Various MAX 2006 Notes

I’ve slept for 2 days straight, and now left wondering where I’m going to get a costume for tonight’s’ party. Hybrid’s in town and I can’t miss that. Breakfast at 3:00 pm.

I didn’t manage to do as much live blogging at MAX as I would of liked to. The wireless simply didn’t work. It’d tease you every so often with a correct DNS finding, and then… boom. Therefore, at the bottom of this entry is my notes for Keynote Day 2. I didn’t make the sneaks on Day 3, slept in, but everyone gave me their version of what they saw. So many people to talk to, so little time. I really didn’t like Vegas, but enjoyed MAX overall. Vegas is total cheese, overpriced, and the desert air dries you out. MAX seemed well put together in terms of getting people out there to direct you, a multitude of events for everyone, and enough food and coffee in a steady stream. If you needed software, there were enough Adobe people around to hook you up.

You didn’t get that personal touch you get at WebDU, though. Since MAX is so big, 3,500+ people, it’s impossible for them to give you the individual attention you get at smaller conferences, especially for speakers. Not to mention the fact there were like 50 billion categories. General Attendee, Partner, Speaker, Community Leader, etc. Not complaining, just my first big conference so taking note.

Blue Man Group was cool.

I almost lost my voice, but per her majesty’s direction, drank a lot of coffee and tea filled with honey as well as water and throat lozenges. I spoke 2 hours in a row no problem!

A bad (good?) thing was seeing a lot of my Ozzie friends. They really made me “home sick” and want to go speak at WebDU again. Her majesty and I discussed it briefly, and even entertained the idea of her and I both speaking. She was kind of livid that a lot of people didn’t know the true definition of what an Information Architect is. People would start spouting “database” or “QA” and she’d go off. To their defense, most IA’s I’ve read about on blogs can’t even concisely identify what it is they do. Each does a different task at a company that is similar yet vastly different in implementation. They then get insecurity in the definition, and rightly so.

Regardless, it’d be nice to see some IA/Usability presence at WebDU, so… we’re still entertaining the idea.

Got my office yesterday. They ran out of smaller offices, so I was forced into a bigger office. Averages $63 a day. Not what I wanted, but definitely not breaking the bank in what it offers. Free shared T1, free coffee, lockable door, all in an office building with similar shared offices. They are usually full up with sales people. I foresee myself speaking about what I do a lot of times while there… it’s a good thing, though. It’s right next to Cingular’s and Verizon’s northern offices; I think that might be Verizon’s corp HQ, :: shrugs ::. Anyway, I’ll be sure to show off my Flash Lite enabled phone to any who will watch. I only get it, the office, for 2 weeks and then have to get a new project to justify my staying there, but based on the people at the conference looking for Flash Devs, and my own consulting firm’s amount of Flex work, that won’t be a problem.

Gotta say, highlight of the conference for me was seeing all the Flash Developers getting interested in Flex. A lot said about the same thing: “Yeah, installed it… playing around with it, seeing what it can do.” Awesome. It’s easier to get Flash Designers and Developers to try new things than it is entrenched Java devs, even though, currently, Flex 2 has more to offer to the server heads.

It was also nice to have Adobe there to see my preso’s. I think my first one went great, 2nd not so much. Both were plan B’s; my MacBook didn’t have a VGA or DVI output, thus I couldn’t show any code. Either way, got a lot of good feedback, but none negative which made me nervous. Good thing, since Adobe was there, we got to discuss some things with regards to designer developer workflow, component sets ability to showcase design, file size, etc. I have full confidence Adobe will continually improve this area. Hopefully by then a lot of Flash peeps will be already bitching on their blogs about how hard things are, and Adobe will then satiate that need at it’s apex.

