Blogging from Adobe MAX 2007 – North America

T-minus 21 minutes until the Keynoote is going to kick off. Look here later for semi-frequent updates throughout the week. Yesterday I went (TAed) at the excellent day-long session on “Flex 3: Integrating with ColdFusion” by Matt Bowles (look for his slides later on the new Adobe Developer Connection (formerly Adobe Developer Center)).

Later throughout the week I’ll be TAing at several other Flex 90-minute hands-on sessions on “Building a Rich Internet Application with Flex 3 and PHP” and “Deploying Flex and HTML/JavaScript Applications to Adobe Integrated Runtime (AIR)”. I, like many other of the Flex team members, will be wearing nice black “Flex Team” shirts, and will be armed with USB thumb drives loaded with the latest betas of Adobe Flex Builder 3, the Flex 3 SDK, and Adobe AIR. Pull one of us over if you want to grab a copy of the latest beta without having to download the files from Adobe Labs.

14 minutes to go, and it looks like the doors are opening to the Keynote! Look forward to a lot of fun and exciting news over the next 48-72 hours!


Adobe MAX 2007 — Connect. Discover. Inspire.9:15 — Private Adobe viewing room starts to get loud.9:25 — Keynote begins in about 5 minutes. Woot!9:30 — Keynote is about to begin. Turn off your cellphones, readers!9:35 — Still waiting… This is first Keynote of Adobe MAX 2007 North America. Tomorrow (Tuesday) there is another keynote in the morning.9:38 — You could cut the tension with a butter-knife.9:40 — Musoic stops and an intro video starts playing on the huge screen behind the podium. Crowd goes wild. Its a grat little Apple “Switch” like video with lots of users and employees.9:43 — Applause… Kevin Lynch takes the stage.This year’s focus/theme is “Connect. Discover. Inspire.”Enabling max worldwide in barcelona and tokyo, feel free to follow us.Kevin gives a brief overview of the layout of the conference, such as the “Community Pavillion” and lounge. Thanks to sponsors.Over in AIR Park is the giant red bus where we have a little theatre. (AIR bus is on the 3rd floor of the conference center by the MAX Store). There are also Max the dog stuffed animals.Adobe Developer Connection relaunches.Kevin begins with the presentations, giving a brief demo of the Adobe Developer Center (www.adobe.com/go/adc).Also launched intronetworks application, which is the Adobe Developer Connection social network into the ADC “social-net”25th anniversary of Adobe. Kevin gives a brief history of Adobe. 1980s was Punk and the decade of floppy disks. 1990s was the decade of Grunge and CDs. 2000s was the decade of the Rich Internet Application.Kevin invites you all to the big MAX party on Tuesday night, which is typically the big party of the conference.9:48 — Shantanu Narayen takes the stage and talks about customers and individuals, and great digital experiences. As Adobe as we deliver digital experiences and our lessons learnt.1) “Content is King” — sites are predominately is about content. Most sites are designed first and then contnet added, which is backwards. Sites should be built around content.2) “Great digital experiences truly adapt to the personality of the user” — Shantanu shows two sites on a cellphone. The first phone was designed for the middle aged individual. where one can experience news feeds and channels. You can easily view stocks/news. The second phone is designed for middle-aged kids where it revolves around channels and UI and fun interfaces and multimedia.3) “How does one make things simple” — sites now suffer from sensory overload. While “less is more” is a cliche, it allows us to focus on the experience. We did this with video editing with Premiere Express. Used with partners such as YouTube/Photobucked/MTV, as a service. You can easily add videos, captions, pictures, audio. You can do complicated things like trimming and cropping video and add borders and effects and transitions by simply dragging and dropping. Complicated tasks made very simple. Shantanu shows demo and crowd responds favorably (applause).4) “Great digital experiences use moments to guide” — Showing a new media viewer which allows you to stream video in a nice, skinned video player.5) “The holy grail is improving the experience and not the UI” — He shows a demo of the clifornia bike tour showing a nice map and embedded flash video. He switches the view so the video is full screen and the map disappears. You can share pictures and chat right in the UI and integrate them into an engaging experience.Huge innovations in Flash Player. Video quality is greatly improved up to 1080p in Flash Player. Full-screen hardware support.Demos video in Flash Authoring (CS3) starting with 480p. Lots of artifacts and you can see the effects more in full screen. Demos the content again in 720p and the quality is much better. Shows a nice clip of CSI: LV. Kudos to the Flash Player team.Demos Halo 3 site in Flash Player showing all these 3d models. Great demo of Flash in a website. Segues into a desktop player (Adobe Media Player — AMP). Demos AMP which is an AIR application. Takes RSS feeds and hook them up to your player. Plays as streaming video or download for offline viewing. Video feeds from CBS, PBS and Yahoo and blip.tv and others. You can subscibe to