Some observations and thoughts from the first day at Macromedia’s MAX Conference:
Flex is awesome and the price may be right now. I’m frustrated that right now there is no way to develop flex applications on the Macintosh (that I can see). The code is just XML, but you have to have something that can compile the SWF file and that seems to be Windows-only right now.
Stephen Elop (Macromedia CEO) took quite a swing at Microsoft and their new flash-like features in Avalon. He displayed a big slide telling them to “try again”. Of course Microsoft has the money and resources to try again, and again, and again, and again.
Adobe’s Bruce Chizen (CEO) spoke at the end of the general session (many thought it was over and had left). He’s not a great speaker and stumbled over his points quite a bit. He flattered the developers some, but propped Acrobat and print. It will be a curious melding of philosophies when Adobe meets Macromedia. The first’s idea of digitizing content is to put replicate print formats while the other’s goal is to blow people’s minds with ways in which content can be delivered.
Macromedia’s XD development group has a series of sessions available in which they are discussing the way that they build applications. This is something that I thought was really missing next year — talk about how to build an application (beyond the code). The session I was in this morning talked about application design, brainstorming, cycling, etc. It got me excited and I hope to find more sessions like it tomorrow.
Tomorrow is going to be a loooong day. Morning starts at seven. General session should be a lot of fun as the different product groups take turns showing what cool and new. There will be a sneak peak session after the sessions have ended to show what may (or may not) be coming in future products. Finally, there is an event for attendees at Disneyland’s Paradise Pier. I may need to be dragged back to the hotel room tomorrow night.