Macromedia Flash Enabled: Flash Design & Development for Devices

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New Riders, 2002 - Computers - 529 pages
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This book guides Flash designers & developers in creating content and applications for multiple devices with Flash and other tools. Focusing on the Pocket PC platform, this book also discusses considerations in developing Flash for set-top box systems, cell phones, and lays the foundation for devices such as the Palm. The book targets four main concepts: 1) design/development considerations, 2) creating content once & deploying to many platforms, (including info on using MM Generator to author content in Flash and serve it to Palm Pilots and cell phones that don't yet have Flash Players), 3) creating Flash content for Pocket PC, and 4) application development using Flash integrated with middle-ware. Throughout this book the authors provide guidelines, step-by-step tutorials, workflow, best practices, and case studies. The web site provides full source code, online resources, demo versions of relevant software and tips and tricks from the book. URL: www.flashenabled.com
 

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Contents

INTRODUCTION TO MACROMEDIA FLASH FOR EMBEDDED DEVICES
2
A LITTLE FLASH HISTORY
3
THE EXPANDING POPULARITY OF FLASH
4
WHAT YOULL FIND IN FLASH ENABLED
7
GETTING STARTED WITH FLASH ON DEVICES
9
CREATING CONTENT FOR THE POCKET PC USING FLASH
12
WHY USE FLASH FOR THE POCKET PC?
14
ON WHICH POCKET PCS CAN THE FLASH PLAYER FOR POCKET PC RUN?
16
STANDALONE APPLICATION DEVELOPMENT USING FLASH AND JAVA
316
PLATFORM INDEPENDENCE
318
WHY USE DIFFERENT TECHNOLOGIES FOR A SINGLE PROJECT?
319
JAVA ON THE POCKET PC
320
FLASH OH POCKET PC
321
BUILDING THE TEXTTOOL BACKEND
322
UNDERSTANDING THE FLASH USER INTERFACE
339
SUMMARY
348

