mPresenter: new tool for speakers

I become speaker 4/5 years ago, after 30/40 talks in Italy and around the globe and tons of lessons like instructor, after study how to prepare slides for presentations, after a couple of courses about public speaking and so on, finally this January I started to think about how can I help speakers during own presentation?

When I answered to this question I started to think about mPresenter.

mPresenter is composed by 2 different applications: a mobile application and a desktop one.
Obviously everything is build with Flash Platform: AIR 2, Flex 4 and AIR for Android.
The mobile one allow you to manage your presentation, pointing or drawing on slide, changing them.
Also, it allows you to read notes added in each slide during preso composition.

AIR application allows speakers to make own presentation: moving slides in right position, adding notes to a slides and zooming on it.
You can easily drag and drop images from your OS to mPresenter and create the perfect presentation.
We are working to add new features on this software but for now you can see a preview video on youtube.
I really love if you can give us your feedbacks and suggestions to improve this software and become a really useful utility for all speakers.
We believe in you!

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Flash Platform on Android

Sorry if I don’t post anything until now but I study a lot during last months and finally I’ve time to write a new post about Flash Platform on Android.

I’m glad to talk about this argument because after Flash Lite experience I was not so excited to work with these technologies on mobile, but finally I can say that we can forget Flash Lite experience in this new way to think mobile.
First of all I’d like to share with you a thought about Adobe mobile direction.
Adobe is releasing 3 cool mobile technologies Flash, Flex and obviously AIR; the most interesting for me is Flex 4.1 (codename HERO) that allow to create contents for RIAs, Dekstop Apps, Mobile RIAs and Mobile Apps.
In fact with HERO, Adobe gives us opportunity to develop better and faster with the same framework! Yes, you read well, 1 framework for everything!
They add some cool components dedicated for mobile development like ActionBar or ViewNavigator. It’s really impressive!
If you have an Android FroYo device, try to download some .apk file made with Flex on Coenraets blog.

I think Adobe is going to the right direction and new technologies that will be released in next months give us a new opportunity to bring our contents and deliver them to mobile! So THANK YOU ADOBE!

After these considerations, I’d like to talk about few experiments that I tried during last weeks.
Flash Platform on Android works very well, cool performance and with a good coding you can create great stuff.
I’m working on a mobile library with some useful components like grid, list, image and so on; I think that work with Flash Platform on mobile is so easy if you have an idea on how to work for mobile.
Obviously, if you are a Flash developer you are not a Flash mobile developer automatically! But you can become a mobile developer in few easy steps:

1. Optimize your code: remember to remove all listeners, put variables to null, using object pooling instead of create and destroy variables, use design patterns and so on.
2. System.gc() finally works! On Flash Player 10.1 if you run this command it works very well and save lots of memory for your porjects!
3. Don’t insert tons of stuff on your screen: when you design UI of your application remember that you have a small screen so remember to work with 14px fonts (minimum size), big hit button area (50px minimum), optimized images, avoid vector strokes.
Remember also to test if an asset is better in pixels instead of vectors or viceversa, because sometimes trying on device is the best way to find an answer!
4. Test on device anytime you add a consistent feature.
Don’t test your application only when you finish it, but test anytime you add a new feature because what you see on your computer could not be the same on your Android device!

Those are only few suggestions to start to work with Flash Platform on Android; on Amazon I saw that many people will release some cool books about Flash Platform development on mobile device so please take a look!

Finally, I give you a couple of videos about a runtime image manipulation on Android with Convolution filter made in less then 50 lines of code and a new component that I develop for our library called Skeleton component that simulate navigation of iPad Wired app but made for Android with Flash Platform.
I’m finishing it but for now I’m glad for final result; it’s totally XML driven and you can add swf, videos or images, send data to swf files and so on.
A cool test that I made is to port it on an AIR app for desktop and without changing a line of code I have the same result!
So if you plan your development well you can have one core and different deploy, thank you again Adobe!
Now I want to try it on an Android tablet and then I’ll post some results about that.
For now I can say that Flash on Android will revolutionize Android mobile development experience and if Adobe goes in this direction I can say that they will revolutionize mobile developer life (not for all, isn’t it Steve?!).

Multitouch with Actionscript 3 and AIR 2.0

AIR 2.0 is out with a BETA version on labs since a couple of weeks ago more or less.
It introduces a lots of new features like UDP protocol, Socket server implementation, access to raw micrhophone data, multitouch and gesture support and so on.

When I see multitouch and gesture support I start to think how many devices are touchscreen based and they are growing a lots in those months, so I start to investigate about that features.
First of all I suggest to read a cool article on devnet made by Christian Cantrell, he goes in deep about this new features and give you a lots of information about Multitouch, TouchEvent and gestures.
It’s so interesting because you can see compatibility of that features with different OS also.

