Friday, 28 December 2007

Skinning Flex Applications

Comparative between Flex 2 Style Explorer and Style Creator

After working for a while with these application websites, I wrote something about it.

Flex 2 Style Explorer has been developed by Adobe Consulting, you can access there directly from the link above. It has all the components menus on the left. It reminds me of old frame websites, this is a personal opinion but I´d rather the presentation as it is in Style Creator

Style Creator has been developed by the team of FlexOnRails, once in their website go to the right and click on myApps where it says Flex CSS Editor, it opens in a blank window.

What can I tell about them?
I tend to think both have been developed for designers or for creative programmers as we lastly hear. None of them can save your parameters while you are working, unless you export the CSS. So if you´ve been working half ana hour with colors and sytles and your browser hungs up, you will lose everything cos Firefox does not recovers the parameters.

To tell the truth, the best funcionality I find on these applications is the color. But, if this is thought for designers there should be a ColorPicker to take any color of the browser, in the way Photoshop does, specially because we are working with gradients.

There are some things we miss in one and the contrary. For example Style Creator forgets about the toolTip and Style Explorer about Text. That´s why I strongly recommend to use both at the same time and them cut and paste to make one stylesheet. Style Explorer will create the class myTitleStyle. I prefer to do it on my own, but this is personal.

One of the critics that Flex had in its first version was thas every application looked the same, same look & feel for all, specially because no skinning was donde. In the while for Adobe Thermo what seems to be more interesting is playing with the Application backgroundColor and the Components backGroundColor. This is desperating in this apps cos you have to enter component by component if you want to change all the components backgroundColor at one time. Not the way a designer would do it.

When exporting to CSS, Flex 2 Style Explorer copies the content in the notepad while Style Creator creates the .css directly. In both you can edit it while skinning components, but not the whole .css.

Your .css will have an aspect like this (a fragment):

Application {
backgroundColor: #5795c6;
backgroundGradientAlphas: 0.1, 1;

Accordion, ApplicationControlBar, DataGrid, DateChooser, List, MenuBar, NumericStepper, Panel, TextArea, TextInput, ToolTip, Tree{
backgroundColor: #d4f4ff;

Lastlty, I miss a preload skinning that could be here perfectly.

Wednesday, 26 December 2007

Blade Runner, Last Version

"I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die…."

I went last week to see the Original version of Blade Runner, I cannot see if it is still availble, I think it isn´t.

It was ten years since I last saw it so the impact was total. I hadn´t time even to think whether Deckard was a replicant or not, as many say (you shall read about this debate in Microsiervos). To tell the truth, I think Roy is much better, isn´t it? They say the actor invented the final monologue seen below. Curious...

If you are interested in the original scriptl here.

Monday, 10 December 2007

Adobe changes the look!

Following changes in the Developer Centre, Adobe has changed all its page.

I would say they´re still in trials as I see some fails for example while you try to log in.

In the home we see the more benefit patents of Adobe (pdf, Swf), Acrobat Connect and CS3.

More technological, we lose the white backgroundColor. Flex Invasion?

Tuesday, 4 December 2007

Adobe Thermo, Trailer

What is this exactly?
A new tool for designers to make applications without coding or a tool for programmers to design easily?

I come up with Adobe Edge Newsletter. Here is something we´ve been waitting for. At least all of us who are in the frontier between design and programming.

We had seen something about this in Adobe Labs, but here our friend Julie (same people who showed us Adobe CS3) presents something as a Trailer of Adobe Thermo.

Truely, I hope I can use this tool in a short period of time. There are two things very amusing: Seeing a designer trying to program an OOP application and seeing a programmer designing.

I didn´t expect an interfaze as the one shown. It looks like a tool more for Flex than for any other use. Maybe it is because Flex is a new technology and we don´t know yet how will designers do. Fireworks, Photoshop, Thermo?

Monday, 3 December 2007

Who watches the Watchmen?

In one year time aprox I venture everypeople will talk about this. I have just read again Watchmen. I hadn´t done it in 15 years or more. What can I say? I used to like more 'V of Vendetta' but I think this one is definetely better. If you hadn´t read it you should do. Joined with Dark Night (Frank Miller - Batman) I think these are the best graphic novels of history.

I have found some interested information about the comic here, and some about the film here. If it is as good as Sin City I am in the countdown to go and see it.

