Lunch w/Stephen Chin: FlashON; Visage-Android; AIR for TV; and more

21Jan2011 — San Jose, CA
-Community Connections-

I had the opportunity to host Stephen Chin for lunch at the Adobe offices in San Jose.  Stephen Chin is Director of SW Engineering at GXS by day and an open-source developer and author by night.  Indeed, “Steve” was taking a break from writing his upcoming A-Press book on Mobile App Development to come for a visit.  I’ve known Steve from my former life at Sun Microsystems.  Steve is an excellent and methodical speaker who has a passion for rich internet applications, clean API’s, and even cleaner UI.  When he is not working on his book, he’s working on project called Visage which is a declarative language for expressing user interfaces (based on the compiler originally written for JavaFX). [More @ "Visage Android – Cleaner APIs, Cleaner UIs"].  Steve first talked to me about writing better tooling for mobile developers when he gave his sessions at the Silicon Valley Code Camp last October.  From that meeting, I was able to convince him to come and “check out” the AdobeMAX Community Summit as the User Group Manager of the FlashON Devices User Group.  FlashOn Devices has since held (4) meetups since last October and will be doing more this year.  We met-up yet again while I was working the DEVOXX Java Conference & hung out.  Steve and I also attended a meeting of uber-geeks while in Antwerp put on by the RIA Cowboy – James Ward.

The Upcoming Book & AIR for TV

We talked about the upcoming book.  It is always “a process”, especially in light of how fast things have been moving with the Flash Platform and AIR since AdobeMAX.  Steve mentioned how hard it is to write a book on mobile development these days, stuff gets outdated quickly.  Steve always shares his code-samples publically on his blog,  I asked him when I might see that famous JUG-prize spinner app that he wrote in JavaFX on Android soon?  “Working on it”, he said.  Steve mentioned that he has a section in the book where it might fit in to demonstrate gestures; a sort of Shake-Spin-and-Win concept app.  I know a lot of the User Group Managers would love to be able to use “Prize-Spinner” at their meetings to give-away the prizes we give them…hoping to see that in the Android Market Place or perhaps the RIM Playbook App store.  Another item, Steve will be covering in this new book are AIR Apps for TV.  Steve was able to get his hands on a Broadcom AIR-for-TV set-top box while at AdobeMAX;  and, he’d been thinking up some ideas.  Looking forward to that, but, we just happened to run into Jean-Marc Matteini from the AIR-for-TV team while at the office; we had a discussion about upcoming SmartTV’s and how the computing power in the new TV’s are catching-up to what folks are used to on mobile devices….should make programming apps for the SmartTVs challenging yet fun.

Rapping w/Steve

After a tour of the Adobe facilities and some potential meeting rooms for a future FlashON devices meetup, Steve and I chatted in my office.  We talked about: the state of the Java Communities…that always a topic that comes up these days; CLS-West; DEVOXX & Parleys.com TheServerSide Java Symposium; and important Adobe events happening very soon ;-)

— Needless to say, it should be a good year for App Developers!  Stop by anytime Steve!