Well, it seems that my Flander friend Lieve was right. In my farewell post, she mentioned in the comments that it was no farewell but Goodbye. I was really touched by the all comments left on the post: it makes one feel appreciated. One of those comment came directly from Shameer at Adobe and he proposed to work things out for me. He did and Adobe graciously granted me access to Cp6 so I could keep CpGears alive and keep producing widgets for the community. I will also take this opportunity to update the commercial widgets to Cp6 as well. Of course, the upgrade will be free for all the customers that have already purchased the widgets.
So, in the upcoming weeks, I will take a look at the new improvements for Cp6 and will fix CpGears so that it works with Cp6. That will be my first priority. After that, I will try my hand on some of the new Cp6 capabilities such as the Library Import. Maybe I could capitalize on this for the Interactive Label or Image Zoom widgets.
I haven’t posted in my blog for quite a while, almost a year. I’m sorry that I wasn’t able to be more active in the community in the last year but personal issues drove me away for a while. Now that Captivate 6 is out, a few people are asking me if I have updates for Cp6. The unfortunate answer is no. I embraced the widget development because of my love for eLearning. During my journey, I was fortunate enough to have access to the tools that help us create wonderful widgets. Now that Captivate 6 is out, I do not have access to these tools anymore so I will have to call it quits. It was a tremendous experience and I met amazing people in the community. I also thank all the customers that have procured my widgets and hope that they were helpful. I wish you all great success with Cp6 and there are a lot of talented widget developers out there so I’m sure that you will eventually find what you are looking for.
Last year, following a request on the Captivate User forum, I created a free widget that could display a Youtube video inside Captivate. It’s a simple widget that works well but that has one major drawback: it can only play one Youtube video per Captivate project. It seems that the Youtube Player that I used doesn’t work when more than one video is loaded inside Captivate.
I always wanted to try again and find another way of doing that widget to see if I could not get around that limitation. Well, a few days/weeks ago, I was able to try again and I succeeded in loading more than one Youtube video on a slide and having different videos on multiple slides. Take a look at following example but make sure you only use the playbar buttons to control the movie otherwise you can have some issues. I know that there are a lot of things to work out but it’s a start!
Like so many people, I had the need to customize the skin for the FLV player in Captivate. I initially thought that this was going to be very simple as I just needed to change the movieclips in the Skin fla file; just like we do for a playbar. However, the FLV skin source files are nowhere to be found on the Captivate installation folder. A quick search over the web and poking a few followers on Twitter confirmed that the fla files were not provided.
Hum … that’s unfortunate but not enough to stop me. So, I decided to experiment with creating my own skin … and succeeded! It’s not very complex but there are a few things to be careful about. The skin swf file basically contains one movieclip per button state (up, over, down, disabled) and one actionscript function that tells Captivate how the player will behave and where the buttons will be located. The key is the movieclip naming convention. The assets need to have some very specific names such as play_mc, pause_mc, stop_mc, etc.
Below is my test skin where I set the skin mode option to true so it hides the buttons when they are disabled. I could have also set the mode option to false and all the buttons would have been displayed all the time.
I will take a few more days to try to come up with some tutorial on how to create the FLV skin so stay tuned for an upcoming blog post!
I realized today that I posted the first release of CpGears on Google Code about six months ago. Can’t believe that my baby is already 6 months old. I use it to develop all of my widgets and really like it.
I know that Jim at CaptivateDev.com is also using it, has always nice comments about it and even blogged about it. I couldn’t ask for a more dedicated user! However, I would really like to know if other people are finding it useful and what they think about it. Did it help you create widgets faster? What do you like and what don’t you like?
If you use or have used CpGears, I would really appreciate if you could leave a comment. And if you never used it, then what are you waiting for, download it now!
The CpXray Widget has been updated to work in conjunction with the DeMonster Debugger 3. This new version of the widget is now based on CpGears and is also working in both Captivate 5 and 5.5 (I realized lately that CpXray was not functioning under Captivate 5.5).
DeMonster 3 has some nice improvements over the last version and it seems a lot more stable and fast. So have fun debugging your widgets with CpXray and DeMonster Debugger!
While working on my Jumbled Words Widget, I came across some problems with the QuestionWidgetView in CpGears. Some methods where actually missing in order for Captivate to completely control the widget. So, version 1.2 has these new methods added (resetAnswer() and questionState) and I also took the time to add a new method on the InteractiveWidget class to reset the interaction. The method is called resetInteraction().
As usual, I hope you will have fun with CpGears and if you have any suggestion or comments about it, please let me know.
After a lot of efforts and some major headaches too, I have finally released the Jumbled Words Widget that I briefly previewed to you a few weeks ago. There are a lot of customization options available so the widget can most likely fit all your requirements.
Jumbled Words is a nice and funny game where a user has to discover a word or sentence from a pile of jumbled letters. The nice part is that the game is packaged as a widget thus enabling you to reuse it all over you courses without ever having to recompile a flash file.
If you like the widget and are among the first 5 buyers, you can get a 30% off by entering the promo code FIRSTBUYERS. If you are not among the first 5 buyers, then make sure to watch the demo until the very end and answer the questions properly
You can find more information here or experiment with the demo.
In my previous post on Captivate Interactions in the making, I mentioned that my next widget was going to be a Hangman type of game. Well, I haven’t finished my Jumbled Word widget yet but since both games are going to use the same engine, I decided to tackle them in parallel.
I think that hangman games are great interactions in a course but I didn’t want to show the typical stick figure being drawn one part at a time; I wanted something more related to the eLearning field. So I got a graphic artist to create some cool sequences for the game. Personally, I like the end results a lot but I will let you be the judge on this. I couldn’t resist showing you a preview of the Widget so here it is! I’m really looking forward hearing from you on this one. Just make sure that you at least try the game and fail at all the attempts to see the grand finale. Wait a second or two when you miss a letter before trying another one and to restart the game: reload the web page (for the moment).
For those that follow me, I think you can win the game without even missing a letter
Someone brought to my attention a small limitation of the Youtube widget. Youtube allows some special characters in its ID and I was only allowing alphanumeric characters. So, I have corrected this small issue and the Edit view should now allow entering all the legal characters of a youtube video ID. You can get the Youtube Widget for free here.