 and image, which is the firmware currently running on the device. Before this it was hard for developers to gauge platform specific features like contextual menu ( Playbook’s menu appears on a swipe from top of the screen), accelerometer or GPS. Hence, developers couldn’t experiment much. Today, with a mature set of tools and simulators and some devices in the market, I expect the apps to grow.

I have also started working on a game for the Blackberry Playbook using Flash, of course.

Developing for Playbook

Paul Trani, an Adobe Evangelist here describes the different contextual gestures that are possible on the Blackberry tablet – Playbook. He describes how to design and plan layouts that would best suit for the portrait and landscape orientations of the Playbook.

Additionally, the tablet has specific gestures like the Xoom. The bezels of the Playbook are sensitive to touch and act as an important interaction in the tablet’s portfolio.

The complete article is worth a read…

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