Adobe Flash Builder 4 and Flash Catalyst public beta available on Adobe Labs

flash_builder Flash Catalyst

Adobe Flash Builder 4  (formely  Flex Builder 4 ) and Adobe Flash Catalyst are out on Adobe Labs going to download and try them out before posting a proper review meanwhile more info on Ryan Stewart’s blog and Andrew Shorten’s Tutorial

fb_beta

Flash Builder 4 delivers a long list of new features, plus improvements to many existing features.There are three main themes to this release: developer productivity, designer-developer workflow, and data-centric application development. For an overview of the features included in this first public beta release, please read Tim Buntel’s What’s New in Flash Builder 4 article and watch the new feature videos. As always, the Flex 4 framework is included within Flash Builder, so please also read Matt Chotin’s What’s New in the Flex 4 SDK article.

fc_beta

Adobe® Flash® Catalyst™ is a new professional interaction design tool for rapidly creating user interfaces without coding.

  • Transform artwork created in Adobe Photoshop® and Adobe Illustrator® into functional user interfaces.
  • Create interactive prototypes with the ability to leverage them in the final product
  • Publish a finished project as a SWF file ready for distribution
  • Work more efficiently with developers who use Adobe Flash Builder™ 4 to create rich Internet applications (RIAs). Designers use Flash Catalyst to create the functional user experience then provide the project file to developers who use Flash Builder to add functionality and integrate with servers and services.

Go get Flash Builder 4

Go get Flash Catalyst
Flash Builder 4 Standalone Installer

Flash Builder 4 Plugin for Eclipse

Flex Component Kit for Adobe Flash Professional CS4

Flex 4 Test Automation Plug-in

Flash Catalyst Beta

More Adobe Resources:
Learn about Flash Builder 4

Learn about Flex 4 SDK

Working with Flash Builder 4

Next Version of Flex code named Gumbo Info Available

Flex

Gumbo is the code name of the next version of Adobe Flex and new information about it has been made available on the Gumbo Page of the Flex Open Source site.

Some of the highlights on the next version of Flex include the following:

Themes of the Release

Design in mind
A framework for continuous and easier collaboration between designer and developer.
Developer Productivity
Improve compiler perfomance and add productivity enhancements.
Framework evolution.
Take advantage of the new Flash Player capabilities and add features required by common use-cases.

Ely Greenfield gives us a demo on designer and developer workflow.

And Matt Chotin provides a recorded preso outlining the plans for the next version of the Flex SDK (Gumbo).

Some of the things that Matt says on his preso are quite promising a new namespace added (MXML 2009) to the MXML language to support more toolability and make it easier to describe experience-oriented features such as states and transitions.
A new format that promotes the features available in the Flash Player and is usable by tools to describe various graphic assets, including skins (FXG) this format is already in use by the Fireworks CS4 Beta.
Component and skinning architecture for easy tool participation.
Improved existing experience-oriented features such as states, effects, and layout.
A final release it’s aimed to the second half of 2009.
Bidirectional layouts (mirroring) and text support.
New Video component.

And he also mentions that a new initiative is forming to build a ground-up lightweight/scalable framework for developing at other devices such as mobile phones but it’s a long term aimed to be released at the first half of 2010.

Here’s the link to Mike’s preso

Here’s a link to Gumbo’s White Paper: An Introduction to the Gumbo Component Architecture

Keep an eye on Gumbo’s Downloads page on Adobe’s Open Source site for releases of Gumbos Milestones.

Flint Actionscript 3 Particle System Example

.swfgeek Logo Particles

Richard Lord has recently released the Version 0.9.4 of Flint.

I made this example
using Flint particle system is an Actionscript 3.0 Open Source project with the aim of create a library that handles the common functionality for all particle systems. To see it work just click anywhere on stage and it will make a nice Firework out of my “Logo”

I just tried it myself and i must say it’s super easy to use and to extend. You can find Flint source on the google code page of Flint with working examples in the downloads section there’s also some very good examples and tutorials on Flint Particle System Site and you can keep track of Richard on his blog.

