Larry and I have been pretty deep in development on a media player for Adobe. It’s quite an honor, really, to be involved with such an important component for such an important company, and we set the bar pretty high for what we wanted to accomplish with the latest rev. The primary goals were a migration to OSMF, a mobile-friendly version, and a more maintainable code base.
We’re nearing the end of our alpha phase, and couldn’t be more pleased with how it turned out. OSMF is fantastic to build upon, and although I was sad to say good-bye to Shaun Tinney’s original code base (he’s a great programmer), OSMF has a pretty substantial effort behind it. I’ll never build a video player from scratch again. The app feels super responsive, even on mobile, which was no small feat, but what we’re most happy with is the codebase as it was an entire rebuild of a project that had been touched by no fewer than five developers. We’ve minimized our bug-fix schedule to roughly 15% of what it used to be, an enormous accomplishment for such a complex project.
DEVELOPING FOR MOBILE IN FLASH
This is one of our first big mobile efforts, and I have to give credit to the Adobe Flash Player Engineering team because the transition to mobile was very easy to implement, and instead of focusing on translating code or optimizing for a different platform, we were able to deliver an experience that’s tailored for mobile use. This is more than obvious changes like using larger fonts and buttons with bigger hit areas (currently all buttons are 75×50 at a minimum, compared to 30×22 that we can get away with on the desktop), and we had many discussions about how the mobile player should function. We moved UI elements around to different screens to consolidate usage, inserted new screens and application states to make the content more approachable, removed some UI elements, changed the function of others, and learnt a lot during the entire process. We’re still not sure it’s right, and won’t be surprised if we make more changes in the future – and that’s okay. We can do that. Key takeaways for me is that mobile development requires more thought about how the application will be used as opposed to how to actually program it.
Expect to see a more technical series of posts about Neroli soon, and when the player goes live we’ll let you know.