Google Android Translation Guide

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If you are new to Android programming, you will find there are a few ‘new’ concepts and paradigms to learn. There are fancy new terms such as ‘Activity’ and ‘Intent’. Rest assured, most of these expressions are just Google trying to put their own stamp on some pretty tried and true programming paradigms.

Is Software a Science or an Art?

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As we approach software today, often through web or mobile applications, people generally appreciate the elegance of the interaction or lack thereof. But as software engineers know, there is a lot going on behind the scenes.  Of course, with user interfaces for the masses becoming a necessity for modern applications, designers and more artistic–oriented folks have been contributing to the practice of software development. That leads to the question: Is software more of a science or an art?

Solving the Firefox Ellipsis Problem

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On a recent project for a client, I was asked to make the CSS style “text-overflow: ellipsis” work on FireFox browsers, which has never supported this style. This style basically truncates text and adds an ellipsis (…) when the length of the text overflows the container. Supposedly FireFox 7.0 will correctly this issue, but I’ll believe it when I see it.

Which is the best Enterprise CMS?

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I’m am working on a project currently that is leveraging an Enterprise CMS. At the outset, I did an analysis of existing CMS systems to select the one that best fit our clients needs. That turned out to be Magnolia (www.magnolia-cms.com).

However, another one of our clients is using the Alfresco CMS for their business. I reviewed it over the weekend and was impressed by the slick and intuitive user interface. The creators of Alfresco come from Documentum and Interwoven.

Papervision Wish List

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I’ve been using Papervision 2.0 for several months now, and while I’ve been able to get it to do most of what I want it to, it has been a tedious journey. If I were to do this project over again, I’m not sure I would choose Papervision, unless they make some improvements.

I’ve put together a short wish list of things I’d like to see done to Papervision:

Building a Better TileList: A Custom Scrollable TileList using Flex

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I use a TileList component quite often when building Flex applications. Recently, I was asked to create a nice, smooth, horizontal scrolling effect for a TileList containing a 3×3 page grid of 40 or so images. After many unsuccessful attempts to cajole the TileList into the proper behavior, I decided to roll my own.

It seems the fundamental problem with the TileList, which extends from the ListBase class, is its management of item renderers. It gets confused when attempting an animation to change the horizontal scroll position using an AnimateProperty effect. It seems that item renderers get confused when moving items into view using an effect.

Wrangling Flex Labels: Auto-sizing Text

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I am currently working on a project where we have a
fixed-width dialog box, and need to fit the title text in a label. The problem
is, the text is too long. What to do? Well, the basic Flex Label provides you a
couple of options: show an ellipsis (…) at the end of the label or cut the text
off. Neither of these solutions was viable.

This is a common problem that occurs in UI development:
fitting text in a limited space. My solution to this was to create a LabelUtil
class that automatically adjusts the font size of the text to fit the width of
the label.

Going with the Flow: Tips and Tricks for Using the Adobe Flex TextFlow Component

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We’ve been busily developing using Flex 4 (aka “Gumbo”) here at the Grio offices and are impressed with many of its new features. One of the more interesting but difficult to decipher features is the TextFlow component.

The TextFlow component is used to layout text in a highly controlled way. It uses an XML-based markup language, Text Layout Format (TLF), to define the content of the TextFlow. TLF uses some similar tags to HTML (<div>, <p>, <span>), but it is definitely not HTML.  This may trip you up a bit as you learn TLF; I recommend reading the Adobe Labs info before diving too deep into development (http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/textlayout/).

Grio Completes Flex App for Compiere, Inc.

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Grio has recently completed a custom Adobe Flex application for Compiere, Inc. Compiere delivers the most widely used open source enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) solution with more than 1.8 million software downloads.

Grio was employed by Compiere to help create a new Flex-based module that will be delivered in Compiere's upcoming release.

Feel My Pain: NSXMLParser Problems Upgrading to the iPhone 3.0 SDK

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I set out a couple of weeks ago to port the Killer Deals
application from the iPhone 2.2.1 SDK to 3.0. “No problem”, I thought; the
application doesn’t veer far from the standard APIs and controls, and it is a
relatively straightforward application, implementation-wise.

As I was making my updates (some minor method and property
name changes here and there), I stumbled upon a show stopper: The NSXMLParser
was no longer parsing my XML data. After scratching my head for a few hours, I
finally figured out the problem.