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Ubuntu LAMP Server Installation: thanks Karsten!

At the April meeting, Karsten Pearce walked us through the steps for an Ubuntu LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP) installation. Here are the notes he used for this presentation, which he compiled from various online sources: LAMP Setup (PDF).

One thing he recommended is, that if you’re planning to do a dual-boot setup with Windows, to install Windows first. This is my situation since I have a PC with a wiped hard drive I’m planning to try this on.

Thank you Karsten!

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MAX 2007 Report

Thanks to everyone who came to the meeting last week for the MAX 2007 Report. Here’s the presentation file: MAX 2007 Report PowerPoint. This file is a summary of my conference notes. Here’s the discussion outline/intro screen:

  • Intro
  • Keynotes/General Sessions
  • Selected Sessions
  • Special Interest
  • Conclusions
  • Questions/Comments
Here’s the conclusions/summary screen:
  • AIR is the current Big Thing
  • ‘The web, your way’
  • Mobile technology still being stressed…
  • Adobe/Apple tenseness (under the surface)
  • Less overt ColdFusion promotion, but the ‘How to Promote CF’ Birds-of-a-Feather session was a hot topic on the UGM forum
Since these are just speaking points, email me if you have specific questions.

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Tom Dent CS3 presentation

Here are my notes and observations from today’s meeting. Since there was a lot of info, I pretty much just wrote down what was new to me (or what I’d remembered hearing before but forgot). Therefore, please send any additions/corrections and I’ll add them and credit you:

  • It was the best attendance I remember at a BVAUG meeting; I counted 22 people.
  • Re: Adobe apps will be available through SELL. From a follow-up email from Tom:
    The Student Licensing program is for TAMU students only. The web site isn’t up yet, but will be in the next couple of weeks from what I am told by Romona Stites, my contact at SELL. Three products offered: Design Premium, Web Standard (CS3 edition of the former Studio 8), and Acrobat Professional. Pricing is a much better deal than purchasing standard Education shrink. For example, Education shrink for Design Premium is $599, TAMU student pricing is $395. They may add more products, such as Master Collection, based on the initial success of this new student perk.
  • Fireworks:
    • for quickly creating web graphics
    • new prototyping tools— using hotspots, ‘Share Layer to Pages’ command, etc.
    • .pngs can be multi-page (like Freehand documents)
    • pretty strong integration between Fireworks, Photoshop and Illustrator: layers, transfer modes, layer styles.
  • Bridge: allows live previews of Flash animations and video (.flv, .mov, .avi)
  • Dreamweaver:
    • native .psd import; Dreamweaver automatically opens a dialog like Photoshop’ ‘Save for Web’ when a .psd is imported. This graphic will be updated automatically when the external .psd is updated in Photoshop (like ‘Publish’ in Illustrator or a similar feature in After Effects).
    • Browser Compatibility Check feature and its integration with Adobe’s CSS Advisor. This is actually useful; I’ve used it exactly as presented. Of course, you don’t need CS3 to browse or google the CSS Advisor on Adobe’s site.
    • Spry: quick demo of Adobe’s implementation of AJAX. The question about whether it’s accessible brought this answer: ‘No.’ Perhaps he was correct. They’ll fix this, of course. See below for some books I’m currently reading and recommend on JavaScript and Ajax techniques.
  • Flash
    • you can choose to keep .psd vector layers as vector shapes
    • can specify these files’ text layers as bitmaps, vector outlines or editable text
    • can assign instance names in Illustrator for addressing with ActionScript
  • Device Central: amazingly well-developed mobile device emulator for Flash, Dreamweaver,and other CS3 apps. Supports some 200 phones etc., with so far one notable, and perhaps sticky, exception (actually two: the iPhone and iPod touch).
  • a new certification process featuring interactive (presumably Captivate-created) quizzing with an emphasis on workflow across products, rather than on full mastery of any one.
This was a strong and packed presentation for a lunch hour. As I presented on in June, I received a three-day version of this presentation at the Adobe Community Summit. Thanks to Tom and Patrick for coming and presenting! If anyone didn’t get Tom’s contact info, I’m sure he wouldn’t mind me posting it here:

As a note regarding the Spry/lack of accessibility note above, here’s some books I’m currently reading, and recommend, on standards-based, unobtrusive, accessible, and gracefully-degrading JavaScript:

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Adobe Community Summit report

The following is an HTML version of the the PowerPoint file from today’s presentation. These are talking points only; if you have questions email me or check the Adobe site.