your favorite shows. You can paste URLs into the add feed dialog box.10:10 — Shows feeds from CSI, and associate ads if you’re a publisher. Showing AD integration. Its an allstate buffer add (before or behind video, or overlays during videos). Adobe Media Player is available on Labs starting today.Working on bringing video to mobile with Flash Lite 3. starting with Nokia and NTT(?). Shows demo of same CSI video we saw ont he big screen is now plaed back on the mobile phone. You can do precorded videos or live streaming events. Available next month (Flash Lite 3) for Symbian phone(?).10:15 — Shows demo of United Way site (HTML — built with ColdFusion 7 and Dreamweaver). CF8 was just released and Dreamweaver CS3, so they enlisted a bunch of people to see what they could do in one week with the United Way website.Scott Fegette and Ben forta take the Stage and talk about how United Way is a non-profit and very budget constrained. They give a brief overview of the old site and how the forms simply insert data into a database. The new site builds custom PDFs based on what you entered into the form using the new features (CFPDF tag in ColdFusion 8). They show how the old site show had a 3-4 page form, and how the new site uses Spry Ajax to create a much nicer form which breaks up the form into a shorter/nicer by displaying stuff in an accordion. Spry is now at version 1.6 and available on Labs.Scott demos the new source formatting features on a CSS file in Dreamweaver and the crowd applauds.10:23 — CF8 ships with a LCDS server right in it, allowing you to build mini-Flex apps right from ColdFusion. Ben mocks Scott’s lack of typing skills (burn!). All these changes are online today on the united way site.10:25: back to Kevin. Talks about rich internet applications on the web and how to deliver them well. Shows an example of www.scrapblog.com, how you can add videos/stickers and easily rotate and resize them, and add multiple pages. All built in Flex(?). Web applications are turning more into desktop applications. Things like this are hard to do in the browser. Invites Ed Rowe to discuss AIR development and runtime. (AIR beta 2 is available today on http://labs.adobe.com). AIR allows you to have system notifaction support, PDF viewing, drag-drop support. Embedded SQL database not available in beta 1, added due to customer feedback. Shows an example of drag-drop, network detection. Integrates with salesforce.com. Starts off with Dreamweaver.starts by showing HTML file, JavaScript files, etc. Concept in AIR isnt to say you need to learn new tools, you can use your existing tools. AIR is good at putting rich experiences on top of existing services. Drags a VCard from the desktop into his AIR site and shows how the contact information is added to edge communications and refreshes the salesforce.com site to view that the data was syncronized to the server. Getting near the end of development in AIR 1.0. API is going to be frozen, so download AIR beta 2 (available today with Flex 3 beta, and Dreamweaver extensions) from labs.adobe.com today and give feedback.10:35 — Back to Kevin — over 100k downloads of SDKs. Flex SDK is free and sooon to be open-sourced. Next version of Flex (code named “Moxie”). Invites Heidi Williams to demo Flex 3.10:36 — Heidi demos 4 features1) Flex Profiler – she demos memory usage over time, along with nice charts and objects and allocated in the memory heat, showing class name, package name, memory usage. Takes a performance snapshot and double clicks to see report. Sees which methods are getting called and performing slowly. She fixes the “slowAsMolasses()” method. Shows a nice new feature which renames a method throughout an entire application (crowd applauds).2) Language intelligence -3) Adanced Data Visualization Comps – shows the nice new charting features, such as dragging to select series in charts. Shows the new “Advanced DataGrid” which does multi-column sorting. (crowd applauds)4) Flex Framework Caching – demos caching so how the first run the framework may be downloaded, but subsequent loads are significantly faster. Check it out at labs.adobe.com for more information.mentions public bugbase ad bugs.adobe.com/flex/10:40 — Back to Kevin who mentions AIR developer derby (Air travel — clever). Shows five winners of the AIR Derby:1) spaz.AIR2) Ora Time Tracker3) Agile Agenda4) SearchCoders5) DigimaxOverall winner is Agile Agenda and gives a brief demo. AIR application which is used to manage projects and edit tassks schedules with Gantt charts, goes over to a light table view which shows what tasks are ssociated each person on the team and drags and drops between users (very slick). Winner is “Mark Hughes(sp?). We give him a nice little travel bag (he plans on going to Austrailia, New Zealand, and Tahiti (in case you cared).Ebay is releasing a beta of their AIR app (launching today)AOL is releasing some top 100 videos (launching today)Mentions bunch of other companies but my carpals and tunnels are too slow.10:45 — Invites a couple folks up from Disney (Bob and Cary?).banners of frog design and disney in the background. Turning over to Cary. Did lots of research to improve disney travel agents site. We lose audio, so some clicking happsns. He says stuff. Still talking (cant read