31 August 2011
This past month included several high-profile releases on Adobe Labs, including the Adobe AIR 3 beta and Adobe Flash Player 11 beta for desktops. A number of people within Adobe have already started to blog about how to take advantage of some of the new features offered by these releases. For example, Adobe's Christian Cantrell shows you how to use the AIR 3 beta SDK within Adobe Flash Builder, as well as how to use the front-facing camera support and the native JSON support in AIR 3. Meanwhile, Adobe Evangelist Piotr Walczyszyn explains how to bundle the AIR runtime using the Captive runtime feature for Mac and Windows desktop development while his new colleague, Andrew Trice, explains how to use the Captive runtime feature on Android.
By all indications, the Flex ecosystem is thriving. This past month included some new open source component libraries from the community and continued expansion of some existing projects. First, Adobe Evangelist Michael Chaize posted about the Eskimo component library that was recently released for adding native control patterns for Android and iOS to your Flex mobile applications. You can examine the various components via the Tour d'Eskimo app available on Android Market and the Apple App Store.
Kap IT also released a set of open source libraries for Flex development under LGPL called Klovis, including useful components like AdvancedTextInput, Autocomplete, and LoginBox. You can take a test drive of these components to see what they’re all about. Another library of AIR mobile components is called MadComponents and is developed by Daniel Freeman. Freeman recently finished adding Flex wrappers for his mobile components. Finally, the Spoon project continues to grow within the Flex community, and an open meeting about the project was recently held with the community. You can listen to the meeting recording.
The Flex and Flash developer community is very diverse and reflects a wide range of career and programming experience. This is made ever more clear by Sean Moore’s recent interviews with a number of notable developers within the community such as Jonathan Campos, Doug Winnie, and Joseph Labrecque, among many others.
Jackson Dunstan's blog has become a fantastic resource for ActionScript developer topics—particularly around optimizing your code for better performance. This month, Dunstan’s post "What is an int?" covers the often subtle differences between an int and a Number. He demonstrates his own class for a fast ActionScript 3 MultiMap as opposed to Dictionary, which can be used for one-to-one maps. Finally, Dunstan shows how you can improve the performance of your ActionScript application by using bitwise operators rather than logical operators.
If you use Google Chrome and you want quick and easy access to the Adobe ActionScript Language Reference (ASLR), you will enjoy the recently released ActionScript 3 Search Chrome Extension that allows you to easily search the ASLR from the Chrome address bar. Speaking of the ASLR, Adobe's Stephen Gilson announced some new features have been added to the Adobe ActionScript API Reference, including a quick search feature for packages and classes.
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