FI Launches Kontain Alpha

Categories: ActionScript Adobe Flex AS3 Cool Sites Flash RIA

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Kontain, the Flash-based blogging and media sharing site from agency powerhouse FI launched its alpha version on November 13th. The evolution of FI’s Propod rich media blogging system, Kontain is a promising and beautifully designed site. The clean design is mildly reminscent of Virb, with a pinch of (new) Facebook thrown in for good measure.

FI is one of few firms that can do full Flash sites very well. However, understanding that it is still an alpha, the site really ought to provide alternate content for computers without Flash installed. And while the site does attempt to redirect to a slimmed down version of the site for iPhone/mobile users, on my iPhone sending to http://i.kontain.com/ failed because of “too many redirects”.

It remains to be seen if the lack of alternate content for search engines will be detrimental (although FI may have plans to provide alternate content in a future release), or if Google’s advancements towards Flash content discover-ability will overcome this sticking point.

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As a funny side note, the back-end for Kontain appears to be running JBoss/Apache on a ColecoVision (operating at 3.58 MHz).

Even Richer Internet Apps with Adobe AIR 1.5

Categories: ActionScript Adobe AIR Adobe Flex AS3 Flash WebKit

Adobe AIR logo

Adobe has just released Adobe AIR 1.5. Now you can take advantage of great features like Pixel Bender for custom filters and fills, the new 3D effects, dynamic video streaming (based on available bandwidth), and the Speex audio codec, aimed at providing high-quality audio delivery at lower bandwidth.

In addition to the existing Encrypted Local Store functionality in earlier versions of AIR, Adobe has now added encrypted local databases, which will make it easier to encrypt and locally persist large data sets.

Also, as a follow up to an earlier post on the use of SquirrelFish in AIR, Adobe has confirmed that this is indeed the case. Adobe AIR 1.5 has a WebKit update that incorporates SquirrelFish - Adobe claims that HTML-based AIR applications can run as much as 35% faster.

Download version 1.5 of Adobe AIR.

Developer and User release notes are available as PDF.

On a related note regarding the Flex Builder 3.0.2 update that takes advantage of the new AIR runtime: be sure to change the app.xml XML namespace to use 1.5 instead of 1.0, as noted on this blog - http://www.bobsgear.com/display/ts/Can%27t+Launch+Air+Apps+After+Upgrading+from+Flex+Builder+3.01+to+Flex+Builder+3.02  I had trouble with my application until I found this post.

Adobe Thermo Demo at 360|Flex

Categories: ActionScript Adobe AIR Adobe Flex Flash Thermo

Mark Anders from Adobe gave a preview of Thermo and Flash Player 10 at the 360|Flex conference. It’s a good video for designers interested in Flex-based RIA UI development and for Flex programmers interested in what’s on the horizon for designer/developer collaboration.

gTween - New AS3 Tweening Engine

Categories: ActionScript AS3 Flash

Grant Skinner and his team have created a new tweening engine for AS3 that, in his words, better fit the needs of his team. And may fit yours better, too - it’s at least worth checking out.

http://www.gskinner.com/blog/archives/2008/08/gtween_a_new_tw.html

Aspects that look interesting to me: the Proxy tweening feature, the timeInterval and timingMode (frame, time, or hybrid) properties, sequencing tweens and synchronizing tweens. All in only 4.5 K.

Once I get a chance to do some experiments with gTween, I’ll update this post.

Plinko Game in AS3 using APE Flash physics engine

Categories: ActionScript AS3 Cool Sites

Via DrawLogic

Plinko game screen

Until you’re the next contestant on The Price is Right, you can play a Flash version of the brilliantly simple yet fun game Plinko. Plinko uses ActionScript 3 and the 2D ActionScript Physics Engine (APE).

Play the game: http://client.drawcode.com/em-plinko/
Learn more about APE: http://www.cove.org/ape/

Flex in a Week video training

Categories: ActionScript Adobe AIR Adobe Flex AS3 Howto

Adobe is offering Flex training on their developer site using videos and supplemental PDFs. Check it out here: http://www.adobe.com/devnet/flex/videotraining/

As of this writing, days one through three have been added.