WHAT ISNT SUPPORTED IN THE FLASH PLAYER FOR POCKET PC?
17
CONTENT CREATION GUIDELINES
19
VIDEO IN FLASH FOR THE POCKET PC
38
MEMORY AND MEMORY MANAGEMENT WITH FLASH FOR THE POCKET PC
46
LOADING DATA INTO FLASH FOR THE POCKET PC
48
SECURITY MODEL OF FLASH ON THE POCKET PC
56
DEVICE SPEED AND FRAMES PER SECOND
61
DETECTING THE PROCESSOR SPEED ON THE POCKET PC WITH FLASH
62
SCREEN ECONOMY WITH FLASH FOR THE POCKET PC
64
ROTATING FLASH CONTENT FOR THE POCKET PC
66
INTERNET EXPLORER FOR POCKET PC
68
USING JAVASCRIPT WITH FLASH FOR THE POCKET PC
74
SNIFFING FOR INTERNET EXPLORER FOR POCKET PC ON THE SERVER
76
DISTRIBUTING YOUR FLASH CONTENT FOR THE POCKET PC
79
EMULATION OF THE POCKET PC FOR TESTING
90
TEST TEST TEST AND TEST SOME MORE
91
ADVANCED TOPICS
92
SUMMARYTHATS ALL FOLKS
100
INTERFACE DESIGN FOR DEVICES
102
COMMON INTERFACE ISSUES
103
SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS FOR DEVICES
105
CREATING STANDARD COMPONENTS FOR DEVICES
108
OPTIMIZING INTERFACES
115
SUMMARY
118
TYPOGRAPHY IN FLASH FOR DEVICES
120
TYPE CONSIDERATIONS
121
PIXEL PROBLEMS IN FLASH
122
THE SOLUTION TO PIXEL PROBLEMS
123
USAGE OVERVIEW
124
MINIMI FONT NUMBER SYSTEM
129
MAKING YOUR OWN FLASH PIXEL FONT
130
FONTS IN APPLICATION
137
SUMMARY
140
FROM START TO FINISH UNDERSTANDING THE FLASH APPLICATION DEVELOPMENT WORKFLOW
142
INTRODUCING THE EVENT GUIDE APPLICATION
143
PLANNING YOUR PROJECT
145
CREATING THE FLASH PROJECT
151
SUMMARY
160
ADVANCED FLASH DEVELOPMENT FOR DEVICES
161
CREATING MOTION GRAPHICS AND CHARACTER ANIMATION FOR THE POCKET PC USING FLASH
164
PLANNING ORGANIZING AND OPTIMIZATION
167
THE REALITIES OF DEVELOPING FOR DEVICES AND PLATFORMS
172
KEYS TO MOTION GRAPHICS
179
KEYS TO CHARACTER ANIMATION
198
SUMMARY
226
CREATING INTERACTIVE GAMES FOR DEVICES USING FLASH
228
CONSTRAINTS OF THE GAME PLATFORM
229
GAME CATEGORIESWHAT WORKS ON THE POCKET PC AND WHAT DOESNT?
234
MAKING A CARD GAME
236
SUMMARY
292
CREATING APPLICATIONS FOR DEVICES WITH FLASH
293
DATA PERSISTENCE WITH FLASH JSCRIPT AND HTTP COOKIES
296
WHAT ARE HTTP COOKIES?
297
DATA FLOW BETWEEN FLASH JSCRIPT AND COOKIES
298
DISSECTING FLASHTONE
300
SUMMARY
314
SERVERSIDE DYNAMIC CONTENT FOR FLASHENABLED DEVICES
350
WHAT IS MACROMEDIA GENERATOR?
351
WHAT IS JGENERATOR?
352
ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF USING A SERVERSIDE TOOL FOR DYNAMIC CONTENT FOR DEVICES
353
THE AUTHORING WORKFLOW
354
TWO TECHNIQUES FOR SERVERSIDE DYNAMIC CONTENT CREATION
358
SUMMARY
371
FLASH FOR TELEVISION
373
FLASH CONTENT FOR TELEVISION
376
GENERAL TELEVISION DISPLAY ISSUES
377
INTERLACING
379
VMS MINIDV DVD
381
FLASH FOR BROADCAST TELEVISION
385
FLASH FOR TV BROWSERS
395
PROBLEMS IN DEVELOPING ANIMATION FOR TV BROWSERS
408
FLASH FOR ENHANCED TV
417
SUMMARY
418
DEVELOPING FLASH CONTENT FOR THE SONY PLAYSTATION 2
420
THE THREE VERSIONS OF THE FLASH PLAYER
422
OUR EXPERIENCE WITH LUCASARTS
424
THE ADVANTAGES OF USING FLASH FOR SONY PLAYSTATION 2 GAME TITLES
425
USER INTERFACE LOGIC FOR FLASH IN A GAME TITLE DEVELOPMENT ENVIRONMENT
427
USER INTERFACE DESIGN ISSUES FOR SONY PLAYSTATION 2
430
THE FUTURE OF FLASH DEVELOPMENT ON CONSOLES
437
SUMMARY
438
THE FUTURE OF FLASH AND EMBEDDED DEVICES
439
AFTERWORD LOOKING FORWARD
442
THE STATE OF DEVICES TODAY
443
DEVICES IN THE FUTURE
444
APPENDIXES
445
FLASH PLAYER FOR THE NOKIA 9200 COMMUNICATOR SERIES AUTHORING GUIDELINES
448
DEVELOPING CONTENT
450
USING BITMAPS
460
DEPLOYING CONTENT
463
DYNAMIC CONTENT
469
TRADEMARKS
474
FLASH DEVICE MATRIX
476
FLASH DEVICE RESOURCES
480
TYPOGRAPHYFONTS
482
SERVERSIDE DYNAMIC FLASH
483
DEVICE RESOURCES
484
AUTHOR WEB SITES
490
POCKET PC DEVICE DETECTION
492
CLIENTSIDE DETECTION
495
MICROSOFT POCKET INTERNET EXPLORER ON POCKET PC 2002
498
USING FLASH FOR DEVELOPING TOUCHSCREEN KIOSKS
502
GENERAL TOUCHSCREEN HARDWARE INFORMATION
504
ALTERNATIVE TOUCHSCREEN TECHNOLOGY
505
SPECIFIC TOUCHSCREEN HARDWARE NUANCES AND TECHNOLOGIES
506
GENERAL TIPS FOR WORKING WITH TOUCH SCREENS
508
TIPS FOR DEVELOPING FLASH APPLICATIONS ON TOUCH SCREENS
509
EXPLORING THE POSSIBILITIES
514
WHATS ON THE WEB SITE
516
Index
517
Copyright

