Archive for March, 2006

Microformats Extension for Dreamweaver

Very cool- the WaSP Dreamweaver Task force has released a beta version of the Microformats Extension for Dreamweaver, currently supporting hCalendar, hCard, rel-license, rel-tag and XFN. Not familiar with microformats? Catch up here.
This is an awesome example of how the WaSP task force not only helps advise and steer our products in the right direction to keep improving standards-compliance and accessibility, but roll up their sleeves and get directly involved. To quote extension developer and WaSP Strategy Lead Drew McLellan:

“Whilst a lot of our effort to date has been to work alongside Macromedia (after all, there is little point us tell you to use standards if the tool makes it hard to do so), there are some things not reasonable to expect the Dreamweaver engineers to tackle right away.

One such example is Microformats. As a rapidly evolving area of development, it makes sense to implement support as an extension rather than wait for another product cycle to come around only to find the state of the art has changed. Extensions are fairly quick to implement and can be easily updated with time.

The DWTF thought it would be good if we produced some basic extensions to help provide support for Microformats in Dreamweaver. A public beta is available today.”

Right on.
You can read more about the Microformat Extensions for Dreamweaver – and download the current beta – from the WaSP website. Make sure to leave feedback and suggestions as you dig into it, of course. Thanks, Drew!

Pimp my TODCon Video Sessions

Indeed- as Jesse notes, I’m going to be speaking at TODCon 2006 in sunny Orlando, Florida this May, on both Optimizing Video for the Web (focusing on the front-end production of video that’s headed towards digital delivery), and Delivering Flash Video (focusing on the latter half of that workflow- all the various ways you can rip up FLV video inside a Flash project). Although both will be based on material I’ve covered in prior presos, outside of the topics I’m considering the details for these ‘open source’- what do you want to hear about under those two ‘bucket topics’? Armed with the knowledge that I’ll be using Flash Pro 8 and After Effects 7 for these sessions, pimp ‘em out, folks- I want to make sure and cover the topics you REALLY want to know about.

Expected changes are such, of course- I plan to cover more audio cleanup/processing in my first (Optimizing) session, for example- as well as an extended section on keying (i.e. green/bluescreen removal) to expand on all the questions I got after my FlashForward Seattle preso. But I’ll save any further tweaks/additions for addressing feedback I recieve from you.

Regardless of my presentations, TODCon Orlando should be a great conference all the way around- I personally love going to TODCon because the speakers are always top-notch, the setting is far more ‘intimate’ than the bigger conferences, and they always pick a great location year to year. See you there!

Flashforward 2006 Slides Posted

For those who were interested in a quick post-conference recap, I’ve re-posted the FlashForward 2006 slide deck for my Optimizing Video session, although note these are really just illustrations, pictures and bullet points that serve as a backdrop- the real presentation is what comes between the slides, both on the mike and in After Effects… ;-)

http://adobe.breezecentral.com/optimizingvideofortheweb/

(note: you’ll probably want to hit ‘Pause’ and key through the slides at your own pace- Breeze tends to… well, Breeze thru ‘em quite rapidly. I also recommend re-zooming your window to get it at full resolution.)

I’m on tap to present an updated version of this session at TODCon ’06 in May along with another session focusing on the Flash side of the process, so if these slides pique your interest, make sure to show up and witness the full dog-n-pony show live and in person.

London Bridge Studios – new Flash site

Seattle’s famous London Bridge Studios just got a change of owners, and are opening up to the public after 13 years of private ownership- launching a new Flash-based site to give a virtual peek inside.

If the name doesn’t ring familiar to you, I first heard London Bridge’s trademark tones during the Seattle ‘revolution’ in the early 90s, with artists like Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Alice in Chains and Mother Love Bone recording their most popular albums there. An amazingly warm, ambient room for rhythm sections – sure wish I’d had the chance to lay down tracks at LBS back when I was slinging a bass for a living myself. Enjoy!

GoToAndLearn Forums launched

Another link I missed while on the road last week or so- Lee Brimelow’s awesome Flash tutorial site GoToAndLearn() just launched new companion forums for discussion of all the great educational content Lee’s been ripping out. Definitely worth a visit, and if you haven’t had the opportunity of diving into Lee’s site before now, drop everything and click this link now. Seriously. Great stuff.

Sony Online – new PSP/PS3/Flash 8 sites

Two great new sites for Sony platform-gamers from Sony Online Entertainment/Station launched recently, that PSP freaks and PS3-hopefuls will find very interesting. (Did I mention they both leverage tons of Flash 8-specific features, too?)

First up- Untold Legends – Dark Kingdom, a PS3 game based on the popular Untold Legends series (I really enjoyed the PSP-based title, Untold Legends – Brotherhood of the Blade and am looking forward to ripping into it’s sequel). Real-world physics are a big part of the game – and the website – this should be a really fun one.

Next, the Gods and Heros: Rome Rising website- an online RPG based in the world and mythos of ancient Rome, designed by Stieg Hedlund (lead designer of Diablo II, a personal fave), and co-published between Sony and Perpetual Entertainment. Although I usually avoid MMORPGs simply due to the amount of time they consume (can you say time sponge?), this looks like a really well-done game. I’ve heard really good things about the innovative combat system and squad-based development in the game, and must admit their teaser site (linked earlier) has me pretty curious.

