Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Adobe Flash Catalyst - First Look

This week Adobe has released the first public beta build of Flash Catalyst on Adobe Labs. Catalyst (formerly known as Thermo) is an application that enables you to quickly build interactive user interfaces and content in Flash without having to perform any coding.

Flash Catalyst enables you to take designs you have created in either Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator and using Catalyst convert these into interactive components including objects such as buttons, scroll bars etc.

At present Flash Catalyst does not bring anything to the Captivate user’s table. Flash Catalyst SWFs do not seem to play well in Adobe Captivate 4.0.1 even if you create AS 3 projects. But that doesn’t mean that there won’t be any integration in the future.

One area where I think that Flash Catalyst might be able to help the Captivate user out would be as an alternative to creating Widgets.

Introduced in Adobe Captivate 4, Widgets though extremely powerful, require that you have a solid understanding of Flash and Action Scripting which unfortunately many Captivate users just don’t have and this where I think that Flash Catalyst could be of use. Personally, I would like to have the option of building components from Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator files that I could then be imported and used in my Captivate projects.

If like me you would like to see Catalyst integration with Adobe Captivate in a future version then please do submit an Enhancement Request.

Some might think that I have my head in the clouds here, but as a member of the Cloud Appreciation Society, I don’t consider having my head in the clouds a bad thing.

You can learn more about Adobe Catalyst from the link I have included below.

Learn about Adobe Flash Catalyst.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Adobe Captivate 4.0.1 - What got fixed.

Further to my post on Friday regarding the Adobe Captivate 4.0.1 patch. Below is a complete list of what issues the Captivate team have addressed.

Note: In order to download the Adobe Captivate 4.0.1 patch choose Help > Updates

Audio Quality improvement

  • In Captivate 4, some users observed poor audio quality in the published movie. We’ve addressed all the elements that caused this issue. With this patch you will see a noticeable improvement in the audio quality.
USB Microphone support for Vista setups and working well with RealTek and Sigma Tel soundcards
  • Captivate failed to recognize USB microphones on the Vista OS. Also, in some instances, specific sound cards were not recognized. Both these issues have now been resolved in the patch.
Open another project’ now works from any location
  • In Captivate 4, the navigation option ‘open another project’ was based on an absolute path. This led to issues when these linked projects were published and moved to a different location. This has now been resolved.
Inserting objects at playhead position
  • We have worked on an important productivity issue. Now it’s possible to insert objects at the exact position the playhead is on. This is helpful for content developers as they can easily play the slide on timeline, pause the slide at a specific time, and insert objects at the playhead position.
Memory Leak in Image insertion and Editing
  • Few customers had reported memory leak issues while inserting and editing images. These have been investigated. The leak was significant only in a specific case and has been resolved now.
Image quality while resizing is improved
  • There was some degradation in the image quality when images were resized inside Captivate 4. This patch will help address this.
HTML page Title
  • Captivate now picks up the title name from Project preferences > Project name section. This name appears as the HTML title when the project is published and viewed in a browser.
Question Type identification by LMS
  • This addresses a specific scenario in LMS reporting. We have worked on the way the question type data is reported to LMS systems.
PPT slides containing Master Templates work well with Captivate
  • Some PPT files containing Master templates were getting corrupted once published from Captivate 4. This has now been resolved.
Widget Template is modified
  • Widget template had a few undefined variables which created compiling problems. This has been sorted out in this patch update.