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The elephant in the room - Corona's roadmap versus Flash CS5 .IPA export
Started by hyperphonic Oct 13 2009 12:14 PM

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3 replies to this topic
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#1

hyperphonic

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hyperphonic
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  • Corona SDK

So Max 09 has come and gone, and the general press is all ga-ga over CS5's announced export to iPhone.

From what's I've dug through and asked developers and Adobe engineering who've been involved, the CS5 iPhone export sounds useful for a range of quick-turnaround projects that don't require the richer APIs available via XCode.

I'd like to start a public dialog with Ansca to hear what their plans are for Corona, and how they plan to differentiate their product from Flash CS5. At present, the two products are unreleased (aside from a small number of shipping apps on the App Store), and it would be good to hear and discuss what I'd like to see in Corona that I'd never see from Adobe, given that they have a priority to maintain feature parity with the rest of the Flash platform, whereas I would hope that Ansca is willing to listen to their potential customers about features that aren't going to be available with CS5.

I'm talking about things like:
- Store Kit integration
- analytics (like Pinchmedia)
- cameraOverlayView in UIImagePickerController

and hopefully down the line, things like Game Kit and Map Kit.

As an encouragement, I found this blog post to be somewhat relevant:
What to do when an $8 million gorilla launches 3 weeks before you

Best,

- Ian

uid: 238 topic_id: 164 reply_id: 300164


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#2

carlos m. icaza

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carlos m. icaza
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Ian,

Is it a white elephant or a pink one?

I can tell you a few things right off the bat that make Corona better than Flash on the iPhone.

First off, a simple "Hello World" application is going to be at least 8MB (that's 8 mega bytes ) in size in Flash for the iPhone. One of the comments from one of the engineers was, I think we can give you enough to do in 8MB. Corona comes in at around 300K for a simple "Hello World".

Second, they are using ActionScript 3, which is more like Java than Javascript, and, thus, making iPhone programming under AS3 as if you were a java developer.

---------------------------------------------

Sample AS3 :

package my.hello.world {
public class HelloWorld {
public function sayHello():String {
var greeting:String = "Hello World!";
return greeting;
}
}
}

import my.hello.world.HelloWorld;
var classInstance:HelloWorld = new HelloWorld();
hello_txt.text = classInstance.sayHello();
------------------------------------------------------------------
Corona

local text = display.newText("Hello World",25,25,12)
text:setTextColor(255,0,0);

-------------------------------------------------------------------

Third, my understanding is that they are not using standard iPhone SDK tools. Thus, again, my understanding is that PNG's generated by Flash For iPhone are not optimized for iPhone. Corona takes full advantage of the PNGCrushing tool used by the iPhone SDK and we take advantage of other iPhone SDK tools such as the packager and the signature process. Flash CS5 does not. Which could lead to potential problems with Apple.

--------------------------------------------------------------

Lastly, we are listening to our potential customers about features that aren't going to be available with CS5.

------------------------------------------------------------

I'm talking about things like:

- Store Kit integration ** We will have that in a future release.
- analytics (like Pinchmedia) *** We will have that as well.
- cameraOverlayView in UIImagePickerController *** it is in the road map

--------------------------------------------------------------

I will update you with more details in a bit.

Thanks Ian

Carlos
uid: 24 topic_id: 164 reply_id: 151


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#3

hyperphonic

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hyperphonic
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  • Corona SDK

Hi Carlos,

Personally - I don't have a problem with AS3. I think it's good that the CS5 iPhone export is standardised on AS3 - there are a lot of benefits in terms of libraries that I can reuse with AS3 that I would have to port or reinvent using Lua, so in my mind, that's actually a big advantage. I understand that Lua is supposed to be smaller and faster, but I don't have the means to profile on the device using either tool, so that's not really arguable.

The file size issue if that's correct would be a killer for OTA distribution, if Adobe's base install is ~8MB-ish.

There's been a lot of speculation about the legitimacy of Adobe's LLVM approach and their linking to various APIs, but again - I think it's early days for both products. In a sense, we'd don't really have strong confirmation about whether Apple with be happy with *many* products authored using Corona or CS5. Let's avoid all that FUD flying around until Apple actually acts.

What I do want to hear is that Ansca is willing to listen to customer feedback and integrate features that differentiate it from a standard Flash Player API. CS5 is going to miss much of the richness of he iPhone APIs and I think Corona has a role there as a rapid development tool if it can respond in a timely manner to customers.

I find Corona attractive because it potentially cuts the development time. But at the end of the day, if I need to build the client's projects using XCode because Corona doesn't give me access to various APIs, then that's the only logical solution.

(The sample code you gave using AS3 vs Lua isn't a good comparison, given that the Flash textfield has *a lot* of additional functionality that Corona's textfield is missing, like multi-line fields, word wrapping, basic HTML formatting etc.) I'd take the Flash textfield any day. (-;

Best,

- Ian
uid: 238 topic_id: 164 reply_id: 154


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#4

carlos m. icaza

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carlos m. icaza
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"What I do want to hear is that Ansca is willing to listen to customer feedback and integrate features that differentiate it from a standard Flash Player API. CS5 is going to miss much of the richness of he iPhone APIs and I think Corona has a role there as a rapid development tool if it can respond in a timely manner to customers."

The answer is yes. We are listening and making things easier for you to use. We will add features like you mentioned

- Store Kit integration
- analytics (like Pinchmedia)
- cameraOverlayView in UIImagePickerController

We know that in order for us to be successful we have to make Corona easily accessible to just about anyone who wants to create tightly integrated native iphone applications and we are working on making Corona easier to use and feature rich.
uid: 24 topic_id: 164 reply_id: 155



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