Archive for September, 2010

Apple now permits third party development tools for iPhone and iPad

Published by | Friday, September 10th, 2010

In a press release dated September 9, 2010, Apple Inc. announced that they are lifting restrictions they’d put in place earlier this year on which tools developers could use to create iOS apps for distribution in the Apple App Store.

A bit of background: Earlier this year, Apple changed the license for members of the iOS Developers Program (then known as the iPhone Developers Program), restricting developers from using anything other than Apple’s Xcode development tools and a small set of languages that included Objective-C and C++. This had an immediate impact on Adobe Systems and its Flash developer community; Adobe had created the Packager for iPhone, which supports compilation of Flash presentations into native iOS apps. Adobe Flash Professional CS5 was released with the feature intact, but it was suddenly clear that Flash developers who created iOS apps with this workflow would not have their applications accepted by Apple for distribution in their App Store.

That’s now changed. Developers using Flash and other tools for iOS app development (such as Novell’s Monotouch, Appcelerator’s Titanium, and the open source Phonegap) are now assured that their apps will be considered for inclusion in the App Store on an equal basis with apps built with Xcode and Objective-C. The developer licensing agreement, which previously set the restrictions on tools and languages, now simply says:

3.3.2 An Application may not download or install executable code.  Interpreted code may only be used in an Application if all scripts, code and interpreters are packaged in the Application and not downloaded. The only exception to the foregoing is scripts and code downloaded and run by Apple’s built-in WebKit framework.

This means that Adobe Flash Player still won’t appear on the iPhone and iPad, since it requires downloading executable code at runtime. That’s a separate issue that isn’t addressed by this licensing change. But applications that are compiled prior to posting in the App Store can now be built with the language and development tool of your choice. And we believe that choice is good!

In response, we’re revisiting our plans for offering training on using Flash Professional CS5 to create apps for iOS devices (iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch). Content we’d already created for Flash Professional CS5 Essential Training, but didn’t include in the course’s initial release due to Apple’s licensing restrictions, will be added back into the course within a few days (check back frequently if you’re an Online Training Library® member). And if we hear from you, our members, that you want training in other development tools for iOS such as Monotouch, Titanium and Phonegap, we’ll seek out the best industry experts to create new courses.

On location with the Creative Inspirations team

Published by | Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

Our Creative Inspirations team focuses on bringing behind-the-scenes, inspirational stories to the Online Training Library®. Here’s a peek at our Creative Inspirations team on location putting together one of our latest documentaries, Second Story, Interactive Design Studio.


Staff director/cinematographer Jacob Cunningham lines up a shot for one of our on camera interviews. We were fortunate that Second Story had great natural light that we supplemented with daylight balanced lights. primarily uses energy efficient Kino-flo lights which use special low-power fluorescent tubes. Note in the background the Canon 7D which we also use for video production in addition to our Panasonic P2 HD cameras that shoot on ultra-high quality flash memory cards.

Jacob helps one of Second Story's producers prepare for her interview by placing her wireless microphone.


Staff director/cinematographer Scott Erickson checks focus settings on two of the three cameras we'll roll during our interview. We typically shoot a wide and closeup shot from one angle (pictured here) and a third shot from a different angle. One camera will record the audio for the interview and back at the studio, digital production lead Ben Nilsson will sync all of the material in Final Cut Pro.


Ben lines up two of our Panasonic P2 cameras for our next interview. We shoot on 32 and 64 gigabyte P2 cards and then offload to FireWire drives for transport to our edit servers in Ventura, California.


Scott does a final check on the video and audio gear before we roll on our next shot. Scott has directed all of the Creative Inspirations series and works closely with staff editor Tracy Clarke to put the finishing touches on each installment.

Here I am in the foreground, preparing to interview one of Second Story's designers talking about an exhibit he's working on in Google SketchUp.

A view from the camera at one of Second Story's technical wizards before his interview. For Creative Inspirations, the interviewer is never seen nor heard on camera—only our subject.

David and Scott

Dueling MacBook Pros. I'm preparing for the next interview (and checking e-mail) while Scott offloads the P2 media (our camera footage) on to portable FireWire drives.

First Look course about HTML5 released

Published by | Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

We’re thrilled to have released our course, HTML5 First Look with James Williamson. This much anticipated training course provides a high-level look at HTML5 in its current state.

Topics include:
• Understanding the history of HTML5
• Using new tags
• Understanding HTML5 semantics
• Coding ID and class attributes in HTML5
• Structuring documents
• Building forms
• Exploring HTML5 native APIs
• Encoding and adding HTML5 video
• Exploring associated technologies such as CSS3

Happy learning! While you’re exploring HTML5 First Look, keep track of what you’d like to learn next. We’re working on developing future HTML5 courses and we’d like your input. author Paul Trani on creating sites with Flash CS5

Published by | Thursday, September 2nd, 2010

As part of our ongoing Flash training courses, we just released a new course that guides viewers through the steps to creating a web site with Flash Professional CS5: Creating a First Web Site with Flash Professional CS5. This project course is a good follow-up to Flash Professional CS5 Essential Training. It gives you a chance to practice your new skills, and results in a usable project that can be repurposed to suit your needs.

I had a chance to catch up with author Paul Trani to talk to him about his experience creating this course. Paul Trani is an Adobe Evangelist who has developed project courses designed as follow-ups to Essential Training courses for both Flash and Dreamweaver.

New Creative Inspirations documentary features Second Story, Interactive Design Studio

Published by | Wednesday, September 1st, 2010

Even before we flew to Portland to the studios of exhibit wizards Second Story, we had seen their genius at work. We were invited to watch them present their Age of Mammals exhibit to the Museum of Natural History of Los Angeles County’s senior staff. We donned our hard hats and watched as they showed off to paleontologists and curators. It’s no easy task to create displays that are compelling to kindergartners and yet accurate enough to please scientists—but they nailed it.

Join the Creative Inspirations team as we head north to meet the folks behind some of the most compelling exhibit media out there. In this Creative Inspirations documentary, we meet Second Story, creators of award-winning interactive projects for clients that include the Getty Museum, National Geographic, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Smithsonian Institution, just to name but a few.

Founders Julie Beeler and Brad Johnson introduce us to their uniquely talented studio where their signature interactive design is conceived and produced. Second Story creates immersive adventures that educate and entertain through compelling visuals, touch and play, and inspiring participation through curiosity.