Adobe PM & Evangelists Coming to Europe

In less then a week I will be in Europe with my team to talk with customers, engage with developers, speak at events, learn a ton and have some fun.

Specifically, members of the Flash Product Management & Evangelism teams (Mike, Lee and Thibault) will be hosting several Flash User Group meetings to discuss Adobe’s roadmap for Flash Player and AIR. These will be great, interactive meetings where you can get detailed information about the new features and innovations happening in Flash.

Simultaneously (in some case, back-to-back events while in others, joint events) members of the Developer Product Management & Evangelism teams (Adam, Michael and myself) will be hosting several Flex User Group meetings. In the Flex User Group meetings we’ll discuss the recent changes to Flex, provide an update on the roadmap for the runtimes and tooling as it relates to Flex, discuss the incubation of Flex within the Apache Software Foundation and educate developers on how to get involved. In several meetings, we will be joined by active members of the Apache Flex project who will discuss their own personal involvement, give an update on progress and in some cases highlight their own potential engineering contributions to the project.

All of us will then suit up and head over to FITC Amsterdam to talk further about Flash, Flex and HTML. I am quite excited for my session where I will cover what Adobe is doing for HTML/CSS/JS developers. My session will be focused heavily on the work we are doing to better the foundation of the web – through work with standards, contributions to WebKit and partnering with browser/tooling vendors to lessen the fragmentation and inconsistencies rampant in the web. I’ll provide a detailed update on CSS Shaders, Regions and Exclusions but more excitingly – will highlight new contributions we are working on or partnering with others on. Want to know more about Shadow DOM? I’ll cover it. Want to learn more about how presentational attributes can (and should) be normalized between CSS and SVG for cleaner more performant code? I’ll cover it. Want to know more about how Adobe is helping the way you load and manage media in an HTML application? I’ll cover it. Etc etc etc. It’s going to rock!

Here is the detailed schedule, including links to registration sites for the User Group events:

And lastly, I am spending dedicated time with individual developers, enterprises and agencies to learn more about what they are doing with HTML. What content are you building with HTML? What is difficult about it? What tools are you using? What are the roughest parts of the underlying web (audio? performance? precision? graphics? etc) and how can we make meaningful contributions to soften those pain points? I am in total sponge mode – trying to learn as much about how developers work (or attempt to work) when building HTML-based content and trying to identify the places where Adobe can help. To enable that, I highly encourage anyone to find me at any of these events and talk about what you’re working on, regardless if its Flash-based or HTML-based.

I am beyond excited to hit the road and talk to developers. There was definitely a bumpy road for Flash and Flex at the end of last year but these user group tours along with soon-to-be-published whitepapers about Flash/AIR and Flex will help quash rumors and clear up confusion. I am also very excited with what we are doing to enable modern web developers and designers working with HTML, CSS, SVG & JS. Though this may be hard for some to hear, I am excited that Adobe is recognizing there are choices when developing interactive content. Instead of ignoring those choices, we are working to make sure that regardless whether you chose Flash or HTML as your client technology, Adobe provides stellar tools and services that cater to both those worlds while also solving hard problems.

See you in Europe!

An important update about Flex

I, along with my colleague Andrew Shorten, have posted an update on Flex where we answer a number of questions regarding Adobe’s commitment to Flex SDK.

Please read it here.

As part of this, we announced our intention to pursue an open development model for Flex, similar to the model already used for PhoneGap and Day.

I encourage you to read the post and comment or ask questions on the blog.

Note: We posted a very important update with more questions and answers on 11/15/11. Please read the updated post here

Continue reading “An important update about Flex”

Ready for MAX?

It seems like every year I come back from MAX, write my “Thoughts on MAX” blog post, take a nap and BOOM – its already next year’s MAX.

This year is no different. MAX 2011 is right around the corner and I’m pretty excited about everything queued up for the conference including  juicy announcements, stellar sessions and (my fav) early ideas shown off at MAX Sneaks. So if you haven’t registered already, get on it! The Flex and Flash Builder teams will be at the conference this year en masse and, as usual, I will be doing the “What’s New in Flex SDK” session.

But lets take a moment here….

These are some exciting times for any content developer trying to get their experiences in front of the masses. Whether you’re aiming to build an in-browser experience, a standalone desktop application, a tablet or smartphone app – the medium by which to share your content is multifold. Of course, once you determine which screens you want to target, the technology choices are plenty: Flash/Flex, HTML, native, etc. The options are numerous and the rewards are incredibly high. At MAX this year, you can learn all about our Flash-based solutions for application development regardless if you’re targeting iOS (YES, we run on Apple iOS) or a TV. Its the one-stop shop to learn what Adobe has to offer, and I suspect you’ll be impressed.

I truly believe that the move to mobile is equivalent to the move from a mainframe to the PC, or PC to the browser. And remember, the mobile space (for both providers and technology choices), is a marathon, not a sprint. So make sure you are well aware of all your options and use MAX to learn more about Flex and Flash for mobile application development. See you there!

Continue reading “Ready for MAX?”

Flex PM Team Heads to India

The Flex PM team is heading to India for the Adobe Flash Platform Summit in Bangalore from July 27th – 29th! I attended this event last year and it was an awesome mix of developers and designers working on some really great Flex apps. I’m excited to attend again this year with my Flex PM crew (for one of them, his first trip to India!).

I am going to be giving two sessions. One is a breakout session which is an overview of Flex 4.X. We will cover what Flex 4 introduced, including Spark, as well as the awesome new mobile capabilities delivered in Flex 4.5/4.5.1 for Android, iOS and Playbook development.

The other will be a hands-on 3 hour workshop which will walk folks through building a Spark-based application for desktop and mobile. I love hands on labs as its really fun to jointly create a rad app, so I’m really looking forward to this session!

I hope those of you in and around India can attend the event – we will be sharing a lot of information about how to write truly compelling and performant Flex applications for the web, desktop and mobile devices!

Continue reading “Flex PM Team Heads to India”

Flex SDK and Flash Builder Updates Available – now adding iOS and Playbook support!

The Flex SDK and Flash Builder teams are extremely excited to advise that the previously-announced June updates are now available for download – that means you can now build and package Flex mobile applications for Google Android, Apple iOS and BlackBerry Tablet OS devices!

Flash Builder 4.5.1 includes Flex 4.5.1 SDK, AIR 2.6 SDK and the updated iOS Packager that provides for great performance of Flex and ActionScript applications on iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch devices.

Flash Builder 4.5.1 also includes RIM’s plug-in for packaging applications for the BlackBerry PlayBook (requires BlackBerry Tablet OS SDK). Note that an over-the-air update to PlayBook devices is required before Flex 4.5.1 applications will run on the device.

If you already have Flash Builder 4.5 installed then an updater is available from or through Adobe Application Manager (AAM). New trial downloads of Flash Builder are version 4.5.1, so don’t need to be updated after installation. If you want purely the standalone Flex 4.5.1 SDK, grab the builds off our opensource site.

If you haven’t yet seen how Flash Builder 4.5 enables you to build mobile applications then check out Serge Jesper’s video on Adobe TV. Also, check out the Adobe Developer Center for articles, sample applications and more…

We look forward to seeing your apps in the Android Market, Apple App Store and BlackBerry App World!

Continue reading “Flex SDK and Flash Builder Updates Available – now adding iOS and Playbook support!”

