Flex Camp London

I just need to tap in a few things that I learnt at FlexCamp yesterday. Far too much to take in at once; I need to write this and then spend an hour or two later looking at all the references we were given. A really interesting half day that stretched into the evening. I even learnt some things from the beginners’ sessions. There’s always something.

Andrew Shorten was first up as usual with a few quick warm up demos. Was he using Sliderocket ? I should go and have a look at this for creating the online presentations. The demo which took instant attention was the Desktop Keeley. Cute (the application that is) way of using the Air application to generate see through windows with an animation. I must try that. If you need the news from The Sun then this might be the application for you. Other examples of interest were the anthropologie site where you can search for catalog items by choice of colour. They seemed to lay out the items in some sort of spring network as well, but maybe it was just hexagonal spacing. Uses SQLite to cache for better performance.

He gave us a quick rundown on Flash 10. Local file load and save will be good, but I like the text facilities and the promise of performance improvements in Papervision3D if they can integrate the api’s using the graphics card. Air 1.5 should be here soon, with the Linux verison. I shall look forward to testing my apps in Linux. The improved speed with the squirrelfish interpreter sounds interesting but I must stop myself. I spent too much time in my youth with threaded interpretive languages and bytecodes. Adobe Media Player is moving on, as is the OpenScreen project. 25% off Max Milan in December with discount code of UKI816.

David Arnold from AcademyClass was impressive, in both his example of coding in flex with hardly any code (all components) and with his very slick presentation. Half an hour for a beginners app, that still managed to teach me something. Very good. I must look at creating a swf from mxml modules to get partial loading of bigger apps (use moduleLoader url=/modules/prod.swf). Should look at the htmlText component again. Uses RSLib to allow common librries to be uploaded and cached in t

Chris Jenkins gave a talk about button. It’s interesting to see the possibilities, but I’m not sure that we have time to use this sort of detailed technique. Probably be built into Thermo when it comes. Have a look at IStateClient if you’re into buttons tho’. Degrafa was mentioned again, but maybe Gumbo will have all this built in.

Justin Clark and Sam Williams gave a talk on PureMVC. This was relevant as I’m just looking at Mate, so a comparison was interesting. I need to jump in and have a go at these. It sounded good but I’ve heard some alternative comments about it. I just need to try it on a project. I feel the Mate will be more like an app builder though and it seems more organized. One good reference though was the Cliff, who produced PureMVC, has a document on best practices on their site. Good documentation helps, but look at the dark side as well with these comments. Pure MVC is available for many languages as well, which might sway the decision. The guys were from LBi. They geretate framework code using projectsprouts. Another time sink by the looks of it. They also talked about MultiCore for Flex modules, so I might google that. I’ve not seen these before, so I must take some time out while looking at Mate.

Nick Richardson talked about ColdFusion which was interesting, but I can’t really get into that server side. (How do people log the actions going on here?)

Bryan Hunt from EmakMafu talked about Java servers. He uses the Swiz framework. Hessian for remoting and RPC (which has various verisons including PHP), Caucho servlets and the Spring framework. I should look at the Java side of things. It might become more useful across the business.

Neil Middleton came on with a good team talk. They do both Silverlight and Flash at monochrome. He was easy to listen to, organized and looking for people. I should think he will have a few offers by the end of the day. I’ll do a separate scrum doc at some point.

Danny Thomas from Moov2 talked best practices. He was talking more practically, I think, and had done a lot of testing of methdologies before fixing to any particular method. Suggested GIT as a source control system or subversion Haven’t heard og Git, but it looks interesting. It has a local store and so can handle being disconnected. Laptop use especially. He talked about YAGNI, DRY, Flex profiler, AsDoc; suggested looking at the Flex 4 coding conventions; using snippets from code.google.com, opensource.adobe.com, osFlash.org; Flex unit testing; learn one thing at a time(how?). He used WebOrb with OR mapping as well. I might go ack to that for another try. Bug tracking from trac(free) or fogbugz, jira or look at the lists in blist.

Peter Elst gave a quick rundown on SQLite. Ideal for someone with a bit of db knowledge. Just a summary. I’m wondering if Navicat can read and manage one of these databases? Should use SQL parameters to avoid injection. It has transactions, introspection etc. He has created a sqlite class that looks really useful, with tags for flex. Talked later and I must look at his twit desktop app, another twitter app in Air. I’ll ask if he’ll open source his SQLite class. It looked very useful. Have a look at his blog.

Wrapping it up before the impending beer and pizza was Mike Jones. Not another video player! But then he’s made it work in the Eclipse GUI, so it immediately became really interesting. Really useful talk, even if I don’t use it. It gave a programmers view of events around components. I’m sure I’ll go back to refer to this later. Interested to see the way to get icons on your components. His code is at trac.flashgen.com, bu look at his blog; I’ll definitely watch this one.

So a full day in less than a day, with a few beers to finish off. Really enjoyable, but shouldn’t really have clashed with Tink’s LFPUG which has a regular monthly meeting. Adobe should know better. Tink was there tho’, so maybe all was forgiven. John Davey had a FOTB discount for PDPF288. Maybe I’ll try and get down there at the end of September.


One thought on “Flex Camp London

  1. mattishness

    thanks for mentioning blist as a bug tracker – unsurprisingly, at blist, we use blist exclusively as our bug tracker – i’d love it if you had some thoghts about what you’d like to see from blist in the bug-tracking context


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