Check ‘em out!

(Sorry, folks- comments closed. Getting too many random questions for PSP tech support on this one, apologies.)

LA Flash UG Portal Redesign

Just got a ping that the LA Flash User Group website just got a MAJOR upgrade- with RSS feeds and Flash-specific content aggregations, iCal support for their event schedules, it certainly looks like Fingerprint Media has been working overtime the last few weeks to put a new face on one of my more regularly-visited UG sites- nice job!

You can check out the new LA Flash site/portal here.

New-look WaSP site launches

It’s official – the brand-spanking new redesign of the The Web Standards Project (WaSP) website was launched today at the SXSW open meeting! Jeffrey Zeldman cut the ‘virtual ribbon’ live on stage, and we got to witness the launch up on the projector screen while many of us liveblogged it (like this) in a key-tapping frenzy. You can thank Andy Clarke for the design (although he respectfully asks you blame Andy Budd instead, if you don’t like it… lol!). Check out the new WaSP site, and most importantly- get involved! Great job, all. I’d rave more, but the meeting’s still going on… ;-)

SXSW Day 2/3 Update

So much going on here at the Austin convention center it’s hard to keep up- so I didn’t (heh). Instead, I figured I’d post my personal highlights over the last 2 days, give or take.

Sunday, 3/12/06

  • Tagging 2.0 – a great discussion with some fantastic panelists including Thomas Vander Wal (who coined the term ‘folksonomy’). I’ve given my perspectives before on this subject here, so won’t rehash em in this post. Although it was a very captive audience (relatively no one in the room viewed tagging as a short-term trend), but the question of how tagging process and relevancy could be better enabled in systems came up numerous times- something that both interests me from a consistency perspective and scares me on a heuristical/algorithmical perspective. A head-scratcher I’ll be mulling on for some time, actually. It was nice to hear some pushback on the questionable value of tag clouds (outside nice visuals), a visual representation I’ve never been overly fond of.
  • Heather Armstrong and Jason Kottke (kottke.org) keynote- enjoyable and entertaining session, but I must admit I’m getting a bit bored with the ‘blog as industry’ syndrome of late. Inspirational bloggers/writers, both- but with all due respect to their situations and skill, I came away feeling like perhaps the blogging ‘revolution’ may have jumped the shark this year (given other panels that day sporting fluffy titles such as ‘Bloggers in Love’ and ‘Revenge of the Blogs’, you’ll hopefully get a more balanced picture of my personal skepticisms here)… ;-)
  • SXSW Web Awards – eminem.com scored three awards, but Technorati landed the big one (Best of Show). Unfortunately Tantek was out getting his picture taken so someone else accepted that award onstage – did he ever get his gift basket?
  • Got to meet Jason Santa Maria and dole out props (one of my favorite designers of recent years- dig his aesthetics immensely), and take in some great feedback on Photoshop workflow from both Jason and the equally-hypertalented Toni Greaves.

Monday, 3/13/06 (today)

  • Recorded a great interview with Dave Shea (yes, that Dave Shea) that I expect will be podcasted in coming days on the Developer Center (and knowing me, I’ll rss-hijack the MP3 onto my own blog, too)
  • Finally got to meet Robert Scoble in person. Yes, he’s every bit as energetic as you’ve heard – the ‘Scobleizer Bunny’ monicker makes SO MUCH more sense after a meatspace encounter. Great guy.
  • Talked Molly into a tentative interview later in the day – yes, another podcast recording, and sure hope we don’t get ripped in the WaSP meetings this afternoon (I’ll be attending along with Jen Taylor as delegates from Adobe’s web product groups).
  • Spent a lot of time thinking about how we (Adobe) can help out with the BarCamp conferences going forward- I really enjoyed the time I was able to spend over there, and so did most everyone else who attended. Check out the BarCampAustin flickr photostream here for the 411 on what you missed out on.
  • Barbecue at the Iron Works. Egads, the tastiest BBQ I’ve had since I was stranded in Memphis, TN (Memphis’ Rendezvous gets the nod for ribs in that town, but I’m giving the overall edge to the Iron Works).
  • Having a good night’s sleep last night makes all the difference. Today I’m just shaking from the chilly A/C, not caffeine overload. ;-)

More from the show later today, I’ll be hitting the WaSP panel and meeting starting at 3:30 (roughly an hour from now) and it should be a lively discussion on both sessions. Right now I need to find a power outlet in a BIG way- over and out…

::static::

Cote on Corpoblogging

The day seems to be progressing quite well over at the BarCampAustin con (though I’m definitely putting in the hardcore sneaker mileage today between the two locations!) – I’m sitting now in Cote’s BarCampAustin session on corpoblogging, which is a very interesting subject to me. At the moment, the discussion is centered on the high-level challenges of being an individual voice amidst a large corporation- great subject, and one I certainly have a few opinions on myself… ;-)

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