Friday, May 22, 2009

Can Squirrels code RIAs in Adobe Flex?

My life is very weird. This morning I was making coffee when I saw a cute black animal pop up from behind my wife's desk. A squirrel. Despite trying to chase it out, scare it, bribe it outside with food and water, it keeps running back into our house. I felt bad that I had to leave for a few hours so I fed it some nuts and stuff. I think I scared it though when I asked it towards the end of this video if it wanted to help me code up some RIAs in Adobe Flex. Every day I think my life cannot get weirder but it does.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Web 2.0 Architecture - the book is here!

Web 2.0 Architectures, the book, is now out! I got to hold the first physical copy in my hands yesterday! (Thank you Betsy!!). James Governor, Dion Hinchcliffe, and I put in a ton of work, but there are so many other people that contributed to this book or helped us with our research that I couldn't even begin to list them all. The number one thank you I do want to make though is to O'Reilly -- specifically Tim O'Reilly, Steve Weiss and Simon St. Laurent. Simon played such a pivotal role in this book I feel his name should be on it as a co-author.

Here are my other thank yous in no particular order.

Kevin Lynch, Michele Turner, and Jeff Whatcott from Adobe for letting this
take precedence over filing status reports ;-); my wife, Bettina Rothe, and
my children for putting up with me during the process; Ted Patrick, James
Ward, Prayank Swaroop, Alex Choy, Kumar Vora, the entire Adobe Platform
Business Unit, Enrique Duvos, Ivan Koon, Mihai, Serge, Tom, Piotr,
Chet, Greg, Eugene Lee, Waldo Smeets, John Hogerland, The rest of Redmonk, Burton, Gartner, Ben Watson, Matt Mackenzie, Melonie Warfel, Ed Chase, Diane
Helander, David Mendels, and Ben Forta for challenging the intellect and
generally being great people to work with; Ensemble, Rom Portwood for the blue hair
idea and the Balvenie 21-year Portwood finish; Bobby Caudill (when is that
demo tape coming???); Andre Charland (Nitobi and constant blogger); my bands
22nd Century ( and Stress
Factor 9 (; the guys and girls at
Weissach for keeping the Porsche tuned; Matt and Trey, the creators of
South Park, for inspiring me to reach for something lower, and Beavis and
Butthead for inspiring me to create things that truly do not suck; Dilbert
creator Scott Adams; Sim Simeonov, Mike Connor, Danny Kolke, Greg Ruff, Ajit Jaokar,
Jeremy Geelan, Tim Bray, Mark Little (for taking time out of his busy
schedule to help edit this book); Yefim Natis (Gartner); the entire staff at
OASIS and UN/CEFACT; Bruce D'Arcus (the guy who I like the most despite the
fact that we never agree J), Audrey Doyle; Gary Edwards; David RR Webber;
Colleen Nystedt (friend, movie producer, and creator of; Bob
Sutor; Christian Huemer; Birgit Hofreiter (for teaching me about
modeling); Brian Eisenberg; Arofan Gregory (how was that Barcelona-ian
brandy?); all the people involved in the creation of this book and O'Reilly
Media for taking on the project; John Sowa for making sense of propositional
algebra; Adam Pease for SUMO and for being an upstanding, approachable
academic; David Luckham for sharing good Scotch over discussions on CEP;
Gary Dunn; Dick Hardt (my Porsche is almost as fast as yours); Guy Kawasaki;
Bob Glushko; Shantanu Narayen and Bruce Chizen, Adobe Systems CEO, for inspiring me
on a great humanitarian level and showing that corporate success and good
community go hand in hand; all of Adobe PR for putting up with my antics;
Johnny Rotten, Randy Rampage, Zippy Pinhead, Jim Morrison, and Kurt Cobain (for their immense wisdom and teaching me that speaking the truth is never wrong); Peter Brown (who gets stuck with the next wine bill); Pam Deziel (I'll invite you to wine if it's
Peter's turn to buy); Marc Straat; Marc Eaman for drinking beer to help
lower my wine bills and reminding me that old guys can play great ice
hockey; Chuck Meyers for not questioning my wine bills; and my friends and
colleagues who have helped me over the years in this high-tech life.

The book is available here (Click on Book)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Video tutorial - talking to BlazeDS from Flex

This is a simple tutorial you can complete in about 5 minutes once you have the required files. Download the full BlazeDS package from (get the Building Service Clients course) and follow along with the video. Written instructions and the source code for this are available from the download.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

New Flex Course available for everyone

I just finished giving a course on map-based RIA development in Adobe AIR and Flex at Where 2.0. Where often begins with the notion of a location. Service Oriented Architecture allows mashup clients to use location-based services for building rich, interactive media clients. In this course you will build six map-based projects in a largely (85%) hands on learning environment using Adobe Flex and AIR.


To take this course, you will need to do the following:
1. Install and configure Adobe Flex Builder 3.0 or later
2. Set up an account with Yahoo Developer Network and get an API key
3. Download the Yahoo SWC file
4. Download the ESRI SWC file
5. Download and take the course from here -

This lab preparation assumes you need to install everything from scratch. While these instructions cover installing a standalone Flex Builder, it is also possible to install Flex Builder as an Eclipse plugin. Please seek out and follow the instructions from the Adobe website if you wish to install the plugin version.

Where possible, notes are augmented for Mac OS X, Linux, and Windows.

A. Installing and configuring Adobe Flex Builder.

1. Go to and download the Flex Builder trial.
2. Open up the disk image and follow the on screen instructions.
3. Note where you set up your workspace. This is where you will place all the files you work on and various libraries needed for this course.
4. Mac OS X: By default, this will be under your ~home_directory/Documents/Flex Builder 3.
5. Windows: By default, this will be under your c:\Program Files\Adobe\Flex Builder 3.


6. For the Linux version, download the plugin from
7. Run the installer either marking it as executable (chmod +x) or by using a shell to execute it (sh flexbuilder_linux_install_a4_081408.bin).

8. When prompted, specify whether to install Flash Player 9 (note that this is an updated version of Flash Player 9 and that Flex Builder Linux will work with earlier versions of Flash Player 9 for Linux). This is the debug version of Flash Player 9, which is required for debugging support and exception display.

B. Set up and account with Yahoo and download the SWC file.

1. Use your browser and navigate to

2. Sign in if you already have an account or register for a new one. If you have already registered for an API key, you can see it via the hyperlink near the top of the page.

9. If you do not have an API key, fill in the form and agree to any license terms.

10. Click “Submit” and a key will be generated for you. Make sure you save it somewhere in a text file on your desktop.

C. Accessing the YahooMaps.swc file.

1. Next, you need to download and install the Yahoo Maps SWC file. Aim your browser at
2. Save the zip to your hard drive and open the archive. You will see a file called YahooMaps.swc inside the zip.

3. Remember the location of this file as you will need it for Labs 2,3,4.

d. Download the ESRI ArcGIS SWC library.

1. Navigate to
2. Agree to the terms and conditions of the license and click “Download”.

3. Save the file to your hard drive as you will need it for labs 5,6,7.

4. Unzip the file and you will see a SWC file as shown in the course setup guide.

5. Remember the location of this file as you will need it for labs 4,5,6.
That is all for now – now you can start the labs.