Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Flex/AIR and "Form Factor"

I found a very well-written article from InsideRIA discussing Flex, AIR, problems, solutions, challenges, etc. I highly recommend checking it out.


Here's an excerpt:

"For many years web browsers have struggled to provide proper support for standards defined by the W3C. Internet Explorer, Firefox, Netscape, etc all had quirks that made it so developers often had to introduce browser specific code to achieve consistency. This problem inflated the amount of work designers and developers had to do to make something work. They had to maintain browser specific code that could often double the size and complexity of the project

The Flash Player emerged from this struggle as a runtime that offered full consistency along with very advanced capability. Consistency was never sacrificed for capability by the Flash Player team though, and that turned out to be the key to why the Flash Player is so successful. No forking.

So at the end of the day, the Flash Player allowed developers to "write once, run anywhere" on the web.

Cross-Platform software development on the desktop has always been a daunting task. Operating Systems offer much more capability to an application than a web browser offers a web application. Operating Systems for the most part have not been developed against any standards like web browsers have. Vendors tend to achieve consensus by copying each other and as a result of the process of natural selection, standards tend to emerge over time.

AIR is truly amazing because not only does it abstract all the dominant operating systems to developers, it also takes web standards to them as a model for development. While AIR's capabilities are still a little limited at this time, it is poised to offer a true "write once, run anywhere" for applications running on the desktop.

Write once, run anywhere is a serious reason to adopt a software development toolset and runtime. It means that one version of the software will be written, and maintained. Awesome!.."

Go to the full article

Monday, February 25, 2008

Meeting - March 26, 2008 - Topics: Photoshop, SEO

Date: Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Time: 6-8PM

East Shore Area Library - Computer Lab, 1st floor (basement)
4501 Ethel Street
Harrisburg, PA 17109
No food or drink is allowed in the computer room.
Information about the meeting location

About the Meeting:

Adobe Photoshop CS3 Tips & Tricks

Joseph will be covering a few tips and tricks in Adobe Photoshop CS3 to help streamline your graphic development.

Some topics that will be covered will be:
  • How to remove the background around an object or person in a photo, using the Dodge an Burn tools, along with alpha channels and layer masks.
  • How to harmlessly adjust color and brightness levels using fill and adjustment layers.
  • How to create an out-of-focus background using Smart Objects and simple filters.
  • How to remove blemishes and imperfections from images using the Rubber Stamp tool.
Joseph Sites is a graphic design student at The Art Institute of York – Pennsylvania. He also owns and operates TragicallyBeautiful Designs. He also has 6 years experience developing eLearning applications using Authorware and Flash.

Website SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
Lambert will present "SEO: Simple Techniques and Insight on how to optimize your site for factors search engines care about!"

You will learn:
  • Which parts of your site have the biggest impact on search engines.
  • Common SEO mistakes
  • How to choose the best keywords and optimize your meta tags
  • Tools and programs available to assist you to the top of the search pages.
David Lambert is a web designer and has been a member of CPAUG for about three years. He loves to design, interact and learn from our group and its members. This is his first time presenting, and is am looking forward to giving back to the group.

Peachpit Press has generously gifted each of our presenters with a book.
Don't forget that User Group members receive a 30% discount off the list price of any Peachpit books. At checkout, right before you put your credit card number in, you must enter the user group coupon code UE-23AA-PEUF (case-sensitive). This coupon code is an exclusive offer that may not be used in conjunction with any other coupon codes. http://www.peachpit.com/store/

Please feel free to post a comment if there are any topics that you'd like to see covered, or if you are interested in presenting a topic.

Meeting Recap: Flex3/AIR

Here's a recap and some resources from the Flex/AIR launch meeting.

RIA (Rich Internet Application)
Rich Internet applications (RIA) are web applications that have the features and functionality of traditional desktop applications. RIAs typically transfer the processing necessary for the user interface to the web client but keep the bulk of the data (i.e., maintaining the state of the program, the data etc) back on the application server.

Adobe® Flex™ is a cross-platform development framework for creating rich Internet applications (RIAs). Flex enables you to create expressive, high-performance applications that run identically on all major browsers and operating systems and devices. Free, open source framework. Less time to develop apps, cross platform development.