The latest version comes packed with all kind of particles goodies like:

* Access all properties in Actions, Initializers, Counters and Activities so they can be modified while the emitter is running.
* AlphaInit initializer sets the initial alpha value for all particles
* ImageClasses and SharedImages initializers set the particle image to one selected from a group, with weighting to adjust the selection
* MouseExplosion action pushes particles away from the mouse
* MouseGravity action pulls particles towards the mouse
* TurnAwayFromMouse action causes particles to turn away from the mouse
* GreyscaleZone uses a greyscale image to define a zone, with weighting based on the luminence of each pixel
* Pulse counter emits particles in regular bursts
* PerformanceAdjusted counter adjusts the rate of particle emission if the frame-rate drops
* TwoWay energyEasing functions have an energy peak half-way through the particle’s lifetime

Heres the link to my example using Flint, and Flex 3 as much as I would love to add the code right below my post the IG Syntax HighLighter seems to not be getting very well with the latest update of wordpress so to get the code just right click on my example and it will take you there.

Update you can now view the code right here:

?View Code ACTIONSCRIPT3
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package {
 
    import flash.display.Bitmap;
    import flash.display.Sprite;
    import flash.events.MouseEvent;
    import flash.filters.BlurFilter;
    import flash.filters.ColorMatrixFilter;
    import flash.geom.Point;
 
    import org.flintparticles.actions.*;
    import org.flintparticles.counters.*;
    import org.flintparticles.emitters.*;
    import org.flintparticles.energyEasing.Quadratic;
    import org.flintparticles.events.FlintEvent;
    import org.flintparticles.initializers.*;
    import org.flintparticles.zones.*;
 
    [SWF( frameRate='61', backgroundColor='#000000')]
 
    public class LogoFireworks extends Sprite
    {
        [Embed(source="assets/sgw.png")]
 
        public var Logo:Class;
        public var bitmap:Bitmap = new Logo();
        public var ev:FlintEvent;
        private var emitter:PixelEmitter = new PixelEmitter();
 
        public function LogoFireworks()
        {
            ViewSource.addMenuItem(this, "srcview/index.html");
            stage.scaleMode = "noScale";
            stage.align ="TL";
            init();
        }
 
        public function init():void
        {
            stage.addEventListener(MouseEvent.MOUSE_DOWN,startFlint);
            stage.addEventListener(MouseEvent.MOUSE_UP,stopFlint)
        }
        public function prepareToFlint(event:MouseEvent):void
         {
          stage.addEventListener(MouseEvent.MOUSE_DOWN,startFlint);
          stage.addEventListener(MouseEvent.MOUSE_UP,stopFlint)
 
         }
 
        public function startFlint(Event:MouseEvent):void
        {
            emitter.addFilter( new BlurFilter( 2, 2, 1 ) );
            emitter.addFilter( new ColorMatrixFilter( [ 1,0,0,0,0,
                                                        0,1,0,0,0,
                                                        0,0,1,0,0,
                                                        0,0,0,0.96,0 ] ) );
            emitter.setCounter( new Blast( 1500 ) );
            emitter.addInitializer( new ColorInit(Math.random()* 0xFFFF3300,Math.random()* 0xFFFFFF00 ) );
            emitter.addInitializer( new Lifetime( 7) );
            emitter.addInitializer( new Position( new DiscZone( new Point( 0, 0 ), 10 ) ) );
            emitter.addInitializer( new Velocity( new BitmapDataZone( bitmap.bitmapData,-211, -550 ) ) );
            emitter.addAction( new Age( Quadratic.easeIn ) );
            emitter.addAction( new Fade( 1.0, 0 ) );
            emitter.addAction( new Move() );
            emitter.addAction( new LinearDrag( 0.5 ) );
            emitter.addAction( new Accelerate( 0, 70 ) );
            addChild( emitter );
            emitter.x = stage.stageWidth/2;
            emitter.y = stage.stageHeight -(5);
            emitter.start( );
            emitter.addEventListener( FlintEvent.EMITTER_EMPTY, restart);
        }
 
        public function stopFlint(Event:MouseEvent):void
        {
            stage.removeEventListener(MouseEvent.MOUSE_DOWN,startFlint)
        }
 
        public function restart( ev:FlintEvent ):void
        {
            mouseEn();
        }
 
        public function mouseEn():void
        {
            stage.addEventListener(MouseEvent.MOUSE_DOWN,startFlint);
        }
    }
}

Drawing API and Mouse Events

DrawingAPI
Click on the image to see the example and get the code.