Compatibility Matrix for Mobile Development with Flash Builder 4.5

Now that we have announced new workflows in Flash Builder 4.5 to develop, debug and deploy standalone mobile applications for smartphones and tablets, let’s take a moment to clarify which build of Flash Builder will provide Flex and ActionScript mobile project support for Android, Blackberry Tablet OS and Apple iOS.

First off, it’s important to understand the distinction between Flex Mobile projects and ActionScript Mobile Projects.

Continue reading “Compatibility Matrix for Mobile Development with Flash Builder 4.5”

Announcing Flex SDK 4.5, Flash Builder 4.5 and Flash Catalyst CS 5.5!

Just over one year after Flash Builder 4, Flex SDK 4 and Flash Catalyst CS 5.0 shipped, we are incredibly proud to announce Creative Suite 5.5 which includes Flash Builder 4.5, Flash Catalyst CS 5.5 and Flex SDK 4.5! Together, these three products bring developers and designers the premiere set of tooling workflows to rapidly design, develop and deploy rich applications on the web, desktop and now mobile smartphones and tablets!

Most notably, we are excited to introduce new capabilities in Flex to build applications for Google Android, BlackBerry Tablet OS and Apple iOS. Flex SDK 4.5  adds new mobile components and capabilities into the core Flex framework to build performant, standalone applications running atop Adobe AIR. Additionally, Flash Builder 4.5 gives developers a full set of workflows to rapidly build, debug and deploy mobile applications built with Flex SDK 4.5 or pure ActionScript. You can learn all about the new mobile development features in Flex and Flash Builder 4.5 by reading Narciso (NJ) Jaramillo’s article on the Adobe Developer Center.

To get a high-level understanding of new Spark components added to Flex SDK 4.5 as well as broader improvements to the core Flex framework, check out Deepa Subramaniam’s overview. Similarly, grab a birds-eye view of all of the exciting development enhancements to Flash Builder 4.5 by reading Andrew Shorten’s introductory article here. And of course, take in all the new workflows enabled by Flash Catalyst CS 5.5 by reading Jacob Surber’s overview article here.

In addition to the exciting new mobile features and workflows added to Flex and Flash Builder, we focused on significantly improving productivity for developers and designers. For developers, we have made it much easier to write Flex and ActionScript code. Flash Builder 4.5 introduces dozens of new coding productivity features which rapidly accelerate the coding and testing of Flex and ActionScript projects. Whether you’re writing MXML or ActionScript, the new Flash Builder 4.5 coding features will make you write better code faster. To understand all of the new coding and productivity features in Flash Builder 4.5, regardless if you’re a Flex or pure-ActionScript developer, read Sameer Bhatt and Sreenivas Ramaswamy’s article on the ADC.

Additionally, we focused on building a robust bi-directional workflow between developers and designers. Flash Catalyst CS 5.5 introduces a new bi-directional workflow with Flash Builder 4.5 such that designers and developers can work together to create rich and visually expressive Flex components and applications. Check out Jacob Surber’s article to understand the new workflows introduced in Flash Catalyst CS 5.5.

It doesn’t stop there – we are proud to announce a new addition to our Flash Builder product family – Flash Builder for PHP! Co-developed in partnership with Adobe and Zend Technologies, Flash Builder for PHP provides the perfect development environment for building expressive applications with Flex and PHP for the web and mobile devices. To read up on all of the detailed workflows Flash Builder for PHP provides Flex and PHP developers, check out this overview article by Kevin Schroeder.

We are very excited with the wealth of new features and workflows available in this next release of the Flex product family. Please take advantage of all of these new features and workflows by pre-ordering the products today! To learn more about the pricing options for Flash Builder 4.5 (Standard Edition, Premium Edition, Standard PHP Edition and Premium PHP Edition) check out this handy Flash Builder Buying Guide. Additionally, you can pre-order Flash Catalyst CS 5.5 here.

We hope that you all have as much fun designing and developing applications with these new releases as we on the product teams did making them. And with that, go forth and build more apps!



Continue reading “Announcing Flex SDK 4.5, Flash Builder 4.5 and Flash Catalyst CS 5.5!”

Back to Europe!

Fresh on the heels of speaking at FITC Amsterdam and visiting Flex customers in Europe, I am back to present both in the keynote and a regular session at FFK in Cologne, Germany. If you are planning on attending, please say hi! With me are Mike Chambers and Lee Brimelow and we’ll be hitting up a couple of user groups as well (Hamburg and Vienna), to share announcements and demo new things at play with the Flash Platform (including a bunch of new Flex 4.5 and Flash Builder 4.5 features).

Hope to see some of you at any of the upcoming events!

Continue reading “Back to Europe!”

Flex, Flash Builder & Flash Catalyst Teams at 360Flex Denver

The Flex team is thrilled that 360Flex Denver is right around the corner! This is going to be a fantastic event with a stellar lineup of speakers and sessions, including engineering and product management representatives from the Adobe Flex, Flash Builder and Flash Catalyst teams. We will demonstrate the Flash Builder and Flex SDK 4.5 features and workflows for building mobile applications for deployment on Android, iOS and RIM devices, as well highlight the dozens of new coding productivity enhancements in Flash Builder that will significantly speed up ActionScript and MXML coding. Additionally, we will be showcasing the enhanced design workflows in Flash Catalyst ‘Panini’ including roundtripping with Flash Builder.

It doesn’t stop there….we have some new announcements to share about mobile platform support as well as publicly discussing the new (and improved) open source contribution model for the Flex SDK. Additionally, we will have sneaks of upcoming features slated for the next versions of the Flex product family.

Check out the 360Flex Denver schedule to make sure you know when Adobe members are speaking. Below are some must-see sessions that I’d highly recommend attending before they fill up:

  • What’s New in Flash Builder 4.5, Andrew Shorten
  • What’s New in Flex SDK 4.5, Deepa Subramaniam & Steven Shongrunden
  • Multi-Density & Multi-Platform Development with Flex SDK 4.5, Narciso (NJ) Jaramillo
  • Flash Builder Tips & Tricks, Sreenivas Ramaswamy
  • Flex Performance Tips & Tricks, Evtim Georgiev
  • Whats New in Flash Catalyst ‘Panini’, Jacob Surber & Peter Flynn
  • Good UX, Garth Braithwaite

So, if you haven’t registered yet – get on it! For a special 20% discount, enter ‘AdobeRocks’ when you register. And, don’t forget, registration includes 4 hands-on sessions on Sunday which will deep dive into Flex 4 development, mobile development for Android and Blackberry Tablet OS as well as an introduction to Away3D.

See you in Denver!

Continue reading “Flex, Flash Builder & Flash Catalyst Teams at 360Flex Denver”

Pre-release Program for Flex Hero & Flash Builder Burrito Opening Up

I wanted to make sure folks saw Andrew’s post on the Flex Team blog about opening up the Flex 4.5 (Hero), Flash Builder 4.5 (Burrito), and Flash Catalyst 1.5 (Panini) pre-release program to more participants! The MAX preview builds posted on Adobe Labs showed off three iterations of development work. The builds available in the pre-release program show off SIX iterations of development, so there is a lot of new functionality as well as polish that we are eager to show people.

To request access to the pre-release program, please fill out this quick survey.

Flash Player 10.2 Beta Available Now on Adobe Labs

Peeps – go get it if you haven’t: Flash Player 10.2 Beta on Adobe Labs!