Framework (via Wiki)= A software framework is a re-usable design for a software system (or subsystem). A software framework may include support programs, code libraries, a scripting language, or other software to help develop and glue together the different components of a software project. Various parts of the framework may be exposed through an API (application programming interface)

AIR (Adobe Integrated Runtime)

Adobe® AIR is a cross-operating system runtime that allows web application developers to use their existing web development skills (HTML, Javascript, Adobe Flash®, Adobe Flex™, Ajax) to build and deploy rich Internet applications to the desktop. .Experience Adobe AIR yourself by downloading Adobe AIR applications from industry leaders using Adobe AIR. It's a collection of Flash, SQL, and Webkit HTML engine (proven technologies). Cross platform. Not a browser replacement. It extends and builds upon it..It can be used to replace desktop applications (example: Buzzword instead of desktop word processors).
How is it different then Flash Player? AIR is not a browser plug in, it's a desktop client runtime. AIR inherits the capabilities of the Flash Player and ads HTML and JS support, fully branded "chrome" applications, convenient desktop integration and local DB access.
Visit the Adobe AIR Showcase

A runtime environment is a virtual machine state which provides software services for processes or programs while a computer is running. It may pertain to the operating system itself, or the software that runs beneath it. The primary purpose is to accomplish the objective of "platform independent" programming.

Eclipse is an open source community whose projects are focused on building an open development platform comprised of extensible frameworks, tools and runtimes for building, deploying and managing software across the lifecycle. A large and vibrant ecosystem of major technology vendors, innovative start-ups, universities, research institutions and individuals extend, complement and support the Eclipse platform

BlazeDS release candidate release on Adobe Labs. BlazeDS is the server-based Java remoting and web messaging technology that enables developers to easily connect to back-end distributed data and push data in real-time to Adobe® Flex™ and Adobe AIR™ applications for more responsive rich Internet application (RIA) experiences.

AIR Samples

Flex Showcase

BBC Report on the Flex/AIR launch

Webkit - is an open source web browser engine. Allows you to develop an application that can render webpages.

RIA Resources

Adobe.com (of course)

AIR Security

Special "Can't Miss" February Meeting - Feb 25th

Join the CPAUG for this "can't miss" meeting!

Date: Monday
, February 25, 2008
Time: 6-8PM

East Shore Area Library - Computer Lab, 1st floor (basement)
4501 Ethel Street
Harrisburg, PA 17109
No food or drink is allowed in the computer room
Information about the meeting location

About the Meeting:

As you may have heard, Adobe has announced the release of Adobe Flex 3 and Adobe AIR 1.0. Now that the cat is out of the bag, this will be the focus of our Monday, February 25, 2008 special meeting! Adobe is sponsoring this meeting with giveaways and a raffle copy of Adobe Flex Professional.

Flex 3 is a feature-packed release, adding new UI components like the advanced datagrid and improved CSS capabilities; powerful tooling additions like refactoring; and extensive testing tools including memory and performance profiling, plus the addition of the automated testing framework to Flex Builder.

Adobe AIR is game-changing in so many ways, delivering rich applications on the desktop, enabling access to the local file system, system tray, notifications and much more. Now you can write RIAs on the desktop using the same skills that you've been already using to create great web apps including both Flex and AJAX.

Don't miss out on this opportunity to see and hear about this highly anticipated release of Flex 3 and AIR at this meeting, Monday, February 25, 2008..

***** WIN a Sony PlayStation Portable! ******
One (1) lucky CPAUG member will be randomly selected to win a PSP Daxter Entertainment Pack!

How cool is the PSP? Check out these articles about it: Designing and developing Flash games for the Sony PSP and Flash development for Sony PSP™
. "The Sony PlayStation Portable (PSP™) is a leading handheld game console. A Flash-enabled device that supports Flash Player 6, the PSP™ enables consumers to play games, browse the web, watch movies, listen to music and more."For more about the PSP, check out the PSP official website.
You must be a CPAUG member and you must be present to win. Approximate retail value of the prize is $199.99. Official Sweepstakes Rules.

PennLive.com Notebook Night:
The first 10 people at this CPAUG meeting will receive a PennLive.com hardcover notebook with pen! PennLive.com is your Central PA resource for news, sports, entertainment and jobs. Find your next technology gig using the PennLive.com jobs technology channel where local technology jobs are updated daily or give their advanced search a try.

Peachpit Press has generously gifted CPAUG with a collector's item "Voices that Matter" book bag and tee shirt for our random meeting drawing.
Don't forget that User Group members receive a 30% discount off the list price of any Peachpit books. At checkout, right before you put your credit card number in, you must enter the user group coupon code UE-23AA-PEUF (case-sensitive). This coupon code is an exclusive offer that may not be used in conjunction with any other coupon codes. http://www.peachpit.com/store/

Please feel free to post a comment if there are any topics that you'd like to see covered, or if you are interested in presenting a topic.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

JobOp: www.Krop.com

This website, www.Krop.com is a great resource for Creative and Technology people looking for employment (including remote short term contracts). Be sure to check it out!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Standard Sweepstakes Rules


A purchase will not improve chances of winning.

You have not yet won.


By entering this Promotion, entrants accept and agree to be bound by these Official Rules. Any violation of these rules may result in disqualification. All decisions of the judges regarding this Promotion are final and binding in all respects.

