Montreal AUG meeting July 6th

There is another Montreal Adobe User Group meeting coming up next week, on Wednesday July 6th to be specific. This one is a little different than the previous ones, it's being held at a pool hall and will involve open talk about the designer/developer workflow using Photoshop, Flash Catalyst and Flash Builder. So if you are interested in dropping by, there is a $20 entry fee (hey, there's beer involved) and you can sign up here.

My first Flex 4.5.1 android mobile application

So I finally got myself an Android tablet this passed week and needless to say I've been playing with it ever since. And of course today, I build my first application with it using both the Android SDK and Flex 4.5.1. But it wasn't just click a button and voila! I had to go thru several steps and just wanted to note them all here, just in case someone else is getting started in the mobile development environment anytime soon and will be going thru the same thing as I experienced.

Before I get started, the tablet I bought is the Asus Eee Pad Transformer TF101, which you can read all about here. Its a nice 10 inch tablet at an affordable price of $399 CAD. And my PC is running Windows 7 Service Pack 1.

So here are the steps that I took to build my first "Hello World" application:
  1. Enable Debug mode on your device.
  2. Download and install the USB driver for your device. The Android web site links to whole list of OEM sites, so you can find the one for your device. In my case, Windows 7 installed it on its own.
  3. Download the latest Android SDK from here. I downloaded the zip version and extracted to my folder of preference.
  4. Since we are using Eclipse for our development, install the ADT plugin by following the instructions on this page. I am using Eclipse Helios (3.6).
  5. Once the ADT plugin is installed, start Eclipse and go to Window > Android SDK and AVD Manager. You can now download and install some extra components related to the Android SDK. The most important one as I recall is the "Android SDK Platform-Tools".
  6. Again within the Android SDK and AVD Manager (see above step), under Virtual Devices, add your device... I just had to specify Name, Target, SD Card size.
Once I had done all these steps, I was ready to rock'n'roll. Once way to check that your device and your PC are talking to each other is to do the following:
  1. Open a console window
  2. Goto <android sdk>\platform-tools folder
  3. Run the following command: adb devices
You should see your device listed with some alphanumeric identifier assigned to it. If you dis-connect it from the USB port and run this command again, you should see that the device is no longer listed.

The next thing that I did was to create a Flex Mobile Project and just add a label to the UI and set its text property to "Hello World". Then I ran the application and voila, the application was compiled and auto-deployed and auto-launched on my device!

NOTE: Make sure that the Run Configuration has it's Launch Method set to On Device.

I hope these steps help out all those that are getting started in Android development with Flex!


Dreamweaver 5.5 is solid for HTML development

I recently upgraded to CS5.5 and I've been using Dreamweaver to build an HTML5/jQuery site with PHP on the server-side and I must say, it is one good product. It has everything you need a modern day development tool, from code-hinting (for HTML5 and PHP), to a design view (so you can see what you are building) and easy remote server synchronization.

Also, the CS5.5 release added much needed code-hinting for jQuery, one of the best JavaScript frameworks out there IMHO (I don't know where I'd be without it for JavaScript development). They have taken the jQuery support one step further and also added templates for jQuery Mobile, so you can use the framework to build mobile applications as fast as possible. There is further evidence of mobile development, in the way of support for CSS3 media queries and a magic "Multiscreen" button in the toolbar that allows you to preview what your page will look like on a phone, tablet or browser all in one go. Needless to say, Adobe has added some nice features to support current development trends.