what do developers want to know?

Pikkle is now a medium sized flashlite publisher and distributor here in japan, and I’ve been asked to write some articles for developers.i wonder, what might be of most interest to people?

my personal feeling is that tech issues are pretty well-covered. most “developers” are more interested in how they(we) can actually make money with FL or persuade bean counters to invest. This maybe cos the FL developers are mainly 3-4 ppl companies, where the lead engineer is also often the guy signing the cheques.

Outside of Japan, the bizmodel still seems vague enough that generating the next $XXk of business is more pressing than solving tech problems.

any other ideas appreciated too but initial thoughts:

1) differences between US + japanese phones

eg network access requiring a user click. flash inside the browser vs. standalone. key access. download limits per URL (100k on docomo).

2) beyond the emulator

what you can do (and not) with screensavers, chakuflash, inside thebrowser etc. differences between carriers implementations. things adobe don’t tell you that stop flash working seamlessly between devices.

3) flavors of flashlite

decome anime, FLV on the phone, i-channel: the things that are beyond just playing back a movieclip or downloading a game.

4) bugs and workarounds

eg flash9 makes files bigger than FL8. embedded fonts dont work in 1.1/osx etc.

5) openscreen project

what it means to you. (what does it mean to developers? you can write your own flash player?)

6) access statistics

we can share some of our stats on what type of devices are accessing our services. whats the breakdown of FL 1.1 vs. 2.0 and 3.0 handsets.

7) flashlite 1.1 is almost dead! so what’s new?

if we all get together we can kill the vampire that is 1.1. I’m the first one with a wooden stake. No more nights dealing with obscure font-encoding bugs in shift-JIS.

But, whats the difference? is there anything you can really do with 2.0 that is new to the user, or just makes things easier for developers?

eg – you can change the color property of a sprite. read XML data.

anything else?

8) full-flash!

moving from html sites w/ inline animations to full-flash sites. how best to convince a client to adopt! the questions we get. stats around ROI, page conversion rates, results.

9) flashlite ROI

why bother? FL is more expensive compared to XHTML, but cheaper than java. so is FL just limited to cheap mini-games?

10) 906i – all new!

docomo just launched the 906 series phones, which have some stunning new flash functionality. A run down of what’s now possible (decome anime, FLV etc). Finally the FL 3.0 that was meant to be!

11) decome anime in detail

A piece just on making decome anime templates.

Any other ideas? what do you think are hot topics? what would you want to ask a company with 2~3 years experience running mobile flash services?

7 Comments »

  1. Darren Osadchuk Said,

    June 1, 2008 @ 12:35 pm

    Hey dc,

    A very long comment:

    > – differences between US + japanese phones

    This is for a newsletter targeting Japanese devs? If there’s much interest in that community in moving beyond the Japanese market, then this would be a good topic, since there’s lots to cover.

    > – beyond the emulator
    > what you can do (and not) with screensavers, chakuflash, inside the
    > browser etc.
    > differences between carriers

    Hmm, would be of interest to non-Japanese devs, I think, but might not be new information to any but the newest Japanese Flash Lite devs? The differences between carriers is a good idea, but might suffer from the same problem in terms of audience.

    > – new features
    > decome anime and other functions

    I personally have no idea what those new features are, so I’d find it interesting at least, but that’s just me. :)

    > – bugs
    > eg flash9 makes files bigger. embedded fonts dont work in 1.1

    Depends on how long you think 1.1 will be around – seems like it’ll be viable in Japan for a little while yet, but I guess that depends on the uptake of the new FL2/3 phones coming on the market.

    > – openscreen project
    > what it means to you.

    This would be good, but the point at which we’ll actually see this on devices is probably a little while off, so it might be too soon to be able to say anything beyond generalizations.

    > – flashlite 1.1 is dead!
    > but whats the difference? is there anything you can really do with 2.0
    > that is new to the user, or just makes things easier for developers?
    > eg – you can change the color property of a sprite. read XML data.
    > anything else?

    This would be a good topic, I think.

    > – sales!
    > a developer running a small biz – what is the real cost of flashlite content

    Again, something I personally would love to read – are most FL devs in Japan running a small biz, or is it mostly larger companies?

    > – full-flash
    > moving from html sites w/ inline animations to full-flash sites. how
    > best to convince a client to adopt!
    > the questions we get.

    Another great topic. Personally I think all Japanese mobile sites should be full-Flash, but I have a vested interest in seeing that happen!

    > Any other ideas? what do you think are hot topics? what would
    > you want to ask a company with 2~3 years experience running
    > mobile flash services?

    From outside Japan, it’s hard to say. I sometimes get the sense that the most active FL devs outside of Japan are in a bit of a holding pattern, waiting for the market to mature/stabilize to the point where there’s actual money to be made – I wonder how many companies outside Japan are making a go of it doing FL exclusively?

    If you were writing this for a non-Japanese market, I’d definitely say an article on the difference between the Japanese and non-Japanese markets would be great – basically, why was FL so successful so quickly in Japan vs. why it’s been taking longer outside of Japan. What does the success of Flash Lite in Japan teach those of us trying to make a go of it outside of Japan?

    If I had to pick from the list, I’d suggest going with the article about sites with in-line Flash vs. full-Flash. I think it could result in a nice mix of technical content plus the business/sales side of things – the ‘how to convince the client/questions we get’ part. And I’m not just saying this for the obvious reasons!

  2. Jill for the Xuinet developer team Said,

    June 2, 2008 @ 11:00 am

    Hello DC,

    To follow up to your post, I think developers also want to know how to make money with their Flash mobile applications.

