Category Archives: BitTube Work

Mobile Design UK event Announced – 4th June

The details of the next Mobile Design UK event have been posted, the Mobile Design UK event will take place on the 4th of June at the Tavern Room at RSA on John Adam Street in London.

The last Mobile Design UK event was really well presented and provided some great insight into the technical and cultural challenges faced by designers and interaction designers when trying to target mobile platforms.

You can get the full details and registration information of the upcoming Mobile Design UK event from the Mobile Design UK website.

To get a feel for the target of the Mobile Design UK events and there content you can read my post on the previous Mobile Design UK event.

Mobile Design UK Meeting

Mobile Revolution Last night I attended the Mobile Design UK event held at the RSA Tavern room, near London’s Charring Cross. It was a great evening and the venue was fantastic, a really well equipped space that made the evening feel wonderfully personal. The smaller location really fostered some great discussions following each of the speakers presentations. The mix of content, concepts and ideas presented was really good.

The evening was introduced by Arabella David from Nokia. She outlined the growing importance of user experience in the mobile space and how Forum Nokia is pushing to support Designers and User Experience experts through the Forum Nokia Channel. More information can be found at the Design and Media section of the Forum Nokia Site.

Scott Weiss (@sdweiss) of Human Factors International kicked of the presentations with a dissection and walkthrough of the usability and information architecture considerations when developing mobile applications that use XHTML to reach a broad user audience. It was good to find out that with XHTML as well as many mobile technologies there is often a trade off between features, richness and audience reach.

Antony Ribot (@ribot) from Ribot provided a fantastic presentation on the speed and growth of the mobile information age, and it’s subsequent effects on physical trends, culture and behaviors. Also provided some great ideas on how we as producers might need to change the way we approach concepting, brain storming and designing to target these new user expectations.

Gil Kahana of Seren Partners presentation provided an enthusiastic insight into the challenges faced when dealing with the barriers that mobile applications present to users and the ways developers should research, test and experiment to break down those barriers. There was some great discussions that followed Gil’s presentation around the fragmentation of some of the technology in the mobile space.

The final presentation by Marek Pawlowski (@marekpawlowski) from PMN – Mobile Industry Intelligence showed some brilliant dissection of the minutia of user value that can be extracted by mobile users and audiences from some of the most innocuous of details, the value of battery life conservation, the range of colours a phone or application is available in or how an application provides user feed back when scrolling.

The Mobile Design UK group offers a refreshing and much needed alternative view of mobile development. At the end if the evening I caught up with Bryan Rieger, one of the event organisers, to find out what types of content they were hoping to present at future meetings,

we don’t want to show code

was his first reply. I for one think that’s a brilliant mantra to hold true to. In a space dominated by massively varied technologies, huge numbers of acronyms and a huge range of user audiences and platforms I found it a very comfortable evening of knowledge sharing in a format that felt like a well organized brainstorm.

If you are interested in designing & producing content targeting any mobile platform I would look out for up coming Mobile Design UK events. Thanks to organisers for putting together a great line up os speakers and also a big thank you to Forum Nokia for the sponsorship of the evening.

Catalogue Of 30+ Flash Lite Development Tips

Rien Verbrugghe has done a great job of cataloging a huge number of Flash Lite development, testing and packaging tips from a number of conference sessions and also the various Flash Lite development blogs. If you want a handy quick reference of Flash Lite development tricks and common gotchas this is worth book marking or printing out.

blog.rive.be

Memory Management in Flash Lite and ActionScript 2 using ASUnit

In my new position the team I have joined and me are carying out some in depth testing of an Action Script 2 code base for Flash Lite 3 using, among other things, ASUnit based unit and acceptance tests. The early stage of development means it is too soon to leverage the new automated testing features of Adobe Device Central CS4. One of the most important aspects of our testing has been to check memory use over the lifetime of the applications we are developing. We are interested in tracking any memory leaks in our code and also any memory space fragmentation as the Flash Lite player creates or destroys objects and classes.

This memory information is viewable from Adobe Device Central in the Memory Panel, where device central provides a graph showing memory usage over time, separating Static Heap and Dynamic Heap consumption of the player as your Flash Lite application runs.

