revUp - Updates and news for the Revolution community
Issue 93 | May 27th 2010 Contact the Editor | How to Contribute

The Power of the Rev Community
Explore some favorite resources made available via revOnline

by Ben Beaumont

Over the past few days I have had the privilege of speaking to a variety of people in the community. I've been struck by the commitment, good will and passion from all those I chatted with. It's these qualities that are seen throughout our community that makes it so unique.

I found myself particularly struck by a conversation about the lessons portal and revOnline. They are brilliant resources that are driven by the community but don't get as much exposure as they could or should. Each week great new content is added to both portals that has the potential to unlock Rev for the beginner or inspire the seasoned pro. In this articles I'm going to review a few of the projects on revOnline that have caught my eye.

In addition to this article we plan to update both revOnline and the lessons portal in the coming week to notify the uselist when new content has been made available. None of us need miss out on the great resources that are available!

revOnline Projects

Before I get started I should say that there are so many different projects on revOnline that I really like. I am only going to highlight 5 but I would encourage you to take a look for yourself. You may find that someone else has solved a problem that you've been working on for a while or perhaps pick up a few ideas of things you could do yourself.

I'm a big advocate of taking care when building your interface. Attention to detail can make the difference between a good app and a great app. Everything from how well aligned your interface objects are to the consistency of the colours you use is really important. However, this is time consuming and any tools that help improve this process are very welcome indeed. The colour Picker Plugin is a great Rev stack that lets you grab the colour from any location on the entire screen whether its a Rev control in one of your projects or your desktop background. The plugin has a preferences pane that lets you customise a few elements to suit your needs. It even has a "check for update" option which I used to get an even more up-to-date version. Very neat!

Download Color Picker

Another area that I'm am always interested in is movement and animation. On a number of occasions I have written games in Rev and had a lot of fun on the process. The one area that I've struggled with however is realistic physics. How do you go about animating acceleration and deceleration for example? John Craig has created a great sample stack that demonstrates these two principles really well. In his example click on the button "Frontscript" and then start "throwing" the objects with your mouse. I think you'll agree the results are really nice. There is plenty to learn from his work when thinking about our own projects. To see how John has done it, look at the script of the "finderScript" button.

Download Finger

Andre Garzia has produced a great library for accessing common blog API's such as Blogger, MetaWeblog and Atom. If you are into blogging then you'll want to take a look at this library. Start hooking into your blogs right from your Rev stacks! Thanks for sharing Andre.

Download Blogger API Library

This has to be one of my favourite submissions to revOnline. Derek Bump uploaded his first attempt at creating a side scrolling game based on the original Mario. While Derek himself says in the project description that it's a rough first attempt, it's a great starting point for all those of us thinking about doing a little games development. He has added sounds, movement, jumping, collision detection, game conditions and logic which form the base requirements for any game. If you are interested in experimenting in this area then take at look at what Derek has done for inspiration and help.

Download Mario Game Test

This is one for all the teachers and general science types out there. I have always been amazed by the universe ever since I was a boy. Roger Guay has produced one of the best tools I've seen for communicating the sheer scale of the wonderful universe in which we live. Well worth a look.

Download The Planets to Scale

All of these projects and many more can be found on the revOnline portal. You can either visit the website or launch your copy of Rev and click on the revOnline button in the main toolbar. A fast growing set of tutorials can be found at our lessons portal.

About the Author

Ben Beaumont is Product Manager for RunRev Ltd.

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