Factum Vicesimus Quartus

Exploring web x.0, innovation and RIA techniques

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Finally! After a great week of feature lists (by Ted Patrick) and quite some speculations on when the beta of Flex 3 would see its first daylight, here it is! It just got released together with the beta of Adobe AIR, which is the new name for Apollo and a new update for Flash Player 9. There is a big list on the Adobe Labs Wiki with a lot of Feature Introductions concerning Flex 3. It looks very promissing and great!

Download the new stuff from Adobe Labs or directly from:

Flex 3 Beta
Adobe AIR (Apollo)
Flash Player 9 update

Flex book component (alpha)

June 7th, 2007  |  9 Comments

Sitting first row (next to Ruben), I have watched my fellow trainee Ruben Swieringa working on his pageflip book in Flex for the last few months now. And I must say that it’s already the best pageflip book out there, as far as I know. It includes features as pageflipping, hardback option for every page, tearing-a-page-out functionality, automatic flipping, support for transparent pages and a lot more. Go check it out by clicking on the preview-image below. Read more overhere…

Flex Pageflip Book alpha

Very impressive Ruben! Keep up the great work!

Adobe Flex 3 sneak preview

May 30th, 2007  |  10 Comments

Today we got to see one of the first sneak previews of Flex 3 by Waldo Smeets and I must say that there are some very nice features and improvements coming up in this new release. All of the new features which were shown us today are still in the ‘thinking’ process so they might not even survive till the official release but most will I think! A public beta release will be published on Adobe Labs very soon according to Waldo and the official release will be somewhere at the end of this year I guess. I summed up some of the cool new features below.

Flex Builder 3

One of the new features is that the Apollo SDK will be integrated in Flex 3 from the beginning on so you don’t have to download a patch to ensure the functionality in Flex anymore. Another great thing in the new version will be, and they listened very good to the users of Flex over at Adobe for this one, is the ability to zoom in the Design View. You can zoom up to 500% (at least in this early build). The datagrid has also improved a lot (this is the one component where Flex users get a lot of problems with), there will be an Advanced DataGrid with support for multiple sorting, merging cells, tree-like structures within the datagrid and some other cool new features. Furthermore, the new Flex will allow you to select the version you want to compile for, Flex 2.0.1 hotfix 2 or Flex 3 were in that list in the preview. Also new is the Profiler which lets you build another version of your project from which you can review a lot of statistics, including memory usage of each separate component in your project, etc. The last new feature I want to name is ‘Refactoring’. This allows users to select for example a function name, and then quickly rename this in your entire project. So every copy of the function name in the entire project will be renamed in one click. A very good feature in my opinion. I hope the beta will be released soon because I’m very eager to start working/testing with it!

Reflection Manager 1.0

May 29th, 2007  |  31 Comments

I have updated my Reflection Manager to version 1.0. I have implemented a blurring option like suggested in the comments on my previously posted version (0.9). I have also built in the functionality to update the reflection when its target component is dragged or resized. Furthermore I made some minor updates to improve the performance even a little more. I hope this will be of some good use to you. Let me know when you use it, what you think of it and/or if you have found a bug or have other suggestions on improving it. Thnx!

Open the Reflection Explorer (right-click for the source).
Open the source-view directly.

Adobe Live 2007, here I come!

May 29th, 2007  |  1 Comment

Tomorrow, I’m going to Adobe Live 2007, the Dutch edition. It’s held in the RAI in Amsterdam and I’m looking forward to going, together with my fellow trainees from <theFactor.e>, Ruben Swieringa and Niels Bruin. Some interesting things to see I think. Especially the Flex 3 sneak preview by Waldo Smeets. But also ActionScript 3.0 with Joey Lott, Apollo for Developers with Mike Downey and a lot of new CS3 software talk will be quite interesting to see. I have created my own version of the program so I know where to be at what point in time to see the most interesting things in my humble opinion. This is what I came up with:

Adobe Live 2007 morning program Adobe Live 2007 afternoon program

Hope to see you all there!

ReflectionManager v0.9

April 26th, 2007  |  9 Comments

<– I have updated the Reflection Manager. The new version can be found overhere –>

Last week I needed a reflection at the bottom of the application I was working on. After searching the internet for a while I found some reflection classes on my favorite Flex resource, Flexbox. But after testing 2 of these I saw that the smoothness and speed of my application was decreasing drastically. So I took some time to figure out the structure of the reflection and came up with some ideas on improvements that I could built in. I wrote a new Reflection Manager, which I think is a little more efficient in some ways. I separated the bitmapdata for the alpha gradient and the component copy so that I can update them separately and then combine them into 1 bitmapdata by using the copyPixels method. I did this so it only draws the alpha gradient bitmapdata once and only updates the component data when the Flex UpdateEvent occurs. When the component or the reflection is resized, it also updates the alpha gradient data. This saves quite some CPU power.

ReflectionManager v0.9

The height of the bitmapdata is equal to the height given by the user for the reflection and not the entire height of the component your reflecting. Less pixels are drawn this way which you don’t see after all. There are still some improvements to be made but it’s a good start I think. Check it out!

Open the Reflection Explorer.
View source.

Let me know what you think, suggestions on how to improve the Reflection Manager are welcome as always.