Posts Tagged ‘RIA’

On The Revamped Adobe Flash Platform

December 1st, 2008


Adobe moves in RIA are the most straightforward ones because they are the company that it is more publicly invested into transform itself and to be fully running on the RIA Web as soon as 5 years from now.

They got Flash, Flex, Shockwave, AIR and Reader as their main guns on the Mainstream. all but one are pretty much ubiquitous. but the thing that connect all of them is Flash. Flash 10 is where they truly begin with this transition to being a RIA company and RIA Web run company.

Why not say their in for the cloud computing mantra as you say when talking about Google?. because being fully into RIA`s got a clear cloud computing base that do not need to be recalled upon. but unlike Google. Adobe is also in a Software + Services Strategy just like Microsoft. but as competitors they cannot use neither Mantras and they will stay focus on spreading the notion that Adobe is about RIA`s. because RIA evocates Media, Powerful Browser Based Apps or Powerful Desktop Based Apps that are seamlessly connected to the internet. that means they only need that.

Flash is a mature platform and it reached up that state since 2004-2005 where it became clear it would became more and more widespread. Today flash is in everything in some form or another and Flash 10 is what Adobe is going to use to push progress to Flash from Flex and Shockwave and it is Flash what will be pushed into Reader and AIR as base for the same tech to be used more effectively.

But Adobe weakness with its RIA Tech is that they got  mediocre Development Tools. they are now trying to change that around with:

• Alchemy, that lets programs written in the C or C++ languages, run within Flash Player.

• "Gumbo," a new version of Adobe Flex Builder, that is designed to make programming easier for those familiar with scripting languages such as PHP.

• "Thermo," formally called Adobe Flash Catalyst, is designed to let people quickly create an application’s interface in another application–by Adobe Illustrator CS4 for example–then add the interactive instructions to the interface elements.

These are obvious responses to Microsoft Silverlight. the only real competitor to Adobe RIA tech.

Alchemy is the response to Silverlight 2.0 CLR

Gumbo is the other part of Responding to Silverlight 2.0 easy use and integration of .NET Tech.

Catalyst Responds to Microsoft Expression Studio “Devigner” Mantra.

I see that there is still nothing really good for AIR development as the rumored AIRbase. that was supposed to be a AIR app development software a la iphone xcode sdk. it may not exist and it is a shame because it sounded like a great concept.

Adobe new development Tools  and Development Paths sound like a great progress but this is a area where they are nowhere near the sophistication and maturity of Microsoft offerings with Expression Studio that actually lets designer use assets from Adobe own designing software programs too just like thermo and much less the unbeatable and untouchable status Visual Studio got against Anything Adobe can come up with.

Then. there is the Development Paths where it is also very doubtful Alchemy and Gumbo can top Silverlight .Net Tech Integrations and CLR

Many still claim that Adobe real war is with Google. but they are wrong. Google is late on RIA initiatives because they have not pronounced themselves toward anything yet and are still betting everything on Google Ajax and Google JS so cannot be considered to be in the RIA web fight up to now.

But seeing Adobe moves assure one thing. Competition in RIA`s  will be fierce and it will be something nice to watch as it unfolds.

The good thing is that whatever Adobe does. means better things to come in terms of Widgets as they are the most basic beneficiaries as everything is getting Widgetized.



Flash Player 10 Is Out

October 16th, 2008


Adobe decided to rain in Microsoft Silverlight 2 parade and got Flash Player 10 out just a day after Silverlight 2 launched. The new Flash Plugin looks great and aims to resolve the problems Flash has been plagued with from quite sometime with enhancements while looking up to level up with Silverlight 2.

The Spotlighted Features by Adobe are:

3D effects

Create more intuitive, engaging interfaces using built-in support for 3D effects. Get started quickly without being a 3D master by designing in 2D and easily transforming and animating in 3D. Fast, extremely lightweight, and simple-to-use APIs, along with 3D tools in Adobe® Flash® CS4 Professional software, make motion that was previously accessible only to expert users via ActionScript® language or custom third-party libraries available to everyone.