Why is it so successfull? I have some answers: antiheroes, narrations in first person, eighties and cold war, flash-backs, graphism... Well, can you answer me a question: Which is the character you like more? and why?

Monday, 26 November 2007

Magenta Freedom!

From ElMundo I come across T-Mobile trying to make the pattent of Magenta Colour. The response to all this if the collective website freeMagenta. Take a look!

Thursday, 22 November 2007

Actionscript Flash minigames

I rode recently some post about the ten most addictive flash games in Crave. So I decided to study about it.

First of all is that they advice you about the risk you are taking watching these links in your job. You could be fired!
The list was composed by: Bejeweled, Chimgam, Bow Man, Desktop Tower Defense, Neopets Hasee Bounce, Line Rider, The Last Stand, Portal, The Helicopter Game and YetiSports.

It´s a long time since I used to play games. What could I say? Well, there are no my preferred ones (Rastan Saga, Lemmings) but talking about colours is as talking about colours

I shall say that my ex workmate used to spend hours playing Desktop Tower. About Line Rider all of us have heart, I dunno if it was last year or the year before. Last Stand reminds me of the games of first generation of personal computers. Lastly I found Hellicopter Game as "Fly the copter" in other site.

I surfed a little more and found more attractive Flash games as Stackopolis or Weewar. You can find more in minijuegos, Kongregate or Newgrounds. If you are interested in playing as Wall Street with websites try Urladex.

By now I let you this parody of Star Wars with a very cool intro!
Haunted House Candy Hunt
Help Jek Porkins and Ponda Baba to get into the enchanted mansion. Move with cursor. Press A to start!

Monday, 12 November 2007

Using Invisible Button instead of Enable

Sometimes designers make their best programming.

Problem: In an application I had lots of buttons and forms. If the user pressed the button A, every element of the stage would be disabled cos a flying window will be shown.
The first solution I had was making a function disableStage() so as to disable every forms and buttons on the Stage. The problem was that I had many Forms in different classes (lots of lines of code).

So I designed and invisible button, gave it _alpha=0, visible=true, and useHandCursor=false, adjusted its depth and problem was solved. I put this button just in the layer down button A.

Instead of many lines of code disabling things, my button allowed me to enable or disable Stage with functions enableStage() and disableStage().

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

A bit of humour: WhoNeedsDesigners, the IT-Crowd

I assure you I have had these kind of problems, specially the ones related to colour and emotion

The campaign is very amusing although I cannot say if its is efective. Who can? I think it is focused on designers.

The IT-Crowd
These three freak men, geek I would say, they´re the best in ages! Specially if you´ve worked on an IT-Dept.

What about Google PageRank?

These days I have read a lot of post about Google Page Rank, more in the american sites.

I tend to think we have just had another GoogleDance, the period where websites pageranks are upgraded. In fact in my spanish blog I have reached PR6, and in the englis version PR5 (I had PR0).

For me is not something specially exciting cos I am not blogging for money.

But, why PR6? I have made some web surfing about it. I think there are some possible causes:
- This is a Blogger blog, indexed by Google, although I know some google blogs with PR1
- I am sindicated in MXNA
- I have agregated my url in Google, Yahoo and MSN
- I have agregated my url in Dmoz and Technorati
- the number of pages linking here.

Anyway, these is just chatting, this is only just pure mathematics, in MiPageRank you can see details about the algorithm, also in wikipedia, Google, or in the blog of MichaelMüller, where he talks about changing it for Orion.

There are many amusing sites about this, as miWebRank, where you can generate tags to show your PR

Mi WebRank

Also in PageRankTraking, where you can customize the PR Draw.


Actually if you are interested in statistics I would use besides Alexa, webSiteGrader, Nielsen and GoogleAnalitycs.

Monday, 5 November 2007

Speak Up, Trochut, Vasava, FFFFound y MarlenAgency

I dunno if this was the correct order but this tittle is just describing my trip along the internet this evening.By Speak-Up, dialog on design, I visited FFFFound, another way of finding images, and good ones! Later I reached Alex Trochut. I always had wondered who was the designer of this draws of Budweiser. Ok, he was! I took a look at his portfolio, sometimes he uses the same technick but I like.
I had some investigation on this and discovered that this work (Budweiser) was made for Vasava, the spanish Design Studio. So I went to Vasava and found the Nike Campaign which I liked very much, although I would have painted the shoes in red. I wonder how much work of Vasava is being made by others. I don´t have anything against Outsourcing, moreover, I have lived from it for a while, and not bad. Just curiosity...