MemoryPanel.png

Testing for memory use, loss and leaks is currently not present as standard in ASUnit for ActionScript 2. In order to include this form of testing at a basic level we have employed a trick I picked up at Max San Francisco this year (If you are the person that explained the trick, please leave a comment so I can credit you). The technique makes use of the FlashLite SharedObject as a way of measuring the file size of objects and classes before and after you think you have destroyed them in your code.

The premiss is a simple one. In your test as part of the test setup create a local SharedObject create an empty data property and save the SharedObject to disk, then call the SharedObject.getSize() method and store the size of your empty SharedObject. The code should look something like this.

// size variation threshold for the SharedObject
private static var SIZEVARIANCE:Number = 5;
private var iS:SharedObject;
private var iSSize:Number;
// standard ASUnit test setup
private function setUp():Void
{
instance = new TestableClassObject();
iS = SharedObject.getLocal("iS");
iS.clear();
iS.data.iS = undefined;
iS.flush();
iSSize = iS.getSize();
}

Some things to keep in mind are the following. The length of the SharedObject name and the length of the data property name will have an impact on the result of SharedObject.getSize(). In the above example I have limited both these values to 2 characters (‘iS’). All that remains is to link the value obtained from this setup function into a standard ASUnit test which looks something like this:

public function testDestroy():Void
{
instance.destroy();
iS.data.iS = instance;
assertTrue("testDestroy : test that the TestableClassObject 'instance' is destroyed successfully by checking size variation (" + SIZEVARIANCE + ") in SharedObject", ((iS.getSize() - iSSize) < SIZEVARIANCE));
}

In this test I am simply calling the target class instance’s destroy method, which should manage the removal of any stored references, arrays and object present in the class. I then save the locally stored instance back to the existing shared object, re-call SharedObject.getSize() and compare the size difference to the value of our initial empty SharedObject (iSSize) from the test setup method.

If the file size of the SharedObject is greater than the SIZEVARIANCE threshold then the test will fail. If that is the case then you have the ability to inspect the shared object using a SharedObject viewer (I use the free Solve by Darron Schall). In the viewer you will be able to see what items are not being properly removed from your class instance oronject. A common issue I have seen is the failure to destroy arrays that are prpperties of my classes for example. Some time over the holiday break I will put together a full example for download.

Forum Nokia launches Flash Lite Developer’s Library

I missed this yesterday. Nokia have released the Flash Lite Flash Lite Developer’s Library 1.1 . One of the important aspects of this launch is the inclusion of documentation for using the new Nokia S60 Platform Services.

The Platform Services enable flash application to access Device Capabilities and services that were previously only possible through third party solutions Such as Kuneri lite.

Here is a list taken from the Using Platform Services section of the new Flash Lite Developers Library.

The S60 platform allows Flash Lite applications installed on S60 mobile devices to:

  • Access and launch applications on a device using the AppManager Service API
  • Access and manage calendar information using the Calendar Service API
  • Access and manage information about contacts using the Contacts Service API
  • Access and manage information about landmarks using the Landmarks Service API
  • Access device logging events using the Logging Service API
  • Access device location information and perform location-based calculations using the Location Service API
  • Access information about media files stored on a device using the Media Management Service API
  • Send, retrieve, and manage messages such as SMS and MMS using the Messaging Service API
  • Access data from the physical sensors of a device using the Sensor Service API
  • Access and modify system information on a device using the SystemInfo Service API

These new API’s are supported through FlashLite 3.x on Series 60 5th edition devices. Flash Lite applications use the S60 Platform Services through Service APIs. The Service APIs are supported through a Nokia-proprietary ActionScript 2.0 library. Before you can create Flash Lite applications that use platform services, you must install the library for use in your Flash Lite applications.

Here is a run down of updates from the Change History section of the Flash Lite Developers Library.

Change history Flash Lite Developer’s Library 1.1

  • Added information on the S60 Platform Services, the corresponding ActionScript Service APIs, and the ActionScript Service object required to access the APIs.
  • Added section “Flash Lite API reference”. This section describes the ActionScript APIs provided by the S60 platform for use with Flash Lite applications.
  • Added section “Flash Lite authoring and optimization tips”. This section provides tips and guidelines for authoring Flash Lite applications and optimizing their performance.
  • Added section “Flash Lite with S60 touch”. This section briefly introduces the touch UI and Flash Lite touch keypad of S60 5th Edition devices and provides instructions for disabling the touch keypad.
  • Added section “Flash Lite example applications”. This section contains links to example Flash Lite applications that you can download to your computer and then to a mobile device or emulator.

