Martin Ollman passed me this superb graphic representation of what I like to call the "RIA Evolutionary Timeline". Actually in truth I call it something like, "the whopping, great big, unprintable graphic about Flex positioning" -- but you get the gist.
Since the first sneak peek at the Central Birds of a Feather at MXDU in February there's been a bit of work been done on our first commercial Central application, Certifiable. Currently available as a preview release, Certifiable uses a Central exam engine developed by Daemon that tests your knowledge of a variety of topics (http://certifiable.daemon.com.au).
While it's possible within the product.xml file to set the path for your Central application's icon as either a relative or an absolute URL, consideration has to be made about how the files for your application will be deployed. The installation will work if all application files are located in a different directory to where the installer.swf and product.xml are hosted, but you may discover that the icon may be missing from the installation badge if you've used relative paths in product.xml.
This is pretty cool: in addition to a pop up dialogue box when an application launches, try/buy applications in Central automatically display the remaining number of trial days as an amended icon in Central's toolbar. We're preparing to launch a new try/buy Central application, Certifiable (http://certifiable.daemon.com.au) - use it to test your knowledge, we've got it available as a preview release at the moment.
I just had a really quick look for this, as far as I can see this is undocumented. Central will display the full text as a tooltip on mouse over if the value you set as a label for a Central RadioButton component is longer than the actual length of the component on the stage. Normally the text would be truncated at the end of the component.
MXDU 2004 (http://www.mxdu.com) is less than four weeks away now and Scott Mebberson and I will be both presenting on Central. If we can get enough interested parties we'd also like to co-host a Central "Birds of a Feather" during MXDU. This will be like a mini user group - would anyone coming to MXDU be interested to attend if such an event were to be put on?
Probably the great frustration of Central development for me is that I cannot CRTL + Enter to test my application. Scott Mebberson's suggestion would be a Central emulator like the PocketPc emulators used by other developers, that just might work. What's your build & test technique for Central? I'm kicking it off with mine below...
Following up on yesterday's post on Central & screens. One of the reasons that I've been using screens myself in my Central development is that I find that the screens metaphor is well applied to use of the MAccordianTab component. With ActionScript it's easy to swap the visibility of screens to show content as the tabs are clicked.
There's no reason why you can't build your Central application using screens. The two things for Central & Screens harmony are: 1. A new Screens application will be set to publish for Player 7 by default while this works you'll find that your Central app will work better with the standard settings, change publish settings to Player 6 & "Optimize for Flash Player 6 r65", set your FPS to 21. 2. Modify your Central ActionScript to: Central.initApplication(_parent, this);
I'm in the middle of building a Central app and noticed a bonus in the Central version of the MDataGrid component that I don't think has been previously blogged.
In the process of refining the agent that collects and parses existing page data I can across an interesting bit of information: Egypt has 181 Flash MX Designer certifications, 157 of which seem to have been achieved on 30 June or 1 July 2003. Egypt has no other Macromedia certifications apart from Flash MX Designer.
After secreting myself away in animal crazy Dubbo for an extended long weekend - inspiration!! Cert. Central - a Central app that brings all Macromedia Certified Developers into one Central location...