Ok, "hacking" may be too strong a word, but I thought I'd share a fun little diversion I tried at lunch. I noticed that the MAX 2010 Scheduler oddly did not list session times. You could browse by day of course, but I prefer to browse by session title. I was also curious to see when my session was. Unfortunately, the date and times for each session were not available in that view.

I then decided to do what any self-respecting web developer would do. I opened up the Developer tools in Chrome (think Firebug) and became to monitor what was going on. I noticed that the data for the scheduler came from a few JSON requests. I took a look at them and found that the JSON data for sessions actually contained the date and times - the front end just wasn't using it. So I quickly decided to play with this data myself. I began by creating a simple ColdFusion file that would proxy the JSON requests for me. An AIR app wouldn't need this - but I wanted something done super quick. I came up with the following:

<cfparam name="url.u" default="">

<cfset safeurls = "http://max.adobe.com/v1/events/ebdabc28-aab4-479f-86f3-6bd9d97b4cc7/speakers.json,http://max.adobe.com/v1/events/ebdabc28-aab4-479f-86f3-6bd9d97b4cc7/sessions.json">

<cfif url.u is "" or not isValid("url", url.u) or not listFindNoCase(variables.safeurls, url.u)> <cfabort/> </cfif>

<cfif isNull(cacheGet("urlcache_#url.u#"))> <cfhttp url="#url.u#" timeout="20"> <cfset cachePut("urlcache_#url.u#", cfhttp.filecontent,1)> </cfif>

<cfset data = cacheGet("urlcache_#url.u#")> <cfcontent type="application/json" reset="true"><cfoutput>#data#</cfoutput>

There isn't a lot here. Basically look for a URL to request in the URL scope (sorry if that sounds confusing) and validate the value against a list of URLs. Next - see if I have the request in the cache. If not, fetch it with cfhttp and store it for a day. Finally, get the data from the cache and output it to the screen. My front end was a bit more complex:


<head> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/1/jquery.min.js"></script> <script> var speakers = [] var sessions = [] var searchReady = false

function renderSession(session) { var res = "" res += "<div class='session'>" res += "<h2>"+session.name+"</h2>" res += "<b>Times:</b> " if(session.instances.length == 0) res += "None Scheduled<br/>" else { for(var i=0; i<session.instances.length;i++) { res += session.instances[i].date + " " + session.instances[i].time if(i+1 < session.instances.length) res+= " and " } res += "<br/>"

} res += "<b>Speakers:</b> " if(session.speakers.length == 0) res += "None Assigned<br/>" else { for(var i=0; i<session.speakers.length;i++) { res += speakers[session.speakers[i]].name if(i+1 < session.speakers.length) res+= " and " } res += "<br/>" } res += session.description

res += "</div>" return res }

function renderSessions() { var totalSessions = 0

var filterTerm = $("#search").val() filterTerm = $.trim(filterTerm.toLowerCase()) var s = "" for(var i=0; i<sessions.length; i++) { if(filterTerm == '' || (sessions[i].name.toLowerCase().indexOf(filterTerm) >= 0 || sessions[i].description.toLowerCase().indexOf(filterTerm) >= 0 ) ) { totalSessions++ s += renderSession(sessions[i]) } } s = "<h2>Sessions ("+totalSessions+")</h2>" + s $("#sessions").html(s)


function loadSpeakers() {

var speakerurl = "http://max.adobe.com/v1/events/ebdabc28-aab4-479f-86f3-6bd9d97b4cc7/speakers.json" $.getJSON('load.cfm?u='+speakerurl, {}, function(res,code) { for(var i=0; i<res.length; i++) { var speaker = {"name":res[i].lastname +", "+res[i].firstname} speakers[res[i].id] = speaker } loadSessions() })


function loadSessions() {

var sessionurl = "http://max.adobe.com/v1/events/ebdabc28-aab4-479f-86f3-6bd9d97b4cc7/sessions.json" $.getJSON('load.cfm?u='+sessionurl, {}, function(res,code) { sessions = res renderSessions() $("#status").text("") searchReady = true })


$(document).ready(function() { $("#status").text("Please stand by. I'm loading a lot of data and doing really important, technical 'computer' stuff.") //begin by loading speakers loadSpeakers()

$("#search").keyup(function() { var val = $(this).val() renderSessions() }) })

</script> <style> #status { font-style: italic; } .session { width: 500px; background-color: #ffff80; padding-top: 0px; padding-left: 5px; padding-right: 5px; margin-bottom: 10px; }

#menu { float: left; width: 300px; background-color: #c0c0c0; border: 0.1em solid #000000; padding: 0px; margin-top: 18px; margin-right: 5px; } #sessions { overflow:auto; }



<body> <span id="status"></span>

<div id="menu"> Search:<br/> <input type="text" id="search"><br/> </div>

<div id="sessions"> </div>

</body> </html>

If you start looking in the document.ready block, you can see I begin by fetching my speakers. I store that result in a global variable. Once that's done, I then fetch my sessions. Once I have all my data, I can then render them. I wrote both a renderSessions() method and a renderSession() method. That may be overkill - but it worked out ok.

At that point - the only left was a simple search. I didn't bother with all the options the real system had. I just used a simple keyword search that matched against the title and the description. You can play with this here:


Obviously this was just built for fun. I wouldn't count on it working forever, nor would I be surprised if Adobe fixes the missing times in their next push. I mainly just wanted to show an example of how you could repurpose someone else's AJAX data for your own benefit. (And yes, now I know when I'm speaking - 3:30 on October 27th.)