Software News from the Adobe MAX Conference 2011

Adobe MAX Conference 2011

There are quite a few very exciting things happening at Adobe Systems right now. Many of the latest developments have been released since the Adobe MAX conference in Los Angeles. This conference covered all of the news for designers, developers, and business leaders in the creative world as well as educational and training industries. The BIG news is that Adobe really is transforming the creative process that brings information to the browser, mobile devices, personal computers, and the cloud.

Here are some of the highlights and industry news related to Adobe Software Development and Adobe Online Training:

1) Adoobe has now acquired Nitobi, which supports PhoneGap for HTML5 Mobile Development. The PhoneGap technology allows developers to create native applications using web technologies such as HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and jQuery to build and deploy applications to mobile platforms.

2) Adobe just released Adobe Edge Preview 3 at Adobe Labs. Adobe Edge is a new web motion and interaction design tool that allows designers to bring animated content to websites, using web standards like HTML5, JavaScript, and CSS3. This new release includes has a new built-in code snippet library and the ability to add custom JavaScript.

3) Adobe Creative Cloud, has been released, which is a new initiative that totally changes the content creation process. Adobe is pushing for the Creative Cloud to become a focal point for the worldwide creative community, where creative professionals can utilize desktop and tablet applications and other creative services, as well as collaborate and share their work online.

4) Adobe Systems has also released a new family of touch screen applications referred to as the Adobe Touch Apps, that are designed for Android and iPad tablets. These applications enable anyone to explore ideas and present their creativity on these mobile platforms. You can learn more about theses new apps by visiting the following sites: Adobe Collage, Adobe Debut, Adobe Ideas, Adobe Kuler, Adobe Photoshop Touch, and Adobe Proto.

5) More recent news includes the acquisition of Typekit, a service that allows you to easily incorporate, various fonts into your web pages and sites. This service will be included as part of the Adobe Creative Cloud.

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Top New Features in Adobe Flash Builder 4.5

Adobe Flash Builder 4.5

Adobe Flash Builder CS5.5 enables you to develop rich interactive applications for desktops and for mobile platforms like Android, iOS, and RIM with Adobe AIR, Flash Professional, and Flash Builder.

Mobile application development for multiple mobile platforms—Build standalone applications targeted at one or more mobile platforms using new mobile support for ActionScript and Flex projects. Both Design and Code View now support mobile development, leveraging new mobile-ready components for optimal touchscreen user experience and on-device performance.

Preview, debug, and profile mobile applications—Test mobile applications on the desktop using a mobile AIR runtime emulator, or test on a locally connected mobile device using a one-click process to package, deploy, and launch.

Package and sign mobile applications—Deploy, package, and sign required resources as a platform-specific installer file for upload to a mobile application distribution site or store.

Code templates—Leverage best-practice code templates (aka snippets) for ActionScript, MXML, and CSS, now shipping with Flash Builder. Use the content assist functionality to review available templates and insert them into code. Create custom code templates and import or export templates for sharing within or across teams.

Metadata code completion—Take advantage of metadata code completion that enhances the existing content assist functionality, providing suggestions for both Flex Software Development Kit (SDK) and custom metadata tags. ActionScript proposal cycling allows grouped collections of templates, variables, functions, classes, and so forth to be easily viewed when using content assist.

Code generation—Use Quick Assist/Fix to easily access variable renaming, variable manipulation, generation of getter/setters, generation of event handlers, organization of imports, and much more. Use the override/implements feature to define methods from a superclass or interface.

Designer and developer project workflow—Work in parallel with designers using the new roundtrip workflow between Flash Catalyst CS5.5 and Flash Builder 4.5. Use the compatibility checker to help ensure that application code and project structure will allow a user interface to be created and edited using Flash Catalyst CS5.5.

Custom Spark component creation for designer skinning
—Rapidly prototype user interface elements and build component business logic by creating custom Spark component classes. Then skin components using Flash Catalyst to open the project and convert visual artwork to the required component parts.

