Here’s a look at my day yesterday and some thoughts
Opening General Session
Kevin Lynch demonstrated a lot of fantastic AIR apps. Some of them include a twitter client, an instant messenger, ebay, paypal, salesforce.com and a desktop client for Google analytics (which I don’t think was from Google).
Ben Forta demonstrated a technology makeover of the United Way site in which they did some things to improve it with ColdFusion 8. They implemented inline Flex that used cfimage to create new images for the site and used the accordion interface to clean up a form.
Adobe announced and released on Labs AIR beta 2 and the Adobe Media Player. The next version of Flash (Astro) was shown very briefly. H.264 in the latest flash player was demonstrated and Adobe is working with Intel to speed thing up by better leveraging multiple processors.
Overall it was a nice presentation that did a good job of moving the spotlight from the applications to the work of the developer community. While there wasn’t anything especially memorable about the session, it was an effective kickoff to the conference.
Design Shootout with Adobe Gurus
With the way that Greg Rewis continually told photoshop users that they suck (and then quickly offering a ‘just kidding’) this session could have been titled “Adobe v Macromedia: the rivalry continues. I think that part of the intent of this session was to say that now that Macromedia and Adobe are together, here are some tools that you could be using to make your workflow easier. This would have been very helpful. I know that there are things that I do in Fireworks that I might be able to do better in Photoshop. Likewise I have seen people do things with Photoshop that I laugh at knowing how much easier it is in Fireworks. This session suffered from a lack of focus as it covered Fireworks, Dreamweaver, Photoshop, Illustrator, Bridge, After Effects and Soundbooth. It was also hampered IMHO by presenters that seemed to enjoy the stage and spotlight a little too much.
Inspire Session: Dynamic Abstraction and Finding Creative Inspiration
This was one of the best sessions that I have ever attended at a MAX conference. I won’t try too hard to describe what he presented as I wouldn’t do it justice, but Joshua Davis spoke about his artwork and the process and inspiration that went into it. It was profane and awesome. You can see his work here and a feature about him at Apple here.
As somebody that does design work and many years ago now it seems used to kick out some pretty wild stuff, this was a real kick in the head to wake me up to what I haven’t been doing and how uninspired I have become. The thoughts and feelings running around in me after this session have made this whole conference worth coming to… now to hold on to that and produce.
Creating AIR with Dreamweaver
Case Study: Implementing Large-Scale CSS on Adobe.com
Often, it is hard at a conference like this to take what you hear and learn and apply it to a large web site. When you consider that most web sites that are popular are really not a lot of pages, developers spend a lot of time on the experience of those pages and not managing the web site. In this session, one of the two people that manage the CSS of the Adobe.com web site spoke about their experiences and methods. I picked up several tips here that I’m excited to try out on the LPS web sites including the changing of @imports to server-side includes, doing whitespace management, using space delimited styles and componentizing the styles.