Balsamiq Mockups – Smart tool for those who wants to chill

Balsamiq MockupsOk, here is how it started. I usually hit the whiteboard or the glass-board or even paper and pen to chalk down plans, ideas and visual elements that goes in any project module. I’m not smart enough to use the fancy tools that does things that makes you look smart.

I’ve heard about Balsamiq Mockups before but never tried it seriously. Today, I installed it and tried looking for the limitation of the trail, so I can decide if I should buy it or not. As I could not find it easily and quick enough (yes, I’m lazy too), I emailed Peldi asking him, “What are the limitations of the Balsamiq trial?”

Coupla hours later, I got this reply from Peldi;

Brajeshwar, your money is no good with me! :) After all that you’ve done for the Flash/Flex/FMS community, the least I can do is send you a free license.

Ain’t that awesome. I’m feeling elated and happy — “Wow! Just like that.”

Balsamiq Mockups

Balsamiq Mockups from Balsamiq Studios LLC is a platform independent AIR application (Windows, Mac, Linux). This Mockup tool intentionally uses hand-drawn UI elements, so that people don’t get attached to “that pretty color gradient” or think that your mockup has actual code behind it and is “practically done”.

Using Balsamiq Mockups feels like you are drawing, but it’s digital, so you can tweak and rearrange controls easily, and the end result is much cleaner. Teams can come up with a design and iterate over it in real-time in the course of a meeting.

There are over 60 pre-built controls to choose from, you can design anything from a super-simple dialog box to a full-fledged application, from a simple website to a Rich Internet Application. Browse through the samples or download more Mockups.

Buy Balsamiq Mockups for $79.

Note: The limitation with the Trial was that it won’t let you save your files (but you can still export/import and save it manually).

Getting started with Flex 3

Getting started with Flex 3Jack D. Herrington is an engineer, author and presenter whose mission is to expose his fellow engineers to new technologies. That covers a broad spectrum, from demonstrating programs that write other programs in the book Code Generation in Action. Providing techniques for building customer centered web sites in PHP Hacks. All the way writing a how-to on audio blogging called Podcasting Hacks. All of which make great holiday gifts and are available online here, and at your local bookstore. Jack also writes articles for O’Reilly, DevX and IBM Developerworks.

Emily Kim, President, Trilemtry, Inc., has co-authored and contributed to a number of books including a college-level workbook about the Internet and various ColdFusion books. Besides being a writer, Emily is also a programmer, designer and a Abobe Master Instructor.

Adobe sent me 10 books — Getting started with Flex 3 and I’m giving away all of them to 10 developers who are willing to comment or contact with their name and mailing address.

Getting started with Flex 3

Discover how easy RIA development can be with this one-of-a-kind handbook from the Adobe Developer Library. Several clear, step-by-step mini-tutorials teach you about web services, event handling, designing user interfaces with reusable components, and more. After finishing this guide, you’ll be able to build Flash applications ranging from widgets to full-featured RIAs using the Flex SDK and Flex Builder 3.0.

The book have a quick introduction to the Flex Builer 3 IDE, how to install it and start working with it. Besides the many other small and nifty examples on widgets, plugins, dashboards, desktop apps, there is also a nice Flickr Viewer example which is worth looking if you want to try out some Flickr API and AS3 codes. The book also touches on some of the generic containers — Application, Canvas, Form, Panel, etc.

I would not really rate this as a must-have book but is a good primer for those starting out with Flex 3 or those jumping to Flex 3 from prior version of Flex.

So, comment here or contact me for your free copy. Don’t forget to mention your full name and mailing address. You can ‘optionally’ donate a small amount for the shipping charge via paypal or fund transfer to my bank account but again, that is optional as I’m ready to bear the shipping charges for you anywhere in India.

Open Source RIA books site – toString

Mike Chambers of Adobe have announced a new site that he’ve been working on called tostring.org, which in addition to containing the entire Adobe AIR for JavaScript Developers Pocketguide online, also provides an infrastructure for the community to contribute to the books, both through hosting translated versions of the books, as well as allowing comments on individual chapters.

If you’re into Adobe AIR, RIAs or the Flash Platform, the site tries to make it easier to reference / search the book content online. If you find an issue, or something isn’t clear, Mike encourages its visitors/users to leave a comment on the chapter to clarify or get clarification.

All content on the site is released under Creative Commons licenses, which in essence means that this is the community’s site, and the books are the community’s books.

Visit tostring.org.

Adobe opens Bug-Database to public

Saw this off Colin’s blog — Public bug database for flash player.

Adobe got a sparkling new public place to report and track bug-database for Adobe Softwares and Technologies. In Colin’s own words,

Beyond its usefulness as a feedback channel for developers, the bugbase should be a nice resource for checking on known issues and their workarounds. The system also gives participants the option to voice support for fixes to existing bugs, which will help Adobe prioritize their engineering efforts based on community feedback.

Visit