Max 2008 Day 2 Keynote

So, today was the performance art keynote. Tim Buntel and Ben Forta opened up the keynote through a whole James Bond kinda theme.

Ben showed off what I have to assume is Air manipulating an X10 networking of home devices.

They showed off some cool Flash enhancements. Basically they added easy animation tools to objects. Things like skeletons, and easy pathing. It was available before by dropping down to ActionScript, but now it does it for you.

With Photoshop they showed off that new content aware scaling, where when you rescale an image it scrunches the background without touching foreground images. That and painting on 3d images.

Next up was Flash Catalyst, or Thermo. It was nice to see a working copy of it. They took a Photshop image and added behaviors to it in Flash Catalyst. They tweaked the image in Illlustrator. They added 3d effects to it. It was really impressive. Basically it seems to me like Flash Catalyst is the first robust application behavior designer.

They then showed off Flash running C code. It’s a feature called Alchemy. They started with a Hello World example, then showed off various absurdly cool examples: the OpenSSL library, Raw image transformation, rendering rasterized PDF within the Flash player. They showed Quake as an Air application, and a Nintendo emulator in Flash 10.

Finally, they moved on Flex Builder with a ColdFusion IDE inside. That’s right there will be a ColdFusion IDE. It looks like it’s going to address multiple things that we need: Automatic creation of object services based on Hibernate; CFC introspection, variable awareness. I can’t wait to see more this publicly .

I zoned out a bit, but came back to see A network monitor get added to Flex Builder.

Then Ben dropped the bomb that they are working on Flex for Visual Studio developers.

They moved on to Dreamweaver CS4. It now works with most of the large Ajax frameworks, automatically.

They moved on to show how Flash has teamed up with Google to make searchable Flash content.

The next product demo was the new version of Flash Media Server. FMS can now dynamically change the bit rate without having the distortions that happen when network conditions change. Additionaly, they’ve made it really to push multi bit rate video into apps your building with Dreamweaver. They’ve added the ability the add DVR capabilities to live steaming Flash video. Finally in the Flash player they’ve added peer to peer video capabilities.

They then handed the show over to Ted Patrick. He did the official roll out of Adobe Groups. I think a major plus to this is to make the Adobe Group eco system accessible from people outside the community. Also it will make intra group communications easier.

Max 2008 Day 1 Keynote

It’s Day 1, and I actually made it to the Keynote on time. Thanks multiple alarm clocks!

Some of the major announcements have already been made:

  • Thermo is Flash Catalyst
  • Cocomo is going to beta
  • “Flash Platform” is the new marketing term hammered home.
  • Air 1.5 has been released including Flash 10
  • 64 bit Flash Player for Linux

Shantanu Narayen, the CEO of Adobe started it off, and showed off Adobe’s participation in Project Red.

Next, Kevin Lynch took the stage, and started off talking about three areas where the software industry is changing:

  • Cloud Computing
  • Social Computing
  • Devices and Desktops.

He showed off new features with Flash 10, including audio, text, and 3d features.

The CTO of Disney Interactive Media Group talked about what they are doing with Adobe products.

Major League Baseball announced today that their video will now be delivered by Flash. Which means the NFL, NBA, and MLB are all on Flash.

Michael Zimbalist from the New York Times talked about what the NYT is doing with Air. They’re working on a new version of their News Reader. Coolest part of this presentation – a giant picture of Wallace Shawn looking down at the crowd at Max. But more than that, they’ve really done a great job of creating an AIR version of the NYT that grasps the advantages of an actual newspaper with the advantages of an Air app.

Then in the middle of talking about a California Museum application, Maria Shriver showed up.

Kevin then showed off an Adobe application called “Tour de Flex” that shows off the underlying code to interact with various other cloud services.

Once again our friends from were talking about their cloud services. I think through sheer cognitive dissonance I’ve become a fan. “I’m listening to speak again, I must like them.” In fairness, they really are on the cutting edge of being an enterprise company that gets SOA.

Nigel Pegg came up to talk about Cocomo. He showed off an application that allows for doctors to conduct medical peer reviews using Flex and Cocomo. Cool stuff, but the coolest part is that the free public beta just rolled out.

Kevin announced Adobe Wave, a unified social networking tool. It basically allows you to get email like popups for all of your social networking sites.

Kevin moved on to Devices and Desktops, which meant “mobile.” Evidently Flash will have penetrated 1 Billion phones by 2009. As always, none of them are here in the US. But a cool announcement was “Flash 10 for smartphones.” He showed Flash on Symbian, Flash on Windows Media, and Flash on Android. He also made it clear that they were working on Flash on the Iphone. I wish we could get Blackberry added to this list.

They ended with a demo of how they see the phone of the future working.  Pretty interesting.  Lots of interactivity,  able to pass data between phones and other devices.  Very compelling.

MAX 2008 Day 0

I came into to town early to participate in an Education event before the main festivities. I, of course, woke up late and missed the bus to Adobe HQ. I blame Ryan Stewart. However I got there eventually and got to participate.