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About the author (2002)

Christian Cantrell is a software developer specializing in web-based and network applications. After studying writing at George Mason University in Northern Virginia, Christian began designing and building web-based data collection systems in ColdFusion. For the past two years, he has been integrating Java, Java Server Pages (JSP), Flash, and Generator into various large-scale commercial applications. He is the author of the white paper "Macromedia Generator and Java" posted on Macromedia's online Support Center and is listed as the lead inventor on two pending patents involving user interface design and real-time rich media generation. Most recently, he has turned his attention toward platform-independent development for mobile and embedded devices, concentrating on integrating Flash user interfaces with lightweight Java server software.

Mike Chambers has been creating applications primarily utilizing Flash, Generator, and Java for the past three years. He also has experience working with ASP, JSP, PHP, and ColdFusion. He has spoken about Flash and Generator at various conferences, including Macromedia UCON and FlashForward. He is co-author of Generator and Flash Demystified. Mike received his Masters degree in International Economics and European Studies from the John Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in 1998. Mike currently works with Macromedia.

Branden Hall, a well-known member of the Flash community, can most often be found regulating on the highly popular Flashcoders (http://hattyfig.figleaf.com) mailing list that he founded over a year ago. He also can often be found speaking at various conferences, teaching, or geeking out one of his many bits of electronics. In his spare time (ha!) he loves playing with Linux, working on the arcade machine he is building, mountain biking, and playing with his lovely wife Patti. Both he and Patti work at Fig Leaf Software in Washington D.C.

Robert M. Hall is currently the Senior Developer for mCom LLC (http://www.mcom8.com/) located in Philadelphia, PA. Robert architects projects and develops ATM machine interfaces, award-winning Internet banking software, and wireless device applications. Robert uses a variety of technologies in his work but his favorite tools of choice are Flash, PHP, and MySQL. Prior to mCom, Robert was a consultant at Citicorp and a web developer for USABancShares.com. Recently, Robert contributed a chapter to Flash MX Magic for New Riders. If Robert is not enjoying the outdoors with his girlfriend, he can be found listening to music, reading, or tinkering with electronics and trying out new technologies. Usually a piece or two of his experiments will wind up on his personal web site: Feasible Impossibilities (http://www.impossibilities.com/).

Andreas Heim is from the small town of Hattenhofen, close to Stuttgart, in Germany, a center of German car engineering. Originally intending to become a professional soccer player, his education took him into the area of media studies and programming. After creating an interactive CD-ROM, his focus shifted from film and video to interactive media. His school required him a six-month internship, which brought him to Smashing Ideas where being a soccer-playing-and-beer-drinking German intern was highly respected. He had so much fun in Seattle that he extended his stay to one year, before deciding to stay permanently. Andreas currently works on all kinds of cutting-edge digital media projects, including bringing Flash to devices. He enjoys his time outside of work snowboarding and playing soccer.

Craig Kroeger creates Flash-friendly, vector-based pixel fonts perfect for large or small screen applications available at http://www.miniml.com. The purpose behind miniml is to encourage functional and beautiful design by providing inspiration and resources. After Craig received his BFA in Communication Design from the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design, he co-founded Fourm Design Studio. Craig would like to thank his beautiful wife, Jen, for her belief, his friends and family, and those who believe in the true value of design.

Steve "Leo" Leone (http://www.unplug.tv) is currently a freelance illustrator/ designer, and former Art Director of NexusGroup. Prior to joining NexusGroup Leo was Director of New Technology for Braincraft. He holds multiple design awards and has been involved in some of the most innovative Flash projects to date. Leo was a key player on such award-winning projects as USABancShares.com, Mitsubishi Imaging, Space.com's Space Arcade, and Braincraft.com. Recently, Leo co-authored Flash 5 Dynamic Content Studio for Friends of Ed.

