Monthly Archives: June 2009

Tonight’s LFPUG meets for a presentation on Adobe’s Alchemy project, followed by another hour on the Flash Pixel Bender plug-in.

In December I played around with Alchemy, going through the basic set up and few of the examples. But found it tough to go much further beyond there.

My C and C++ isn’t great, I think there were a few bugs and glitches in the software and I couldn’t get through them. More tutorials would have been good, I guess there could be more around now, I’ve been meaning to get back into it again.

The presentation tonight is from Thomas Vian, a Flash developer rather than a C developer – so I’m looking forward to the session.

So far there are 75 people registered to attend – not a bad number, hopefully he’ll cover more than just he basic tutorials and getting started setup that Adobe offer on their Labs page.

There’s also a ‘double feature’ on Adobe TV with Ryan Stewart talking to Scott Peterson about the project, there’s a demo after the interview. Good catch-up viewing:

And not to dismiss the Pixel Bender presentation, looking forward to that too!

Today Adobe released BrowserLab, an online service and Dreamweaver plug-in that allows Web developers to test their websites on popular browsers and across multiple operating systems.

I’m loving this.

Basically, you put in a Web address, collect a browser ‘set’ of those supported (currently, Firefox 2.0 & 3.0 on both XP and OS X, IE 6 & 7 for XP and Safari 3.0 for OS X) and screenshots of actual browser renderings are generated in real time.

Adobe BrowserLab

Not only that, but there is a side-by-side ’2-up’ comparison view to see overall differences – and even better, an onion skin (and zoom!) view can be used to measure discrepancies to the pixel.

More info and an FAQ is on the Adobe Labs page.

Back in December at the Adobe MAX Sneak Peeks session, I saw a demo of ‘Meer Meer’, which has now fully evolved to become this.

I’m not sure about the Web version, but I think the Dreamweaver CS4 plug-in stores all the popular webkits and browser engines, rendering them in real-time like a highly enhanced version of the ‘design view’ that we’ve always been familiar with. My download is halfway through now.

I’ve written posts about hacking your operating system to run multiple versions of Firefox and Internet Explorer, and recommended virtual machines for cross-platform testing - all  that seems so over-complicated and completely redundant now.


There’s also a lot of talk on Twitter about it, I think a lot of people share my feelings. :)

The Free Range summer degree shows kicked off last week showcasing a ton of great work from students around the UK. This week is the first Design week, exhibiting the work of budding designers across multiple disciplines.

I managed to get to the opening night on Thursday, mainly to see ScreenGrab09, the degree show of Bournemouth Uni’s Interactive Media Production course, that I graduated from two years ago.

One of the great things about the course is the diversity of work that the students regularly produce.

At ScreenGrab you can see Web apps, games, interactions and interactive experiences, quite unlike the rest of the work under the ‘design’ banner of the week,stood out from the rest of the work I saw from other universities on the night.

Vic Bishop’s OIC, photo by Will Goldstone

Corin Wilkins’ MyFace, photo by Will Goldstone

Today is actually the last day that ScreenGrab will be in London, so if you have the chance to get down to Brick Lane, it’s highly recommended.

Otherwise, the show moves to back down Bournemouth exhibiting on the Talbot Campus on the 4th and 5th of June (more details here).

You can follow the #screengrab09 tag on Twitter to see what people thought about the show, and photos of the event are collecting on Flickr, tagged screengrab09.

The night’s busting open, these two lanes will take us anywhere.