Check out the Flash Lite Developer’s Library Here.

Using MTASC to compile Flash Lite (FSCommand2) on OSX


For some time I have used Eclipse, FDT and MTASC as my preferred weapon of choice when doing AS2 development, I switch to Flex Builder for AS3 , Flex or AIR. One spanner in these works when using Mac OSX had been when producing mobile content for FlashLite 2+. Flash Lite 2 and FLash Lite 3 can both use ActionScript 2 and so as MTASC should be able to compile FLash Lite content. However on OS X MTASC still appears to have an issue compiling the FSCommand2() function, this was fixed in teh 1.13 version of the win32 version of the compiler but It seems the OS X version does not include the same fix for FSCommand2(). The FSCommand2() function used in Flash Lite development to control things like the SoftKeys or forcing an application to display at full screen on mobiles or devices.

Last week I took the time to find a way to work around this issue in order to get back to my development tool chain when developing Flash Lite content. For those users that are more experienced with this form of development the only answer seems to be to create a symbol in the library of your fla associate any classes that make use of the FSCommand2 to the new symbol. Make sure the Clip is exported in some fashion, either by physically placing it on the stage, or setting it to export for ActionScript. Next export a stub SWF from the fla. In eclipse, or when using MTASC you will need to use the ‘-keep’ switch on the command line when you run MTASC to compile your Flash Lite content, this will also make sure the Flash Lite swf header will remain in tact as well. This forces MTASC to keep any assets that are already in the target output swf.

It is also worth mentioning that in your application code you will not be able to refer to the class that contains functionality using the FSCommand2. So applications like FDT will think there is an error as you will be unable to define the ‘type’ of your class. A second note is that MTASC will flag that there is a movie clip associated with a class, but that is has not been compiled.


Warning : The MovieClip KeyController needs the class { Class path containing FSCommand2() function } which was not compiled :
Please force compilation of this class by adding it to the commandline.

I have not been able to completely remove the FLA or the Flash IDE completely from my tool chain, but in all honesty I think there are alot of use cases in Flash Lite development that still require a level of timeline usage, so I happy with this compromise.

I have created an example package of files that you can download from here or in the download area.

Flash Lite 3 Training est Bonne!

This week I took 3 days to attend a Flash Lite 3 training course being provided by Adobe software that was presented by Dale Rankine from Moket . It was a fantastic training course, very well presented and chock full of useful information. Thanks to Dale, Suzanne and Adobe for arranging, organizing and presenting the training course.

The training course was held in Paris which meant a broad mix of different european mobile developers were attended. Its the first training course I have attended and I was surprised at the breadth of experience of the other attendees. A range of backgrounds from designers, lectures, flash developers, service operators and also mobile Java developers.

The wide range of knowledge and experience made for great discussions regarding development practices, the future of mobile, and also the part that Flash, Flash Lite or Flash Platform might play in the emerging mobile data and services market place. I imagine it also made for a real challenge to present to us at times!

These are exciting times to be involved in Flash Lite and mobile development in general. Battle lines still seem to be being drawn between a number of companies, technologies, services and a whole mix of different mobile phones and other devices. Training courses and conferences and gatherings like this and LFPUG which bring together such mixed skill sets offer a great chance to get under the marketing hype and speak to the people actually involved.

Very enjoyable and informative, thanks everyone involved.

Flash Player 10 available from Adobe Labs – codenamed “Astro”

I have just popped onto the Adobe Labs website and noticed that Adobe have made version 10 of the Flash Player available for download. The player has the code name “Astro” and looks like it was posted yesterday 15.05.2008.

Key New Features

3D Effects – Easily transform and animate any display object through 3D space while retaining full interactivity. Fast, lightweight, and native 3D effects make motion that was previously reserved for expert users available to everyone. Complex effects are simple with APIs that extend what you already know.

Custom Filters and Effects – Create your own portable filters, blend modes, and fills using Adobe® Pixel Bender™, the same technology used for many After Effects CS3 filters. Shaders in Flash Player are about 1KB and can be scripted and animated at runtime.

