Ashvin Savani “arckid” – Flash Platform Expert

All about RIA development using Flash, Flex, Flash Media Server (Flashcom) with various middleware and backends.

Archive for the ‘Flash’ Category

Google and Yahoo! can search Flash content now

Adobe announced support and a special version of flash player to Google and Yahoo! to make the searching in Flash or Flex applications or Rich Internet applications better.

My Personal View:

This is really a good news for me personally and of course it’s good for all flash developers and who have content in Flash SWFs. So far everyone was trying to optimize their flash applications and other techniques to read XML content to give somewhat assurance that Google or Yahoo! will find something from their content. But now Google and Yahoo! can search and in fact view virtually SWFs and click at every links, menus or buttons like their robots / spiders are doing it with normal HTML content in web pages.

SEO Industry Perspective:

This news means a lot for SEO industry as well. Most of my clients were doing argument that, If we are making this whole application in Flash, don’t you think that searching the content would be a problem? Or I will not get much hits through search engines and blah blah. So now, all the flash and flex developers can answer their clients with single sentence that Flash is now search-able too.

So in deep view, what exactly it does and how everything is possible now and why it was not there before? These are the main question everybody should be asking to their own and trying to find out answers for the same. Here you go:

Why searching in a Flash content was not possible till now?

The reason is simple. SWF is a binary file, not an ASCII file where a spider can read it like it is reading some text file. But still, Google and other search engines were trying to read somewhat information about the SWF through the comments posted in HTML file. These comments were generated automatically by Adobe DreamWeaver or by Adobe Flash IDE, while you are generating SWF file or embedding SWF file into the HTML or other scripted pages. So at that time, these IDEs were trying to find out all the static text contents from the SWF files and it was creating a string of all these contents and putting that as comments inside HTML file. So Google and other search engines were able to read that much part of SWF and whatever content was there. So the searching functionality was there but it was too limited. It was not there at all for dynamic contents you are dealing with inside Flash content, which is very common for all the Rich Internet Applications (RIAs).

Why searching in a Flash content is possible now?

Now Adobe is trying to open boundaries by opening SWF file format and some other protocols. Adobe wants that more and more third party vendors use Flash SWF as part of their platform, solution or services. So part of that whole strategy, Adobe provided some special version of Flash Player to Google and Yahoo! which they can integrate with their current searching technology tools and spiders to search and store the static and dynamic content in to their database. So with direct help of Adobe, Google and other search engines can virtually surf the Flash content. They can virtually click on various links, menus etc., inside SWF and can store all the data comes in between. So, SWF works like a HTML page and search engines can store the data like they are crawling the HTML pages.

What I need to do if my site contains SWF files to make them search-able by Google?

Absolutely nothing! That’s the great part of the deal. Adobe gave Google and Yahoo! a special version of Flash Player and Google already integrated that player into their searching tools / spiders. It also automatically available for all the flash player versions. Means, it really doesn’t matter that your SWF is compatible with Adobe Flash Player version 6 or 9.

Here is the video from Ryan’s Video, which we can consider as official Adobe statement:

Other Interesting Links / URLs:

  • 1 Comment
  • Filed under: Adobe, Flash, Flex
  • Adobe Photoshop Express Beta – Web based Photoshop Tool

    Adobe releases Adobe Photoshop Express Beta- A web based photoshop application. We saw a sneak preview at MAX last year. It’s simply the great application. Here are the main benefits of the application.

  • 2 GB of free storage
  • Sync with Facebook, MySpace and Picasa
  • Undo support upto n levels
  • Web based application – Access it from anywhere and on all platforms and browsers
  • Here is a quote from Adobe Press Release:

    Free Online Software Brings Photoshop Technology to Anyone Taking Digital Photos

    SAN JOSE, Calif. — March 27 , 2008 — Adobe Systems Incorporated (Nasdaq:ADBE) today announced Adobe® Photoshop® Express public beta, a free Rich Internet Application (RIA) available to anyone who wants to store, sort and show off digital photos with eye-catching effects. During the public beta period, Adobe will solicit Photoshop Express user feedback on product features and functionality, which will continue to evolve over time. As the newest addition to the Photoshop family line, Photoshop Express has taken much of Adobe’s best image editing technology and made it simple and accessible to a new online audience. Photoshop Express allows users to store up to 2 gigabytes of images online for free, make edits to their photos, and share them online in creative ways, including downloading and uploading photos from popular social networking sites like Facebook.

    “Photoshop is trusted technology that has changed the visual landscape of our world. Now, Photoshop Express allows anyone who snaps a digital photo to easily achieve the high-impact results for which Adobe is known,” said Doug Mack, vice president of Consumer and Hosted Solutions at Adobe. “Photoshop Express is a convenient, single destination where you can store, edit and share photos whether you’re at home, school or on the road.”

    Simple, Fun and Accessible
    With Photoshop Express, digital photos can be uploaded and sorted anytime, edited non-destructively to always preserve the original image, and shared from anywhere, on any Web browser. In a few easy clicks, Photoshop Express empowers anyone to make standard edits, such as removing blemishes and red-eye, converting to black and white, cropping and resizing, and much more.

    No experience is required to add special effects that will impress friends and family. In keeping with its one-click approach, Photoshop Express offers tricks like Pop Color which selects an object in an image, mutes the background color of the photo and allows the user to swap the object’s color so it jumps off the page. Sketch effects help photos look like drawings and the Distort feature allows you to distort facial features or objects within the images for a comical or artistic effect. Even users with limited photo editing knowledge can simply select what looks best from a line-up of sample photos with visual hints showing different variations of the added effect.