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Dreamweaver CS5.5 New Features – JQuery and Phone Gap Support

This Dreamweaver Tutorial will show you how to get started with Dreamweaver mobile application development. You can now leverage HTML, CSS and Javascript to build native applications for the iOS and Android platforms with the addition of support for the jQuery mobile and Phonegap frameworks.

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Top Reasons to Upgrade to Adobe InDesign CS5.5

Adobe InDesign CS5.5
Folio Producer tools —Create, preview, and bundle engaging digital documents for tablet devices such as Apple iPad, RIM BlackBerry PlayBook, and a wide variety of Android tablets, including the Motorola Xoom. Upload these documents to Adobe Digital Publishing Suite* for further production, distribution, and analysis.

Enhanced eBook authoring —Create more engaging eBooks with less need for developers. Enjoy a smoother workflow as you include refined typography and images that resize automatically to fit virtually any screen. You can even add video and audio for eBook reader applications that support HTML5 video and audio tags.

Articles panel—Control the sequence of text, images, and graphics when you export to EPUB or HTML without changing your InDesign layout. Organize your content by dragging it into the new Articles panel to define the export order.

Styles mapped to tags—More easily create standards-compliant digital documents with improved basic typography—no manual code changes required. Map paragraph and character styles directly to HTML, EPUB, and PDF tags to ensure that styles you define in InDesign are correctly exported to appropriate specifications.

Linked text—Maintain consistency more easily when working with content that’s duplicated throughout a document. Link identical text blocks within a layout so that changes to the parent block are automatically made in all the others.

Dragging and dropping of anchored objects—Add inline graphics and other anchored objects quickly and intuitively by simply dragging them to the desired anchor location in the text.

PDF accessibility enhancements—Reduce the time it takes to create PDF documents that are accessible to people with disabilities. More easily add, edit, and view Alt text attributes associated with an image or object.

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Great New Features of Adobe Flash CS5.5

Adobe Flash CS5.5

Expanded platform and device support
Flash Professional CS5.5 makes it easier to reach audiences on the latest Flash Platform runtimes, including Flash Player 10.2 and Adobe AIR 2.6.

Deliver to desktop computers. Take advantage of the ubiquity of Adobe Flash Player within browsers, and extend beyond the browser with Adobe AIR. Your content displays with a consistent look and feel across operating systems and browsers.

Deliver to mobile devices. Deliver content that plays back on millions of devices worldwide, and reach audiences on smartphones that run Android 2.2 and above. Use Adobe AIR for iOS Support, included with Flash Professional CS5.5, to compile ActionScript bytecode into native iPhone application code.

Deliver to tablets. Produce immersive content optimized for tablet devices. Take advantage of touch input and gesture-based actions that enhance the user experience.

Deliver to Internet-enabled televisions. Extend the reach of your content into consumers’ Internet-connected living rooms, with immersive experiences and applications that run on Adobe AIR for the Digital Home

Efficient workflows for multi-target content
Simplify the creation and management of multiple FLA files that are created for a single project, but that target multiple devices. Share code and assets across documents and device targets to efficiently create, test, package, and deploy content for a wide range of screens and devices. For example, symbols modified in one document update across other documents. The New Project dialog box has been enhanced to include a Default Document section, which allows you to specify a document name, target player, and ActionScript version.

Content scaling when resizing stage
One of the most time-consuming aspects of designing content that is optimized for various screen sizes is scaling content to fit to every size. Designers spend much of their time adjusting a single design to work at multiple sizes. With Flash Professional CS5.5, you can choose to scale the contents of your file when you change the size of the stage. Everything on the stage, including symbols and motion paths across all scenes, are scaled. There are also controls for limiting scaling to unlocked or visible layers.

Enhanced layer controls
Flash Professional CS5.5 gives you more control over the contents of your document with the ability to do even more with layers. Copy and paste layers—including ones with motion and inverse kinematics armatures—to a different timeline or even to a different FLA document. You can also cut and duplicate layers, and even copy and paste folders.

