Adobe MAX 2009

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2 Ιουλ 2012 (πριν από 5 χρόνια και 1 μήνα)

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Flex Authority
Editorial
3
W
e started the year with a lot of steam. I became Editor-in-Chief and almost had the
second and third issues of
Flex Authority
completely on track. I announced the topic
for the fourth issue and began discussions for the fifth issue. Things were moving ahead at a
good pace. But, as is often the case, things didn’t go according to script.
I remember it like it happened yesterday. Judith called on the phone and explained to me
that she did not have enough funds to print our third issue. It was like sprinting into a brick
wall. Publishing digitally, always an option for
Flex Authority
, has been great, but I think
that a lot of people out there really like holding an issue in their hand. It was obvious that we
would need to work hard to revitalize the
Flex Authority
web site to maximize advertising
revenues — after all, that is where the money comes from.
It’s a pretty simple equation: economic downturn leads to layoffs leads to cutbacks, leads to
advertisers disappearing which leads to a brick wall. No one can argue that everyone wasn’t
affected by this recession in one way or another. Some more than others. I was lucky enough
to avoid a month-long furlough. Salaries and benefits have been cut back everywhere. Less
staff with the same amount of work? Great. But it could be worse — I have friends who got
laid off the week after Christmas and have yet to find full-time employment. Oh, and let’s
not forget the freelancers out there whose clients went from paying in 30 days to paying in
90 days to “And who are you again?”
Not to get all “it’s always darkest before dawn” on you, but I really do believe that we are
beginning to see the end of the recession, so I wanted to point out some pretty cool things
that all of us in the Flex community can look forward to. And one big sign that things are
changing for us came at this year’s Adobe MAX conference.
Adobe MAX 2009
Adobe MAX 2009 happened in Los Angeles from October 4th through 7th and some four
thousand developers and designers attended. Yes, Adobe revealed strategies and presented
new technologies. Yes, there were tons of interesting sessions. But those were just the gravy—
the real beef was being able to talk face-to-face with Adobe staff and meet international
peers. You can learn a great deal from these people and access to them is priceless. Ted
Patrick twittered that “Contacts, ecosystem, and business are 95% why folks attend.” This
from the guy who coordinates all the sessions for the event.
MAX had some interesting developments for Flex developers. Flash Player 10.1, which makes
Flex for Mobile Devices possible, was previewed for the first time at MAX. Upon the release
of Flex for Mobile Devices, Flex developers will be able to develop mobile applications for a
large range of mobile devices, including the iPhone. This was demonstrated at the always-
interesting Sneak Peek sessions. The strong focus on the Flash Platform at this year’s MAX
showed that Flex developers will be in high demand in the coming years. But don’t get
complacent — to continue to be valuable, you’ll need to keep up with technologies like the
Flex 4 SDK, FlexUnit, Cairngorm 3, ColdFusion 9, BlazeDS, LiveCycle DS and LiveCycle
Published in Flex Authority Volume 2 Issue
1
Flex Authority
Editorial
4
ES, just to name a few. The ever-changing landscape of the Flash Platform can keep even the
best developers on their toes.
Flex Authority Issue 3
Seriously, what more could you ask? Flick and Flack, unit testing, and open source articles
everywhere. All from a group of authors I am proud to stand in front of (unless they are
driving really fast).
Columnists Flick and Flack tell us how to become the masters of our domain — our
ApplicationDomain
, that is. They go on and on about it. Frankly, I’m winded just thinking
about it. But
ApplicationDomain
is a very important aspect of loading and communicating
between SWF files loaded from different internet domains. But don’t take my word for it —
give the Flick and Flack column a read.
Peter Bell continues his “Effective Flex Development” column with a piece about

Test-
Driven Development

. Tariq Ahmed has a tutorial on “Getting Started with Unit Testing”.
Are these two articles important? You should think so. TDD and unit testing are vital
elements of current Flex development (and will become more important to everyone in the
near future, but more on that later).
A minor theme in our Issue 3 concerto is making connections. I’m not talking about running
through the airport and having automated train doors close on your carry-on. I’m talking
about connecting your Flex and/or AIR application to ColdFusion, PHP, and/or BlazeDS.
Nick Kwiatkowski, Aaron West, Steve McLaughlin, and Pete Mackie each give us articles on
getting the data hook-up. Giorgio Natili even shows us a connectivity framework that can
prove helpful with each of these technologies.
Our series writers wrap up this issue, too. Billy D. Spelchan gives us part III of his “Developing
a Game in Flex” series, Brian Dunphy gives us part III of his Yahoo! Maps series and Theo E
Rushin, Jr. makes us believe we can create great item renderers in part II of his series.
Simon Free penned an article that is not about three witches living in San Francisco (in
case you’re easily confused) titled

