Building real time networked games and applications can be challenging. This tutorial will show you how to connect flash clients using Cirrus, and introduce you to some vital techniques.
Click the start button in the SWF above to create a ‘sending’ version of the application. Open this tutorial again in a second browser window, copy the nearId from the first window into the textbox, and then click Start to create a ‘receiving’ version of the application.
In the ‘receiving’ version, you’ll see two rotating needles: one red, one blue. The blue needle is rotating of its own accord, at a steady rate of 90°/second. The red needle rotates to match the angle sent out by the ‘sending’ version.
(If the red needle seems particularly laggy, try moving the browser windows so that you can see both SWFs at once. Flash Player runs EnterFrame events at a much lower rate when the browser window is in the background, so the ‘sending’ window transmits the new angle much less frequently.)
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MAX is Adobe’s annual conference, where they announce their new products and acquisitions, and give us all an idea of their current strategy. Last year they announced Flash’s 3D API, codenamed Molehill (now called Stage3D); AIR for TV; Edge, their new HTML5 animation tool; and more. There were also puppets. This year, long-time Activetuts+ writer Franci Zidar is at the event and will be filling us in on the details and sharing lots of photos. The second day’s keynote was aimed at developers – that means Flash and HTML5 news. Read on to find out more…
The Future of Flash
The next iteration of Flash Professional (codenamed Ruben) will also let you create sprite sheets from vector animations to get GPU accelerated animations and provide some other GPU acceleration focused improvements.
Check out Unreal Tournament running in the Flash Player (sadly not ported to AS3!)
A lot of the focus at MAX this year was on alternative technologies to Flash for rich media delivery. My guess is that you are already better off building sites requiring simple multimedia experiences with these other web standards since you’ll have a much easier job deploying them for mobile devices or they might, to some extent, work on them by default.
Adobe has also proposed two new features for CSS called CSS Regions and CSS Shaders. Regions allow the creation of scalable text regions of any shape that let text flow through or around them depending on screen size and Shaders create great looking effects and transitions for HTML elements.
So for anyone who finds this fragmented solution too much to handle, you can resort to new technologies like jQuery Mobile, PhoneGap, jQTouch, CSS3, HTML5 and others. All of these are incorporated in the new Dreamweaver so you can build websites for multiple platforms test them at different resolutions and orientations (landscape and portrait) and even deploy applications directly to Android or iOS.
Get Your Hands on the New Toys
For more information about everything announced on Day Two – as well as download links for AIR 3 and Flex 4.6 pre-release – head to http://adobe.com/go/maxday2
MAX is Adobe’s annual conference, where they announce their new products and acquisitions, and give us all an idea of their current strategy. Last year they announced Flash’s 3D API, codenamed Molehill (now called Stage3D); AIR for TV; Edge, their new HTML5 animation tool; and more. There were also puppets. This year, long-time Activetuts+ writer Franci Zidar is at the event and will be filling us in on the details and sharing lots of photos. Read on to find out more…
Creative Cloud and Touch Apps
This year Adobe is shifting its focus to mobile and cloud solutions. The first and the main Adobe keynote address was absent of any mention of Flash and very little if anything was mentioned about its other desktop web authoring software solutions. In fact, yesterday’s main focus was on Adobe’s new Creative Cloud and its new mobile touch applications.
The big news was that Adobe had just acquired TypeKit and PhoneGap and integrated TypeKit into its online service as a part of the Creative Cloud. This will allow its users to license any font from TypeKit library and use it in their projects by embedding the font from their server; to do this, you’ll pay an annual fee instead of having to buy each font for your project. Adobe applications will also be a part of the Creative Cloud service and you will be able to download and use the applications by buying the annual subscription early next year, which is supposed to be “very reasonable”. The applications will be updated directly in the cloud, so you’ll no longer have to wait for (and buy) the full release to receive any bigger updates, as the software will be directly updated through the cloud.
Adobe is now focusing on cloud solutions where all your work and applications can be gathered in one place. The creative community part of the cloud services will offer some interesting features, like sharing your work, including working files which can be previewed, with extracted Kuler color palettes, displayed and hidden layers in Photoshop files, identified fonts from InDesign files and so on. We’ll have to wait and see but the cloud services do seem promising.