Last place and dedicated to Curiosa, I found the man of Vitruvio with some hamburger else in his body. How is this called? Stratopigia? It was in Marlen Agency, a gallery for illustrators.

Saturday, 3 November 2007


I was wondering how to upload videos from YouTube and now I have realised about their bad quality comparing them with the original, check differences from embeded and Stardust

If you want a Pontiac

Mrs. Serena Williams

I think these kind of videos are the most wild things they´re doing right now, although I don´t watch many of these in Spain.

Tuesday, 30 October 2007

When Graphic Artists Get Bored

Programming, programming and programming. Will this be our case?

ArtFutura vs. Animadrid

I was yesterday in the proyections of Animadrid. Adjustmente was the one I liked more, but to say the truth I was really more impressioned on saturday.

Saturday I went to LaCasaEncendida, to the festival ArtFutura. I liked it verty much, although they have some problems with timetables... As I see, the proyections continue today, this is the link of the programation. On saturday I saw many things made with Flash, things as Codehunters and so on.

Wednesday, 24 October 2007

Adobe Developer Connection

This is a new RIA from Adobe Developer Centre

I have just had a look to it and think the main purpose is to do contacts (or die!) I had seen before this kind of application used in congress so as to locate people for business. Here you can do the same for busines or just to meet someone. But in this case you don´t have the position of the others by GPS (I haven´t tried it on an iPhone yet!) but from the similar skils you have.

These skills are divided in four groups:

- Professional Focus/Background
- Adobe Technologies
- Other Technical skills
- Personality

After you have completed all the register process the application puts you on the middle and locates similar profiles depending on your skills.

Saturday, 20 October 2007

Some Design Newsletters I read

Here I show you some Newsletters I use to have on my mail every month.

First one is Dexigner, I spend almost 30 minutes revising all info and links.

Second place for Index Book. I am sorry it´s only in Spanish ;-)

I also read TheCoolHunter, although I see it mor related to housing.
This one is TotalTraining, more related to technology and how to use it.

I also have some from Photo world, this one is from SXC.

Related to books, I have some, here you see Gustavo Gili, very nice one.

In ReleaseTheFreaks you will find lots of info connected with design and toys.

Last week I received this one from DesignCanChange to vote for PeopleDesignsAward.

I also have the ones from HowMagazine.

The WebbyAwards one.

And finally from Adobe I receive AdobeEdgeNewsletter, AdobeSystemsNewsletter and AdobeSeminarNewsletter. There are some more I think.

Thursday, 12 July 2007

This month Comet Design Award

This month Comet Design Award goes to NNM, NoName-Magazine, for his last issue, specially for the works of Masayuki Ogisu (up)

I´ve been checking all the works of last issues from Blue Vertigo. I took me two hours to check it out. I have to say I´ve seen great works in Bak and Maguila Magazines although I don´t know why some of them keep on working with pdfs, ajax, javascript and all that mess. It has nothing to do against Flash. I wish I saw one of them made in Flex. Do I have to do it?

Ok, below some photograph work from NNM and two works of IdeaFixa. This issue has the theme Colors, it is so smart!!!

Tuesday, 10 July 2007

Hello World! from Flex

I just wanted to say this since a long time ago:

And here is the code!:

Saturday, 30 June 2007

Google in Madrid Europe Pride 2007

I have just come from Madrid Europride 2007 and I recognise I have been really surprised for watching there a Google caravan. You had the possibility of connecting your mobile via bluetooth so as to download Google maps for your mobile.

Friday, 29 June 2007

Apple iPhone Guided Tour

I am so sad that I am european! I want this right now!!! Oh my God!! I cannot wait!!!

Monday, 11 June 2007

SWFAddress against Google Analitycs

I have just had several problems with the use of SWFAddress and Google Analitycs.

First of all, Communicating Flash with JavaScript I realized we were making it the wrong way, using getURL instead of the class ExternalInterface. We had in the browser the url of the second JavaScript command so we changed to ExternalInterface with no problem.

Secondly, our team had to change all the navigation of the application so as to use SWFAddress. Sincerely, I did not like this decision at all. Why are we using Flash? Why do we still have to develope websites for people over 50? Is it because they have the money and the power?