A pair of days ago I found the blog of Sorin Haidan in wish he post some very useful tutorials on Flash and Actionscript 3.0 in a very understandable way, I found one that caught my attention called Draw Custom shapes with ActionScript 3.0. In this tutorial he explains how to make a “Ball” appear on screen every time you click and move your mouse on the screen by using the Drawing API and MouseEvents, the change of the color on the ball was achieved doing a loop in a 10 frame movie clip with a ball of different gradient fill on each frame, so occurred to me to wrap that code on a class on a Flex 3 Actionscript Project and get rid of the Flash assets by drawing the ball in a dynamic way and this let me Change the color of the Ball more than the 10 times of Sorin example, so check the example be sure to check Sorin’s blog .
In my example if you right click on the file you get to see the source that it’s also included below this text here’s what I got: Drawing API Ball Example.

Thanks Sorin for letting me mess around with his code keep up with those good tutorials.

?View Code ACTIONSCRIPT3
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/*
/////---- Class by Dave Ga?mez (.swfgeek) 24-February-2008 http://www.swfgeek.net----\\\
///---- Original Example by: Sorin Haidan in his  Draw Custom shapes with ActionScript 3.0. Tutorial ----\
///---- Found on his blog http://biochimistu.blogspot.com/ ---- \
*/
 
package {
 
    import flash.display.GradientType;
    import flash.display.SpreadMethod;
    import flash.display.Sprite;
    import flash.display.StageScaleMode;
    import flash.display.StageAlign;
    import flash.events.MouseEvent;
    import flash.geom.Matrix;
    import com.adobe.viewsource.ViewSource;
 
    [SWF(backgroundColor="0x000000",frameRate="31")]
 
    public class DrawingAPI extends Sprite
    {
        private var sprite:Sprite;
        private var holder:Sprite;
        private var myCircle:Sprite;
        private var fillType:String;
        private var colors:Array;
        private var alphas:Array;
        private var ratios:Array;
        private var matr:Matrix;
        private var spreadMethod:String;
        private var focalPointRatio:Number;
 
        public function DrawingAPI()
        {
            init();
        }
 
        private function init():void
        {
            ViewSource.addMenuItem(this, "srcview/index.html");
            stage.scaleMode = StageScaleMode.NO_SCALE;
            stage.align = StageAlign.TOP_LEFT;
            stage.addEventListener(MouseEvent.MOUSE_DOWN,prepareToDraw);
 
        }
 
        public function prepareToDraw(event:MouseEvent):void
         {
          stage.addEventListener(MouseEvent.MOUSE_MOVE,drawGraphics);
          stage.addEventListener(MouseEvent.MOUSE_UP,stopDrawing);
 
         }
 
        public function drawGraphics(event:MouseEvent):void
        {
         fillType = GradientType.RADIAL;
         colors = [0xFFFFFF, Math.random()*0xFFFFFF];
         alphas = [1, 1];
         ratios = [0x37, 0xFF];
         matr= new Matrix();
         matr.createGradientBox(100, 100, Math.random()*360, -40, 0);
         spreadMethod = SpreadMethod.PAD;
         focalPointRatio = 1;
         holder = new Sprite();
         addChild(holder);
         myCircle = new Sprite();
         myCircle.graphics.beginGradientFill(fillType, colors, alphas, ratios, matr,spreadMethod);
         myCircle.graphics.drawCircle(0,0,40);
         myCircle.graphics.endFill();
         holder.addChild(myCircle);
         holder.x = mouseX;
         holder.y = mouseY;
         holder.scaleX = holder.scaleY = Math.random()*2+0.5;
         holder.rotation = Math.random()*360;
         holder.alpha = Math.random()+0.7;
       }
 
        public function stopDrawing(event:MouseEvent):void
       {
        stage.removeEventListener(MouseEvent.MOUSE_MOVE,drawGraphics)
       }
    }
}

Adobe Flex 3 and AIR 1 are here

Adobe Flex 3 and AIR 1

That’s it the new version of Adobe Flex is here and with it the new AIR 1 runtime, for details visit Mike Potter’s post. Congrats to all the people involved in this release Adobe is really pushing its open source side by making the Flex compilers source available.
Be sure to check Flex SDK page on Adobe Open Source and the product pages of Flex 3 and AIR 1.