Mobile touch applications were another focus of yesterday’s keynote. New applications presented were Photoshop Touch, Proto, Debut, Collage, Carousel and Kuler, all for tablet or mobile. You can check their features at Adobe mobile apps site. Proto was the only one I felt could be actually useful; it’s an application for prototyping websites, with a range of supported gestures. I could easily see myself sitting with a client prototyping the website on the fly on my tablet device. Using Photoshop, Kuler or any other design tool on the tablet… not so much, although the news that Adobe is collaborating with Samsung on creating pressure-sensitive stylus capable tablets is also quite interesting.
What About Flash?
There was a general sense after the keynote address that Adobe is not willing to commit to Flash as its platform of choice and is avoiding the issue while turning to alternative solutions for mobile deployment through PhoneGap and its other digital publishing solutions.
The Community Lounge at MAX
That’s right – Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 is coming! This is being billed by Adobe as an “evolutionary” release in order to provide updates to CS5 and is not a full Creative Suite release. However, with the amount of enhancements, improvements, and just outright new stuff; it’s hard to tell the difference. I’m actually more excited about CS5.5 than I was about the full CS5 release of last year!
Create work for new devices and move designs across media. Develop with HTML5 in Adobe Dreamweaver CS5.5 and with expanded platform support in Flash Professional CS5.5. Boost your video editing efficiency with Adobe Premiere Pro CS5.5 and deliver new reading experiences using InDesign CS5.5. Now including Adobe Audition CS5.5 and Flash Builder 4.5 Premium, Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 Master Collection software enables reaching out to audiences in new ways.
So what are the changes that will be available? You can visit Adobe for a full rundown, but here are the products in Master Collection 5.5 broken down into what is a full update for CS5.5, and what is more of a point release for existing CS5 products:
Full-version CS5.5 products include…
Adobe Acrobat X Pro
Adobe InDesign CS5.5
Adobe Flash Catalyst CS5.5
Adobe Flash Professional CS5.5
Adobe Flash Builder 4.5 Premium
Adobe Dreamweaver CS5.5
Adobe Premiere Pro CS5.5
Adobe After Effects CS5.5
Adobe Audition CS5.5
Adobe Device Central CS5.5
Adobe Media Encoder CS5.5
Updates to CS5 products include…
Adobe Photoshop CS5 Extended
Adobe Illustrator CS5
Adobe Fireworks CS5
Adobe Contribute CS5
Adobe OnLocation CS5
Adobe Encore CS5
Adobe Bridge CS5
What are some of the important highlights? There are quite a few! Enhanced Multiscreen Preview panel, robust jQuery Mobile support, expanded platform and device support, more efficient video workflow, advanced audio-for-video editing in Adobe Audition CS5.5, Warp Stabilizer effect in After Effects CS5.5, performance boost with the Adobe Mercury Playback Engine, Folio Producer tools and enhanced eBook authoring in InDesign, and the addition of Adobe Flash Builder 4.5 Premium!
Yep- Adobe listened to the outcry from Flash developers last year and are including Flash Builder 4.5 Premium in Master Collection and Web Premium! This, along with the mobile Flex 4.5 SDK, Flash Professional CS5.5 with mobile enhancements, and a more friendly relationship between Flash Catalyst CS5.5 and Flash Builder 4.5 make this a must-have release for Flash developers.
This week in the world of RIAs; we’re looking at some examples of Adobe AIR for iOS, discussing Connect Mobile for Android and taking a peek at the awesome 360|Flex developer conference…
Adobe AIR (for iOS) is Everywhere
Now that AIR 2.6 is in the hands of developers, many examples of AIR for iOS have been appearing from both internal Adobe sources and by members of the community. Over the past week, there seems to be a particular emphasis on AIR for iOS applications running on iPad with a focus on how performant it appears in contrast to applications produced with the old Packager for iPhone tool.
Users of Adobe Connect conferencing and collaboration software will be happy to see many of the really useful new features in version 1.5 of their mobile client, now available on the Android Market. This update really takes mobile Connect sessions to the next level with features that used to be desktop-client only!
From what I hear, 360|Flex is going to be a pretty big deal this year. If you are interested in learning about Flex, Flash, AIR, and mobile development using these technologies, then be sure to register for this event. The conference is being held in Denver, CO from April 10th through 13th.
Not only is there going to be a stellar lineup of speakers from the community, but a bunch of people from the Flex, Flash Builder, and Flash Catalyst teams are going to be on site through the conference! Also not to be missed is the RMAUG unconference which takes place over the 11th and 12th along with an expert panel “Open Screen Project: Views From the Trenches” that is open to both 360|Flex attendees and the local Denver community.
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