Minko “Shader Lab” Alpha Preview 1

Working on shaders might be one the most complicated – and yet most essential – tasks when it comes to the new Stage3D API features in Adobe Flash 11. This is why Minko features ActionScript 3.0 shaders. This feature makes it possible to do GPU programming using nothing more than good old ActionScript. You can already try this feature and start working with Minko today.

But today I want to present an early alpha preview of one of the tools we will release with the next version of Minko: the Shader Lab. The idea is simple: provide a visual environment to create, test and debug shaders without doing any programming. The tool will feature a lot of higher level operations to make it possible for artists to work on complex shaders and materials.

You can see the Shader Lab in action in the following video:

In the last two examples, we show how sound can be sampled and streamed to the GPU to tune the geometry without any actual programming skills.

rSoul v0.1b

rSoul is my very first public AIR application. It is an open-source NetSoul client. ┬áSince NetSoul is not a commonly used protocol it won’t be useful for many people. Still, the NetSoul protocol is mandatory when you want to have access to the PIE (Parc Informatique de l’EPITA). And the source might help anyone willing to build his very first AIR application. The user interface is very light and I tried to keep it as simple and as intuitive as possible.

Like any other AIR application, rSoul is cross-platform and works on Windows, Linux and Mac OS X. You can install it and get the sources from the rSoul website:


Here are a few screenshots:



This first release includes the following features:

  • Online/Away/Busy status
  • Location configuration
  • “Remember Password” option
  • Auto-connect option
  • Contacts list
  • Add/Remove contacts
  • Tabbed chat
  • Auto-update
  • Connection errors handling

Known issues

  • Some special characters are not handled correctly
  • The application does not (yet) minimize itself to the system tray
  • Contacts status is not updated

If you found any bug or have any suggestion please feel free to add a comment…

AIR 2.0 Sneak Peek

Tonight I attended the “TonTon Flexeurs” (TTFX) meeting with Lee Brimelow and Mike Chambers. While Lee explained all the things that can be done to extend the Flash Platform using the ByteArray class, Mike presented a few of the latest as3corelib library features and a sneak peek of AIR 2.0. AIR 2.0 – codename “Athena” – will feature a lot of new system related updates. Discover a few of them (including a worldwide exclusive!) right after the jump…

You can also look at Michael Chaize‘s event photo album on Flickr!
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Rich User Interface design with Balsamiq Mockups and Napkee

Creating a rich and efficient User Interface (UI) is the Saint Graal of every Rich Internet Application (RIA) developer. As Michael Chaize said it in his RIA introduction conference he made this year at EPITA, we call it “Rich” Internet Application because the software takes advantage of a rich User Interface and offers a rich user experience.

Flex developers can use the “Design” view of Flash Builder to design their UI. But this method requires to already have the components you want to work with and make sure they are full MXML. Because the WYSIWYG editor of Flash Builder does not interpret ActionScript components, it is more of a “What You See Is ore Or Less What You Get”. If you need more than the Flash Builder WYSIMOLWYG editor — and I certainly hope you do ­čśŤ — here are two awesome tools to create and export UI mockups.

More details right after the jump…

Continue reading “Rich User Interface design with Balsamiq Mockups and Napkee”