1. PROMOTION PERIOD. Promotion begins 6:00 PM ET on February 25, 2008 and ends 8:00 PM. ET on February 25, 2008, when all entries must be received.

2. ELIGIBILITY. This sweepstakes (the "Promotion") is only open to CPAUG members who are residents of Pennsylvania and who are at least 18 years old as of the date of entry, except officers, directors, shareholders, and employees of the Sponsor, the judging organization (if applicable), or any other party associated with the development or administration of this Promotion, and the immediate family (i.e., parents, children, siblings, spouse), and persons residing in the same household, as such individuals. This Promotion is void outside of Pennsylvania, and where prohibited. You must be present at the time of the drawing.

3. HOW TO ENTER. Participate in the February 25, 2008 CPAUG (Central Pennsylvania Adobe User Group) meeting and receive a raffle ticket. All entries become the property of the Sponsor and will not be acknowledged or returned. Limit: 1 entry per person during the Promotion Period.

4. WINNER SELECTION AND NOTIFICATION. Winner selection will be conducted by random drawing from all eligible entries on or about February 25, 2008 (the "Drawing Date"). Any potential winner will be notified in person and/or email. If a potential winner cannot be contacted, does not respond within five (5) days from the date the Sponsor first tries to notify him/her, and/or the prize or prize notification is returned as undeliverable, such potential winner forfeits all rights to win the Promotion or receive the prize(s), and an alternate potential winner may be selected. Upon contacting a potential winner and determining that he/she has met all eligibility requirements of the Promotion, including without limitation the execution of required waivers, publicity and liability releases and disclaimers, such individual will be declared the "winner" of the Promotion.

5. PRIZE DESCRIPTION. There will be 1 winner. The grand prize includes one (1) PSP Daxter Entertainment Pack. Prize valued at $199.99.

6. TAXES. All federal, state and/or local income and other taxes, if any, are the winner's sole responsibility.

7. ODDS OF WINNING. The odds of winning this Promotion depend on the number of eligible entries received.

8. NO PRIZE TRANSFER OR SUBSTITUTION. No prize or any portion thereof is transferable or redeemable for cash. Any portion of the prize that is not used is forfeited. No substitutions for prize except by Sponsor, in which case a prize of equal or greater value will be substituted.

9. CONSENT AND RELEASE. By entering the Promotion, each entrant releases and discharges the Sponsor, judging organization (if applicable), and any other party associated with the development or administration of this Promotion, their parent, subsidiary, and affiliated entities, and each of their respective officers, directors, members, shareholders, employees, independent contractors, agents, representatives, transferees and assigns (collectively, "Sponsor Entities"), from any and all liability whatsoever in connection with this Promotion, including without limitation legal claims, costs, injuries, losses or damages, demands or actions of any kind (including without limitation personal injuries, death, damage to, loss or destruction or property, rights of publicity or privacy, defamation, or portrayal in a false light) (collectively, "Claims"). Except where prohibited: (i) acceptance of a prize constitutes the consent of any winner, without further compensation, to use the name and likeness of such winner for editorial, advertising and publicity purposes by the Sponsor and/or others authorized by the Sponsor; (ii) acceptance of a prize constitutes a release by any winner of the Sponsor Entities of any and all Claims in connection with the administration of this Promotion and the use, misuse, or possession of any prize; (iii) potential winner may be required to sign an affidavit of eligibility (including social security number) and a liability/publicity release; and (iv) if prize involves travel or activities, any potential winner and travel companion (if applicable) may be required to execute releases of the Sponsor from any and all liability with respect to participation in such travel/activities and/or use of the prize. Affidavits and releases must be returned within ten (10) days from the date that Sponsor first tries to notify the potential winner. If winner is deemed to be a minor under the jurisdiction of his/her residence, the prize will be awarded in the name of his/her parent or legal guardian who must execute the necessary affidavit and release and, if applicable, must accompany winner on the trip (no additional travel expenses will be awarded should a parent or legal guardian be required to accompany the winner on the trip).