I’m tight on time, low on sleep and mildly cranky right now, so I’ll keep my update short 🙂

This beta has STAGE VIDEO! Stage video makes full use of hardware to accelerate the playback of your video. Its important to understand that in the case of stage video, the video element is not actually a part of the display list but actually sits in a special place behind the stage. This means that you can’t place objects behind the video but you can layer elements atop it. Because of the fact that the video is not on the display list there are some limitations like you can’t rotate the video, or apply alphas/blendModes/filters or other such transforms to it, but the advantage stage video takes of the hardware makes it well worth it.

To target the 10.2 API’s you need to target SWF 11 through a special build of Flex (build 18623) which lets you target the SWF version by passing in an extra compiler argument: -swf-version=11.  Sadly, we found a bug late in the game where SWF version 11 is not targeted correctly when creating a release build, so if you want to play with 10.2 APIs in a release build, add this compiler argument to your compilation invocation: -debug=false. All the details on how to get the build, install it into your Flash Builder development environment and correctly target SWF 11/Flash Player 10.2 APIs are in the release notes so read them carefully! (Oh, I’ll post a build of the Flex SDK sometime next week which will fix the debug build issue).

Thibault has a great blog entry on stage video and other goodies in the FP 10.2 Beta so be sure to check that out.


Continue reading “Flash Player 10.2 Beta Available Now on Adobe Labs”

Adobe Audition for Mac now in public beta

Just wanted to give a brief shoutout to Adobe Audition which now has its first ever Mac version in public beta on Adobe Labs! I’m a big fan of Audition and am SUPER excited its on the Mac as it was one of the only reasons I would ever drag out my archaic PC.

One of the best things about Audition is its built-in workflows with Adobe Premiere – its essentially trivial to coordinate music and video into something elegant (I’ve chopped up my classical Indian dance clips a billion times over and built out my entire portfolio using just those two tools). Download and install Adobe Audition for Mac now and check out these videos which help give you an intro into some of the cool new features…w00t!

Continue reading “Adobe Audition for Mac now in public beta”

SILVAFUG Presentations This Week

Hey Folks – Just a quick announcement that I, along with members of the Flash Catalyst and AIR teams, will be presenting at the Silicon Valley Flex User Group meetings on Tuesday and Thursday of this week. Tuesday’s meeting is at Adobe San Jose and Thursday’s meeting is at Adobe San Francisco. More details can be found here.

I’ll be reviewing announcements and items of interest from MAX, including:

  • Flex Hero updates for mobile & desktop development (and demos!)
  • Flash Builder Burrito updates (and demos)
  • Falcon (code-name for the next generation compiler project)
  •  Updates on Flex open source efforts

Hope to see some familiar faces there. Holla!

Continue reading “SILVAFUG Presentations This Week”

Flex Product Management Team is Hiring!

Even though we’re hard at work on the upcoming releases of Flex SDK, Flash Builder and Flash Catalyst, preview releases of which we made available just recently, the product management team is already working on plans for the next generation of the Flex framework and tooling.

To support this effort, we’re now looking to hire three new product managers to the team and we’re hoping that you could be the right person for one of those positions!

As a product manager you will play a critical role in defining product features and communicating requirements with multiple engineering teams, you will be responsible for approving engineering specifications and validating that completed features meet customer requirements, and you’ll be the person who drives consensus on product requirements and ensures decisions are made in a timely manner.

The positions we have open are as follows:

Product management is an all-encompassing role that is both exciting and demanding – if you’re ready for a challenge and want to be a part of the team that defines the future of Flex, designer/developer workflows and developer tooling then we’d like to hear from you.

To express your interest in one or more of these roles please send your resume to dsubrama at, or apply using the Adobe career opportunity website.


Andrew Shorten, Group Product Manager, Developer Tools
Deepa Subramaniam, Senior Product Manager, Flex SDK

Continue reading “Flex Product Management Team is Hiring!”

Flex Roadmap (MAX Session) on Adobe TV

My session from MAX, Flex Roadmap, is now available for viewing on Adobe TV. Its definitely worth checking out – I cover a brief update of the next version of Flex, and then move onto topics like open source, themes and features for the next releases of Flex, the next-generation Flex compiler as well as improvements being pondered for the runtimes and virtual machine.

Check it out!

Continue reading “Flex Roadmap (MAX Session) on Adobe TV”

Announcing Preview Releases of Flex SDK, Flash Builder and Flash Catalyst

The Flex team is very proud to announce that preview releases of the next versions of Flex SDK, Flash Builder and Flash Catalyst are available now on Adobe Labs!

The next version of the Flex SDK, code-named “Hero”, provides new mobile features for building standalone applications for mobile devices, additional Spark components and capabilities as well as infrastructure improvements that target large-scale applications. To learn more about the new features in Flex SDK “Hero”, check out my article on the Adobe Developer Center.

The next version of Flash Builder, code-named “Burrito”, provides integrated workflows for building multi-screen applications, improved designer/developer workflows with Flash Catalyst, enhancements to core performance as well as a wealth of new coding productivity improvements for Flex and ActionScript projects. To learn more about the new features in Flash Builder “Burrito” read Andrew Shorten’s article on the Adobe Developer Center, as well as a second article documenting the exciting coding productivity enhancements added in this release.

For a good overview of the new mobile capabilities added into Flex SDK “Hero” as well as how those features can be leveraged to build mobile applications directly within Flash Builder “Burrito”, check out NJ’s article on the Adobe Developer Center.

The next version of Flash Catalyst, code-named “Panini”, provides improvements which enable bi-directional workflows between Flash Catalyst and Flash Builder, adds support for resizable applications and components, provides improvements to project-defined interactions as well as a newly designed Components panel. To learn more about the new features in Flash Catalyst “Panini” read Doug Winnie’s article on the Adobe Developer Center.

You can download the preview releases for Flex SDK “Hero”, Flash Builder “Burrito” and Flash Catalyst “Panini” right now on Adobe Labs. Additionally, there are numerous sample materials for you to peruse in order to get up and running building applications utilizing the new features contained in the preview releases, as well as product videos that showcase  larger features and workflows. Be sure to read the FAQ for more information and general do’s and don’ts regarding new features contained in the preview releases.

It is important to note that the preview release is intended to provide you with an early opportunity to evaluate in-development features and to allow us to get your feedback on the products. Preview releases do not undergo the same level of testing as the final release, are not feature complete and may contain a higher number of bugs – that said, we hope you’ll enjoy working with the new features and are excited by the improvements we’re making. Please continue to engage with the product team by giving us your feedback through the Adobe forums (Flash Builder, Flash Catalyst & Flex SDK) as well as through JIRA, our public bugbase.

Flex SDK, Flash Builder and Flash Catalyst Product Teams

Continue reading “Announcing Preview Releases of Flex SDK, Flash Builder and Flash Catalyst”

MAX and must-not-miss MAX sessions

Wow, time has flown by. Adobe MAX 2010 is right around the corner! If you haven’t registered already, well I guess you don’t want to hear this, but you will be missing out! This MAX is gearing up to be full of exciting announcements, previews of cool new technology, networking with the best and brightest from the Flash & Flex communities and of course some fun (just a tad, I mean, lets not get ahead of ourselves).

I wanted to highlight some must-not-miss MAX sessions for Flex that I promise you will find both educational and inspiring so read on for juicy session details.
Continue reading “MAX and must-not-miss MAX sessions”

Announcing the ActionScript Code Coverage Plugin for Flash Builder 4

I am very excited to share with the ActionScript community an ActionScript Code Coverage Plugin for Flash Builder 4. This plugin provides an Eclipse perspective that allows you to start/stop the code coverage tool, view generated code-coverage reports, examine source code and save/load reports. Typically developers will use the code coverage tool to see which areas of code have not been exercised during execution so that additional testing requirements can be identified.

