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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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Notes from MAX

I’m at the Adobe MAX convention this week and will give a report on the Adobe announcements etc. at our October meeting. In the meantime, here are the notes I’m taking in a public Google Notebook. The sections show up in reverse chronological order (newest first). I’ll continue to add to it through Wednesday.

Hope to see you all on the 19th. ‘course, we’re drawing for the software, whatever Adobe package the winner chooses up to $2100 in value. We’ll be doing this every six months while Adobe continues it.

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Flash Summer Camp one-day workshop in Dallas

Adobe and are putting on a one-day training seminar in Dallas on Tuesday, August 21. It’s $99 or $79 for students/educators. It’s aimed at new users so it may be useful if you want a jump-start on learning Flash.

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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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AccessU report additions

I’d forgotten to transfer some notes I took on my PDA at one of the AccessU lunch presentations. I’ve now put them in the public Google notebook; I’ll put them here as well:

  • make accessibility for your site(s) a part of the editorial process, a performance measure
  • formal plan for conversion to accessibility: WebAIM 8-Step Implementation Plan
  • Gez Lemon: accessible CMS review @
  • Fangs Firefox extension: an alternative to reviewing sites with JAWS. From the link: ‘creates a textual representation of a web page similar to how the page would be read by a screen reader’ (interesting site title: ‘ — a pragmatic approach to to web accessibility’)

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AccessU report

Here are my AccessU notes as a public Google notebook*. Just the stuff in the named section is specific to the conference.

My AccessU Powerpoint presentation for the May 15 meeting.

Overall, an excellent conference. I’ll report on the accessibility subjects covered there at the May 15 meeting. A few things new to me:

btw, if you use Google notebook extensively like I do, *back up important stuff there from time to time. I inexplicably lost a whole subsection after I made this notebook public, even without granting anyone edit capability.

NOTE 5-14: A kind and patient individual suggested the supposedly lost data may be accidentally deleted, in my ‘Trash’. Indeed, that was the case; it is now properly restored. Thank you!!!

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Multiple-topic meetings?

Would anyone be interested in meetings often having two, three, or even four topics? People may feel more comfortable presenting something if they don’t feel they have to fill a full hour, and more people may come if they see at least one thing being discussed that they’re interested in. A few thoughts for potential meeting topics:

  • Diann suggests playing some segments, starting with ColdFusion MX Essential Training
  • Captivate demo; including a discussion of its potential usefulness for all developers and a comparison with Camtasia Studio
  • members show and explain aspects of their best or favorite sites (ones they’ve worked on or ones they just like)
  • Flex demo
  • Apollo demo
  • attendee reports from training conferences (myself and anyone else attending the AccessU and/or DIR accessibility events for the May and July meetings; and I’ll volunteer a segment in June after I go to the Adobe Summit User Group Manager conference)
If people would send their lists of both what they’d like to see and what they could present, we can start matching these up.

For the May meeting, I’m suggesting that the topics covered will be a report from AccessU from me and some ColdFusion essentials from

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We’ve been talking at the last few meetings about web accessibility. Thanks to Diann, we have Dr. Rhonda Blackburn speaking at our Apr. 24 meeting (this date changed 4-16 to reflect a rescheduling).

On this subject, I’ll be attending Knowbility’s Access U, an accessibility conference May 8 and 9 in Austin. They have a long list of classes, with topics on accessibility for PDFs, forms, tables, Flash, audio, video, CSS issues, etc.

I’ll take notes, post them here, and recap at the following BVAUG meeting. If others from this group attend, it would be great if you would each share what you learn as well.

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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