The Power of Three: Flex 3, AS3 and MP3”. Hillel
Coren introduces us to dynamic form creation in

Creating Dynamic Forms Using the
Introspection API

. And finally, we have a second helping of Giorgio Natili with his article

Flex and Open Source”.
Flex 4 SDK
I sincerely hope that you’ve been keeping up with all the goings-on around the Flex
4 SDK and Flash Builder 4 (more on that in a moment). In January, Adobe thwarted a
community uprising by listening and taking action. (No cars were overturned or burned.)
This marked, I believe, a turning point in the open-sourcing of the Flex SDK. Now the
community is more involved through JIRA bug tracking and voting as well as fixing bugs
at recent Bug Quash events (thanks to Marty McNichols and Nate Beck in Seattle). While
there are still bugs to be fixed in the Flex 3 SDK, Adobe is working on a lot of exciting
things in the Flex 4 SDK: easier and better skinning, view states that actually work, and
a faster compiler. Talk about features that will save you time and money! The Flex 4 SDK
will be an incredible update.
What to look forward to with the Flex 4 SDK? We saw a lot of exposure for the SDK at MAX
and the release of Beta 2. I believe we will see more Spark components, and more public
betas in the coming months. Adobe says the full 4.0 release will come some time in 2010.
Stay tuned: our next issue goes in-depth with the Flex 4 SDK.
Published in Flex Authority Volume 2 Issue
1
Flex Authority
Editorial
5
Flash Builder 4
In case you missed it, your favorite RIA IDE’s had a name change. At MAX 2008, we saw the
Flash Builder 4 preview, and in June we got our hands on the first beta. I’ve been using the
beta daily since June and I can attest to its rock-solid performance. And if it runs this well in
beta, can you imagine what the final release will do? All kinds of awesome.
What to look forward to with Flash Builder 4? I don’t know how much more they can
improve it, but I am sure they’ll try. Look for the release around the same time as the Flex 4
SDK. Stay tuned: our next issue also goes in-depth with Flash Builder.
Flash Catalyst
I am certain that you’ve heard of Adobe’s new RIA design tool, Flash Catalyst. This product
is being created to fill the chasm between designers and developers. I’ve been presenting
the tool at local user groups as well as internally at Roundbox Global and it shows a lot of
promise. Do not expect this product to magically fix your workflow. You have to fix your
own workflow, but Flash Catalyst can assist you with that task.
What to look forward to with Flash Catalyst? More components, more stability, more
compatibility with Fireworks, and more best-practices from Adobe. Adobe says the release
will also be some time in 2010. We will be featuring Flash Catalyst in an All-XD issue very
soon!
ColdFusion 9
While I am not a full-time ColdFusion developer, Ben Forta got me excited about
ColdFusion 9 when his ColdFusion and Gumbo Tour stopped in Atlanta. This version
is loaded with new features — ORM, spreadsheets, server-side ActionScript and also
ColdFusion Builder, just to name a few. Did I mention that the ColdFusion Builder plug-
in installs perfectly into Flash Builder? It does and this has also been making my life easier
since the beta was released.
What to look forward to with the ColdFusion 9? More Rapid Application Deveolpment for
RIA, that’s what.
In Conclusion
So, ok, the economy punched you in the face. Your wallet is flat and you are double-timing
it to get all your work done. Think of it this way: you are certainly not alone. We’re all in
similar situations. But even in these dark days, there are folks out there working hard to give
you some things to look forward to. Take some time to get to know these new features, new
versions, and new products. All of us here at
Flex Authority
wish you the best of luck. Let us
know how you’re doing and if we can help.
Here’s to hoping that the light at the end of the tunnel leads to brighter futures for us all.
Leif Wells

is the RIA Evangelist at Roundbox Global, where he
works on all aspects of interactive product development. He has over
fifteen years of practical experience in Adobe Director, Flash and Flex
applications, and extensive experience with ActionScript, ColdFusion,
XHTML and CSS. Leif is a regular guest lecturer for user groups in
Atlanta and has co-authored several Flash and Director technology
publications. In his spare time, he manages the Adobe User Group of
Atlanta and the Adobe Flash Platform User Group of Atlanta. Leif is
a regular panelist on the O’Reilly’s InsideRIA Summer of Flash podcast.
Published in Flex Authority Volume 2 Issue
1