shawn.blais

Shawn has worked as programmer and product designer for over 20 years, shipping several games on Steam and Playstation and dozens of apps on mobile. He has extensive programming experience with Dart, C#, ActionScript, SQL, PHP and Javascript and a deep proficiency with motion graphics and UX design. Shawn is currently the Technical Director for gskinner.

@tree_fortress

Flutter: iOS Home Widgets Deep Dive

Last year the Flutter Team release an excellent codelab that explained to process of adding an iOS or Android “Home Widget” to your Flutter app. As it turns out, it’s surprisingly easy!

Adding Widgets is a fairly happy path as they can added using the built-in UI Wizards in XCode or Android Studio, and development can also be done in the respective IDEs, complete with robust code-hinting, debug and hot(ish) reload support!

Continue reading →

Introducing Flutter Custom Carousel

We’re really excited to introduce a new package called Flutter Custom Carousel, a widget for creating fully custom, animated scrollable lists. It manages all of the tricky logic surrounding scroll interactions and physics, and leaves the visual presentation of items up to you.

The idea came from discussions about building a carousel widget; we were looking at the wide diversity of carousel UIs, debating which one to create, and what parameters were needed to customize it. There were too many possibilities, each with a vast range of potential customizations, and it became obvious we either had to pick a single option and try to perfect it, or take a more radical approach that empowered developers to do “anything”.

Continue reading →

Flutter: Crafting a great experience for screen readers

While building the Wonderous app, we wanted to craft a great experience for visually impaired users using screen readers. Flutter does an admirable job working with these systems out of the box, but app developers also have work to do to create a polished user experience.

In this post we’ll look at how screen readers work and then run through the top accessibility related lessons we learned along the way.

Continue reading →

XD to Flutter v4: Better Layout Code

v4.0 of the “XD to Flutter” plugin is available now, with a focus on simplifying and improving the Dart code it generates.

Building on v3’s focus on improving the developer experience, v4 includes a fairly significant refactor of how layout code is generated by the plugin to enable smarter, cleaner results.

Continue reading →

XD to Flutter v3.0

I’m very excited to announce the release of v3.0 of the “XD to Flutter” plugin, with a number of powerful new developer features.

Prior to v1.0, the primary goal was just to output as much of the content in Adobe XD to Flutter as possible: Vector graphics, text, images, fills, blurs, blend modes, etc. Version 1 tackled responsive layout, and v2.0 built on that with support for stacks, scroll groups, and padding. Version 2 also included the ability to export null-safe code, a critical developer feature for working with Flutter 2.

In v3.0 we’ve doubled down on improving the workflow for developers, including providing new ways to clean up the exported code and integrate dynamic content.

Continue reading →

Google, Adobe, gskinner | Flutter Interact ’19

Flutter is a mobile UI toolkit that combines fast development, expressive and beautiful UIs, with native performance. To test-drive the platform, Grant Skinner & Mike Chambers recently built Redrix: a mobile companion app for Destiny 2.

Download Redrix on iOS or Android
Continue reading →

Keeping it Grounded: Why We Avoid the Cloud (Sometimes)

The Cloud

Don’t get me wrong, the “Cloud” is great. Being able to utilize existing apps and not having to worry about updates or security is a huge time saver. But when it gets down to it, “In the cloud” is a buzz term. When translated to laymen speech it means “Storing your data and running your applications on an offsite server, somewhere”. It’s that “somewhere” that is a legal gray area for us, and for certain clients. For example; let’s say we’re working on a project for Microsoft, but are storing documents and files on Google servers. The two companies can (and do) collaborate, but what if they don’t on this project? And we’re storing sensitive Microsoft information with Google? It could cause legal issues if a dispute ever came up. This is the primary reason why we choose to self-host the vast majority of our infrastructure. The services we self-host include a Git server, bug tracker, wiki, file syncing server, and a custom built timetracker. Having a local server host all these services allows us to be extremely agile in development and with our workflows.

Continue reading →