Flash Help – External help viewer for Adobe Flash CS3

Finally, last night I made it. Its kinda quick and dirty, but it works, at least for me as I want it :). Here a screenshot:


I made this external help viewer for myself, but I thought if anyone who also finds Help Panel in the way most of the time when working in Flash CS3, might like to use it.

Download: FlashHelp_v01.zip

Note: Requires MS. Net Framework v2 or later. Not needed on Vista

// chall3ng3r //

Microsoft Silverlight 2.0 Blasts!

mix-logoI watched the keynote live from visitmix.com, and was thrilled to see great demonstrations done with Silverlight 2.0.

I was just waiting for the mobile part of the Silverlight. There were two demos of Silverlight Mobile, one on a Windows Mobile 6 device, and other was on Nokia N95 8GB. Both applications looked great.

The on-demand stream of the keynote is now available, you can watch the entire keynote, or if you want to just skip to the Silverlight Mobile part, goto 2:12 time, where the demo of the two mobile applications were shown.

You can download Silverlight Beta 1 from Silverlight website, and also download the SDK and tools to develop Silverlight applications from the tools section.

If you are unaware of what is Silverlight, you might also want to take a look at this overview.

MS also released beta version of IE8, which some cool new features. For example, Activities and WebSlices. I really enjoyed the WebSlices idea. Check out the IE8 website for more.

Unfortunately, Silverlight Mobile beta was not released, but there’s a recent update on MIX website about new sessions for IE8 and Mobile.

I’m currently scheduling downloads in my download manager. I’ll post some experiments with Silverlight 2.0 soon.

// chall3ng3r //

Microsoft Silverlight Mobile coming to Nokia, wakeup Adobe!

microsoft_silverlight_cWOW, Nokia and Microsoft getting together to put Silverlight on Nokia devices. This includes Nokia S60, S40 and Tablet (Maemo) devices. Thats really cool!

Nokia’s official press release is here.

Here are some notable excerpts from deferent sources:

The expectation is that Silverlight will be embedded on new Nokia devices and downloadable to those already in the market.

view source

At MIX, Nokia will demonstrate Silverlight applications on its Series 60 and Series 40 handsets, and announce a beta program for its runtime. Phones with Silverlight should be on sale from the end of this year.

Microsoft will be developing a portability kit so Nokia can port Silverlight from the desktop to its mobile platform; that kit eventually will be available to other handset providers as well, Honeybone said.

^ view source

Microsoft chose to work with Nokia because it has the largest market share of mobile phones, but it will sign on with other handset makers to create ports of Silverlight, Case said.

All the main features of Silverlight, including video and interactive Web application development, will be included in all mobile versions.

But there will be some device-specific restraints, which means Microsoft will create editions of Silverlight for different mobile platforms, he said.

^ view source

Support for S40 platform is great move. So, Nokia making Silverlight to their own proprietary S40 platform means other companies can do it as well = more number of devices from mid-level to high-end smartphones.

Microsoft is now looking quite aggressive with Silverlight strategy, which is a good sign. Its always good to have competition.

My thoughts about Flash Lite and Silverlight Mobile

Adobe Flash Lite is here for long time, but it has been moving forward really slow. We have seen three updates to Flash Lite from 2003, but all the updates focused on performance and memory management, except from Flash Lite 1.x to 2, which added AS1/2 support.

Flash Lite is implemented in deferent modes. Which include wallpaper, screensaver, MMI/Phone menu system (Man Machine Interface, only available to OEMs), and standalone. The standalone implementation is something which offer developers to make applications and casual games, but its very much limited with access to device specific functions, like simple File I/O.

Recently released Flash Lite 3 adds FLV video support, but it adds limitation for application to be local-only or network-only. Applications made for Flash Lite 1.1 and 2 which use network fails silently on Flash Lite 3.

The other limitation is Flash Lite player available from Adobe is for developers “only”. Developers cannot distribute it with their games / applications or suggest users to download from Adobe’s website. They have to wait for a year or so, for devices to come with pre-installed version of Flash Lite that application requires.

Adobe have two big products (Flash Cast and Flash Home) which are based on same Flash Lite technology, but targeted towards mobile operators. Not available to developers, even for development.

For what I see is, Flash Lite standalone was developed to prepare developers for Flash Cast and Flash Home products. Flash Lite does not feature proper pack-and-distribute system, like J2ME, PyS60 and now Nokia’s WRT have. But there are solutions like SWF2Go, to tackle that.

Microsoft is coming from behind, and they have been learning from mistakes Macromedia/Adobe made in past. Silverlight Mobile can learn a lot from J2ME and Adobe’s Flash Lite *experiment*.

In another article, I found that Silverlight will eventually come as offline as well, just like AIR. So, we can expect an offline version of Silverlight Mobile as well.

I’m now waiting for the beta version of Silverlight Mobile *runtime* to see what it have to offer for developers.

This post looks a bit anti-Adobe, but its a fact that I’m a long-time Flash / Flash Lite developer and I hope Adobe could see what I have been trying to highlight here :)

// chall3ng3r //

Microsoft’s answer to free Adobe Flex. The DreamSpark!

Microsoft has recently been quite active with big announcements, updates to developer tools and Windows OS.

On Monday, MS announced they will give away VS, Expression and Windows Server absolutely FREE to students worldwide.

Read more here, and here.

Very impressive move to get crowd stick to MS, seems quite workable idea :)

Adobe also recently made available Adobe Flex Builder free to students. MS following the same idea making it head-on competition for RIA development tools.

Microsoft is very good with getting their technology to masses quickly. And they’ve proven record of it. For example, MS .Net Framework. They made it available to public in early beta, released comprehensive SDK with documentation. And did not charged developers to ship .Net runtime with their applications.

Giving away Expression and VS2008 will also boost Silverlight adoption rapidly. More Silverlight applications means, greater number of users downloading Silverlight runtime daily.

Lets see how it goes.

// chall3ng3r //

Microsoft Silverlight getting better

They just announced Silverlight 1.0 RC1 and 1.1 Alpha Refresh. According to blog post by Tim Sneath, MS have fixed 2000 bugs in Silverlight 1.0, that’s really cool.

Read more and download the updates here.

I’m just keen to see the mobile implementation of Silverlight. Lets see when MS release first bits of Silverlight Mobile.

// chall3ng3r //