AIR applications logging… my own extension to Flex’s logging framework

Finally it’s time to release my little project and my first personal and public Actionscript library.
What I’m talking about? I realized a little “subframework” which goal is to extend Flex’s logging framework, in order to write log messages to files on the disk and provide a custom Flex’s UI component (which can be easy used into every AIR application) to read/filtering these log files.

Learn more here: http://www.daveoncode.com/air-logging-framework

Just a note: although I tested the library (windows and mac) and it works fine, this project may contains bugs or doesn’t work under some circumstances. Comments and feedback are welcome!

Documenting Actionscript classes which make use of AIR framework

This is just a quick post that may (I hope) help who are going to use asdoc tool to generate Actionscript documentation for AS classes which use AIR framework.

Problem:

You want to generate documentation for your package(s), but when you type asdoc command in the terminal you get a lot of errors such:

Type was not found or was not a compile-time constant: File.
Type was not found or was not a compile-time constant: Vector

…and so on

Solution:

You have to use -external-library-path option to include AIR swc, because AIR classes are located into external swc apart from Flex framework.
These files are under /sdks/{yourSDKVersion}/frameworks/libs/air/ (where “{yourSDKVersion}” is the version of Flex SDK you are using to deploy your applications) and are the following five:

  • airframework.swc
  • airglobal.swc
  • applicationupdater_ui.swc
  • applicationupdater.swc
  • servicemonitor.swc

The first 2 should be imported with -external-library-path option anytime you use AIR classes, the others are necessary only if you are using the update framework and/or serivicemonitor.

The following is an example of how to use the asdoc command with the option discussed:


./asdoc -source-path=/Users/davidezanotti/Documents/workspace/myproject/src/ -external-library-path=/Applications/Adobe\ Flex\ Builder\ 3\ Plug-in/sdks/3.3.0.4589/frameworks/libs/air/airframework.swc,/Applications/Adobe\ Flex\ Builder\ 3\ Plug-in/sdks/3.3.0.4589/frameworks/libs/air/airglobal.swc -doc-sources=/Users/davidezanotti/Documents/workspace/myproject/src/ -output=/Users/davidezanotti/Desktop/doc

The code above will succesfull generate documentation for all classes under the folder “/Users/davidezanotti/Documents/workspace/myproject/src/” to the “doc” folder on the desktop.

Make money with AIR applications by using Sharify

I just discovered Sharify, an interesting service which goal is to provide AIR developers the tools for create shareware (sellable) applications.
It seems also very easy to use, the steps are: register to the site, create an application id, integrate the sharify library (an swf file) into the application and choose a payment method (like paypal). The service unfortunately is not free, but require the 3% of each license sold… however I find the percentage very reasonable (if the service is valid and secure as I expect).
I didn’t try it yet, but I think I’ll do in the future :)

I’m learning Actionscript 3… and I like it!

Essential Actionscript 3.0After some tests with the Adobe AIR SDK, I’ve discovered the huge limits of developing in HTML + Javascript (of course I’m speaking about a desktop application perspective). So I’ve took a look around and I’ve realized that what I need for AIR (and not only) is Actionscript! It is infinitely stronger, flexible and better structured than Javascript, and with the 3.0 version is a true object oriented programming language. From my point of view it can be considered a middle way between Java and Javascript. In fact it has the OOP benefits as polymorphism, hineritance, interfaces, typed parameters and so on like Java, plus the flexibility of the coding style like Javascript, ie I can use JSON sintax and I’m free to code in “strongly tiped” way or not.

At the moment I’m studing the excellent book “Essential Actionscript 3.0” and I’m already quite comfortable with the new language. The next book I’m going to buy are:

  • Actionscript 3 design patterns
  • Actionscript 3 game programming university
  • Foundation Actionscript 3 animations: Making Things Move!
  • Programming Flex 3 – The Comprehensive Guide to Creating Rich Internet Applications with Adobe Flex

So… like AC/DC say: “It’s a long way to the top if you want rock N roll” :-)