“A lifestreaming thing that lets you see it all in one place”
Skimmer. The next Adobe AIR app and the hard work of many individuals over the past 6 months. It has been amazing to see this application turn from design into reality. This is a summary of the technologies used and some of the lessons learned throughout the development of Skimmer:
The first decision was easy. Use an MVC framework, more specifically PureMVC. This application was estimated in the thousands and having a backbone was very important. We spent the extra time upfront developing a solid structure which ended up helping out immensely when it came to bug fix and adding new features. Creating new views became a snap when the data providers that accessed third party API’s were completed.
The second major decision was to use a SQLite database to store content locally. This allowed for fast filtering of data and pre-processing of information. It also greatly improved the load time of the application since we only needed to gather new information.
Thirdly, we decided to use image caching for all of the commonly used images to improve load times. This increased the application start up and allows for fluid transitions between images in slide shows. By extending a bulk loader class Skimmer is able to first check the local cache before making any requests to the internet for images.
One of the major challenge was working with the third party API’s. The API’s for Flickr, YouTube, Twitter, TwitPic, Facebook and Blogger had varying levels of documentation and support. Flickr had the most feature rich API while Facebook had the most difficult API to work with. Many of them had third party AS3 libraries to use for interfacing with the service that we used as a base.
Another challenge was in skinning the flex components. The application was not designed to look like an AIR application, which is a good thing This, however, did create some interesting problems along the way. We used a combination of CSS, class inheritance, overrode drawing methods, and even created some custom flex components.
You can download skimmer here:
A shout out to everyone that made this happen:
AL KELLY, BRENDA FOGG, CHRIS WIGGINS, DAVID SCHWEN. EXTENDED TEAM: ANDY GUGEL, SIERRA BRAVO, ANDREW WATSON, BEN DOLMAR, BLAGVOST DACHEV, CLAYTON SMITH, JON REXEISEN, KARSTEN LUNDQUIST, KONR NESS, KRIS SZAFRANSKI, MARK SEEMANN, MANISH SHRESTHA, MATT TONAK, MICHAEL WOODS, MINH VU, ROBB THOMAS, THOMAS O’NEILL.
Feel free to post any comments or questions you have about Skimmer.