MAX 2006 – Day 3 or The End is Nigh

It seems like all this started just yesterday. But MAX 2006 is pretty much over. I have to say, this has been my favorite MAX to date. I think the sessions I attended were awesome. I didn’t get stuck in too many mislabeled sessions. I also really like participating in MAXUP. I hope they do it again, and if you were thinking about doing it but didn’t, you missed out.

So on to today.

The Sneaks Session was pretty interesting. Despite (or perhaps because of) my strong interest in ColdFusion, I wasn’t wowed by the features they showed off. But in the ColdFusion’s teams defense, I was wowed the first time I saw them. Soundbooth looks awesome. I’ve dabbled in video and sound production, and it looks like Soundbooth was written for my type of user. I know I have a sound, I know it needs modifying, but I don’t know which frequencies I need to tweak. Soundbooth looks like it handles that case well. I’m going to give it a try and also see what some more experienced sound people thing about it. The Fireworks to Flex stuff was also awesome. It makes me happy that they’re continuing the product, especially since they’re tying it to one of their more important products. The rest of the stuff was cool, but outside of my ken.

I attended two sessions today that I think were very good.

First I attended the ColdFusion .Net Integration session. Ray Camden did a great summary of it. I’m excited about this because it has the potential to simplify some of the troubles I’ve been dealing with over the past year. Not in terms of programming, but in server consolidation and what not. Another Wharton Computing Staff member, Dave Konopka, has some good thoughts about it. I hope he blogs some of them like he’s been threatening to do. We were able to corner the speaker, Rupesh Kumar and ask him some questions about why we would use this and not just continue relying on webservices to provide interactivity between .Net and Coldfusion. He boiled it down to security, and performance which are better in the built in version. I buy that.

Tangentially, were all of the ColdFusion team trained by the CIA? None of them would spill anything about Scorpio outside of the areas that they were revealing at MAX.

The second session that I want to mention was the AJAX/Spry Framework Overview. I briefly looked at Spry when it came out, but didn’t have time to fool around with it. This is going to make me make the time. I can’t believe how easy and powerful it looks. Additionally, they spell out a philosophy for it that makes a tremendous amount of success. Once they make it easy to degrade your pages gracefully I’m totally onboard.

Adobe, you’ve done your job. I will most likely be spending money on more Adobe products this year.

MAX 2006 – Day 2

I managed with 3 alarms and a wake up call to get to the keynote. It was interesting, the mobile stuff looks even cooler this year. I can’t wait until Flash gets on the Blackberry, cause I think that’s when enterprise customers are really going to look at Flash as a solution.

Also, my fellow members of Wharton Computing from the Student Services group won a MAX award. They also placed third on the People’s Choice Award. I’m extremely happy for them. They do a such creative and innovative work, so they definately deserve it.

I have to admit, I’ve been a little light on the formal sessions today. Mostly because I was pretty nervous about my MAXUP presentation. I was following Ray Camden which was very intimidating. But it went really well. For some reason I held on to my audience, which is decidely hard to do in that space since there is so much to distract one and it’s so easy to leave. I suspect my cohorts from Wharton were blocking the exit paths. Thanks, guys.

Finally, I have to admit I’m definately a fan of the ability to reach out and really talk to the people I’m used to only reading. I got to sit down and talk for 30 minutes or so to both Ray Camden and Ashwin Matthew in the same sitting. Ray was giving his list of features he really wants for Scorpio, and I found myself saying “Me too” a lot.

I think I’m going to catch the 4:30 MAXUP session on Mission Critical Application Architechture, then stall until the ColdFusion Components Birds of a Feather tonight.

MAX 2006 – Day 1 Complete

Day one is finally over, and despite my slow start, I think that I got a full day’s worth out of it.

I talked about it earlier, but the Getting Started with Apollo by Mike Chambers was really worth it. Especially if you’ve been living in a cave and haven’t really wrapped your mind around Apollo. Which I hadn’t… until after this session.

Next came Developing Hybrid Applications with ColdFusion and Java by Jason Delmore. This was really cool. I’ve done a bit with Java from ColdFusion, but I still learned a huge couple things.

Then came Unlocking the ColdFusion Server Black Box by Ashwin Matthew. I have been waiting for this stuff for so long. No more taking a random poll of my developers and seeing which one will cop to writing an infinite loop. This stuff is very well done, and I highly recommend if you manage ColdFusion servers at all.

The final official session I visited was Image Manipulation in ColdFusion by Prayank Swaroop. This is the only one that didn’t wow me. Basically it was a laundry list of all of the image things you will be able to do with the potentially upcoming CFImage tag. It’s not that this stuff isn’t cool. It is. And it wasn’t that Prayank Swaroop wasn’t a good speaker. He is. It’s just that between tmt_img.cfc, and other image tools, this just isn’t new. It’s awesome that ColdFusion will be supporting it natively though.

In between I stopped in at MAXUP and was impressed with what I saw.

Finally I attended the ColdFusion Birds of a Feather. The team was, as always very impressive. Their answers were great… yada yada yada. By this point great from the ColdFusion team is what I expect. What really impressed me was the attendees. Great probing questions, and good acceptance of answers. Also there was no panic about ColdFusion going away which I was half expecting.

All in all, Day One was fantastic.