Markus Niedermeier is a producer, writer, and director in Munich, Germany, who frequently works on integrated concepts for TV and the Internet. Markus' production experience ranges from multimedia theater to a major network soap opera, from indie DV to high-end 3D animation. For the German Film Awards, he has supervised the production of videos and graphics for the live show, TV broadcast, and web site. With Munich design collective coma2, he has provided content and consulting for leading web clients. Markus wrote and directed Germany's first commercial Flash web-cartoon, animated by Smashing Ideas, for hugely popular "Diddl-Maus". Another collaboration with Smashing Ideas resulted in a Flash-generated cartoon character for a German TV-show pilot by Schwanstein Entertainment.

Bill Perry is a senior consultant at Prosum where he focuses on web design and wireless application development for various clients. With a degree in industrial design, Bill brings with him a discipline in design that has helped him adapt to the changing environment of multimedia over the past seven years. Always wanting to be on the cutting edge of technology, and Flash in particular, Bill found an area in which he can excel the combination of Flash, Pocket PCs, and wireless connectivity. He put together http://www.pocketpcflash.net as a Flash development resource for Pocket PCs and has received much recognition from this effort. He is a member of Team Macromedia, has spoken at several conferences, is on the advisory board for the Pocket PC Summit, and has been a technical editor for several books. Currently, Bill is exploring alternative uses of Flash applications in wireless Pocket PC environments.

Fred Sharples studied film with an animation emphasis at San Francisco State University. He went on to work at Macromedia as director of the Multimedia Creative Services Department. Fred is the founder of Orange Design, a digital creativity company that specializes in Flash application and game development. Under Fred's direction, Orange helped develop the first Flash user interface for a Sony PlayStation 2 game, the first Flash "dashboard" for a broadband portal with live weather and stock reports, and a Flash user interface for a television set-top box. Orange also created Old Navy's online game collection and, in collaboration with MarchFIRST, also helped develop Barbie Pix, a Flash-based painting program that lets users make online pictures, save them, and send them to friends. Fred has been a speaker at FlashForward New York and San Francisco. Additionally, Fred was a contributing author for the bestselling Flash book Flash Web Design The Art of Motion Graphics by Hillman Curtis.

Glenn Thomas is one of the founders of Smashing Ideas, a leading digital media services company. Smashing Ideas' projects include the Madonna "Music" Shockwave Single, Email Chess, webcasting the Sydney 2001 Paraolympics, Pocket PC games, and web animation shows, such as Zombie College. He has been involved with Flash since its inception and has spoken at numerous industry conferences. He authored the book Flash Studio Secrets that details innovative ways of using Flash in the real world.

Phillip M. Torrone is director of product development of Fallon Worldwide. Co-author of many books on rich media and mobile devices, Phillip Torrone is a designer, developer, and inventor. From developing applications and hardware for the first PDA, the Apple Newton; to creating the first 100% Flash-based Generator-driven online bank; to creating rich data-driven content for cell phones, devices, and automobiles, Phillip applies his diverse skill set to push the boundaries of current technologies. Recently featured in Wired magazine, Phillip currently sits on the Macromedia Advisory Board and regularly keynotes industry conferences and events around the world. As this book was going to press, Phillip was awarded Microsoft's Most Valuable Professional award in the mobile devices category. This award recognizes a recipient's technical expertise, community spirit, and willingness to share information. Fallon's clients include BMW of North America, And1, Citi, drugstore.com, EDS, Holiday Inn, International Truck and Engine Corp., Lee Company, Microsoft, Nikon, Nordstrom, Nuveen Investments, PBS, Ralston Purina, Starbucks Coffee Company, Timberland, Timex, and United Airlines. In Phillip's spare time he runs flashenabled.com/mobile a collection of reviews, news, applications, and inventions. The site, which has been featured in Wired, on TechTV and CNN, and hundreds of other places, currently has over three million visitors per month.

Greg Burch is a Software Engineer who specializes in Flash. He is a true advocate of seeing Flash being in everything from your car to your refrigerator. In Greg's most recent project he was a programmer for a company building out an extended Flash Player for a wireless device. He also has a lot of experience with its conventional uses, for things such as web applications and games. Although Greg dabbles in all sorts of programming, his true love is pushing Flash beyond its limits.

Troy Evans is currently the Macromedia Flash Player Product Manager and has served as Product Manager since 1999.

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