Flurry API in Mono for Android

Hi Everyone,

We have been using Mono for Android at Taste Filter since may. I love coding in C#, it is much faster than coding in Java with all the shortcuts (events, delegates, actions, etc). Mono for Android is generally very good too.

One thing that is lacking, is the amount of Bindings available for it. We need fairly specific analytics at Taste Filter, since we are introducing new ways to interact with content, new touch enabled controls. We want to know what is going on; how people are interacting with it. Have using Google Analytics isn’t stellar; we want a better tool. More reporting, more information passed to the system gathering the stats.

I tried using the automated process for creating a binding from a JAR, but it didn’t yield good results; lots and lots of errors which I did not understand; didn’t seem to be documented.

Continue reading

The Notman House Project

First this is purely and entirely my own opinion.

If you go over to the project’s website, you get this little summary:
Built in 1845, Notman House is a historic landmark property located at the intersection of Montreal’s downtown core and creative Plateau neighborhood. It has, thanks to the community‚Äôs role, become a beacon to entrepreneurship, open collaboration and peer-to-peer learning. Currently, Notman House offers short-term office space for early stage technology Startups, office space for venture investors and entrepreneurial support organizations, a co-working space for freelancers, and an event space for Startup and tech community events.

And before that, you get a clear overview of who put money into the project. Those are private firms, investment bodies, and different levels of government. This project is, clearly, backed by all powers that be.

Why isn’t it picking up steam?
I bet some people are scratching their heads right now trying to understand why it hasn’t picked up more steam. I mean they did everything they had to do right?

  • They created a nice video,
  • They were very transparent about the state of things
  • They managed to get a bunch of money from well established investors / public bodies
  • They got plenty of press coverage (la presse, le devoir, to name just 2), everyone in montreal knows about the project I am sure
  • And following well known statistics, you got a big push on the first day because it is known that projects which reach a certain threshold on the first day have a much better success rate.

Technically all the elements are there. But they overlooked something very fundamental in the process. It is so fundamental that even the name of the platform they chose contains the exact reason why it isn’t picking up steam. And what is that?

Continue reading

Tutorial – Creating a reusable Slider Control / Component

Hi Everyone,

Today I will cover the subject of creating a reusable slider control which takes two bitmaps as resources. The thumb bitmap will slide on the rail bitmap. It is a very simple concept!

We will basically take this image:
and this one:
and make this (try it, move that knob):

In fact, the code you are about to write will take ANY two images and create a slider with them. Just like magic, as long as your images make some sense ( a track and a button ), it should be golden!

Starting Point
When I started writing this tutorial, I was still using the Flash IDE; but since then I am free!! I now use exclusively FlashDevelop. With that in mind, the package to start the coding, if you want to follow along is here. You will need FlashDevelop & the Flex SDK 3.4 or newer.
Continue reading

Tutorial – Multi Touch in AS3 / Flash Player 10.1 – Part 2. TouchEvent & MouseEvent Sequences

Hi Everyone,

In this installment I will cover the TouchEvent and how it is intertwined with MouseEvent. First you need to understand that touches will fire MouseEvent‘s too. You will get a TouchEvent first, then a MouseEvent. This can prove annoying in some cases, and good in others.

For the complete listing of TouchEvent‘s as well as some basic description of the information it carries please refer to this page.
Continue reading

Tutorial – Consuming REST web services in ActionScript 3 – Part 4

Hi Everyone,

this is a follow-up to the following posts:

In this post, I will add code to identify each request uniquely, give you a class called “AbstractClient” that will handle most of the mechanics and is easily extended. The idea is to give you a base on which to build. Essentially, for every service call you will want to make you will need 2 functions:

  • A public function that will send the request out
  • a protected function that will receive the response, digest it and dispatch an event

For those who’d like to go ahead and enjoy the goods right away, I will write this tutorial so it can be read and understood on it’s own.

Continue reading

SWF TextField Factory — Dynamically Loading Fonts in AS3 using Flex SDK 3.4

Hi Everyone,

it has been a long while since I wrote! Been busy. Now I have some time and the first thing I did is to get away from the Flash IDE completely. I had been waiting to be able to debug directly in FlashDevelop for a while, tried some extension that didn’t work, then Philippe did actually fix another one and it works beautifully. You can find the link here, look for Version 0.9.7 at the bottom of the first post. Unzip into your FlashDevelop plug-ins folder, restart FlashDevelop and bravo!

So I am Flash IDE Free!! Woohooo. Then the first thing I wanted to master is the Preloader, and FlashDevelop has a very nice “AS3 with Preloader” project template. It is very easy to work with. Very beautiful.

Now the next challenge, loading fonts dynamically. Euh, well, I used to do it from a FLA, was easy. But using the Flex SDK 3.4 it seems that some things changed. After HOURS of playing around, I ended up with the following system:

  • embed the font inside of a swf that contains a Main class + the font class
  • create a function that will spawn textfields already using the font inside this Main class

Although this system has some limitations, it works beautifully.

Continue reading

Study – The Video Players of Social Networks (YouTube, DailyMotion, Veoh, Vimeo, GoogleVideo, Flickr)

Hi Everyone,

I am doing research on which video player I can easily embed inside of an AS3 application. I had these players in mind: DailyMotion, Vimeo, Veoh, Youtube, GoogleVideo, and the DivShare player as a fallback. Right of the bat, the following players are still in AS2:

  • YouTube
  • DailyMotion
  • DivShare
  • GoogleVideo

While these are in AS3:

  • Vimeo
  • Veoh
  • Flickr

Continue reading

Tutorial – Creating Custom Components (Visual Controls) in pure AS3 – Part 1

Hi Everyone,

Looking back at the last 4-5 years I spent developing Flash widgets & applications (again, I do NOT participate in marketing efforts.. so no micro-sites or bogus games for me) I realize that one of the core abilities of a good Flash application developer is his ability to develop components from scratch. The better you get at this, the more valuable you become. At first you try to develop simple components: buttons, radio buttons, check boxes, thumbnail viewers; then move on to more difficult ones: accordeons, tooltips, tabbed panels, tree controls.

Imagine, whatever your client asks you, you say: “Yes I can do”. This ability is very precious, it takes years of efforts to develop properly but once you have acquired it, there is no limit to what you can do. W/o this ability, you are limited to what you can integrate from libraries or packages. You can compare this to the difference between a composer and a DJ. The DJ can only mix tracks, but the composer can actually make up any music he wants!

Last summer I had a big challenge while working for Adobe: rebuild the DataGrid to enable it to show multiple levels of data, with animated filtering. It works, however is hasn’t been integrated inside of the Verizon Wireless Media Store yet, maybe one day!

Since that challenge, my perspective changed; in fact the experience at Abode proved very instructive. I have to thank Paul, Josh, Dave, Tommy, and Bjorn for this.

In this article I will describe the foundation of most of the custom components I build, a simple class called BaseControl. The ideas behind this class come from a Tutorial I first read in 2004 from Joey Lott, which I implemented in AS2 and then migrated to AS3.
Continue reading

Tutorial – Implementing your own CallLater function is AS3 (Flash or Flex)

Hi Everyone,

Although I am not a big fan of the CallLater function in Flex’s UIComponent, I must admit that it is sometimes handy. Here is how you can implement your own CallLater function, this code can be incorporated inside of any class, enabling you to add functions that are called after the current thread of execution has been depleted.

Continue reading