Custom filters and effects

Create high-performance, real-time effects for cinematic experiences that quickly engage users. With new Adobe Pixel Bender™, the same technology behind many filters and effects in Adobe After Effects® software, these dynamic and interactive effects can be used both in production with After Effects CS4 and live with Flash Player 10. The Pixel Bender just-in- time (JIT) compiler can also be used to process other types of data, such as sound or mathematical functions, asynchronously in a separate thread.

Advanced text support

Take advantage of a new, flexible text layout engine that brings print-quality publishing to the web, building on more than 25 years of Adobe expertise in typography. Gain more control over text layout using an extensible library of ActionScript 3.0 text components to flow text and sophisticated typographic elements such as ligatures across multiple columns, around inline images, bidirectionally, vertically, or chained together. Create multilingual rich Internet applications (RIAs) using device fonts that can now be anti-aliased, rotated, and styled, or build your own unique text components.

Dynamic sound generation

Use enhanced sound APIs to dynamically generate audio and create new types of audio applications such as music mixers and sequencers, real-time audio for games, and even audio visualizers. Work with loaded MP3 audio at a lower level by extracting audio data and supplying it to the sound buffer. Process, filter, and mix audio in real time through the Pixel Bender JIT compiler to extend creative freedom beyond the visual experience.

Enhanced Drawing API

Perform runtime drawing more easily with restyleable properties, 3D APIs, and a new way of drawing sophisticated shapes without having to code them line by line. Developers can tweak parts of curves, change styling, replace parts, and use custom filters and effects, delivering improved throughput, creative control, and greater productivity. Enhancements to the Drawing API add the z dimension, real perspective, textured meshes in 3D space, a retained graphics model, read/write rendering, and triangle drawing with UV coordinates, while adding memory and improving performance.

Enhanced Hardware acceleration

Use the hardware processing power of the graphics card to paint SWF files into the browser and accelerate compositing calculations of bitmaps, filters, blend modes, and video overlays faster than would be performed in software.

Vector data type

Use the new typed array class for better performance, efficiency, and error checking of data.

Dynamic Streaming

Show exceptional video with streams that automatically adjust to changing network conditions. Leverage new quality-of-service metrics to provide a better streaming experience.

Speex audio codec

Take advantage of the new, high-fidelity and open source Speex voice codec, which offers a low-latency alternative for voice encoding. Flash Player also supports ADPCM, HE-AAC, MP3, and Nellymoser audio.

File upload and download APIs

Bring users into the experience by letting them load and save files from your web application. New file reference runtime access allows local processing of data without roundtripping to the server.

Those are some huge changes. changes that are bigger than what was previously thought of what Flash Player 10 would be. many of the changes reproduce Silverlight 2 features and other advance previous Flash Player features to new grounds. some of the are not possible by Silverlight out of the box and some advance over present Silverlight 2 features.  i will do a post on both very soon in order to explain myself on this. right now it is just time to download Flash Player 10. this release solves many of the problems the Player has in Non IE browsers. the most notable examples are Firefox, Opera and Chrome. it also tries o fix the stigma of being too resource intensive (memory/cpu). it don`t but it shows good progress on this regard. Does it trumps Silverlight 2?. no. but implemented as Flex 3.0 it sure reached its level.

The new features and the enhanced features Flash 10 brings to the table are elemental to the web to come. i truly believe that while we are still waiting for JavaFX, the RIA web finally started this week with the release of Flash 10 and Silverlight 2. this means i will be covering RIA Web Widgets more and more often.

Flash Player 10

Widgets are already a commodity, it is time for them to go further.

June 23rd, 2008

Widgets now finally got several forces pushing the way they must be managed now. there is a group of forces of interest behind them now and they have the form of Marketing, Advertising and Analytics.

Those are the things that aim to make monetization not only a reality. because that is something already archived. but to make monetization something common. be able to make widgets sustainable and generate as much revenue they can.

But now that everything of that is in place. lets forget about it.

How about mainstream acceptance?

That is even a issue now?. not at all i think that was the thing archived last year.if the surge of companies like slide and rockyou is not a mainstream acceptance of widgets. or the fact that now not having a widget for your service makes you look as unprepared.

if that are not powerful enough arguments that widgets have gone mainstream enough then we are wasting our time.