    As a result, I wanted to get in touch with you to see if you might be willing to help us get the word out to Flash developers about a new open mobile publishing network at http://www.Xuinet.com.

    In a nutshell, Xuinet gives developers, frustrated by the barriers to getting on device, everything they need to easily make money and showcase their content and apps, without the technical hassle or complicated revenue share models.

    So, we’re hoping you’ll have a look and if you like what you see, encourage Flash developers to kick the Xuinet tires – we’re curious to know what you think. Check us out at http://www.Xuinet.com.

    Thanks!

    The Xuinet Team

  3. Scott Janousek » Blog Archive » What do developers want to know (about Flash Lite)? Said,

    June 15, 2008 @ 1:31 pm

    [...] (David Collier) of Pikkle in Japan was recently asking “What do developers want to know?” (over on his blog) for some upcoming articles for [...]

  4. Steve Howard Said,

    June 15, 2008 @ 2:35 pm

    quoting Darren Osadchuk: “I sometimes get the sense that the most active FL devs outside of Japan are in a bit of a holding pattern, waiting for the market to mature/stabilize to the point where there’s actual money to be made ”

    I agree. I think that the Open Screen Project will allow us to step out of that holding pattern – as will the continued evolution of more powerful devices. Pretty soon the most basic devices that people can buy will be capable of running ‘full feature’ Flash content via the Open Screen player – whatever it may be…

  5. Scott Janousek Said,

    June 15, 2008 @ 7:53 pm

    David, ping me for more responses.

    >1) differences between US + japanese phones
    >
    >eg network access requiring a user click. flash inside the browser vs. >standalone. key access. download limits per URL (100k on docomo).

    Yes. Talking about the latest keitai would be great. At this years CTIA wireless, DoCoMo had a pretty impressive display of what is most probably shipping now. Pretty cool.

    >2) beyond the emulator
    >
    >what you can do (and not) with screensavers, chakuflash, inside the browser >etc. differences between carriers implementations. things adobe don’t tell >you that stop flash working seamlessly between devices.

    Yes. Talking about all this would be great. We are doing this in platform forums outside Japanese market (Nokia, SE, others) … but it would be cool to hear about what is happening there as well.

    >3) flavors of flashlite
    >
    >decome anime, FLV on the phone, i-channel: the things that are beyond just >playing back a movieclip or downloading a game.
    >

    Yes, decome anime looks interesting, and there is no much talk about i-channel outside of Japan (although we do have FlashCast within other regions now).

    >4) bugs and workarounds
    >
    >eg flash9 makes files bigger than FL8. embedded fonts dont work in 1.1/osx >etc.
    >

    I don’t know if talking about bugs would be the right forum for articles, but perhaps useful workarounds would be appropriate.

    >5) openscreen project
    >
    >what it means to you. (what does it mean to developers? you can write your >own flash player?)
    >

    >6) access statistics
    >
    >we can share some of our stats on what type of devices are accessing our >services. whats the breakdown of FL 1.1 vs. 2.0 and 3.0 handsets.
    >

    Yes. This would be very useful to see actual (recent) numbers from Japan.

    >
    >7) flashlite 1.1 is almost dead! so what’s new?
    >
    >if we all get together we can kill the vampire that is 1.1. I’m the first one >with a wooden stake. No more nights dealing with obscure font-encoding >bugs in shift-JIS.
    >
    >But, whats the difference? is there anything you can really do with 2.0 that >is new to the user, or just makes things easier for developers?
    >
    >eg – you can change the color property of a sprite. read XML data.
    >
    >anything else?
    >

    Yes, an open discussion on this would be good. Seems that Japan is jumping from 1.1 directly to 3.x (for the most part).

    >8) full-flash!
    >
    >moving from html sites w/ inline animations to full-flash sites. how best to >convince a client to adopt! the questions we get. stats around ROI, page >conversion rates, results.
    >

    Yes, mobile web is no longer a “Japan only” phenom. Would be great to get some thoughts on where Japan is coming from and where it is headed in terms of Flash within the browser.

    >9) flashlite ROI
    >
    >why bother? FL is more expensive compared to XHTML, but cheaper than >java. so is FL just limited to cheap mini-games?
    >

    Yes, there needs to be more talk about ROI when it comes to Flash on mobile and devices.

    >10) 906i – all new!
    >
    >docomo just launched the 906 series phones, which have some stunning >new flash functionality. A run down of what’s now possible (decome anime, >FLV etc). Finally the FL 3.0 that was meant to be!
    >

    What other Japanese content types are new to Flash Lite 3? What is most popular with Flash Lite across supported devices?

    >11) decome anime in detail
    >
    >A piece just on making decome anime templates.
    >

    Yes. An article on designing and developing for this content type would be great.

    >Any other ideas? what do you think are hot topics?

    Workflow with Flash Lite. How to get from point A to point B in Japan, and how it might differ from the West.

    >
    >what would you want to ask a company with 2~3 years experience running >mobile flash services?
    >

    Where do you see Flash on mobile and devices headed next (in Japan)?

  6. Flash Lite and ROI ?! | Said,

    June 16, 2008 @ 2:40 pm

    [...] The title is the answer to David’s post: what do developers want to know? [...]

  7. iBrent Said,

    June 17, 2008 @ 7:53 am

    As a Flash Lite developer I would like to know how I can best optimize dynamic animation in FL 2/3. For example, when I port a simple line draw/ball bounce game from Flash Player 9, to Flash Lite 3, the performance on mobile devices is prohibitively slow. Things like calculating how the ball should bounce, and other dynamic animation is a real challenge on mobile devices. I would like to know how you work around this and achieve decent performance.

    Thanks,

    Brent

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