10. DISCLAIMERS. (i) Entries that are lost, late, misdirected, incorrect, garbled, or incompletely received, for any reason, including by reason of hardware, software, browser, or network failure, malfunction, congestion, or incompatibility at Sponsor's servers or elsewhere, will not be eligible. In the event of a dispute, entries will be deemed submitted by the authorized account holder of the e-mail address submitted at the time of entry. "Authorized account holder" is defined as the natural person who is assigned to an e-mail address by an Internet Access Provider, online service provider, or other organization (e.g., business, educational institute) that is responsible for assigning e-mail addresses for the domain associated with the submitted e-mail address. (ii) Sponsor, in its sole discretion, reserves the right to disqualify any person tampering with the entry process or the operation of the web site. Use of bots or other automated process to enter is prohibited and may result in disqualification at the sole discretion of Sponsor. (iii) Sponsor further reserves the right to cancel, terminate or modify the Promotion if it is not capable of completion as planned, including by reason of infection by computer virus, bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, force majeure or technical failures of any sort. (iv) Sponsor Entities are not responsible for errors in the administration or fulfillment of this Promotion, including without limitation mechanical, human, printing, distribution or production errors, and may modify or cancel this Promotion based upon such error at its sole discretion without liability. (v) SPONSOR ENTITIES MAKE NO WARRANTIES, REPRESENTATIONS OR GUARANTEES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN FACT OR IN LAW, AS REGARDS THIS PROMOTION OR THE MERCHANTABILITY, QUALITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE REGARDING ANY PRIZE OR ANY COMPONENT OF ANY PRIZE. (vi) CAUTION: ANY ATTEMPT BY AN ENTRANT TO DELIBERATELY DAMAGE THE WEBSITE OR UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THIS PROMOTION MAY BE A VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND/OR CIVIL LAWS, AND SHOULD SUCH AN ATTEMPT BE MADE, SPONSOR RESERVES THE RIGHT TO SEEK REMEDIES AND DAMAGES (INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION ATTORNEYS' FEES) FROM ANY SUCH ENTRANT TO THE FULLEST EXTENT OF THE LAW, INCLUDING CRIMINAL PROSECUTION.

11. APPLICABLE LAWS AND JURISDICTION. This Promotion is subject to all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations. Issues concerning the construction, validity, interpretation and enforceability of these Official Rules shall be governed by the laws of the State of Pennsylvania. All disputes arising out of or connected with this Promotion will be resolved individually, and without resort to class action, exclusively by a state or federal court located in Pennsylvania. Should there be a conflict between the laws of Pennsylvania and any other laws, the conflict will be resolved in favor of the laws of the State of Pennsylvania. All judgments or awards shall be limited to actual out-of-pocket damages (excluding attorneys' fees) associated with participation in this Promotion and shall not include any indirect, punitive, incidental and/or consequential damages.

12. WINNER LIST. For a list containing the name(s) of the winner(s), visit the website: http://cenpennaug.blogspot.com/

13. SPONSORSHIP. This Promotion is sponsored by Central Pennsylvania Adobe User Group (CPAUG) Harrisburg, PA 17110, (individually and collectively, the "Sponsor").

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Introducing InsideRIA.com

Just launched is a new web site InsideRIA.com, an online community developed by O'Reilly and sponsored by Adobe Systems Incorporated. Their goal is to create an invaluable resource for information on the ever-changing state of design and development of rich Internet applications (RIAs).

If you haven't already, sign up for the InsideRIA newsletter. It is a monthly review of community highlights and upcoming content for InsideRIA.com. Or, add the RSS Feed to your feed reader.

JobOp: Web Project Manager - JPL

Web Project Manager - Job Details

Originally posted on PennLive.com/jobs

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Emerging Technologies Conference - Philadelphia - March 26th and 27th

Emerging Technologies for the Enterprise (Event Details)
Drexel University
Creese Student Center
Philadelphia, PA
Wednesday, March 26, 2008, 8:00 am - Thursday, March 27, 2008, 5:30 pm

Two days of five very full tracks for $175.
Click here for registration.

The conference showcases emerging cutting-edge technologies and offers technical and management educational tracks on how those technologies are used, the impact they have on the enterprise and successes and challenges in deploying them. Subjects covered include Java and Lightweight Development, Open Source Software, SOA/Integration, Web 2.0, Agile Practices, Ruby on Rails and more.

Listen to experts like Obie Fernandez, Dan Allen, Chris Richardson, Brian McCallister, Dan Diephouse, Max Calson and others as they walk you through the very basics to the very difficult task of harvesting open source in today's ever changing world.

Lucinda Holt, CEO, Commerce360 and one of the keynote speakers is looking forward to the conference. Says Holt, "Emerging Technologies for the Enterprise has quickly become the go-to high-tech conference in the Boston to Washington D.C. tech corridor. Centrally located in Philadelphia, the conference offers not only a great educational experience, but a community forum where people connect and collaborate."

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Discounted Website Hosting & Domain Names

As a CPAUG Member, you receive great benefits, perks, discounts and freebies!

Discounted Website Hosting & Domain Names

$50 off hosting ($50 value)

$50 off hosting plus 3 free Domain Names (up to a $95 value)

Just go to http://www.dreamhost.com/r.cgi?380346 and enter one of the two promo codes above.

Hosting includes...
500 GB Disk Storage
5 TB Monthly Bandwidth
Unlimited E-mail Accounts(POP/IMAP)
Unlimited E-mail Aliases
Multiple Domain/Site Hosting Capabilities from a Single Account
Plus many more features!
Sign up now as low as $5.95/mo*

* depending on pre-payment.