The tool provides detailed line coverage and method coverage reporting, as well as highlighting classes that are not linked into the application. You can use the ActionScript Code Coverage Plug-in for Flash Builder with applications developed in ActionScript 3, optionally using either Flex SDK 3.x or Flex SDK 4.x, targeting both Adobe Flash Player and Adobe AIR®. A trial or licensed version of Adobe Flash Builder 4 Premium is required to use the ActionScript Code Coverage Plug-in.

You can access the plugin on Adobe Labs here, read documentation around using and configuring the code-coverage tool, and provide feedback via the code-coverage forum.

Continue reading “Announcing the ActionScript Code Coverage Plugin for Flash Builder 4”

Reminder: First Hero Open Iteration Meeting on Friday

The Flex SDK team would like to remind folks that the first Hero Open Iteration Meeting is scheduled for Friday, October 1st. The purpose of the Hero Open Iteration meetings is to discuss the changes in development process with the Hero release as well as review the features (both desktop and mobile) that were completed in past Hero iterations and identify the work that will be tackled in the upcoming iterations. There will be time for some short Q and A with the product team as well. The meeting will be recorded and posted onto the Hero open source site.

Meeting: Hero Open Iteration Meeting
Date: October 1, 2010
Time: 8 – 9 AM PT (11 am ET, 4pm UK, 5pm CET)
Connect Details:

For anyone interested in the Hero release and learning more about the capabilities the Hero SDK will contain, this is a meeting that should not be missed!

Continue reading “Reminder: First Hero Open Iteration Meeting on Friday”

New Hero Build Posted

As part of the new Hero development process, we have posted a second Hero build for folks to play with certain Hero features and capabilities. (Remember, these builds of Hero do not include any features reliant on new features in the Flash Player or AIR runtimes as explained in this post).

The latest build posted, build #17855, includes support for the new Spark Form, Image, BitmapImage, Formatters and DataGrid controls. With regards to DataGrid, the functionality has been split into two “Tiers”. Currently the build includes support for the “Tier 1” functionality of the Spark DataGrid. This includes support for a dynamic dataprovider, the Spark skinning contract, single and multiple selection, layout, basic user interaction via the mouse or keyboard, etc. Some examples of functionality that will come in the “Tier 2” portion of the DataGrid include resizable columns, cell editing, significant performance improvements, etc.

We are very eager for feedback so as you play with features and find bugs/issues, please file them in JIRA. You can see sample code and get more detailed information about Hero features by reading the specifications.

Continue reading “New Hero Build Posted”

Exciting Developments with Hero

I’d like to share some exciting developments with the Hero release (codename for the next version of the Flex SDK).

The Hero release development practices have changed some from the Flex 4 release. The biggest change is that the Hero release is built atop the latest (and as of yet, unreleased) Flash Player and AIR runtimes. Because of this tight coupling, we have been unable to provide nightly builds that showcase in-development Flash Player and AIR features. Once the current in-development Flash Player and AIR runtimes are showcased in a public release, Hero nightly builds will resume. In the interim, we are releasing semi-regular stable builds that showcase Hero feature work not dependent on features under development in the latest Flash Player and AIR runtimes. The first of such builds has been posted!

This build showcases in-development work like the Spark DataGrid (Tier 1), Spark Image, Spark Form, enhancements to RSLs, OSMF 1.0 integration and the SWF Size Report compiler option. Please download the build and play with the features and provide us feedback through JIRA.

Next, we have announced our first Hero Open Source Iteration meeting! This meeting is a gathering of the product team and the Flex community where we share work that has been completed in past Hero iterations as well as discuss whats in store for upcoming iterations. The first meeting will be on October 1, 2010. You can find more details here.

And lastly, a bunch of new Hero feature specifications have been posted! This includes:

We are eager for feedback through commenting on feature specifications and filing bugs in JIRA.
Continue reading “Exciting Developments with Hero”

Wow! Wow! Wow!

Folks, live-blogging from Day 2 keynote at the Flash Platform Summit, Bangalore. Gotta say, I’m blown away by the absolute success of this event – over 1500 attendees have attended both days to hear all about Flash & Flex development and design. Big props to the Adobe India Flash Platform Evangelism team for putting together such a dope event!

I’ve always known the Flash & Flex community in India was vibrant, passionate and super smart. I finally got to experience this in person. I presented two jam-packed sessions: ‘Deep-dive into Flex 4 & Spark’ as well as ‘Flex & Flash Performance Tips & Tricks’.  The turnout was phenomenal and boy did the audience keep me on my toes with tough questions 🙂

Additionally, I’ve seen some amazing Flex apps demo’ed by Indian SI’s, design shops and Flex agencies. These are apps built with Flex 3 as well as Flex 4 – its heartening to see the interest and adoption of Flex 4 and Spark in the Indian community.

Rock on Flex India!

Continue reading “Wow! Wow! Wow!”

Speaking at Adobe Flash Platform Summit, Bangalore, 2010

Folks – On Friday, I’m taking off on a jet plane…to Bangalore to meet some Flex customers and speak at a couple of sessions at the Adobe Flash Platform Summit. I am *beyond* excited to meet developers, customers and Flex/Flash enthusiasts in India!

After the summit, I will be heading out on my sabbatical. A 3 week break from Flex, but I will be back online and rearing to go by mid-September.

Hold down the fort guys, k?

Continue reading “Speaking at Adobe Flash Platform Summit, Bangalore, 2010”

New Flex 4/Spark online training program

I just wanted to plug an awesome new online training program specifically for creating Spark components and Spark item renderers. The training course covers a broad overview of Spark component and item renderer architecture and walks you through best practices and examples so that you understand exactly how to take advantage of the new functionality provided in Spark. I highly recommend taking this if you’re new to Spark and unsure of how to get your hands dirty.

More information here.

Continue reading “New Flex 4/Spark online training program”

Flex SDK 4 & Flash Builder 4 Updates Now Available!

The Flex team is very excited to announce the release of Flex SDK 4.1 and Flash Builder 4.0.1 which are available for download today!  Flex SDK 4.1 is an update to Flex 4 and includes:

  • Support for mirroring layouts and text in order to support right-to-left- locales. The goal of this new feature is to trivialize the work involved to re-purpose Flex applications designed for left-to-right locales for deployment in right-to-left locales.
  • Native support for Flash Player 10.1 and AIR 2.
  • Critical bugfixes and enhancement requests.

To support this new SDK, Flash Builder has shipped an update which lets developers target Flex SDK 4.1 (as well as support applications that target AIR 2). Additionally, the Flash Builder 4.0.1 update contains critical bugfixes. You can grab the Flash Builder 4.0.1 updater here.

Finally, be sure to check out newly shared information about the next release of the Flex SDK (code-named: Hero)!

Deepa Subramaniam & Andrew Shorten
Flex SDK & Flash Builder Product Managers

Continue reading “Flex SDK 4 & Flash Builder 4 Updates Now Available!”


It is with great pleasure that we introduce to you the next release of the Flex SDK, code-named Hero. The Hero release has three main themes:

  • Multi-Screen Development: Allow developers to build applications that target the web, desktop or mobile devices using a single unified framework.
  • Spark Maturation: Polish and grow the Spark architecture by adding new Spark components and capabilities.
  • Large-Application Development: Support developers building large applications by improving fundamental Flex infrastructure pieces.

What’s even more exciting is that these three themes are being satisfied by taking advantage of new features in the next generation Flash Player and AIR runtimes. As those runtimes become publicly available, you will be able to download Hero builds and exercise in-development Hero features in order to learn and provide feedback.