Symbol rasterization
Complex vector artwork can take a toll on the processors of mobile devices, degrading rendering performance. Flash Professional CS5.5 offers two new options that allow you to easily export content as bitmaps, which help enhance performance of your mobile content. The Convert To Bitmap command allows you to convert selected artwork on the stage to a bitmap. Once converted, the artwork is no longer editable in Flash Professional, although you can edit it in Adobe Photoshop® software. The Export As Bitmap command is a display property that you can apply to movie clip symbols. With this setting enabled, chosen symbols are rendered as bitmaps on stage when the project is published, with the benefit that the symbol remains editable

Enhanced code snippets handling
Flash Professional CS5.5 brings several key enhancements to the Code Snippets panel, offering quick and easy ways to add ActionScript 3.0 code to your projects:
• Place your cursor over a movie clip placeholder in the code snippet, and a pick whip appears. Drag the pick whip to a movie clip on the stage to insert the instance name of your target movie clip into the code.
• Use more than 20 new code snippets, including ones for creating mobile and AIR applications, for accelerometer, multitouch gestures, and save/load data.
• Upon selecting a snippet from the Code Snippets panel, you can view a description or preview the underlying ActionScript code on a heads-up display (HUD) before you apply it.

Streamlined publishing and document settings
Save time with a newly designed and more efficient Publish Settings dialog box, which you can now access directly from the Properties panel. Select multiple formats on the left and edit the corresponding settings on the right. New to the dialog box is the ability to publish a SWC file to a path of your choice without having to publish the SWF file. In addition, the dialog box now returns relative paths when selecting a publish destination so that files can be more easily shared across teams. You can also change the version of Flash Player, ActionScript version, and stage size directly from the Properties panel.

Pinning support for inverse kinematics
With this new release, Flash Professional continues to offer a powerful interactive design toolset that allows for creative exploration and implementation. You can now lock, or pin, bones to the stage, allowing you to place restrictions on the movements of selected bones. In addition, you can now create multiple spans or armatures on a single layer, and you can more easily define more complex movement of armatures, such as walk cycles.

Customer-requested enhancements
Flash Professional CS5.5 includes a number of new features that customers have asked for, including:
• Control over author time playback using a new integrated controller at the bottom of the Timeline and the Motion Editor. A new Loop button helps make it easier to repeatedly review a part of your animation.
• A new conflict resolution dialog box appears when symbols of the same name are imported to the Library, offering the option to place duplicate items into a new folder.
• TLF text support for style sheets, just like Classic text. You can create a StyleSheet in ActionScript and add it to a TLF block to change the attributes of text.
• Support for tab stops. Align text to tabs, and to enter tab characters in TLF text fields on stage. The tab ruler allows tab stops to be added, deleted, moved, or to have their tab type changed.
• Optimized export of TLF text to SWF. Offering decreased SWF file size and generally better performance in Flash Player and Adobe AIR.
• Improved performance for TLF, seen in such functions as scrolling speed and creating and populating TLF text blocks. These enhancements improve the use of TLF on Android mobile devices.
• A new compiler caching feature to help reduce the compile time of documents that use embedded fonts and MP3 sound files, allowing you to deploy rich content faster. In previous versions, these items would recompile each time you tested or published a movie, even if nothing had changed. In Flash Professional CS5.5, the compiler caches the embedded fonts and sound items the first time a document is compiled, and each time you test or publish movies subsequently, the compiler will use the cached assets, noticeably reducing compile time.

Seamless mobile testing
Perform source-level debugging on Adobe AIR enabled devices that are connected with a USB cable. Set break points and use trace statements to test the content directly on the device. You can also package AIR for Android apps and publish directly to the device.

Flash Builder 4.5 integration
Experience better integration between Flash Professional CS5.5 and Flash Builder 4.5. Create and open projects in either Flash Professional or Flash Builder. When you change project settings in one application, the other application’s settings will automatically update to match.

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Top new features of Adobe Flash Catalyst CS5.5

Adobe Flash Catalyst CS5.5

Full designer-developer workflow

Flash Catalyst CS5 and Flash Builder 4 enabled a workflow that allowed designers to provide native Flex Project (FXP) files to developers, who could then open and continue to work with those files. Now, Flash Catalyst CS5.5 and Flash Builder 4.5 expand on this concept and deliver a powerful new workflow that lets designers and developers collaborate on the same project.