lips). AUDIO BACK. Something about easier on environment. Back to sample app, which has customer management list on the left.. On the right is scrachpad which he drags from the desktop into the AIR application. Crowd applauds. You can embed video and other rich information directly into the app. You can book directly from the AIR app as well. You can quickly create muliple quotes and build several itineraries and then previews all three quotes, shows how this can compile a PDF directly from the AIR app which can be sent around. Crowd applauds. Cary agrees “its cool”. Great demo. They may be available later naer the AIR Park (big red bus).10:51 — Back to Kevin. Kevin demos some of the apps which were all built on AIR. Shows off “Tweeter” which is a Twitter app built in AIR. Keyboard problems — Kevin reminds us we arent responsible for USB. Shows another nice new app (snippage?) which lets you snip contents from HTML pages and turn them into widges. Technical problems. Kevin does some standup comedu. Shwos off Pronto! beta, which is an email clients. Goes to another example which is “Analytics Reporting Suites for Google Analytics”. Generates a PDF which is embedded into the AIR app, and then Kevin saves it onto the desktop. Drags the PDF from the desktop back into the Pronto! app which gets added as an attachment. Shows a nice example of dragging from a PayPal AIR app *directly* into the Pronto! app. Nice!10:57 — shows app developed by SAP. Drags data from Excel spreadsheet and drags it into an AIR app where it gets “charted” using the Flex 3 charting components. Shows off Digimix, where he makes a nice audio track. Shows another nice little Facebook-API-based chat client. Shows the nice IM client available later today (very cool… Wave IM(?)). Back to DJ Lynch and his mad beats. Saves out as a WAV file from the AIR app. Double clicks to open the WAV in default audio player (Quicktime — he’s on a Mac). Drags a WAV file into the Pownce application (built in AIR, naturally) where it gets uploaded to other users.11:01 — shows a AIR-based puzzle of spongebob built in AIR. Drags a puzzle piece from an HTML page into an AIR app. Horray for SpongeBob!Shows top 100 videos app (Built by AOL?), and mentions work with Intel for multi-core development. video app looks pretty nice. You can bookmark, share, post to blog.Mentions Adobe interested in word processing (?). Ha, shows a demo of refridgerator magnets built in AIR. People can drag letters around on the desktop. Demos the Buzzword app (built in AIR). Very nice font support, tables, images, lists, graphics.shows a nice property inspector, image inspector. Word flow around pictures. Collaborative stuff. Share documents. opens a text file from his desktop (a WORD document!!) opens it up and shows a nice example of editing Kevin’s resume. The best document editor on the web today. Uses .NET on the backend and CD3 master collection. We (Adobe) just aquired the company behind Buzzword. An amazing application!Mentions MTV Adobe AIR Challenge and push the boundaries, submit all your feedback and a chance to win prizes.Shows a demo off the Anthropologie (?) brochure (print catalog) built with InDesign.Goes to his Yahoo! MAIL and shows an email from Athropologie where you can zoom in to images and browse throgh images and delivered using Flash Player (using Scene7 as the image backend). Site looks very nice. Kevin closes browser and shows the Anthropologie AIR application where you can scroll through the catelog. Pretty slick looking app. You can tag all the items in the catalog (comments stored locally for your reference, not uploaded to the server). demos a nice color wheel from the anthropologie app. He drags a photo of Ted Patrick over the color wheel where he can now grab a color from the photo. Kevin will buy Ted a nice bracelet after the keynote.Flash Player 8 and 9 show massive adoption rates. Next version of Flash Player (codenamed Astro). Invites Emmy Huang and Justin Everett-Church onto the Stage to demo next version of Flash Player. One of the major themes of Flash Player is expressiveness. Shows off new Text capabilities. Current text field has somewhat limited capabilities. Next version will support bi-directional text (yay! applause). Shows off a demo using device fonts from 10 different languages. Shows off text writetn in hebrew, greek, japanese, arabic, russian, thai. Shows off support for columns (WOW!). Shows nice column reflow after editing text. Emmy Rocks!Support for transforms. Over to Justin. Wow, demos a nice 3d rotation in Flash Player. Shows tweening and how the video is still interactive (pause, play, seek). Shows an AMAZING! demo of high performance of X, Y and Z rotation. Classic Steve Jobs “one more thing”. Current filters like glow. Support for building custom effects. Shows off the old MAX 2004 example of the monkey (built by Chris G). Astro will support custom filters, blends, fills. You can download this from Labs today (?). Its an easy new language (Hydra) if you’re familiar with ActionScript. Justin shows off a custom filter that he created (lite-brite filter). with two sliders where he can change the custom filter on the fly. “Big effects, small size”.Kevin makes a joke about “monkeying around” and the audience boos.11:21 — </Keynote>