AIR, ColdFusion, Flash, Flex, Max
Well I didn't get to write this until this morning, but I wanted to reflect briefly on the first day of Max. This being not only my first Max but my first conference in general. I've got to say that overall I have been pretty impresed.The sheer number of attendees was pretty mind boggling. Trying to cram up 3 escalaters with 5000 other people is pretty fun.
This thing was all flash and bang. Lights, cameras and lots of action were present. Most of the session ping-ponged back and forth between Kevin Lynch and other "big" names talking about the future of Adobe and their products Heavy, heavy emphasis on Flash, Flex, and AIR. Lot's of product demos-- mostly phones running Flash. I was a little disappointed not to hear any mention of CF, but as Ben F pointed out Tuesday is the day for product announcements.
Looking Ahead to the Next Version of Flex
I have been on Ely Greenfield's blog for Flex examples before, but I didn't know he was doing this preso until I arrived and saw his name on the board. I also didn't know what he looked like until today. This was the most useful session I was in all day since I know squat about Flex. This was all about Gumbo and the new classes that are going to be introduced, and the cool Flash 10 features you can use like pixel bending, enhanced text support, and and additional control over the UI components-- rotation without breaking your layout, interrupting transitions and such. The big thing though, was the total separation of your styles from your controlling logic. Basicall, you can define just about every behavior, and propery of a button without having to touch any layout code at all. Then your designer (who is assumed to be a different person), can totally control the layout with new styles that are applied.
Developing an Enterprise Application with Adobe Flex
This session talked about some tips and tricks to code for Flex in an Enterprise environment where you want to do things like catch all errors, keep code organized, and monitor performance. The presenter used a sample application that was a mashup up of some C++ spreadsheets, and Flex apps to quickly create Excel style graphs from raw data.
Deploying into Large-Scale ColdFusion Environments
This was a pretty good session that just covered a bunch of basics around configuring and maintatining multiple CF servers quickly and easily. It covered using network storage for source, and cache directories. Things to be aware of when using multiple instances. I had hoped the session have been geared a bit more towards the coding technieques aimed at ensureing performance in a high availability environment. To be fair, the title was "deploying" not "coding". I have high hopes for the "Architecting ColdFusion for Scalability and High Availability" session today.
ColdFusion Powered Flex
This session didn't have a great deal of new information for me, but I would have LOVED to have heard it about 3 months ago before I started learning Flex. We basically went through a simple app of displaying a list of users, with an edit form and the CFC's required to talk to the server for those operations. I did learn of a couple new ways to debug Flex. I didn't know you could dump to your console out. Pretty cool.
Welcome Reception in Community Pavilion
This was an informal discussion with the Adobe ColdFusion engineers where all we did was ask questions and they answered. As long as we didn't ask about features coming out in a new version, they did a good job of answering. There were a few ambigous ones that basically ended with the Adobe team saying "Why don't you send us the code to reproduce that, and we'll go from there", but it was a really good session.
Birds-of-a-Feather and Meet the Team
This was another round-table discussion with the CFML advisory committe. About three people from the committee including Sean C were there, and the rest were remoted in like Gert from Railo. It was a wandering discussion including lots of people who spoke quitely from the middle of the room with undecernable accents. Overall, I like it though. My favorite part was Sean's brief soapbox about why ColdFusion shouldn't be compared to languages like Java when it comes to OO features.