Advanced Text Layout – A new, highly flexible text layout engine, co-existing with TextField, enables innovation in creating new text controls by providing low-level access to text offering right-to-left and vertical text layout, plus support for typographic elements like ligatures.

Enhanced Drawing API
– Runtime drawing is easier and more powerful with re-styleable properties, 3D APIs, and a new way of drawing sophisticated shapes without having to code them line by line.

Visual Performance Improvements – Applications and videos will run smoother and faster with expanded use of hardware acceleration. By moving several visual processing tasks to the video card, the CPU is free to do more.

An further note of interest is that the player is released on multiple platforms straight off the bat. Over on the Flash Player 10 Download Page you will find Mac, Windows and Linux verions of the flash player 10.

Full information is available from the Flash Player 10 Labs Page

RIA + OSP = RAA || REA && And how to detect an Open Screen Device

Keeping with the algebraic/code functions as titles from my Last post I thought I would put some thoughts down regarding the news from Adobe earlier this week of their Open Screen Project (OSP). Anyone working in the Web/Internet industry at the moment will be well aware of the Rich Internet/Interactive Application (RIA) moniker. What Adobe is committing to is much larger though this is about true cross platform convergence. Its about Rich Anywhere Applications (RAA) or Rich Everywhere Applications (REA) if you will. You see what I did there 😉 .

Interestingly this is a concept I began to scratched the surface of with my presentation at Flash On the Beach Last Year, and over the last few months has been a subject I have continued to keep close to hand both in my day job and my personal development projects. At the moment the Flash Player Fragmentation offers a considerable challenge to any developer wanting to design and or develop for multiple devices and multiple screens.

Articles like the one posted over at ADC on adaptive screen layouts offer a great foot up. But before we get to visual display we need to know what player version we are targeting. And to do that, we have to hit the time machine button and roll back all the way to Flash 4…..

Continue reading RIA + OSP = RAA || REA && And how to detect an Open Screen Device

FlashLite Helper Classes for Download. Pt 2. NetworkBroadcaster

Following on from the simple BatteryBroadcaster class posted last week I have put together a second helper class for FlashLite, again built in ActionScript 2, so it should work for any FlashLite 2 or FlashLite 3 project. The NetworkBroadcaster class centralises all network and signal related events, and broadcasts any changes to listeners on 2 separate intervals. One for general signal levels, the other for “other” network status events, for example changes in network generation support.
Continue reading FlashLite Helper Classes for Download. Pt 2. NetworkBroadcaster

Mobile web usage nearly equal to PC web in Japan

Via Cameron Moore & Comscore: Over on Authentic Boredom, Cameron Moore draws attention to the huge numbers of mobile web users in Japan. Almost as many web users accessed the web in one form or another using their mobile phone as accessed the internet from a home or work computer in june apparently.

… an estimated 53.6 million people are using a mobile device to access the Internet [in Japan], a figure nearly equaling the 53.7 million who accessed the Internet from either a home or a work computer in June 2007.

However even with such huge usage, user experience seem to be being overlooked.

Only 12.6 percent of respondents accessing the Internet via a mobile device stated that they were either “very satisfied” or “somewhat satisfied”, with 52.1 percent stating that they were either “very dissatisfied” or “somewhat dissatisfied”.

An interesting point to note in the article is which devices are being used.

Sharp has a 21 percent share of the handset market, followed by NEC and Panasonic with 15 percent and 13 percent respectively.

While the numbers I have seen at various web sites are a little old, the devices we seem to favor here in Europe are far different from those quoted above. I imagine though that with the release of more powerful and feature packed phones such as the “Nokia N95” (Nokia) and the iPhone, along with more reasonable data contracts from the likes of T-Mobile and Vodaphone in particular. We should expect to start seeing a greater mobile web usage moving westward.

I know my use of the web has definitely taken a more mobile bent over the last few months.