Let’s dive into more detail for each of these themes.

Continue reading “Introducing…Hero!”

FITC San Francisco 2010

One of my absolute favorite Flash conferences is coming to my beloved city! FITC San Francisco is August 17th – 19th in beautiful, sunny, joyous SF. Even more exciting is that this will be my first time speaking at an FITC event! Yes, me, a Flex die-hard, will be speaking at a pure Flash conference 🙂 I’ll be talking all about how Flex 4 and Spark let you build beautiful Flex content. I’ll also be covering some of the developments in the Flex framework that allow you to build multiscreen applications. My session description and details are here – I would love to see you there!

If you’ve never been to an FITC event before, let me tell you – they are awesome. You can hob-nob with some of the greatest Flash and ActionScript developers in the world as well as get significant face-time with Adobe engineers and product managers (so its really THE best time to slip in your favorite feature requests, especially at the after parties).

Early bird pricing for FITC San Francisco 2010 ends on July 2nd (this week!) so don’t lollygag and get your tickets NOW. You can use the code “Deepa” for an extra 10% off!

Be there, or be square.

Continue reading “FITC San Francisco 2010”

Exciting Announcements out of Google I/O

The past couple of days marks some serious excitement for Adobe and the Flash Platform! We announced the public beta of Flash Player 10.1 and the availability of a developer pre-release of AIR for Android. Additionally, we are providing extensions to Dreamweaver for HTML5 support and we discussed our intentions for Flash Player 10.1 for Google TV. The announcement I am most excited about is the public beta of Flash Player 10.1. SO much work went in to reducing memory consumption, optimizing performance and improving rendering for devices (ie: flash content responding to landscape mode, multitouch, etc). The Flash Player blog has a *must read* article describing the investments made and the gains received with Flash Player 10.1. Check it out! I hope you’re just as excited as I am for these announcements – I can’t wait to get FroYo on all my Android devices and continue playing around with Flash and AIR.

Continue reading “Exciting Announcements out of Google I/O”

Interested in joining the Flex team?

Hi Community!

We have a few job openings on the Flex framework team, both on the desktop related features as well as on the new mobile initiatives. Its very exciting and cutting edge work! The openings are in both the development engineer as well as quality engineer categories. So, if you’ve ever been interested in working on the Flex team, now is your chance. I can personally vouch for the awesomeness of the Flex team as well as Adobe 🙂

Ideally we are looking to fill these positions in our Waltham, MA office or in our San Franciso/San Jose, CA offices, but interested folks working outside of those areas should still apply. If you’re interested in learning more information, email me directly at: dsubrama at adobe dot com.

Continue reading “Interested in joining the Flex team?”

Heading to China for the Adobe Flash Platform Summit

I am super excited that in a couple of weeks, I will be in Beijing to speak at the Adobe Flash Platform Summit. China is seeing HUGE growth with Flash and Flex with usage of our frameworks and tools in the enterprise, multi-media, gaming and consumer markets. I will be giving 3 sessions:

  • Understanding the Flex 4 Framework (An overview of the changes and new capabilities brought out with Flex 4)
  • Tackling Memory & Performance in Flex, Flash & AIR (Tips & tricks on how to optimize and fine-tune performance in your applications, including SWF size, startup time, runtime performance and memory consumption)
  • Lab: Application Development with Flash Catalyst & Flash Builder (My first hands-on lab ever! We will walk through the basic capabilities of Flash Builder and Flash Catalyst)

I am really looking forward to meeting with Flex & Flash developers and customers in China!

Continue reading “Heading to China for the Adobe Flash Platform Summit”

Mirroring layouts in Flex

Now that Flex 4 is out the door, don’t be fooled into thinking the Flex SDK team is resting on their laurels! We are planning a followup release to Flex 4 which should come out in the first half of 2010. This release will include support for Flash Player 10.1 and AIR 2 as well as contain some new feature work and critical bugfixes.

The feature I’m most excited about is the new “layout mirroring” feature. This feature allows developers to mirror their layouts for right-to-left locales. The intent of this feature is to trivialize repurposing a Flex UI designed for a left-to-right language (like English or French) for a right-to-left language (like Hebrew or Arabic).

Continue reading “Mirroring layouts in Flex”

Flex 4 and Flash Builder 4 have left the building!

On behalf of everyone on the Flex and Flash Builder product teams, it is with great pride that we can announce that the final versions of Flex 4 SDK and Flash Builder 4 are available for download today!.

We’ve been working hard on these releases to make the Flash Platform the best RIA development platform ever and one that you can confidently bet on when you are asked to create your next generation applications.

Continue reading “Flex 4 and Flash Builder 4 have left the building!”

Flex advanced data visualization components now part of the FREE open source Flex SDK!

I just wanted to blog about an announcement I made at the 360Flex San Jose keynote on Monday morning. I announced that currently, the advanced data visualization components (Advanced DataGrid, OLAP DataGrid and all the charting components and libraries) are now part of the free open source Flex SDK offering! No longer do you need a Flash Builder Professional license to use those components – they are now part of the standard SDK offering. So go forth and code!

Continue reading “Flex advanced data visualization components now part of the FREE open source Flex SDK!”

360Flex – Keynote and Conference Sessions!

I am super excited for the kickoff of 360Flex San Jose on Monday, including my Monday morning keynote! This will be the first ever keynote I will deliver and this keynote is what I have been eating, drinking and sleeping the past couple of days. True to 360Flex keynote fashion, we will have two videos made by the Flex SDK team to unveil. I’ll post the videos to youtube after the conference is over.

Additionally, I have a session on Tuesday morning titled: “Whats New in Flex 4 that is NOT Spark!”. This session will focus on the features and capabilities added to Flex 4 that are not directly related to the new Spark component and skinning architecture.

If you’re coming to 360Flex, please come and say hi in person!

Continue reading “360Flex – Keynote and Conference Sessions!”

Update to SDK 3.5 Released

I just wanted to make sure everyone was aware that we have posted an update to the Flex 3.5 SDK that went out in December. This update addresses a critical bug with the AIR auto-updater UI (SDK-24766). The fix has been posted in a rebuild of the 3.5 SDK called 3.5a and can be found here (under the Latest Milestone Release Builds table).

We encourage all developers using the 3.5 SDK to updgrade to 3.5a for continued development. The fix that went into this updated build does not affect the signing and caching of the 3.5 RSLs that went out with the original 3.5 SDK in December.

Continue reading “Update to SDK 3.5 Released”

Flex User Study Underway

Flex users: We have a Flex User study underway that will immensely help us in planning the next couple of versions of Flex. We are taking the results of this survey super seriously – so please, spend a few minutes taking the survey here.

There will be prizes for survey takers (sorry, at this time this is North America only) which include:

  • One Apple 64 GB iPod Touch
  • One Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ5K 9 MP Digital Camera with 10x zoom
  • One of two $250 gift cards from Amazon
  • One of five $100 gift cards from Amazon

Please help us out by taking the survey – your responses are greatly valued!

Continue reading “Flex User Study Underway”

Its a bird…its a plane…its OUR PM CHECKING IN CODE!

Yes, you read it here. Matt Chotin, Product Manager to the stars (of Flex) has…ahem…CHECKED IN CODE!

Exhibit A: [svn:fx-trunk] 12569: 9 new sample themes and an update to the wireframe theme (Author: mchotin) 

What is this, the first code checkin in 3 years?

