Cold Fusion evening

Decided to get an update on the state of Cold FUsion and Ben Forta was in town to speak. He’s always easy to listen to and there was a free beer in there as well. No contest really. It was held in Tiger, Tiger in the Haymarket as they had a good response to the event. It has an intimate downstairs bar where a few geeky people can hide away.

Cold Fusion hasn’t had an IDE for the last ten years and I was interested to see how App Builder, or Cold Fusion Builder would compare to Flex Builder and Flash Catalyst. It is based around the usual Eclipse IDE which makes it very familiar. The beta has been picked up by quite a few people; about 30% of the folk there had tried it. It’s very easy to use with a local server (developers get a free licence for this) The logs can be monitored easily. It has intellisense built in. The refactoring support is improving but limited at the moment to the main methods and properties of classes; more will arrive soon.
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flashcamp_UK – a fine day out

I went across to see the Flash Camp the other day. Organised by Chester of Emak Mafu (there must be a story behind that name!) and interspersed with Robin and sundry other Adobe types, it was an excellent day out and worth going; new people to meet; lots of ideas; not quite as in depth as the Flex Camp last year but lots of stimulation nevertheless. This is just a quick note to keep some of the memories and the links around for myself and anyone else that might find them useful.
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Adobe Live

Went to a day at the Adobe Live event yesterday. Very interesting. The new versions of the software look really powerful and the web technology is coming along in leaps and bounds.

Started with a view of the future from Adobe. Mashups are to be the thing to create. They showed a cycling web site, with Ajax interfaces, Google maps, and RSS data being fed in real time. Looked great. Apollo was mentioned as a standalone version of the same thing. The underlying technology is being brought into the Adobe way of doing things and should be one to watch in the future.

Looked at the latest version of Photoshop and AfterEffects. Photoshop has some neat technology to allow cut and paste in 3D. Perspective grids can be lined up with the image and items like windows can be cut and pasted in perspective, growing bigger automatically as they get closer. The repair brushes similarly grow the brush texture as they come closer. Very clever. The latest compression for video is the On VP6 format which gives similar quality to h-264 at a smaller size. It also allows the Flash movie to have an alpha channel. Adobe have brought a few things to Macromedia, but not much integration yet. No comment on GoLive’s survival. They also had an alpha version of Lightbox, a photographer’s tool. Mac only though.

Angie Taylor get a short but interesting demo taking an animation in AfterEffects into a mobile phone, complete with some interaction to scratch the video. Not sure that she understood it in detail, but she does a demo well.

Talked to Ollie and crew about the Open Source Flash technology. haXe is the latest way to develop, apparently and the Red5 server is up to version 5 flash and will continue to improve. Not sure that they are up to the quality of the latest Flash servers, either Data Services or video streaming. We shall still have to pay up if we want remoting or interactive video.

They held the latest Flash User group after the show. It seemed a convenient place. Met Aral Balkin of OSFlash for the first time. Interesting to talk to but didn’t get a chance to ask questions. Lots of people seem to use the Eclipse editor to develop javascript sites. This may be the way to get around the Flash user interface. Just program everything using Sprites and Movie clip objects. Interesting panel discussion with various experts on the panel. More later.