Resizable applications and components
Creating applications that look great across devices with different screen sizes is a huge design challenge, so Flash Catalyst now lets you to define constraints that control how applications and components adjust when they appear on screens with different sizes and resolutions.
You can set a project to be resizable via an option in the New Project dialog box, or in the Artboard Settings dialog box that causes objects and components on the artboard to display with small circles on each of the four sides of the object. Click on the little circles, called constraint handles, to apply constraints to the bounds of the application or the parent component.

Enhanced timelines and animations
Flash Catalyst CS5.5 makes it easier to navigate through longer timeline transitions, with a new horizontal scroll bar across the bottom of the Timelines panel. In addition, Flash Catalyst CS5.5 takes advantage of more efficient code enhancements. Transitions that are applied in the Timelines panel have been rewritten to use the <animate> tag, making for more efficient and better performing code

Common Library panel
The Wireframe Components panel in Flash Catalyst CS5 has been replaced with a new Common Library panel in Flash Catalyst CS5.5, sporting larger and more descriptive icons. Appearing in a horizontal format, the panel contains a collection of new components that fall into two categories:
• Flex components. Flex Spark components, written to support Adobe Flex 4.5, can be skinned and used directly by developers when projects are opened in Flash Builder 4.5. Flex components are identified with pencil icons in the Common Library panel.
• Placeholder components. Unlike Flex components, placeholder components are not Spark components, and they cannot be skinned in Flash Catalyst. They are intended to be used as mockups or placeholders, which a developer can modify later in Adobe Flash Builder 4.5.
The Common Library panel features a Search field that allows you to quickly find the component you need. In addition, there are filters that allow you to view all components, just Flex components, or just Placeholder components.

Custom skinnable components
Custom skinnable components are elements that are built by developers in Flash Builder 4.5 and contain customized parts that are defined and controlled by the developer. These custom components can be skinned by a designer in Flash Catalyst CS5.5.
When a custom skinnable component is imported into Flash Catalyst CS5.5, you can choose Modify > Convert Artwork To Component > Skinnable Component. This brings up the Select Skinnable Component dialog box, which allows you to choose from a list of all of the components available in the project. The dialog box also features an Import From File button that allows you to quickly import additional component definitions from a Flex Project Library (FXPL) file.

Improved interactions
With Flash Catalyst CS5, you could specify a transition to a state at the application level when defining an interaction, but you could not specify a transition to a state within other components. In Flash Catalyst CS5.5, you can visually target components directly from the artboard, making it possible to easily define transitions to other component states. A new target mode is now available when you define an interaction, which allows you to navigate and visually select another component or object on the artboard. You can then choose to target a state from the selected component.

User-requested enhancements
Adobe continuously reaches out to both designers and developers in efforts to add useful features. Flash Catalyst CS5.5 adds a number of enhancements requested by users, including the following:

Align panel
The new Align panel is similar to that found in other Adobe design applications such as Illustrator. It can be found grouped with the Interactions panel and contains align, distribute, distribute spacing, and match size functions. In addition, the panel allows you to align objects to the artboard.

Efficient component naming
When you convert artwork to a component, or when you double-click a wireframe component in order to skin it, that component is added to the Project Library panel. In Flash Catalyst CS5, these components were named automatically (i.e., Button1, Button2, and so on). In Flash Catalyst CS5.5, any time you convert artwork to a component or attempt to skin a wireframe component, you are prompted to name the component. In this way, the components in your library can be quickly understood, making it easier for developers to work with your projects.

“Replace With” command
Flash Catalyst CS5.5 simplifies the process of mocking up functional wireframes by enabling you to easily replace objects on the artboard. With an object selected, choose Modify > Replace With and the Select Asset dialog box open, listing all the objects in your project library. This allows you to quickly replace a rectangle with a component, or even replace one kind of component with another.

Updated color theme
Flash Catalyst CS5.5 features a new theme for wireframe component skins, which uses shades of gray to give you a color-neutral wireframe for your project. This new color theme appears in both the Flex and the Placeholder components.

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