Adobe Provide FlashLite Side by Side Comparisons

Along with the news of updates for CS3 and Device Central to support FlashLite 3 Authoring from within the CS 3 suite of products. The FlashLite product website has a side by side comparison of various Flash player specifications that are currently being used in Mobiles and other devices.

see the Flash Version Comparison Chart

Some Points of interest for me were the following:

  • The FlashLite 3 player is actually smaller than the FlashLite 2.1 player
  • The minimum memory requirements for the FlashLite 3 player is un-altered
  • The recommended memory is un-altered for for the FlashLite 3 Player
  • There is no improvement in the worst case memory usage of FlashLite 3 content over FlashLite 2.1
  • Added support for meta data in FlashLite 3 Content

Also I see that the FlashLite 3 player has “External API for browser scripting”, assuming there is a mechanism to update the players within device web browsers this may well offer a clean interface for the detection of screen orientation I have been experimenting with lately.

Another interesting point FlashLite 2.1 and FlashLite 3 seem to both offer support for “Complex languages (Thai, Arabic, Hebrew, etc.)”. Yet this is still not supported by the desktop player? Yet.

FlashLite 3 update availible for Flash CS3 & FlashLite 3 update for Device Central

Following the press release announcing FlashLite 3 I proceeded to do some more digging. Wondering how I can start producing this new fangled FlashLite 3 Content, I followed some links through from the new Nokia Mobile Developers Site mentioned in the previous post and found new downloads for updates to Flash CS3 and Device Central at the Adobe Developer Connection Web Site

FlashLite 3.0 Update for Device Central

Flash Lite 3.0 Update for Flash CS3

Interestingly the download for Flash CS3 is rather cryptically called “RobRoy_9_0_0_d156_patch.dmg“? or “RobRoy_9_0_0_d156_patch.exe” for windows?

Adobe Announces FlashLite 3 at MAX Chicago

Adobe have posted a press release today, it seems that they announced the release of FlashLite 3 at Max in Chicago. Included in the release is the well know news from a previous press release that the new Mobile FlashLite player will support the Flash Streaming Video Format .FLV.

Also mentioned in the release is the news the new “community for creative professional” from Nokia. This looks like it could offer a great resource for developers looking to deploy to mobile handsets, and devices.

The Full Press Release can be Found on the Adobe press release site.

Adobe Announces FlashLite 3

The full press release from Nokia covering their support for FlashLite 3 can be found on the Nokia Press Release Site:

Nokia Announce Support for FlashLite 3

Fix for TanTan Flickr & Reports Plugin on WordPress 2.3

Earlier this week WordPress 2.3 was released, and I was quick to upgrade. However it seems two of the plug ins I use on my blog had problems with the new version of WordPress. Both Plug ins were produced by tantannoodles.com / silaspartners.com

Flickr Photo Album for WordPress This needed a line commented out and replaced with an alternative. in the file:

wp-content/plugins/siliaspartners/flickr/admin-options-load.php

Make the following update around line 15.


//changed since WP2.3
//require_once(dirname(__FILE__).$tmpPath.'/wp-admin/admin-db.php');
require_once(dirname(__FILE__).$tmpPath.'/wp-admin/includes/user.php');

Likewise TanTans Google Analytics and Feedburner reports required a similar update. It to referenced the wp-admin/admin-db.php file that has been removed in WordPress 2.3.

in the file:


wp-content/plugins/tantan/wordpress-reports/tantan-reports-load.php

Make the following update around line 14.


//changed since WP2.3
//require_once(dirname(__FILE__).$tmpPath.'/wp-admin/admin-db.php');
require_once(dirname(__FILE__).$tmpPath.'/wp-admin/includes/user.php');

These 2 fixes have been mentioned in other locations but I needed to dig through comments to find them on the TanTan Reports Page and also on the TanTan Flickr Forum Page.

WordPress 2.3 Released

I have just seen on my WordPress dashboard that the new release WordPress 2.3 was released today. Code named “Dexter”.

This release is named for the great tenor saxophonist Dexter Gordon

Download WordPress 2.3, “Dexter”

Also today I found this useful article on using Subversion for managing your WordPress installation.

Installing/Updating WordPress with Subversion

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Updated to 1.2

I use Adobe Photoshop Lightroom for all my Image management now, It has made me far more efficient at getting the photos i take into a semblance of order. This evening as I was about to do a hunt for some specific visuals when Lightroom kindly let me know that there was an update.