We are proud of you Matt! Keep the coding skills sharp!

Does this mean I can now transfer some of my bugs to you?

Continue reading “Its a bird…its a plane…its OUR PM CHECKING IN CODE!”

FXG 2.0 – Hurrah!

Well, if we look back into what I’ve blogged about this past year, its been pretty paltry. Apologies, apologies. This is mostly because my work responsibilities grew two-fold because I became a lead on our team and I was one of the stakeholders getting the FXG 2.0 feature-set drafted and implemented. So, I’m SUPER SUPER excited to announce that the FXG 2.0 specification has been posted to the Flex Open Source site here. In the rest of this post, I explain what FXG is and what has changed between FXG 1.0 and FXG 2.0 – read on! Continue reading “FXG 2.0 – Hurrah!”

Slides and Code from my Flex 3/4 Component Lifecycle User Group Talks

Folks, Here’s the code and slides from my talks from last week’s SILVAFUG and BAADAUG user group meetings on the Flex 3 and Flex 4 Component Lifecycle.

Please note, I gave a flavor of this talk at MAX 2008 (referenced here). However, the slides and code from that MAX talk are severely out of date with the current state of the SDK trunk (obviously, since it was over a year ago!). The slides and code for last week’s talks, which are linked below, have been updated to be relevant with the current state of the SDK trunk. So, do not use the code from the MAX 2008 talk as its sorely out of date and you will get plenty of compiler errors and confuse yourself!

PPT Slides (Flex 3 and Flex 4 Component Lifecycle)

Halo VideoWidget

Spark VideoWidget (built on SDK trunk revision 10461)

Continue reading “Slides and Code from my Flex 3/4 Component Lifecycle User Group Talks”

Learn About the Flex Component Cycle for Halo and Spark Components

Folks! Man, its been awhile since I’ve posted. My bad, my bad. At least I have something fun to share!

I’ll be speaking at 2 user group meetings next week (Tuesday in San Francisco, Wednesday in San Jose) all about Flex component lifecycle. I’ll cover (briefly) the Flex 3 (Halo) component lifecycle and then dive into the Flex 4 (Spark) component lifecycle. We’ll talk about what exactly happens at startup to a Spark component – how its skin gets initialized and associated with the component, how its states are determined, etc. It will be great! In addition to slides and explanations, we’ll walk through building a sample component and introspecting the methods as we discuss them. As usual, I’ll put all the slides and code on my blog after the talk.

Not to plug my last year’s MAX talk, but next week’s presentations will all hinge on having some knowledge of the Flex 3 component lifecycle. So, if you haven’t watched that video, it might behoove you to do so 🙂

You can see the video, grab the slides and code all from my blog post here.

Details on the time and location of each talk is on the SILVAFUG and BAADAUG sites.

Continue reading “Learn About the Flex Component Cycle for Halo and Spark Components”

Speaking at BAADAUG Meeting (2/24) About Gumbo & Adobe Flash Catalyst

Folks, I’m excited to have been invited to speak at the Bay Area Application Developers Adobe User Group meeting on February 24th in San Francisco! I’ll be speaking about Gumbo, the Spark architecture, component development and showing off some cool stuff that is coming into the Gumbo trunk daily. Additionally, I’ve invited a fellow engineer from the Flash Catalyst team, Peter Flynn, to speak about/show off Adobe Flash Catalyst and the workflows that are enabled with that exciting new tool.

The official blurb is below. Details on location and time and how to register so you gain entry into the building are on the BAADAUG site. Additionally, I’ll be giving away free copies of my book, Adobe Flex 3.0 for Dummies, and word on the street is that the UG will be feeding us delicious pizza! How can anyone say no to this? Feel free to join – this will be a great talk for both developers and designers already familiar with Flex and those wanting to get their feet wet!

“Join Deepa Subramaniam, engineer on the Adobe Flex SDK team, and Peter Flynn, engineer on the Adobe Flash Catalyst team as they showcase upcoming features in the next version of Flex as well as the new Adobe tool, Flash Catalyst (formerly codenamed: “Thermo”). “Gumbo”, the code name for the next version of Flex, introduces a robust new skinning architecture which is leveraged by Flash Catalyst to design expressive web experiences.

Learn how Flash Catalyst empowers designers to create rich interaction designs and UI prototypes – and how developers can extend Catalyst UI designs using Gumbo’s new “Spark” architecture.  Flex 4 Spark components facilitate a clean separation between the visual and interaction design and the logic that developers work with. This is a talk for both designers and developers regardless of level of experience with Flash or Flex.”

Continue reading “Speaking at BAADAUG Meeting (2/24) About Gumbo & Adobe Flash Catalyst”

Flex Community Feedback Forum

I just wanted to publicize the upcoming Flex Community Feedback Forum that is occurring this Wednesday, January 28th. This session aims to be a forum for Flex community members to come and discuss in an open environment their thoughts regarding the Flex SDK as a product, the open-sourcing of the SDK, the management of the open-source efforts, etc. Basically a big forum for the community to share their thoughts and views. Please attend, and bring questions and feedback to share, otherwise it will be a pretty short meeting! This is an ideal environment to share whatever is on your mind, so I hope we have a high attendance.

Session Details:

WHEN: January 28th – 10:00am PT / 1:00pm ET / 6:00pm GMT (duration 1 hour)

WHERE: Via Connect: (Please enter the room as a ‘guest’ using your First and Last name)

If you’re unable to attend, the meeting will be recorded and posted on the Flex Open Source site afterwards.

Continue reading “Flex Community Feedback Forum”

MAX 2008 Session Materials

Man, I am really sorry to be posting my session materials so late. I took some PTO after MAX to recover from such a busy, go-go-go (and yet totally awesome) conference, and then came back to a full plate of Gumbo work that needed to happen before the holiday break. But, worry not, the slides, code and even a video of the presentation are now available.

Slides (ppt)

VideoWidget built in Halo

VideoWidget built in Gumbo (compatible with Gumbo SDK build 4078).

Video of the session in its entirety [Note: I listened to my video this morning and was pretty impressed with the audio and video quality. But boy, I never knew how GIRLY I sound on tape!]

(Note: There are bugs in the code – this code was demo/session-worthy and the point of it was to illustrate component development practices and be used as a starting point for understanding custom component development. This is not ship-worthy code so please use/peruse understanding that).

Also, a few things. Several people came up to me after my talk to ask what the keyboard shortcut was in Flex Builder to pop open the Open Resources panel and quickly select a class to open in the code editor. On a Mac, its Shift + Apple + R. I would suggest googling “Common Eclipse Keyboard Shortcuts” and having a little post-it on your laptop that identifies those keystrokes. Believe me, your Eclipse efficiency will increase dramatically.

Also, I got my session survey results (with comments) and had an overwhelmingly high score! Thanks so much for the appreciation, interest and positive encouragement.  Getting to speak at conferences is one of the main highlights of my job, and feedback like the one I received for my MAX talk really buoys my spirit and pushes me to create better and more interesting talks.

Continue reading “MAX 2008 Session Materials”

Whats with the ‘Fx’ prefixing?

If you follow the commits in the Gumbo SDK trunk, you may have noticed that about a week ago, a series of name changes were checked in. Additionally, a bunch of Gumbo specs and the Gumbo component architecture whitepaper are being updated on the Flex open-source site to reflect several name changes. A big chunk of these name changes were polish – temporary names like ‘skinZZ’ were changed to something less embarrassing (‘skinClass’ for those who want to know). Additionally, our API review board (yes, we care that much!) blessed many of the Gumbo ActionScript API’s and this resulted in some API changes that finally got checked in. But, the big change, which drove our build-engineer insane for a few days, were the numerous class re-namings that were checked into trunk.

