Fluid and RBKCustom – Adobe Creative Success Story

Fluid was featured as an Adobe Creative Success Story Video for the RBKCustom shoe configurator site they built for Reebok. Having worked briefly on this project, I can tell you that it was a very technical project with a huge object model. Support for all of the shoe configurations, combined with inventory, color, size, cross-attribute dependencies, and management of a manafucturing pipeline makes for a challenging project.

The creative side was just as challenged. Trying to design a site that allows for a massive number of configuration options, while keeping it easy to use and interesting, is no easy feat. Props to the old Fluid team !

p.s. Them are my shoes above!

Twitter Flash Visualizer at Rails Conference

Twitter Flash Visualizer

Just wanted to pass on the news that my latest project, the Twitter Flash Visualizer was put on display at the RailsConf 2007 in Portland. This was a really fun project developed in collaboration with Biz Stone and the rest of the Twitter team. The visualizer was built with configuration in mind, so I think we’ll see it applied to a number of different situations. The tech is still a little green, so if you hit any bugs let me know.

Props to Biz for a great design, and the Twitter team for feeding my latest Internet addiction!

p.s. Click on the app to go fullscreen.

Silverlight on Techcrunch

I just read what is possibly the most concise and informative article on Microsoft’s new Silverlight over on Techcrunch. I won’t bother repeating the entire article, but Silverlight’s video abilities, combined with its multiple programming models and browser interaction will definitely make it a new heavyweight in the web plug-in battle. Adobe, get your boxing gloves on!

Flex EnhancedButtonSkin Release

Are you a Flex coder? Ever feel constrained by the default ButtonSkin provided with the Flex application? I have some good news for you. I have been working on an ‘enhanced’ version of the skin that allows for more fine-grained control over button display such as explicit, multiple gradient and border colors for each button state, border thickness, as well as individual corner radii.

Here is an example demonstrating a few of the newly supported style values.

.customButtonStyle {
    cornerRadii: 16, 0, 16, 0;
    borderColors: #006699, #006699;
    borderThickness: 3;
    fillColors: #FCFFF4, #006699, #FCFFF4, 
    fillAlphas: 0.5, 0.5, 0.5;
    fillColorRatios: 0, 128, 255;

Check out the style explorer that I built for the skin, or go to Flexlib to download the source.

Flex 3 Demo at 360Flex

I am watching Ted Patrick demo new features in Flex 3 (aka “Moxie”). So far, here is what I am seeing that is cool:

  • Refactoring! – Ted displays renaming methods and variables. Assuming that we have rename class and add getters and setters, life will be getting a lot better.
  • Enhanced List and DataGrid Components – Apparently these components are slated for some significant enhancments in capabilities. (not demo’d)
  • Better Integration – A pretty cool demo of laying out Flex components in Fireworks, and then exporting the results via MXML. I had checked these out before and they are very cool.
  • Yahoo AS3 API’s Yes! Some amazing AS3 API’s are finally here. Time to get off this post and starting building some Mapping applications!

Next up was some cool demos of components and apps …

  • ESRI Vector Map Components – Demo of a very cool Vector map component rendered natively in Flash with alternate projections. Not as smooth as Google maps, but definitely providing more functionality typical of a GIS system.
  • Data Mining App – Pretty neat data mining and reporting app bult with a Flex UI. Kind of seems like its reinventing the wheel, but I suppose there isn’t anything like that for the Flash platform.
  • <flexlib /> – A very cool collection of components curated by Doug McCune.
  • Yahoo AS3 API’s – Finally … Mapping API’s for AS3 and Flex 2. Yes! Time to get off this blog and starting building some mapping apps!


Day One at 360Flex

So I attended 360Flex, the first Flex-only development conference hosted by eBay down in San Jose. So far it has been an educational conference. In particular, Christian Cantrell gave a great presentation on the Apollo API’s, and Ben Stucki’s presentation on the ByteArray 101 was quite good as well. Its really great to get an experience to flock with other Flex developers, and learn a few things on the way!