What’s in it for you?

  • Make professional plans based on what’s coming up in the future
  • Download beta apps sooner to evaluate, and perhaps influence
  • Free stuff for community members and leaders NOTE (added 7-4-07): not gloating here; rather, inviting my replacement. If you’re interested in the substantial perks of being BVAUG manager (e.g., this year, AUG managers receive the full CS3 Master Collection etc.) that come with the relatively easy and enjoyable responsibilities involved, please ask me about it.
  • – forums etc…

Adobe Integrated Runtime (AIR)

  • Beta at
  • What is it?
    • creates desktop aps using HTML/CSS/JS or Flash/Flex
    • unlike web apps (though Flash apps have a sandbox/temp file access), allows access to files on the hard drive/network (like Director’s FileIO Xtra)
  • Desktop version of web apps needed? Google must think so (Google Gears)
  • Includes SQLite
  • Comparison with Director
  • Comparison with RIAs; plugins
  • How do you get and use an AIR app?
  • How do you make an AIR app?
    • coders can do it for free
    • best (easiest) way: Flex Builder 3; beta available
    • DW extension to develop HTML-based AIR aps

Other software (other than CS3)

Flex 3 / Flex Builder 3

  • Flash for making great experiences, Flex for creating applications
  • Watch a Flex app being built (12 minute video)
  • Leverages UI elements called components
  • Components now much easier to customize
  • Will be made open source
  • Examples: Yahoo Maps, Harley Davidson, NTSE Marketrac, various customize your car sites… showcase page

ColdFusion 8

  • Beta available now
  • Adobe store is a CF app: 30% performance gain by upgrading to CF8, even before any further integration
  • Ajax integration
  • CF goal: make backend/frontend integration as easy as possible.
  • Skinnable forms, using CSS
  • Adobe will list ‘gotcha’s’ (quote from attendee question )
  • binding syntax modeled on Flex
  • CF integration with Exchange calendar; with read and write
  • local DB integration being looked at, will not be in CF8
  • pdf forms processing—dynamically building custom PDFs on the fly
  • now CF can prefill PDF forms; on the server side
  • handles concurrent user record modifications

CS3 Applications

  • Tool palette improvements throughout—much easier for a laptop or single monitor
  • Bridge: a little faster, a lot cooler, intended to be a hub for all CS3
  • Improved cross-application file compatibility (e.g., import layered .psds into Flash; copy/paste into DW)
  • Feature overload issue: now ‘trying to make it smarter for what people are already using it for’
  • (unspoken: costs what it costs)

Observations / Trend Chasing / Forum Fending

  • Adobe is addressing the trend toward the social aspects of video. Flash Media Encoder is impressive.
  • Adobe has been consistent in maintaining and growing Macromedia’s commitment to mobile technologies. If they’re big-time successful in this, they’ll have earned it.
  • And they keep saying there’s a lot of money for developers who get into developing for this market.
  • Open sourcing (Flex 3)
  • Getting apps to users sooner (labs site)
  • Adobe really wants our feedback.

Discussion Topics

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MAX 2007 will be Sept. 30 – Oct. 3 in Chicago

The main reason to attend MAX is simply this: Be it web design, application development, creative work, building intelligent documents, and more, you rely on Adobe products to do what you do. And this is your chance to learn new skills, discover new opportunities, and prepare for the future. Ben Forta, Edge Newsletter, July 11, 2006

The 2007 MAX site (added 6-13-07).

Here’s a MAX blog from the Chicago AUG:

Here’s the site from last year.

Here’s the PowerPoint file from my MAX 2006 report at last November’s BVAUG meeting.

Some points from that file’s conclusion screen:

  • Adobe is making a major effort to relieve developer effort (Flash/Flex, Cold Fusion, Captivate, Fireworks, etc.)
  • Continuing strong emphasis on mobile technology
  • Major score with Verizon Wireless collaboration
  • Strong leveraging of the Flash platform
  • Apollo: Flavor of the Month?
  • Adobe has Microsoft envy