In this post, I’d like to share with you a little sample on how you can create an AIR 2.0 application with Flash Builder and test it with a macbook trackpad.
In fact, you can use macbook trackpad gesture because they are supported on AIR and it’s so interesting, for example, if you want to test an application for new Wacom Bamboo pen & touch and you haven’it.
Wacom Bamboo has a new AS3 SDK for Flex and Flash that allow you to work with multitouch and gesture too, it could be so interesting if you don’t have a multitouch for an expo and you want to buy a cheap solution to give a cool interaction for your possible new clients.
Bamboo has also the availability to create “minis” that are applications dedicated to Wacom Bamboo, but you can read more at Wacom developer website.

So, in this sample we load an external image and we use gesture to try our macbook trackpad:

package {


import flash.ui.Multitouch;
import flash.ui.MultitouchInputMode;
import flash.events.TransformGestureEvent;
import flash.text.TextField;
import flash.display.Sprite;
import flash.display.MovieClip;
import flash.display.Loader;
import flash.net.URLRequest;
import flash.events.Event;


public class MultiTouchSample {


Multitouch.inputMode = MultitouchInputMode.GESTURE;
private var sq:Sprite;


public function MultiTouchSample() {


sq = new Sprite()
addChild(sq);


this.addEventListener(TransformGestureEvent.GESTURE_ZOOM, scaleObj);
this.addEventListener(TransformGestureEvent.GESTURE_PAN, panObj);
this.addEventListener(TransformGestureEvent.GESTURE_ROTATE, rotObj);


var l:Loader = new Loader();
l.contentLoaderInfo.addEventListener(Event.COMPLETE, addImg);
l.load(new URLRequest("img/sample.jpg"));
}


private function addImg(e:Event):void{
sq.addChild(e.target.content);
sq.scaleY = sq.scaleX = .2;
}


private function rotObj(e:TransformGestureEvent):void{
sq.rotation += e.rotation;
}


private function panObj(e:TransformGestureEvent):void{
sq.x += e.offsetX * 2;
sq.y += e.offsetY * 2;
}


private function scaleObj(e:TransformGestureEvent):void{
sq.scaleX *= e.scaleX;
sq.scaleY *= e.scaleY;
}
}
}

You can see that is so simple work with gesture, a couple of suggestions before starting work with them:

  • remember to verify which gesture are supported on your system, more information you can read on devnet article about multitouch and gesture
  • TransformGestureEvent is event class dedicated to gesture
  • you can use TouchEvent also

Feel free to leave a comment and thank you to visit this blog.

Touch screen and cd-rom with Multidmedia Zinc

One recent project that I produce is a touch screen software, obviusly I made it with Zinc.

So I’d like to share my experience with my blog readers.

First of all, I must say that Zinc has a too bad documentation, a lots of examples don’t work and there are some big bugs.

ZINC and FTP CONNECTION
In my last project I add a routine to download new files from touch screens.
Zinc FTP API works only in Windows, but for this project, all touch screens had OS Win, so no problem.
In this case, I found 3 problems, first of all I can’t download all files togheter because Zinc had some issues to do this operation, so when I download a file, when onComplete event triggered I launch another one.
Probably Zinc didn’t copy all bytes from FTP server to client and it crashed.
So I put a setTimeOut function to call a new file after 1 second and it works!
Finally, using close method of FTP class, FTP session is still opened…so I delete FTP istance and it works! So crazy!

ZINC and Flex
Recently I produce 3 projects with Flex and Zinc…I found a lots of interesting issues.
When you work with Zinc in Flex, you must add SWC library to use Zinc API, so you bring it from 2 folders(one .swc in for Flash and one for Flex, but you could use both in Flex) and there is different way to implements same API with .swc for Flash or for Flex, so take a look of which .swc you could use to work.
Another problem that I found is when you create a transparent application and you have mx:TextInput, if you have focus in textinput component and you try to use keyboard arrows to move cursor, you’ll receive an unknown error!
In Multidmedia forum Peter suggests to me to use callLater function, but it doesn’t work.

So those are some problems that I would share with you, I hope that they are useful for everyone.

First day at FOTB

First day at FOTB was fantastic, speakers prepared great session, in particular inspire sessions are crazy!!!
Joshua Davis is an amazing speaker so cool presentation!

But another amazing thing is after the first inspire session where out of Pavillion Theatre the guys of Plug-in Media create a flash installation where you can interact with and when you move yourself starts from some areas one or more fireworks, very crazy!

After this we came to Brighton Casino and we gambled and eat all night!

When I’ll come back in Italy, I’ll create a Flickr account and put in all FOTB and Chicago MAX photos there.

And now I’ll start a new FOTB day! What amazing event!