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 1.2 Update

Listed in the update are the following

The Adobe® Photoshop® Lightroom® 1.2 update includes these enhancements:

• Corrections for several issues including XMP auto-write performance, Windows Vistaᆴ grid display errors, and noise reduction for Bayer patterned sensors
• Additional camera support for the Canon EOS 40D, Fuji FinePix IS-1, Olympus EVOLT E-510, Panasonic DMC-FZ18, and more

A more complete list of changes can be found in the readme file.

Download the Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 1.2 Update from the Adobe.com site.

Link to Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 1.2 Updater.

Nokia N95 FlashLite 2 Browser Support Screen Shots

Following my initial post last night detailing some of the player information of the FlashLite 2 support in the N95 web browser, and also one of the issues. I thought I would take a quick look at the files from last night with fresh eyes over lunch. I have included a couple of screen shots to show the rotate issue more clearly. The page that is in these screen shots is at the following location.

http://www.bittube.com/flashlite/index.html

In the file I am simply reporting to screen the Player version, the stage width and height, and then also loadin an image thumbnail from my new gallery of animal themed photography

The bottom 2 fields are reporting the FlashLite players fscommand2("GetFreePlayerMemory") and fscommand2("GetTotalPlayerMemory")

In the first screen the FlashLite movie from this URL loads has loaded in the Vertical page format at a resolution of 240×320 (wxh).

Nokia N95 FlashLite 2 Browser Support

In the second screen shot below the browser has been rotated into its horizontal format. This operation does not seem to cause the Stage.onResize event to fire, and the flash movie still reports a resolution of 240×320 (wxh).

Nokia N95 FlashLite 2 Horizontal Browser Support

A side effect of this rotation of the flash movie is that it seems to get scaled down in order to view it in the new format. This means the text becomes unreadable. Very frustrating.

The N95 does support JavaScript in its browser, next step i suppose is to see if that can be used to detect the change in format.

Adobe Releases ‘Adobe Photoshop Lightroom’ 1.0

Found on the Adobe.com home page is the announcement that Adobe Photoshop Lightroom has moved from Labs and beta status to Lightroom 1.0 Release.

I have been using the beta version of Light Room to manage the images from my recent trip (some 3000+ images in various formats) and have really found it an incredibly useful application for organising, sorting and preparing images for print.

The ability to search, filter and sort images via shoot, category and or key words is brilliant. I have also found the simple ‘Develop’ tools great for quick adjustments to Raw images prior to exporting for print.

the full product details are available from the Adobe Photoshop Lightroom product page.

Mobile devices wire framing stencil for OmniGraffle

In an attempt to redress the Good Vibe to Bad Vibe balance that my grumpy post created yesterday I have posted an OmniGraffle stencil for creating Mobile Application Wire Frames and have made it available for download Here.

Mobile Device Wireframe Stencil

For those of you that don’t know about OmniGraffle, it is a great Diagramming tool for the Apple Mac similar to Visio for Windows.

The main OmniGroup website is here where it details OmniGraffle and the other applications OmniGroup produce.

Buy OmniGraffle from Amazon here

Gliffy, web based diagramming application.

Many developers will be aware of Grant Skinners fantastic flash based UML application GModeler. Well while looking around the interweb at diagramming application options on the Mac, other than OmniGraffle, I stumbled accross this great example of a Flash RIA that seems to offer all the functionality you might need. Enter Gliffy.

Not only does it offer UML, but also floor plans, network diagrams, user interfaces. Add to this the export to SVG, JPEG, PNG, Print options and collaborative options as well. Gliffy seems to offer most of what I need from any full price diagramming application. Omni Graffle can wait for now I think.

powered by performancing firefox

Balthaser patent .180 reexamination

As Mike over at Flashgen.com and also Aral Balkan reports it seems someone is looking to contest the ridiculous Balthaser RIA patent that was reported a while ago by a number of Flash developers. I have also been contacted by Oliver Lorenz with regard to providing more information and certainly urge anyone that wants to beable to continue RIA development without the potential of infringing on this patent.

The issue I have with the patent is its broad and sweeping coverage of very common interface and application GUI design systems. As an example reading one portion of the “Summary of The Invention”.

