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Android 1 – iPhone 0 (eventually sorted though)

I have used PhoneGap before without the aid of Dreamweaver and although it works well the setup process is a little complex and I never really got it working for IPhone on my Mac. A lot of students have been asking for training sessions for writing apps so I thought that the CS5.5 / PhoneGap integration might streamline the whole process. As with most things Adobe do the workflow is very simple and when using the jQuery mobile template and exporting out to Android everything worked really well. The problems came when I started trying to export for the IPhone (Surprise surprise). The main issue was that once I pointed the setting to the the developer folder at the root of my hard drive and clicked build and emulate I got an error:

The build of application failed to complete successfully

After hunting round in the settings for a while I decided to hit up Google. I found the solution in the Adobe forums, here is the link:

I was unsure if I was supposed to change the camera.h file @



/Applications/Adobe Dreamweaver CS5.5/Configuration/NativeAppFramework/DWPhoneGap

So I changed them both for good measure and everything now works fine.

Screen shot of the NaturalDocs command line tool

Recently, I have been really enjoying AS3 because of its versatility. The projects I have been working on are growing quite complex and hard to manage. The main issue I have been having is remembering what each class does. I have been very careful to comment code but sometimes it would be nice just to have a document that describes all variables, methods etc. Today I started looking at automated systems to create documentation from AS3 project code and I came across NaturalDocs. Its a very simple to use command line tool which goes through all my project code reading the comments and structure. NaturalDocs then creates a full blown website documenting the code.

A couple of weeks ago I wrote an application in AS3 that used FFMPEG for video manipulation. The application utilised the NativeProcess class from adobe air to execute native processes via the command line. The technique really adds another level to the versatility of AS3. Since the video app I have been itching to use the technique again so I decided to make a very simple GUI for NaturalDocs. The picture above is a screen shot of an air app that has NaturalDocs embedded in. The app is very simple all the user has to do is click the top box and locate the project code then click the second box and define a folder for the destination of the docs. Once “create docs” is clicked NaturalDocs goes ahead and creates the documentation for the code. Its very simple but hopefully it will be quite useful. I was very impressed with the work that Greg Valure has done on NaturalDocs its a very intuitive and efficient system to use.

Some of the AS3 resources I have been working on are becoming very useful. I can’t wait to start documenting some of the more universal classes I have written and then releasing them into the great wild west that is the internet.

A screen shot of the documentation that is generated:

Screen shot of the documentation that is generated by NaturalDocsIMPORTANT: None of the work done for NaturalDocs is mine I am only responsible for the GUI used to short cut the functionality of NaturalDocs

I will upload the app and post link to download it soon. I don’t think this would break the GPL license the NaturalDocs project is licensed with.

Recently I have spent a considerable amount of time researching data visualization techniques using Flash and AS3. The main driving force for this research was to inspire first year Digital Media students without allowing them to be intimidated by AS3. To make the process of visualizing data in AS3 less daunting I have started writing a toolkit of classes the students can use to bypass some of the fundamental and structural elements of visualizing data. This way the students can concentrate on the creative and experimental aspects of the visualizations and achieve results at a much faster rate.

Here is one of the classes I have completed that I believe to be quite useful. The purpose of the class is to convert time into units along an axis. The class takes the start time and end time for a period of data collection and maps that across either the x or y axis. The class has a getPoint method which you can pass any time within the data collection period and it will return the point in pixels along the specified axis.

Once an instance of has been defined only two lines are required to start utilising the class for example:

converter.setAxis(“12:00:00”, // The start time
“12:05:00”, // The end time
“x”);       // the axis to apply the units to

trace(converter.getPoint(“12:02:00”)); //get a value along the defined axis

Anybody is welcome to use this class I just hope other people find it as useful as I do.  However I would love to know any improvements that could be made to the class and how it has been implemented.

DOWNLOAD class and examples

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