I didn’t really attend many sessions. I was representing my consulting firm, Universal Mind, so attempted to help at the booth. The other time was spent talking shop, meeting new/known online people, and teaching impromptu Flex 2. I did manage to catch Roger’s module session on Thursday. It was a lot of material in such a short time stemming from the fact that it’s a low level architecture decision to do some of the things he is suggesting. They shouldn’t be taken lightly, thus, it’ll be good to do some experiments of my own and see how I benefit. Frankly, I’m pretty happy with the framework SWF scenario, where you have classes you need “loaded in first”, and later SWF’s have them excluded from the compiler. However, it’s not very flexible, and harder to test. We’ll see, need more time to test.

Good to meet some new faces at my own firm, and actually get to know people. Since UM doesn’t have an office, we all work all over the country, either on site with clients or from our homes/offices. Thus, these are good times to connect and build a report with fellow consultants.

I’m clearly the only one at the conference who doesn’t care about Apollo.

Personal Goals after the conference?

  • Release a component set for AS3, AS2 for Flash 8 and Flash 9 IDE’s as well as Flash Lite 2. There are needs not being met here.
  • Operators in the US suck and must die. They are sabotaging Adobe’s Flash Lite initiative. We need to build a Symbian OS based client that play Flash Lite content for the average consumer that also pays developers. We then send to our friends via Text message and say, “Install this”, and they then send to their friends if they think it’s cool. The whole Nokia-Prominent type solution is bullshit, and won’t fly with large clients like Ford that have to “hope” their content will get picked by an Operator. Ford probably wouldn’t use my solution either… unless a big company bought me. I know some agencies, though, would much rather have a confirmed audience that can see their content vs. one that “might” see it.
  • Play with some public alphas/betas… I’ve been so busy and burnt out this summer, I’ve had no time for anything fun on the side.

So, yeah, gotta go shopping so I don’t have to pay double club cover with no costume. Day 2 Keynote live blogging notes below.


The Verizon dude walked out, found a phone, and said “This is awkward…”. Kevin Lynch came up, and showed putting notes on PDF’s and sending an email that allows other to review it.

He’s now currently having a meeting with one of the retired Adobe founders, John, who is in San Jose in Breeze. You can see both their mugs there in Breeze. Apparently he didn’t play golf when retiring and made web sites instead.

Al Ramadan up next.

The theme of his preso is making money in the United States since people like me can’t really make dough doing this yet. He heads right to the Chumby. He’s discussing his son who uses it. Relaying how it is an opportunity. The peeps from Chumby are apparently here at the conference, running a birds of a feather (informal get together).

Play-station 3… what what? New CPU… 35 times faster than the ps2, 60 gig drive, wireless support, 7 wireless controllers, drives 2 HD TV monitors… of course, has Flash built right in… what frikin’ player!!!? Stop clapping crowd! NOOOO!!!!

Have to go digging in Google.

He’s discussing NttDocomo (sp?) leading the way building phones that have Flash on it. Discussing Koreans who are getting up to speed to. Some of the whole phones in Flash. D-900 from Samsung; the actual UI of the phone adapts. Light and dark based on light, weather, where you are at, etc.

John Stratton, VP & CMO of Verizon Wireless has a previously recorded video. He’s talking about mobile downloads and shooting large numbers. He seems positive. Verizon, Qualcom, and Adobe have gotten together to launch Flash Lite 2.1 on Brew. I love hearing C-suits say “Rich”… lol!

He says they many devices they have will have Flash Lite on it.

Chocolate device that launched this year, and apparently more next year.

Verizon dude again. Al’s talking to him. They are changing the phrase from “It’s the Network” to “It’s the Flex Developers”. He responds, “Good!”.

So, he’s pushing Brew. Peggy Johnson, president of Qualcom something and something systems. Did I mention I need coffee?

She knows we’re all hung over.

She’s got one of those headsets all the speakers have… I just noticed it. It’s like the one from Stargate Atlantis… maybe I can gank it for Halloween, I want to go as Colonel Shephard.