    Photoshop Express offers a variety of creative sharing options, including uploading and showing off photos and slideshows in your own online “Gallery” hosted by Adobe, or conveniently embedding or linking photos to social networking sites and personal blogs without having to leave the application. Slideshows never looked better with animation that makes photos float and fly across the screen, allowing for viewer interactivity and unique presentation styles.

    Adobe Photoshop Family
    Adobe Photoshop CS3 and Photoshop CS3 Extended are at the heart of the Photoshop family, joined by solutions for users at every level who want to bring out the best in their digital images. Photoshop Lightroomâ„¢ addresses the workflow needs of professional and serious amateur photographers. Photoshop Elements provides exciting tools and sharing options for photo hobbyists.

    Photoshop Express is the latest step Adobe is taking to leverage the advanced technology that underpins its award-winning creative products and deliver it to new online communities. In early 2007, Adobe also announced the availability of Adobe® Premiere® Express, an online video editing and mash-up tool on partner sites such as MTV and Photobucket. Adobe Premiere Express leverages the functionality found in Premiere Elements, a fully-featured desktop video editing program.

    Free and Available Now
    Adobe Photoshop Express beta is available now for free via any Web browser at http://www.photoshop.com/express . Photoshop Express was created with Flex, Adobe’s free, open source framework for building RIAs. Flex applications provide a consistent, rich user experience across operating systems and all major browsers, including Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari and others. An Internet connection and an up-to-date Flash® Player 9 are all that are required to experience Adobe Photoshop Express. In its early phases, Photoshop Express is available to US residents-only in English. Users may experience slow performance if accessed outside of the US. Future plans include availability in other languages and countries.

    About Adobe Systems Incorporated
    Adobe revolutionizes how the world engages with ideas and information – anytime, anywhere and through any medium. For more information, visit www.adobe.com .

    Here are some important links:

  • Adobe Photoshop Express – Product Information Page
  • Adobe Photoshop Express – Press Release
  • Adobe Photoshop Express – Beta
  • 2 Comments
  • Filed under: Adobe, Flash, News
  • Download — Adobe announces AIR 1.0

    Adobe today announces AIR 1.0. In their words, here are how it’s important for Developers and for How it’s good for business.

    For Developers:

    The Adobe AIR runtime lets developers use proven web technologies to build rich Internet applications that deploy to the desktop and run across operating systems. It’s for all developers like AJAX, Adobe Flex Developers and Adobe Flash Developers.

    Developer Links:

    Business Benefits:

    Adobe AIR offers an exciting new way to engage customers with innovative, branded desktop applications, without requiring changes to existing technology, people, or processes. Click here to know more on this.

    Here are other important links:

  • 0 Comments
  • Filed under: AIR, Adobe, Flash, Flex, News
  • Last month Yahoo! released version 1.1 of Yahoo! ASTRA libraries for Flash and Flex. Based on community feedback, they revised it and came up with a maintenance release as 1.1.1. Hence there are no new components but many fixes to minor bugs. Here are release notes from Josh Tynjala directly: 

    AlertManager (Flash)

    • Bug fix: Alert dialog lost focus if the user selected the text and then hit the tab key.

    Charts (Flash)

    • Improved animation and invalidation of markers.
    • Bug fix: Setting axis maximum less than the value of an origin-based marker (column, bar) hides the marker.
    • Bug fix: With large data sets, line charts are displayed offset from the left, which hides some data on the right
    • Bug fix: Axis displays improperly when all items have the same value.
    • Bug fix: Infinite loop when calculating minimum and maximum values in some cases.
    • Bug fix: PieChart displays the wrong category when values are primitive and equal.  

    MenuBar (Flash)

    • Bug fix: Selected menubar button lost focus if it was toggled very quickly with keyboard shortcuts.
    • Bug fix: Skin conflicts between Menu and MenuBar.  

    TabBar (Flash)

    • Bug fix: Styles like textFormat are not passed through to tabs.
    • Bug fix: focusIndex setter tries to access buttons before they are created.  

    AutoCompleteManager (Flex)

    • New events
    • Added API for adjusting minimum disk space requirements
    • Bug fix: caret bug when changing selection of completion dropdown
    • Bug fix: itemToLabel bug on certain types of entries
    • Bug fix: loopSelection quirkiness

     This updated version is available on Yahoo! Flash Developer Center as following:

    Via – http://www.yswfblog.com/blog/2008/02/20/announcing-astra-111/

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  • Filed under: Adobe, Flash, Flex, News
  • Download – FlashDevelop 3.0.0 Beta 6 Released

    We are using FlashDevelop as our AS3 code in our daily coding since a long time at Avinashi.

    FlashDevelop is came up with a new Beta 6 release for version 3 with obviously some cool features and some bug-fixes. These features are as following:

    Changes:

    • General UI and localization fixes and improvements
    • New Bookmarks panel added for an overview of all your open documents bookmarks
    • Captures Flash CS3 compiler errors in FD results panel when CS3 is called from FD
    • Contextual generators (Ctrl+Shift+1) for getter/setter, event listeners, override methods, interface implementation, unknown var/method
    • First class SWC integration in AS3 projects
    • New in templates, set package of new project. Creates the main class with the package you provide
    • You can run your project in your web browser instead of FD or external player
    • Less aggressive and generally smarter completion
    • Improved Flex Compiler support
    • Improved Flash CS3 support


    Important:

    • Java 1.6+ is required for the Flex compiler (ActionScript 3).
    • The Flex SDK (2 or 3) is required for ActionScript 3 development if you don’t use Flash CS3.
    • Backup your customized user files and uninstall any previous versions of FlashDevelop 3.0.0.

    Full Release Notes can be found here.

    Download FlashDevelop 3.0.0 Beta 6 (Built from rev. 2133)

    And obviously if that seems a nice editor for Flash CS3 developers, you should donate too J