Monday, August 2, 2010

OpenPlug Elips - Sounds great but...

Don't you hate when you get all excited about how easy something is and then try it out and it just doesn't work the way you expect it to?

Well, OpenPlug Elips Studio sounds pretty great (except for the price) so I decided to give it a quick try while I await Flex Hero. So I created a very simple app with some text on it and tested in FlashBuilder and saw the Android emulator (I think... it kind of looks like an emulator comes up and then the air app comes up and is positioned over top of the emulator) come up and show me my application. So far so good. Then I decided I wanted to try creating the APK file and install it on the emulator myself and eventually on my Evo (Froyo is coming tomorrow so I hear).

This is where things started to go wrong. First off, I had an Actionscript error where I had a creationComplete handler specified on the application but didn't have a matching method in my code. The error message shown in the console was pretty big considering the error. So it took me a few to find my problem.

Then I compiled again and got a different error regarding the keystore being in the wrong format. I thought the issue was that in the configuration I hadn't correctly specified the necessary parameters to generate a key. So I specified all the values that were required and tried again. No joy though. The new error... "Incorrect AVA format". I don't really know what that means. A search of the support forum, returns exactly 1 result that mentions "rebuilding the keystore". Not exactly sure what that means either so I am dead in the water at this point.

Hey Adobe... help me out here. A beta of Hero would really help right about now.


Dusty said...

I was disappointed as well... I didn't run across any errors in my code, but the previous beta was VERY hard to get android up and running.

The worst part, however, was the executable size... an 8meg apk for one text label? ABSURD!

Fabien said...

Been disappointed as well, i really tought that it would be the "mobile-app-killer" but using their custom SDK was a pain to re-use existing code. As everything is not implemented (that was even worse when it was beta), if you need to use some of your code, you try it and deleted basically everything that generates error. And sometimes, you only get errors when converting the application to C++ so you have to launch the process once again, real loss. And well, it doesn't support using Flex libraries so your projects can become quite messy. Worst non-implemented features surely are the MouseEvent. They are replaced by TapEvent or TouchEvent or something but because of that, non of my code did work, had to replace everything.

Dusty is right, 8Mo for a sample application is way too much, that's even more than the whole Air Runtime for FroYo.

By the way, i tried developping Air applications for Froyo all afternoon and it's really worth trying. Performs great on the device (don't trust the dead slow emulator) and you can reuse all your librairies / flex library projects. Only dark spot is that so far, it's only for Android (should have BlackBerry support by the end of the year) so nothing for Apple lovers.


Thomas said...

Hi again,

I've just answered in your second ELIPS blog post.

As I've said, the ELIPS Studio philosophy is really not to promise real Flex on mobile, but more "do native apps with our flex sdk", by using directly platform native UIComponents, so your apps will look like real android or iPhone ones, with real behavioral differences, layouts, etc. Mobile development is not PC dev, and will never be.

We are progressing day after day, and we understand that our product is really not that easy to use at first time. Do you have suggestion of improvements in this area?

You mentioned that the Android setup was complex, did you get a chance to follow our Android tutorial already ?

If you have issues or frustration, do not hesitate to post on our forum, we will be able to help you very quickly, and it will help us improving our product.

Thomas Menguy
Tech Lead of ELIPS Studio at Open-Plug

Rob McKeown said...

@Fabien - I just got the Froyo update on my Evo so I am real looking forward to jumping into some AIR dev. Your right, the emulator is really slow. I haven't put anything onto my phone yet, but I will be posting about the process as I go.

Fabien said...

If you can read french (or use google translate), here is a complete guide i wrote to create and deploy applications to an android phone (or emulator)

Enjoy :D

Fabien said...

Forgot the link...


Rob McKeown said...

@Fabien - Thanks. That is a great walkthrough. I was able to get some things to work in the emulator, but sometimes, it just hangs on the initializing screen. I can't quite tell what the problem is yet. I did create a prototype in Flash and was able to get than running in the emulator though. Now, I just need to figure out how to get it onto my Evo :-)

Anonymous said...

Well, the worst part is, that I cant even get it to install as my flash builder is a plugin version :| 1 rule of software dev. Do NOT break the installer, that is just not good for adding users to your product.
Even worse, the installer quits every time I try to guess a directory that might match a standalone installation