Besides, with the use of SWFAddress and following Google Analitycs instructions we realized we were having every tag twice as Google counts the browser urls. We are still experimenting with this.

Moreover, we were using a dinamyc preload, once every XML was loaded we turned boolean variables into true so that after all XMLs were loaded and every item positioned on the stage we stopped the preload. And we did use this everytime we wanted. With SWFAddress we have the preload again and again. Obviously we will change this, but, I still have this question in my mind:

SWFAddress? What For?

Thursday, 31 May 2007

Microsoft Surface: "The machine"

This is what I call "The Machine": Microsoft Surface. Near IPhone and other competitors this is a simple touch machine... Really cool! I had posted about Jeff Han and Perceptive Pixel in my spanish blog. I wonder how much they have to do with Microsoft Surface.

It looks like Minority Report or Matrix Revolutions but I don´t feel like using it for designing or developing.

The site is developed in Flash. Get more info there: Microsof Surface

Wednesday, 23 May 2007

Adobe Releases: AdobeMagazine, Adobe Exchange, Adobe Penetration

I have just received an email with the new releases of Adobe

In first place the relaunching of Adobe Magazine. Mmmmmmmmm, I´m rather pesimistic about this old-relaunched project, specially cos they´re using PDF tecnology. Oh my God! What are you doing? Remember you have the patent of Flash!!! This could be done better, in fact, even if you have a broad band connection you have to wait until the pages gets loaded.

I think Adobe Magazine is developed by Plazm. I haven´t heard of these people before.

Secondly, Adobe Exchange. I remember I had a look last week and just saw some files from year 2004 or so. Happily it´s been updated. I see this as some kind of GNU developement. Don´t you?

Lastly, I want to talk about something that makes me laugh. It is the penetration statistics of Adobe Flash Player. Although I try to promote Flash every place, I find many people here in Spain without the plugin installed, even in big companies related to tecnology. Once we solve IE problem using the SWFObject we have to talk to administrators who can only install Flashplayer (oh my God!)

Anyway, I made some investigation of this stats. In Europe these stats are only related to UK, Germany and France. I have a question for Adobe: What about Spain, Portugal, Greece or the eastern europe countries? I wrote Adobe asking about this but I´m afraid I can´t use anymore these stats...

Thursday, 17 May 2007

Freehand loosers...

I'm laughing a lot with the last comments about Freehand in MXNA, nothin new, we all knew about it, in fach I had posted about it in my spanish blog.

Why do people choose one or othe design software? Two reasons: The first is the popularity of the software, the second the easibility for you. Now that Freehand is died as you know and Adobe confirmed yesterday. You can read the posts of John Nack "Freehand won´t update, moving to Illustrator", or Marco Casario´s "Freehand died". Adobe itself has promoted a migration guide to Illustrator.

Is there any other way? In the rest of the world it seems to be no problem, but here in Spain I dare to say the 80% of designers use/used Freehand even it hasn´t been updated in years. Well, we the spanish are not stupid, so we can use also CorelDraw or Illustrator.

What do I wanna say with this. Is Spain a looser country? Definitely no! I tend to think prints have influenced a lot in this question. Illustrator seemed something very modern and they used to have CorelDraw, specially for its good relationship with Autodesk, as I can check when I work for hp. We all now about printing problems of Autodesk, or perhaps license problems...

So, althought Adobe wants to digg Freehand, I think it has still a lot of work here in Spain. We will make as the Cubans with the american cars!

In my opinion I will keep on using CorelDraw even knowing I have to make those jumps CorelDraw-Illustrator-Flash, too romantic!

Flash CS3, Managing Workspace

I am just enjoying my Adobe Flash Trial version and these are my first discoveries about it

One of the things that has called more my attention in the new release of Adobe Flash CS3 is the workspace layout.

Actually you can set up the configuration of the panels in any of these different ways:

- Default
- Icons and text default
- Icons only default
- Personalized

Besides I am really happy about the history panel! One more thing, now you can have the help panel in the same one as the Actions one.

Friday, 11 May 2007

Google Analytics in Flash

I have just realized about the new features of Google Analytics. At least here in Spain.

It has the same structure as before but with a higher data income, including Flash graphics.
I am specially surprised about this, specially cos I hadn´t seen Google using Flash many times.

In this version, you can fix your aims, generate informs, etc. And if you don´t like it you can get back to the original view

I don´t know what will think about this the people from Netratings ...