It started with the VP of Education, Peter Issacson, talking about Adobe’s outreach to the Education sector.

Some cool facts that came out early:

  • Job Demand for Flash Knowledge is up 35,000% over the past 3 years
  • Job Demand for Flex Knowledge up 4500%
  • Job Demand for Ajax is up 20,000%

Those aren’t typos. For Education, these numbers mean that Adobe has to get in an engage the Academic sector to get people trained in these tools. This event was designed to impress upon us that Adobe knows it, and are working on it, and are looking to those in Education to help them out.

Next we heard from Steven Kurtz talking about his program at the Rochester Institute of Technology. He talked about the New Media Interactive Development Program at RIT. They take design students and teach them ActionScript among other programming languages. One of the success stories from that program Colin Doody talked about his experiences in it. It sounds like an amazing academic program as it combines both programming and design into one track. It’s pretty rare in the academic community. It’s also interesting as the problems that these students deal with are supposed to be addressed by Thermo.

Next we heard from Ozge Samanci from Georgia Tech. She talked about the School of Literature, Communication, and Culture. It’s yet another program that is turning out Adobe Tools and technology experts. The program sounds like a cross between a Liberal Arts education and a design and programming education. There appears to be a pattern to these programs. They all are programs that didn’t exist when I was in college, but I would have loved to do.

Also from Georgia Tech, we heard from Manvesh Vyas, who is doing work with surface computing. It was beyond me to describe, he actually talked about how surface computing worked at a low level. He also went into the “multi-touch” problem. Basically, is every finger a mouse, or it your hand the mouse? It seems very difficult. The part I did get was that they built a bridge between his surface computing and Actionscript, and are publicly sharing the code in a bit which means to me that Flash might get into the surface computing space sooner than later.

Next up was Mike McKean, who is professor of Journalism, who talked about the Reynolds Journalism Institute at the University of Missouri. He challenged students from several disciplines to create AIR apps with the broad focus of having to do with Journalism in some way. The thing that impressed me about it was that it was a great proof of how AIR can really make desktop development accessible to people who would never have created applications before.

After Lunch we received a presentation from SoDA, or the Society of Digital Agencies. They’re trying to advance the design industry “through best practices, education and advocacy.” Basically they are design employers who want Higher Education to pump out graduates that they can hire.

Next was, which I was totally expecting to be a little dull. I was shocked, the speaker was very engaging. I still don’t get, but he had my attention. His talk was mostly about cloud computing and his company’s offering in that space.

I’ve heard many people talk about Salesforce offerings before, and like I said above, I still don’t quite get it. But my understanding of it seems to be a provided enterprise CRM with an complete web service API that basically allows you to do anything on the backend system. Like I said it was interesting, but I’m not sure the tie in to Higher Ed.

The final section of the day was a break out section where educators that are teaching Adobe products talked about their experience with it. One compelling thing I heard, was Bill Bain’s point that Flash as having both a design and a programming component can be a Rosetta stone for getting developers into design and designers into development.

All in all, it was a very cool session, and I’m excited to see what Adobe continues to do to interface into the Higher Education industry.

Reminder about ColdFusion Unconference

Hey! There’s a ColdFusion Unconference going on at Max this year.

Oh yeah and by the way, I’m giving two talks at it.


Selling Professional Development at a Resistant Shop

Choosing to use tools like Subversion, ANT, and frameworks is the easy part. Getting your co-workers to join in the fun, that’s the hard part. This session will leave you with a selection of tools and techniques to bring your co-workers on board.

Tuesday November 18, 2008 3:00 – 4:00pm at TBA

Formal Code Reviews

Everybody talks about Formal Code Reviews, but there are few resources for figuring out how to actually do one. This session will talk about the issues surrounding code reviews. And, if I’m daring enough, I may just do a live code review, with the audience reviewing a small block of code.

November 19, 2008 9:30 – 10:30pm at TBA


I hope to see you there.

Speaking at ColdFusion Unconference at Max

Thanks to being quick on the old reply key I got myself on the speakers list for the ColdFusion Unconference. I’ll be speaking on Wednesday Morning at 9:30.

My session is on Formal Code reviews. I’ve spoken on them before, so I think I’m going to add a twist to achieve the whole “unconference” vibe. I think after I give my presentation which outlines how to go about code reviews, we’re going to go through that process with a piece of code. Granted it won’t be a full blown application, but it should give people a chance to actually feel how it works when you’re doing it the way I call right.

If anyone has anything they would like to hear or see discussed, let me know.

Speaking at Max 2008

I found out last week, that I was accepted to speak at Max 2008 North America. I’ll be talking about using ColdFusion to act as middleware for enterprise applications. That may not be clear from the title of my session: ColdFusion as Enterprise Middleware.

I’m pretty excited about the whole thing, and very grateful to the crew at Adobe, especially Adam Lehman, for giving me a shot to speak.

If anyone has any suggestions, or content they would like to hear about, feel free to drop me a line. I don’t guarantee I’ll do what you say, but I will definitely will listen.