Let me rewind for a second.

Continue reading “Whats with the ‘Fx’ prefixing?”

More Gumbo Specs Posted, part deux!

If you’ve been paying attention to the Flex open-source site, you may have noticed that many specs have been getting updated (I’ll blog about that shortly) and many new specs have gone up! So, for those wanting to see all the goodies being baked into Gumbo, check these specs out:

Oh, and Happy Diwali!
Continue reading “More Gumbo Specs Posted, part deux!”

Matthew Helm Chotin

You would think, after working on Flex for more then five years, that I know most of the sordid details regarding my Flex teammates’ lives. Well…no. In this morning’s status meeting, I was privy to some new information. Matt Chotin, Product Manager extraordinaire for Flex, has a middle name. And it’s Helm! Like Helm’s Deep!

This might be the coolest middle name ever!

It’s safe to say, this bit of news definitely made my morning.

Continue reading “Matthew Helm Chotin”

Josh Buhler, Brian Telintelo – See you at MAX!

In case you didn’t know, anyone can contribute code to the Flex SDK by submitting patches. The Flex SDK team started an incentive program where every 3 (accepted) patches got you an Adobe-related book off your Amazon wishlist and every 10 (accepted) patches got two lucky ducks a free ticket into MAX care of Adobe. Well, those two lucky ducks are Josh Buhler and Brian Telintelo!

Congratulations guys! Can’t wait to see you at MAX, please seek me out to say hi. I feel like I know you guys after perusing, assigning, and approving most of your patch submissions.

Go community, go!

Continue reading “Josh Buhler, Brian Telintelo – See you at MAX!”

More Gumbo Specs Posted!

If you keep an eye on the Gumbo open-source site, you may have noticed that more Gumbo specifications have been posted. These include:

Check them out, especially the Skinning spec.  Continue reading “More Gumbo Specs Posted!”

“no one needs to scroll” – Matt Chotin, Flex Product Manager

Friday afternoon, approximately 4 PM. The team is itching to get to Mars, the local bar where SF Adobe folks flock to after work. I promised Matt I’d go with him and some other Thermo/Flex/FlexBuilder team members to grab a drink. Then I realized I broke the Gumbo Scrollbar. Ensuing IM conversation below….

deepa (7/25/2008 3:57:24 PM): mars?
matt (7/25/2008 3:58:04 PM): cool. i need 3 mins to finish an email
deepa (7/25/2008 3:58:08 PM): k
deepa (7/25/2008 3:58:21 PM): actually hold on
deepa (7/25/2008 3:58:23 PM): i broke scrollbar
matt chotin (7/25/2008 3:58:29 PM): heh
deepa (7/25/2008 3:58:31 PM): lets go in like 15
matt chotin (7/25/2008 4:01:45 PM): ok
—-30 minutes pass—
matt chotin (7/25/2008 4:33:18 PM): status?
deepa (7/25/2008 4:34:22 PM): uh, 5 minutes
matt chotin (7/25/2008 4:34:28 PM): dude!
matt chotin (7/25/2008 4:34:43 PM): no one needs to scroll

When coding gets in the way of beer, you see what can happen.

Continue reading ““no one needs to scroll” – Matt Chotin, Flex Product Manager”

Speaking about Halo/Gumbo development at MAX 2008

If you’re checking out the official Adobe MAX page for the upcoming MAX 2008 conference, you may have noticed I’m speaking. Woo-hoo! I guess I did a good enough job last year that the MAX folks are willing to give me another shot this year. This will be my second time speaking at MAX and its always my favorite conference to attend and speak at. If you haven’t checked out the awesome new Adobe MAX site, do so. The session locater is easy to use and there’s already a lot of information regarding tracks, sessions and speakers.

So, what will my session be about?

Continue reading “Speaking about Halo/Gumbo development at MAX 2008”

Gumbo Unveiled

If you check the Flex Open Source site often, you may have noticed that a lot of information regarding the next version of Flex, codename Gumbo, was published today. There’s a high-level presentation covering the Gumbo plan, a whitepaper covering the new tenets laid down by the Gumbo architecture, individual Gumbo feature specifications and most noteworthy: Gumbo source code (an approved build should be posted by 7/15 AM PST on the Gumbo builds page).

Check this information out, especially the source code. Comments for the whitepaper and feature specifications are enabled and we’re dying to hear your feedback. I’m pretty excited about where the Gumbo release is heading and how many problems we are solving with the new architecture. Things that were previously hard to implement in Halo like highly-customized item renderers and decoupling layout from individual components is many times simpler with Gumbo. Keep an eye on the Gumbo open source page to see more feature specifications added as active development continues.


Continue reading “Gumbo Unveiled”

360Flex ATL, Here I Come!

So I woke up on Tuesday morning with an email from Matt Chotin asking me if I wanted to speak at 360Flex Atlanta. Uh…..hell yeah! The tentative title of the session is “The Future of Flex” and I’ll be focusing on the big changes in the Flex product family for Flex 4 and beyond. We’ll cover more details of the SDK re-architecture that needs to happen to support Thermo (of a similar flavor to what Ely Greenfield‘s MAX talk was), details about the new graphic tag library added to Flex, and other SDK/FlexBuilder/Thermo items that will pique your interest. If you have specific ideas or thoughts on what you’d like to hear, please comment away! I’ll try to see if I can work it into the talk….

See you all in Atlanta. If you haven’t signed up, do so, the 360Flex conferences always rock!

Continue reading “360Flex ATL, Here I Come!”

Where did the FlexBuilder Advanced Constraints UI go?

New in Flex 3 is the vaguely named, but oh-so cool Advanced Constraints feature. Constraints was originally an SDK feature built atop the existing Flex 2 constraint-based layout system. Remember that in Flex 2 you could use the constraint styles (left/right/top/bottom/verticalCenter/horizontalCenter) to constrain controls to the edges of their parent container’s border. You could use constraint-based layout in any container that supported absolute positioning, like Canvas, Panel and Application. For Flex 3, the Advanced Constraints feature introduces the concept of ConstraintColumn and ConstraintRow objects that can be used to partition up absolute positioning containers. We broadened the constraint syntax to allow for controls to be constrained to these columns and rows and using this mechanism you can do really cool things like sibling relative constraints and better re-flowing layouts. This functionality is still in the Flex 3 SDK and you can definitely hand code these layouts relatively easily. The FlexBuilder 3 code editor gives code hints and code editing help for the new Advanced Constraints syntax out of the box. Check out the documentation, feature writeup and sample code on labs for more in-depth examples of syntax and usage and how to leverage Advanced Constraints in your layouts.

Continue reading “Where did the FlexBuilder Advanced Constraints UI go?”

Big releases for Flex, FlexBuilder and AIR

In case you’ve been living under a rock with no MXNA access, the final beta of Flex 3 SDK and FlexBuilder 3 was released on Adobe Labs last night along with AIR Beta 3. These releases are quite mature, having really focused on the final bug fixes, enhancements and performance improvements needed before we ship. Download the bits, give the builds some love, and file all issues in our public bugbase.

Additional exciting news was the announcement that Adobe is releasing the source code for its remoting and messaging technologies (AMF) under a new open source product called BlazeDS. This is huge news as it allows developers to easily build RIA’s with real time data by using a completely free and open source based technology.