Lets move on.

How about ease of development’?

A point i think we will not only reach this year but even find ourselves in a glut of options.

Now you got lots of platforms and way to make widgets of all kinds and however you want them. now we got tools so evolved that you only need to drag and drop to build a widget or mash up services in order to make something in minutes if you want. something that just a year back would have taken you hrs or days.

Add API being something of an afterthought and we are in the right track.

We are getting step.

What is left to do?

With the whole talk of widgets being the new website. something that would be a half truth,  half lie over optimistic approach to widgets. one has to wonder:  since when?.

We have not got there. that is not anywhere commonplace or  something you can point at one widget in particulal and say “that widget got it all”.

How do we get somewhere around that point?

We get to that point with not only Portable Experiences but Self Sufficient Portable Experiences

1.-Leveling Up

As i see more and more solutions for easy development i get to see widget companies wanting to make casual experiences. kinda like in video games where you got the Wii. offering up mindless yet socially fun games without substance. that is good. but that kind of experiences while they can get more people to try them out. their expiration rate is shorter and the engagement is of less quality over time.

We need more power to make more engaging widgets. but more importantly. we need it because otherwise you cannot with have Self Sufficient Portable Experiences.

it don`t matters if you choose to use Ajax, or JavaFx or Flex or Silverlight. it is time for things to go down that path.

2.-Self Sufficient Portable Experiences

when i talk about SSPE. i talk about widgets that don`t need to lead the user to the mothership. to take the user anywhere but the place where they found the widget. be a friend Blog sidebar, a friend social network profile or a Blog post just like this one.

I.-High Spread Sharing

The option to share the widget inside a widget became common at the start of 2007 when it only offered a generic embed code the user had to grab and then somehow apply wherever they wanted to put the widget. that was plain “Sharing”.

Later in 2007 you would find other options inside the widget like “JavaScript or Flash”. Later Social Networks  and Start pages reached their commodity status and it made sense to offer a way for the widget to be put in those social networks while making the process as frictionless as possible.

The use of “install links” became then common for Myspace and later other social networks, blogging platform and start pages. those options gave widgets “High Spread” to go viral, hence:

High Spread Sharing

With the coming of age of the mobile web and better widgets in the desktop as Vista Sidebar became the recognizable factor for widgets in the desktop. such form was also adopted by Yahoo Widget Engine and Google Desktop and now even Webtops. so i think the terms is suitable.


While not all widgets can use this. the most important ones and the ones we care about to reach higher level of engagement need it. be it a rss mini feed reader able to search feeds. a video game catalogue in a widget like Neoedge or Hulu allowing you to check out the Hulu  video library from the same widget. that can go further. for music, feeds and services. having the widget serve as the not only a face to your service but as a middle man for it is something needed.

Another reason is because it  expands the time a user will engage with the widget and gives the window of opportunity for a efficient monetization via advertising, promotional offerings or special sponsorships.

III.-Social Graph Enabled

Widget should not wait for the user to make up its mind and send a impersonal notification via e-mail. he should be able to have the same frictionless he has when using the High Spread Sharing panel in the widget. but how?. by allowing him to allow the widget to identify the user.

Once identified, the user can talk to others using the widget, send messages from the widget or allow the widget to send a notification written by the user in whatever method the user prefers: e-mail, microblog or instant messaging.

This is where the whole Inter connected relational information spheres theory enters. or as we call it now:

The Social Graph

This is of course the last stage  in engagement because it needs things like Data Portability, Authentification Protocols Transparency and Lifestreaming collide into something coherent that widget makers can get to use.

But it is part of what the whole Google Social Graph and Lifestreaming Aggregators API should get into play.

3.-Making Good Widgets

Finally. the Holy Grail. making some good widgets while still being able to give the Widgets more power and make them easier and more useful.

Yeah. no fair. i know. but hey. who said it was going to be easy?.

Anyway. that is where i think Widget should go as fast as possible. being able to see a widget with all those traits in 2008 would be great. at least that is what i think.

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