Papervision3D 2.0 Pixel Effects

Here’s a little try on the new Papervision3D Branch Effects based on the tutorial/example of Andy Zupko, the new pixel effects added to the branch look great, this was made using Flex 3 Beta 3.

3D Cube Pixel

Check it here.
Download Source here

Flex 3 and AIR Beta 3 Available on Labs

The new Flex 3 and AIR betas are available on labs this is the last public beta releases, the new betas resolve various bugs from beta 2, so if you haven’t already give it a try.

Here’s The info on Adobe Labs:

Flex 3 beta 3

This final beta release focuses on overall quality and performance, providing a final look at Flex Builder 3 prior to launch. Please use this opportunity to further explore the new features, communicate any final feedback, and test your existing Flex applications using the Flex 3 framework.

Adobe Air Beta 3

This download provides the beta 3 version of Adobe AIR. This runtime is required to run any Adobe AIR application. The Adobe AIR beta 3 was released on December 12, 2007 and contains a timeout that will cause it to stop working on November 1, 2008.

Visit Adobe Labs for more info
AIR on Labs
Flex on Labs

Adobe Labs Updates AIR( beta 2 ), Flex 3 ( beta 2 ) and prereleases AMP (Adobe Media Player )

Well good month start in Adobe labs, they have released an update for Adobe Air ( beta 2 ) Flex 3 ( beta 2 ) and a Prerelease of Adobe AMP (Adobe Media Player ).

Adobe AIR public beta 2

Adobe Air Beta3

Update: A new version of the Adobe AIR download was posted on 10/1/2007.

Adobe AIR is a cross-operating system runtime that allows web application developers to use their existing web development skills (HTML, Javascript, Adobe Flash, Adobe Flex, Ajax ) to build and deploy rich Internet applications to the desktop.

Download the AIR beta 2 update here

Flex 3 public beta 2

Flex 3 beta 2

This near feature complete release adds powerful new data wizard support for .NET, web service introspection and connection code generation, and much more. We’ve also added support for importing and exporting Flex projects so that you can now share projects easily. Complete support is also now available for CSS.

Download The Flex 3 beta 2 here

The Adobe Media Player Prerelease

AMP prerelease

The Adobe Media Player enables end users to enjoy their shows whenever and wherever they want, while enabling new ways for content businesses to create, deliver, and monetize high-quality content and advertising through a customizable cross-platform player that supports both downloaded and streamed media.

Download AMP Prerelease here

My copy of Essential Actionscript 3.0 by Colin Moock arrived

My copy of Essential Actionscript 3.0
This morning at my doorstep was the long awaited Amazon Box containing my copy of O’Reilly Essential Actionscript 3.0 by Colin Moock the longtime waited follow up to what is known in the Flash programing world as The Colin Moock Book, and I’m happy to say it was worth the waiting.
The book it’s equally appealing to first time actionscript users and long time actionscript veterans, Mr. Moock has such a way to make translations from a computer based language to a much more accessible and easy to understand form.

ActionScript 3.0 presents perhaps the most substantial upgrade to Flash’s programming language ever. The enhancements to ActionScript’s performance, feature set, ease of use, cleanliness, and sophistication are simply staggering. Revolutionary improvements abound. Essential ActionScript 3.0 is an update to Essential ActionScript 2.0, once again focusing on the core language and object-oriented programming with some coverage of the Flash Player API. Approximately half of the book focuses on the new features and functionality of ActionScript 3.0, while the rest focuses on changes between the 2 and 3 releases.

The Book is divided in three parts,
Part 1 Actionscript form the ground up.
Where he provides and exhaustive coverage of the core Actionscript language.
Part 2 Display and Interactivity.
Where he explores the techniques for displaying content on screen and responding to input events. ( This is for all of you interactivity lovers ).
Part 3 Applied Actionscript Topics.
In this part the book focuses on Actionscript code-production issues .

To be sincere if you are really a Flash Beginner or a seasoned user of the Flash Technology this book should really be at your desk as a trusty companion in those long coding nights. the book can be found at Amazon Click here to buyor at O’Reilly and don’t forget to visit Mr.Moock site.

Cheers and happy reading!!!.
.swfgeek