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?