ColdFusion String Manipulation

I don’t know if this is new to everyone, but it was to me. Jason Delmore , the Product Manager for ColdFusion informed us of something intriguing in his Developing Hybrid Applications with ColdFusion and Java and talk today. He informed us that ColdFusion strings are an extension of the Java String class. Which means that methods of Java strings are available to ColdFusion. What does this mean? It means that this is valid code:

<cfset test_1= "A string to test" />
<cfset test_2= "A string to add on to a string to test." />
<cfset test_1 = test_1.concat(test_2) />

Not only is it more elegant of other ColdFusion string concatenation techniques, it appears to run about twice as fast.

Also any other method listed in the Java String reference will work.

MAX 2006 – MAXUP First Impressions

I sat through two MAXUP sessions today, and I have two things to say:

  1. They are in fact as cool as advertised
  2. You don’t know what you’re missing

I saw:

  • Processing Dynamic Forms with ColdFusion – Erik Goodlad. It definitely showed a new way of thinking about large sets of forms. If you can find the presentation online, definitely do so.
  • Developing Rich Internet Applications with SAP and Flex – Matthias Zeller. It was awesome, what those guys have done with RIA, combining separate systems, and separate audiences is just fantastic. Seeing this should definitely give one some ideas about new interfaces.

I can’t say this enough. MAXUP is definitely worth attending. I make two recommendations to presenters:

  1. Be prepared to have people in and out of your session. Roll with it.
  2. Provide a url for the presentation often.
  3. Place the topic in the footer of your presentation so people can quickly figure out what you are talking about.

MAX 2006 – First Impressions

I had not 1 not 2 but 3 alarms set, and I still managed to wake up during the keynote. Each and every one of them went off at the wrong time. So I checked in with the other blogs and got the gist of what happened. I’m still pissed I missed it.

I’m now in my first session, “Getting Started with Apollo.” I know I’m really behind in my Apollo knowledge, so I was hoping to get caught up. Mike Chambers didn’t disappoint. Apollo looks awesome. If it really delivers what it promises then it will be incredible.

My one concern is that I’ve heard a lot of these claims before about Java which never really delivered.

MAX 2006 – Here and MAXUP Slot

So I arrived after one of the most uncomfortable flights I’ve ever had. I literally had the last choice of seat. There was only one option, last row middle. For a guy of my size, it was… uncomfortable. To have a smaller guy on the aisle complain of being cramped was just insult on top of injury.

I love this hotel. Despite it’s ginormous size, I think I have I finally understand the layout.

Also I got my MAXUP slot. It’s going to be Wednesday at 1pm.

MAXUP looks Good

Let me preference this by saying I’ve absolutely loved the previous MAX’s I’ve attended. But one problem I’ve had is that sometimes a MAX session just doesn’t cut it for me. Either, it wasn’t what I expected, or not in depth enough, or what not. In any case I find myself with a little time on my hands, and nothing to do. Usually, I check my email, or try and see if anyone is making a run to In-n-Out. (At least when they’ve been on the West Coast.)

MAXUP looks like it will give me an alternative to hunting the Double Double. Not just an alternative but MAXUP looks like it’s really going to spectacular. There are a tremendous number of really cool sounding presentations.

I definitely have to attend ColdFusion and Exchange by me. If you wondering more about that, I’m going to talk about creating Contacts and Appointments in Microsoft Exchange Mailboxes from ColdFusion.

I’m going to try very hard to catch:

I’m going to try to catch everything I can, but I’ll definitely skip MAX sessions for these.

Max Schedule

Just going over my Max schedule and figured I would share. I’m getting into town in the afternoon on Monday, and I’m staying through Sunday. At least one night that week I’m going to make sure that Ryan Stewart gets a proper cigar, as his taste can be questionable. Then there’s that whole conference thing:

Tuesday, Oct 24
8:30 AM – 10:00 AM General Session (GS100A-1)
10:30 AM – 11:30 AM Getting Started with Apollo (RI101W-1)
12:30 PM – 1:30 PM Developing Hybrid Applications with ColdFusion and Java (WD301W-1)
2:00 PM – 5:00 PM The Big Framework and Methodology Debate (WD301S-1)
Wednesday, Oct 25
8:30 AM – 10:00 AM General Session (GS100A-2)
10:30 AM – 11:30 AM Leveraging HTML/JavaScript and AJAX in Apollo Applications (RI213W-1)
12:30 PM – 1:30 PM Unlocking the ColdFusion Server Black Box (WD304W-2)
1:45 PM – 2:45 PM Delivering RIA Solutions with Cairngorm 2 (RI207W-2)
3:00 PM – 4:00 PM Integrating Flex Apps with Browsers and Ajax (RI209W-2)
4:15 PM – 5:15 PM Image Manipulation in ColdFusion (WD003W-2)
Thursday, Oct 26
8:30 AM – 10:00 AM General Session (GS100A-3)
10:30 AM – 11:30 AM Flex Best Practices: Applying Design Patterns and Architecture (RI304W-1)
12:30 PM – 1:30 PM End-to-End Debugging of Flex Applications (RI205W-2)
1:45 PM – 2:45 PM ColdFusion.NET Integration (WD305W-2)
3:00 PM – 4:00 PM AJAX/Spry Framework Overview (WD209W-2)
4:15 PM – 5:15 PM Designing More Usable Applications with Flex UI Capabilities (RI206W-2)

Some where in there, I’m going to be checking out MAXUP.