MAX 2009 Day 2

Why is it that 2 days of MAX feels more like 20? Maybe I'm just getting old. Anyway, here are some thoughts about the second day of MAX. Starting in reverse order, let me talk about the sneaks first. I twittered about this a bit but 140 characters really can't do justice to what was demoed. I didn't always get the "official" name for sneaks, so please forgive any mistakes.

  • Photoshop is God: Ok, not the real name, but you had to see it to believe. The basic concept is something called "intelligent filling" I believe. In the first example, he had a picture with a wire across it. He selected the wire and was able to replace it with the building behind it. Ok, so that by itself is nice, but the big demo blew that away. Imagine a picture, outside, with trees in front a slightly cloudy sky. He selected a tree on the left side of the picture. Did the replacement... and holy crap. Photoshop removed the tree and recognized that the sky behind it should have a cloud layer. It then drew clouds - completely virtual - where the tree used to be.
  • Edit/Developement: This was pretty cool. Imagine a running Flex application that has a bug. Then imagine being able to pause it, edit the code, and then continue. I love this. This is especially useful when the area that has the bug is 2-5 clicks in. (Like an application that requires a login.)
  • Megha/Server Side Actionscript: Basically the idea is - imagine a Flex app that combines both the client side code and server side altogether. It reminded me a bit of old school ASP pages with the runat="server" block (and I know old school ASP has bad connotations, and I don't have such a negative view of this sneak, but it's the best corollary I can think of). All in all - interesting - but I think I'd rather keep my Flex code to the client side and keep ColdFusion on the server. (Not that I'm biased... ;)
  • Rome: This one is hard to describe. It's a AIR app (20,000 lines of ActionScript) that appears to be a mix of Photoshop and the Flash IDE. Seems pretty powerful and a real good example of what AIR can do.
  • Dreamweaver/Canvas: This was kind of cool - it showed support for pasting in vector graphics as a canvas item into Dreamweaver.
  • Flash/Physics: The demonstrator drew some basic shapes and was able to apply physics to it. The IDE was then able to create a movie based on the gravitational effects of those objects in a real world. So imagine a lever over a triangle base with some blocks on top. When the physics was applied and the movie ran, the objects fell properly and impacted the lever correctly.

All in a all, a good round of sneaks, and yes, there were no ColdFusion sneaks. But let's be honest - they just released 9 a day or so ago. I think they get a pass. ;)

The MAX Awards were well done. Nice and quick, and Mark Hamill was a pretty good host. I don't think I had heard of any of the sites nominated so it was good to see them quickly demonstrated beforehand.

The keynote was also a good example of Adobe technologies. Fedex demonstrated a real time monitoring system that was near omniscient in terms of what they could track (estimated delivery time, temperature, change in speed).

The USPS augmented reality demo was probably the best. I'm not sure of the URL for this (and the network here is still pretty crappy), but the idea was that you could place your object to ship in front of your web cam and the application would visually display package around it. You could then figure out exactly what size box you needed to ship. The best example of AR I've seen to date. Practical and simple. John Mayer's demo was artsy, but frankly the old, boring US Postal Service here really deserves credit for what they are doing with the technology. (Although John Mayer was much funnier than I had imagined he would be.)

There were more demos during the keynote - but I don't have much to add over what I said on Twitter. I enjoyed the second day keynote much more I think - just because it was interesting to see so many examples of Adobe technologies.

The Unconference had a great day (and thanks again to Charlie and Ezra and my speakers). The high point being the great lunch discussion we had in regards to OO and the ColdFusion community.

I'd love to be able to speak to the MAX sessions themselves, but unfortunately, outside of my own, I've not been to any session outside of the Unconference.

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