Using Ant and Say Command for Notification

I use ANT to automate a lot of the work I do around the web.  Some things are so tedious I don’t want to have to do them.  Others just take a long time, and I would rather the computer spend that time instead of me.

The difficulty with that is ANT doesn’t notify you when it is done.  Sure it prints a message that it’s done in the terminal window, but unless you’re looking there, you’ll never know. I stumbled on an easy way of getting notifications that are flexible and easy to work with on OS X:

The say command

In OS X, go to your command line and type 

say hello

Your Mac should respond in creepy robotic tones “Hello.”

You can get it to say anything… Okay, get all the immature juvenile tricks out now. My personal favorite:

say "I've got the collywobbles."

Okay. You can make it say anything, so you can make it say:

say “I’m done uploading all of your files to the website.”

So make an ANT task like:

And join it with another ANT task like:

Call them both from an ANT task like:

And there you have it. ANT with notification. Creepy creepy robotic notifications.

What I like about this over say, sound effects, is that this method allows me to label specifically what each notification means, which helps if I run a few concurrent processes.

Building Mobile Apps for Multiple Devices with Flex at 360|Flex

It looks like I never got a description into the good folks at 360|Flex about my session. Sorry about that.

Building Mobile Apps for Multiple Devices with Flex

Building apps for multiple devices isn’t just as simple as redoing your existing apps in Flex Hero, and running Export Release Build in Flash Builder. Getting applications to work on multiple screen takes thought and work in:

  • Design
  • Coding
  • Configuration
  • Packaging


The session will cover topics including:

  • Application DPI
  • Mobile Design
  • Simulating various Screens
  • Command line packaging
  • ANT
  • Publishing for multiple stores
  • and more


It’s a high level exploration of these issues, and will touch on content that is addressed deeper in other 360|Flex projects.

It’s time has also been changed from the paper schedule. It will take place:
Monday at 10:50 AM in Salon C.

Using ANT to package the same AIR app to Multiple Devices

I had some fun today playing with the BlackBerry Tablet SDK. In addition to getting a little demo up and running I got to show off some cool multiscreen goodness. Basically, I wrote one AIR app targeted at the Samsung Galaxy tab and the BlackBerry PlayBook (emulator, no device for me yet). I got them both to compile and install at the same time.

They also both ran, which was even awesomer.

I’ve embedded GISTs of the ANT script and properties file. Enjoy.

Compiling Flex Hero Apps with MXMLC in ANT

I ran into a problem today trying to use ANT to publish the same AIR application to BlackBerry and Android at the same time. Basically, when I used Flash Builder Burrito to push directly to a device for either platform it worked perfectly. When I did it via the ANT script I just got a white screen.

The cause: I had the wrong config loaded. I had air-config.xml as the configuration, and needed airmobile-config.xml as the configuration.

Took me a bit, but I figured it out. So if you’re looking to compile your Hero apps via ANT, use the right config.