There has been a great deal of talk about quality of the Flash Player lately in relation to discussions on ‘the device that shall remain nameless’. In my opinion, considering the fact that the Flash Player is backwards compatible with 10 versions, has two complex virtual machines in it, and the fact that it has to run within browser environments on multiple operating systems and chipsets, it is amazing how stable the software really is.
That being said, software is software, and since the invention of modern computing bugs have been the one constant. While our quality control teams run tens (if not hundreds) of thousands of tests on every single build and release, the best test is to see how those pre-release builds run your content.
If you have not downloaded the new beta of AIR and Flash Player, I (along with other Adobe folks) are asking you a favor. Please go download the public betas now and test it on your content. If you find a bug, you can publish it in our public Flash Player bugbase. Not only will we thank you for taking the time to do this, but your users will thank you as well.
Here is how you can get involved:
Download and install Flash Player 10.1 Beta 2 and AIR 2.0 Beta 2.
Log bugs at bugs.adobe.com.
If you are looking to hire someone who knows Flash platform technologies, or you are a developer looking for a new gig, I have started a new Twitter identity that might help out. Go and check out @flashjobs.
Over the past few years I have probably seen hundreds of requests from agencies, small businesses and enterprises who are struggling to find developers with Flash, Flex or AIR experience. Usually I would pass them on to recruiters or every once in a while I would pass them on to someone that I knew was looking for work. Despite the current economic conditions, I am still getting requests.
In the never ending quest to remove things from my inbox, I setup this account on Twitter where I will be posting job listings that I find worthy of the great developers who are following the account. It will be a short description of the listing and a URL for more information.
If you would like to post a job to this account, please send an email to email@example.com with a URL to the job listing and a short description. I will then post it to the Twitter account for developers to see. For developers who are following the account, you can be instantly notified through Twitter of new openings that are available by following @flashjobs. If you are looking for a good Twitter desktop client, check out TweetDeck.
Just as a quick FYI, I also have @flexjobs, but I don’t plan on using it at the moment. All Flash platform related jobs will be posted to this one Twitter account for the time being.
Over the past few days I have been working on an Adobe AIR application that I would like to put some ads it to monetize it. Before you start complaining about advertising in applications, just remember that advertising is put in so that big brand companies can pay the bills instead of you.
As I was researching solutions for this, I visited the sites of the usual suspects: AdSense, AdBrite, AdMob (hmm, do I see a pattern here) etc. I kept running into a brick wall though. None of these platforms support desktop applications or even some kind of branded application. I wouldn’t mind putting a small banner, or a footer that says ‘This app sponsored by Big Name Company’ all in return for a modest monthly payment or CPC/CPM.
So, I guess my question is, do you know of any solutions that would meet my needs? Or maybe I should just charge users $5 for the application and be done with it. Of course that means I will have to build my own payment infrastructure. Why is it so hard for me to take people’s money!
If you have written an AIR based application, and have yet to post it to the Adobe AIR Marketplace, now is the time. Last night we updated the Marketplace and it has a new look and feel and has added numerous new features. You can upload your AIR application file, manage your profile, and monitor downloads, ratings, and reviews of your application. You can also add a link so that users can purchase your application before users download it.
In this video tutorial, I share a technique that I use for creating custom chrome for your windows in AIR when using Flex. There is also another tutorial for doing something similar in Flash presented by Lee Brimelow on Adobe TV.
I recently recorded a few video tutorials which I will be posting here on my blog. These videos can also be found on Adobe TV
I know that all the talk of the weakening economy has you down, but guess what? There is a way to pocket a ton of cash by doing what you probably already do well: building an application using Flash, Flex, or AIR that uses the Ribbit platform. Ribbit has announced the $100,000 Killer App Challenge. This contest will award $100k in prize money to developers in five categories who submit applications that use Ribbit technology.
Ribbit allows you to very easily build voice enabled Flash applications, so even if you don’t sign up for the contest, this is some very cool technology to play with. But come on, if $100k in prize money doesn’t give you an incentive to try it out and build an app, I don’t know what will!
I am also happy to announce [in a slightly evil and sarcastic tone] that along with Lee Brimelow and Matt Chotin, I will be one of the three judges for the contest. There is a little less than three months left in the contest, so you better hurry and sign up, and get working on your app! And just as a note, this contest is open to US AND non-US residents.
Just a quick update that a new version of TwitterCamp is available (see http://www.danieldura.com/twittercamp.) This is a pretty major release, as it adds support for the new Twitter search API, and removes the requirement for you to authenticate, or for people who want to post to the application to follow you. All they have to do is follow the search terms that you input into the application.
Also, I added a configuration panel for more easily updating the skin. Now you do not need to recompile the application to re-skin TwitterCamp. Just launch the configuration panel which appears on launch, or can be accessed through the context menu.
Please let me know if you have any questions or suggestions for features. Of course, now I need to spend a little time focusing on the upcoming Moderator update.
This is just a quick post to update you on the progress of the WordPress comment moderation application that I am building. It is coming along very nicely, and I should have a beta early next week. Unfortunately I spent a full day trying to get my WordPress installation back up and running after a botched upgrade to 2.6. Just two notes about that, make sure and disable plugins and clear your cookies!
Back to the application, the first version is going to be pretty simple and will only moderate comments for a single blog. I have heard many requests for multiple blog support, that looks like it will be the first feature added after an initial release. The first release will only support WordPress 2.6+, as that is the only version I am testing it against. Last but not least, I have received a few questions about this being open sourced. I am sure I will open source it eventually, but it isn’t the highest priority right now. Once I get an initial stable version out, I should be able to get the code to a place where that is possible.
Anyways, keep an eye out on this blog early next week for the beta. (As for this weekend, I am going to be gutting out a rental house after some of my tenants trashed it, oh joy!)
UPDATE: This application is now available. Please see the following page: http://www.danieldura.com/moderator/
I wanted to give everyone a quick sneak peak of something I am working, that I should be releasing next week. As you can tell by the footer on this page, this blog is powered by WordPress. I have found WordPress to be one the best, most feature rich, well coded, and well designed publishing platforms. It is easy to update, is customizable, and most importantly (for me atleast) is very extensible.
One problem I have though is that the dashboard is a web based application in my browser and one of the functions I use the most is, comment moderation, only sends notifications via email. What I really wanted was a desktop solution to alert me when new comments are awaiting moderation.
I did find one solution, but it is only on Windows. Man, I really wish there was a way to have a cross platform application that even allowed me to approve and deny comments from my desktop. Hmm… what could I use…
As you probably figured, AIR is a PERFECT candidate for this use case, and so I just went ahead and built an app myself. This screenshot is the application actually working. I have it running against a local version of a WordPress installation. It gives alerts when new comments are awaiting moderation, tells you how many comments are awaiting moderation in the dock menu, and allows you to approve comments, mark them as spam, or delete them.
If you want to try out the application, you will have to wait a week or two. I still have a few bugs to fix, and I want to test it out against a real installation first, probably mine (or maybe my brother’s since he doesn’t seem to be posting much lately.) If you have any feature requests or if you think this is interesting, please feel free to leave a comment, it will give me a chance to test out the app as well!