Bravo to the Flex, FlexBuilder, AIR and Data Services team! Continue reading “Big releases for Flex, FlexBuilder and AIR”

A little Flex 2 mixer for my Flex 3 cocktail?

Do you link in swfs compiled with earlier versions of Flex (Flex 2, Flex 2.0.1) into your Flex 3 applications? This includes linking in sub-applications, modules and runtime CSS swfs. Would you object to having to re-compile those linked in swfs with Flex 3? Is that a deal-breaker for you (and if so, why?). Please email this information to Flex Product Manager, Matt Chotin (mchotin AT adobe DOT com) as soon as possible since the Flex team is looking to gather requirements for this workflow as we shut down development on Flex 3.

Goodbye social life, hello technical writing.

Thats right! I am super excited to announce (finally) that my good friend Doug McCune and I will be writing the Flex 3 for Dummies book for Wiley Publishing. The book is expected out in late spring/early summer of 2008 and will be a great resource for those new to Flex and RIA technologies. The book will cover the basics of Flex and FlexBuilder and help get people up and running building Flex applications, especially highlighting those new features added in Flex 3. I think this book is a giant leap towards the goal of having 1 million Flex developers. More and more people are getting interested in Flex and often times they are very new to programming (in fact, in some cases I meet people whose first attempt at programming is writing Flex) and this book will help them tremendously. Continue reading “Goodbye social life, hello technical writing.”

SystemManager: Every Flex application’s best friend

When I first joined the Flex framework team, the Flex SystemManager seemed like a black magic, voodoo-y class that no one in their sane mind wanted to touch. In fact, the one time I did make a change to SystemManager (early in my development career), I inadvertently ended up pulling in all of UIComponent and bloating Flex development SWFs that week by a good 10k. Oops – good thing we have tests to check for mistakes like that.

Some time later, I started researching SystemManager in order to speak about it in one of my talks. I had an epiphany: SystemManager is not so scary. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that it is the most important class in the entire Flex framework.

So, let me try to make SystemManager less mysterious and explain how it enables the creation of Flex applications. Continue reading “SystemManager: Every Flex application’s best friend”

MAX withdrawal… (and session code/slides)

Holy Moly – I’m back from MAX and am absolutely exhausted and incredibly invigorated! What a fantastic conference. Much thanks to the MAX team for setting up such a memorable conference, especially Ted Patrick who looked remarkably put together given that I don’t think he’s slept a full night in months.

As usual, MAX totally delivered in getting the Flex team and customers together to share ideas, complaints and hopes. The anticipation around the release of Flex 3 and the excitement over Flex 4 was palpable. Especially after Thermo was demo’ed at the keynote on day 2. What a fantastic demo! I was watching from the main hall and the audible excitement (I was sitting next to some developers who were literally meowing with glee in their chairs) was impressive. In support of Thermo, we’ll be making some fundamental changes to the Flex framework during the course of Flex 4 and I’m thrilled to begin work there. You may have heard about some of these changes in Ely Greenfield’s Flex Roadmap talk. These changes are necessary in order to support robust skinning, styling, states and transition management within the sub components of a Flex UI control.

My two sessions and custom component Birds of a Feather went quite well too. I was impressed with the advanced Flex knowledge that was apparent in my session attendees. My Customizing the Flex Framework session made me realize that we can really do better with documenting best practices when it comes to custom component development, application architecture, and item renderers. I hope to put more thoughts about these topics here on my blog. The component BOF was awesome. It was late in the evening which meant a few members of the audience (and panel) were tipsy and yet were still bringing great component development tricks to the table.

And of course, one of the best parts of attending conferences like MAX is getting to see my conference “homies” (those friends I don’t get to see except in nerdy, overly air conditioned conference halls). I love how diverse and knowledgeable the Flex community is and as always, am grateful to be a part of such a great piece of technology with such a dope community. All in all, the best MAX I’ve attended so far. I’m already jonesing for next year…..

A lot of people have asked for the code and slides from my session, Customizing the Flex Framework. They are linked to below; feel free to comment if you need any clarifications. I plan on writing a blog post elaborating on the custom metadata topic which was at the tail end of my talk. Its just such a cool concept and a lot of people were interested in how they could take advantage of it during their own Flex development, so I think it warrants its own posting. So, stay tuned for that.

Customizing the Flex Framework
slides :: code

Addendum: The code for my preso is definitely demo code…use them as a starting point for your own Flex development.

MAX 2007, Chicago

I am incredibly excited for the upcoming MAX North America conference, in Chicago from October 1st – 3rd. (I’m literally bouncing in my chair as I write this). Its very inspiring to be part of such a cool and community focused event like MAX. If you’re attending – come to my session and BOF and say hi! I’ll be running an advanced Flex session entitled: “Customizing the Flex Framework” on Monday from 2-3 pm and on Wednesday morning from 9:30-10:30 am. Here’s the blurb from the MAX site:

Customizing the Flex Framework

Skill: Advanced

Dive deep into the Flex framework and its extensibility layers. We’ll cover commonly requested customizations as well as concepts that have been considered difficult to implement. Topics include skins, item renderers for list-based controls, collections and sorting, validators and formatters, dataDescriptors for hierarchical controls, tool tips, menus, drag&drop behavior, and effects. Be prepared to view a lot of code!

  • Monday, October 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm
  • Wednesday, October 39:30 am – 10:30 am

Now, let me explain the session in my own words. We’re going to go beyond what people normally think of when they think of customizing the Flex framework – that is, go beyond simply extending existing Flex framework controls. There are so many other extension points in the framework to take advantage of when developing a Flex application! We’ll cover ways to customize how your application manipulates and displays dynamic data, how to customize the validation and formatting of data, how (and why) to create custom metadata and custom events, how to patch the framework when you find a bug (yowzah!) and so much more. As is mentioned above, its an advanced session, but those new to Flex, don’t be scared off. I plan on clearly explaining the concepts and walking through code to illustrate the ideas even further (though I will have to move at a fast clip since the sessions are only 60 minutes). After my sessions, I’ll post the code and slides here for people to peruse on their own.

In addition to running a session, I’m also running the Flex Custom Component BOF (Birds of a Feather) on Monday evening from 9:30-10:30 pm with a fantastic group of Flex gurus: Chafic Kazoun, Doug McCune, Adam Flater, Tony Hillerson and Andy McIntosh. We’re going to spend those precious 60 minutes diving into some of our favorite custom component topics and open up the floor to any and all questions. I’m hoping it’ll be a high-energy, organic discussion where everyone (including the panel) learns some real good Flex development tricks.

And lastly – I’m really looking forward to the Boot Camp for Flex on Wednesday morning from 9-12:30. Its a collaborative session where you can plunk down with your laptop and code with the Flex development team and other Flex developers.

So, if you haven’t already signed up for MAX – do so! Its going to be an event not worth missing.

So I made that promise at 360Flex….

I have caved to the pressures of the Flex blogging elite as well as am honoring that flippant promise I made at 360Flex in Seattle: start a work blog by MAX. So, with only 10 days to go till MAX 2007 in Chicago, I present to you my humble Flex blog. My short term aim is to use this blog as a place to store code and thoughts about all the Flex related projects I have been working on the past few months. My long term aim is world domination. Wait, I mean profit. Wait, I mean brilliant and inspiring posts about the state of technology in the world.

Er, I’ll just stick with the short term aim for now.

So, for those who wanted the slides from my 360Flex Seattle session, entitled “Flex Framework Nitty Gritty”, here you go. The slides are augmented quite nicely with David Coletta’s very thorough writeup of the session.