Gestures and interfaces

Just stumbled on this first chapter of an upcoming book on Gestural Interfaces. It’s pretty interesting to read, and it good me wanting more. I am so putting this book on my Amazon wishlist.

Go read the first chapter here.

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Flex API contest extended

The guys with the Flex 360 conference have extended the deadline for their Flex API contest, so that participants for Europe can sign in as well, The new deadline is 4th of April, the friday before the conference begins. See more information on this here and here.

Also, there’s almost a month to go until the conference. From the Romanian side of Flex I and Mihai Corlan will participate, with two sessions – Mihai with Developing Data-intensive Flex applications and me with a session on Flex and (web) services. I will mostly talk about SOAP services, but won’t ignore REST ones. As part of what I will present  at Flex 360 I’ve started a series of articles on the blog – the first one is already live and presents a sample application that searches videos using web services. So let me know in the comments if I’m off track or not.,

Preview handlers

I’m using Office 2007 for some time now and the ability to preview the content of some files without actually opening them in the dedicated editor is quite nice. It’s a pity that the number of supported file types is so small. A good thing is that they everyone can create such a preview handler, because the API is publicly available and documented on MSDN. So I looked around the net today for some handlers that would allow me to preview zip archives and some other common file types – like .as or .mxml. One of the interesting resources I’ve stumbled onto is a blog post that links to a msdn article and also to download the handlers demoed. Get at it here. Another pack of handlers for some of the programming language files is here.

Oh, and these handlers work for Windows Vista too, so if you have the preview pane opened, it will load a quick preview of the file in there.

But how do I use that code?

That’s a question I’ve seen quite a few times on the Adobe labs and pre-release forums over the past months. And the question is used in relation with the code being generated by the web service introspection wizard.

Although we’ve tried to make the code as simple and versatile as possible, as in to cover most use-cases, it seems to still need some explaining. It is possibly caused by change. The way in which you used web services has changed substantially, and disruptive changes are not always easily understood. We’ve gone from a full run-time experience to strong-types and ActionScript representations of the service. So I’ve tried to put together a small application that uses a web service and shows how to use this new nifty feature.

The example will stretch over two posts/parts, each covering a way of using the generated code to arrive at the same result, structured like this: Continue reading

Flex 3, BlazeDS & AIR 1.0 are out!

Finally, the combination for RIA goodness is upon us. Adobe, through the combined efforts of the Flex, AIR and BlazeDS teams has launched these three products aimed to making the life of web developers a bit easier, and the life of the web user a lot easier. You can check out the products on the adobe.com website, where you can also download a trial version (for Flex Builder) or the full versions of the Flex 3 SDK, AIR SDK and BlazeDS.

air  fx_appicon_web blaze_ds_logo_web

Now it’s time to see how the web experience shapes up – I’m looking forward to ever-increasing levels of interactivity on the web, and a nice blend between the web and the desktop (which AIR aims to increase).

Here are some stories on Digg, on the same topic, here, here and here.

OpenID’d

Just got the bug up and running using OpenID – or so I hope – the plugin threw a warning, but seems to work ok … So if you have an OpenID account you can now use it to register or post a comment. The good side – you’re comment will get through moderation (I hope).

So, let’s see how much fun this will be and how long it takes for OpenID to really take off and get some major social websites on it.

Oh, I’m using WP-openid (search for it, the link is out of reach).

SideNote: My laptop is freaking me out tonight, it keeps pausing to do stuff with my hard-drive …. if it keeps it up it will end up in a corner of the room.

Going home

This week has been intense. I’ve seen lots of opinions and overall learned a lot. And even though San Jose is not the same as San Francisco, I found something to do 🙂

Although I tried to take more photos, as I said in a previous post, I just didn’t had the time. I even missed visiting the San Jose Tech Museum, but next time I’ll do it at all costs. Now I’m waiting for the checkout and a short ride to the airport. Then 13 hours to Paris, 4 hours between flights and another 3 hours to Bucharest. Luckily I have several devices with enough battery power to last me the trip.

The next post will be from my couch (or office 🙂 ). It’s nice going home.

P.S. I will upload what pictures I have when I get home, since the net connection here is … let’s say slow 🙂

Update: finally, after about two weeks I’ve managed to get everything up on Flickr (they have a 200 photos limit for free accounts 😦 ). Some of these images were taken by Cataling, but I accidentally mixed them all together and don’t know which are which. Hope he won’t bite my head off.