When editing a component, the user may modify a number of features associated with a component including, but not limited to, the volume of an acoustic component, the link between a menu entry and an associated component, the font, font size, color, or effect of a text field, or the layout, size, transparency, rotation, color, position, or level of any graphical rich-media component. The user may modify these components by means of a slider bar or a textual input field. In addition, the user may modify the volume of a sound component by means of up and down volume buttons. The user may undo modifications made to a component’s parameters. The user may also modify the position of a graphical rich-media component by a graphical input field, by clicking and dragging said component, or by text fields. When the user modifies the position of a graphical rich-media component by means of clicking and dragging said component, said component may align itself to a grid point or a guide line. The user may also modify the style and the Uniform Resource Locator (URL) of a component linked to a menu entry.

Unless I am mistaken the recently posted link to Netvibes would actually infringe on this part of the patent. In that the user can select ‘panes’ or ‘graphical rich-media components’ of the netvibes application and alter there position within the application by clicking and dragging them to a new position.

In this example, because there is no specific technology linked to the patent claim, any RIA in any technology, Flash, Ajax, Appolo, XUL Runner, HaXe, Sparkle, add any other future technology here….. These systems would all be in break of the patent claim.

And this is just ONE of the EIGHTY THREE different claims in this patent.

Very worrying I think any developer would agree. Everyone involved in Internet application development, in my opinion, should take a serious look at this patent. Think about ANY work they have done or seen in past. The work they are doing today. Then consider the possible implications of future networked development. If you know of anything that has been posted, exhibited or shown publicly that can bring this patent down, it is in every ones interest to make it known to strengthen the Magix reexamination.

And remember we are not just talking about flash applications or work here. If you remember or are aware of ANY online application, in any technology, be it DHTML, Director, Java or anything else. If it used any, all or even one of these systems to allow user interation then it may well be enough to show that Mr Neil Balthaser did not invent these systems, and certainly has not right to lay claim to doing so as he has in his patent application.

My Little Bit O’ Flash History

With all the bruhaha around Flash being 10 years old I thought I would shamelessly hop on the band wagon. As many will be aware Mike Jones (FlashGen.com) and I have been pumping out all manner of Flash for pretty much the 10 years that Flash has been around. There were some good things some bad things and some ground breaking things that we have pioneered and developed.

As part of Spooky and the Bandit we were privalidged to see the invention of Invisible Buttons and Scoping Buttons, curtosy of Mr Alex Burrows, in Flash 1/Future Wave if memory Serves. Of cource not untill Flash 3 did the then Macromedia offer that helpful transparent rectangle.

At about the Flash 3 launch Mike and I produced some examples and prototypes, one of wich can be found on the Flash 3 Release CD infact. This showed for the first time such novel innovations as seperate layers for code, graphics and sounds. The first example of logic and application state storage built on the now ubiqutous ‘Parked Movie Clip‘ technique.

These were indeed the ‘work around’ years.

Some time into Flash 3’s life cycle Mike and I developed what would become known as the BlooCat engine. A system that allowed a user to control a character in a point and click stylee. The ground work was expanded, extended and polished (credit to Rob Berg on his voice overs and Animation Skillz and to Sam Safi for his Illustration.) into this wonderful nugget of flash 3 history.

Back from the grave, and all thanks to BT Education for allowing its release.

BT Time Trek.

Landrover Go Beyond, Phase 2 Launched

Wunderman Interactive have just launched the second phase to the Land Rover Go Beyond site. The site offers user generated input to the content base and utilises a lot of Flash 8 features, with the back end being controlled through Flash Remoting. The challenges on such a flexible project are immense, it was a pleasure to be involved. Congratulations to everyone who touched the project. I imagine there have been a number of late nights in Camden recently 😀

Flash Localization – Managing Text & Fonts pt.1

I have had a number of emails, messenger texts, and comment’s on my blog, asking for further information from my presentation notes on localizing flash. Localizing flash has such a wide scope of information, when I prepared my presentation I did take the ‘data blast’ approach of delivery.

I had a good idea the area(s) that people might like more in depth information, but I also wanted to take into account some broader work flow and process issues that I feel really need to be discussed. In this post I would like to present some more detailed information regarding one of the slides I used at the LFPUG presentation that, as expected, has generated a lot of feed back.

Managing Text & Fonts

Continue reading Flash Localization – Managing Text & Fonts pt.1