Adobe AIR 2.6 released

Adobe released yesterday AIR version 2.6 which contains numerous changes. One of the big things with this release is to bring back iOS support to AIR development. As you know there was a big hoopla last year about other development tools compiling for the iOS platform, well since the change late last year, companies like Adobe can again support iOS development (using AIR in this case) once again.

The biggest change that I see and welcome, cause I actually tried to do AIR development on my iPhone 4 late last year, is that the Packager for iPhone (PFI) is no more, the AIR Developer Tool (ADT) which comes standard with the AIR SDK, now handles the iOS platform as well; making it easier to package and deploy an application to an iOS device.

Of course there are numerous changes, and rather than me listing them all here, some other wonderful people have done that already, so there is a nice feature list (courtesy of Christian Cantrell) and quick video (by Ryan Stewart) showing off some of the new features.

You can download the Adobe AIR 2.6 SDK here and get the run-time here.


Flex is sexy

This week I got called into my President's office to talk about the new web application I've been building over the past few months. He wanted to comment on certain elements of the UI, some of which are little changes that totally make sense to me and that I will certainty do.

However he got me at the "it's not so sexy". He tried to explain it to me, but he couldn't find the correct words to express what he meant by that. So I tried to ask him various questions, such as: is it the colors? Do elements look floating in space? Are elements misaligned? And he would always answer with "it's not sexy". He then went about telling me how the first 9 children (applications) I had built were sexy and how this one was not. How it wasn't very Apple-like. Then it hit me, the first 9 applications are all Flex based! And this last one was purely done in HTML.

This reminds me of how the Flex engineers are always fond of saying how alot of Flex applications use the default theme, and that skinning is not done as often as they would like. Of course they were saying that about Flex when it was version 2/3, and hence we got version 4, were you can skin everything about it to your hearts content. Needless to say, I use the default theme, cause skinning is just not a priority for us.

So now I have to go make little visual changes, meaning make changes to the CSS, and possibly even add some gradients here and there to give it more umph! Not to say it's not possible, it totally is... just that... all this to say... with only that default theme... Flex is sexy :)


Molehill demo

Here is a demo of the 3D capabilities found in the Flash Player version codenamed "Molehill" (will this be in Flash Player 11 some day?). Actually the demo compares the performance of the "Molehill" APIs versus how things run in version 10 and it is impressive. Go check it out!

Flex testing frameworks

As we all know, creating applications is loads of fun, but since we are not perfect developers, we do tend to create applications with bugs in them (but you know, that doesn't happen often :) ). And because of that, we need to properly test our applications, including our Flex/AIR applications. I have mentioned various testing frameworks many times on my blog, but just came across this list of 10 unit testing frameworks with a brief description to each.

Not on this list if RIATest, an application used to perform recording and playback of Flex/AIR applications, which is what we use at my company.

In any case, research and use the one you fell is best for the job so that you can deliver the best applications out there!