She’s talking about taking requests from Operators and talking about how hard it was because of lack of consistency, and thats where Brew came from. Devs make apps, testing groups ensures they can run across a few handsets. Operator looks at apps, and decides which ones they want to take to consumers. Operator takes app, makes catalogues, exposes it out to users, and then users can choose which one they want to download. The billing system already in place. User pays, money flows back to dev.

I am telling you now, this is NOT going to fly with agencies. I know devs might like this for apps, but for portals and design products designed around a brand, agencies don’t give a flip about this process, and will create a custom app/game/content and want to find some way to get it on phones. I don’t see how Brew fits into that. For me, as a Developer? Sure… but there are no brands I can sell without permission. Operators are a barrier to brands who wish to get themselves in front of consumers on phones.

Anyway, she’s talking about the dudes who made SMS in their garage, and now have mad bling.

$700,000,000… ? Apparently they are paying out this much money to developers this year. Hrm, must have gone to Java developers, hehe.

Atom, FunMobility, Smashing Ideas. Where is Dale’s endeavor? These companies are hosting the Flash catalogues for Brew. I guess Dale doesn’t do Brew, hrm.

Bill Perry is coming up to stage to show some Mobile Authoring. He’s showing a game in Flash 8. It has Flash Lite 2.1 in it. You have to choose a new option in the Flash Publishing Settings via the post processor drop down; something for Brew.

Brew has a publishing wizard that comes up after you publish. You can download this update today on Labs to Flash apparently. You have to give your app an ID and applet name. 2nd screen, more info that you have to fill out. 3rd screen for icons. 4th screen for generating mod and nif…iff… files. 5th screen, finish. It creates the files, puts on a folder on the desktop, and launches in the emulator.

The folder has 3 files. The mod and qmif… you transfer these to the phone. He us using the Brew AppLoader. Dropped .mif folder to root; it has a dialogue that he types a path in. A .mod file is like a SWF. A .sig file apparently allows you to test on handsets too. Smells like someone needs a JSFL script, hehe.

He’s now showing a phone that has VCast on it, a Verizon Wireless one. The game is on the phone, and has sound. Apparently this application can be purchased by users today. He’s going to his phone, Get it Now again, Get games, get an application… connects to network, he downloads the Mini Arcade… Shockwave? Haven’t seen Shockwave in awhile, the term anyway.

Bottom line, Verizon handles the Operators on your behalf. The download is kind of slow, but that depends on your phone. Sorry, “Mini Arcade for Shockwave”. He now downloads all mini games to phone. He’s got a menu to choose a game to play, shows a menu, and he can purchase a game.

Geez, he’s to do 3 clicks to buy something. Technically, once the client is downloaded, it’s 2, but dude… 1 click purchases! You need to make this easier Verizon. Less clicks to content == more bling.

Bill’s showing Photoshop now, he’s got an interface for Flash Lite in it. Photoshop has a “Save for Web and Devices…” menu item. Wow, it has mobile emulation in Photoshop. You can change phones from a menu to see what it looks like on other phones. It even has filters to show you what it looks like if the phone is outdoors, stuff like that. The Adobe Device Central appears to be an app that allows you to test this stuff outside of Photoshop and Flash. Sorry, need coffee.

LOL, library from a Flash Lite dev in Japan looks so typical; no folders, no organization. Either way, hot wallpaper that can get device information, and change the way it looks like time of day.

They are now doing performance emulation… finally! He’s showing a spinning torus knot. It’s running a calibrate test on the phone. If he now checks the checkbox for emulate performance, it slows the animation down, showing how it’ll probably run on the phone. FPS wasn’t really a problem in building 1 game in Flash Lite 2, it was the amount of “things” you do per frame. Either way, mega frikin useful! I don’t have to test on my handset all the time now. That’ll save booku amounts of time.

Al makes a final rally call to creatives and developers.

Kevin is congratulation Georgio and Barbara on getting married here.

Youngest attendee at MAX is 14. You have to be 21 to attend, but somehow got special permission. His name is MAX, he’s a long time ColdFusion Developer, hehe.

MAX is on stage.

What have you been learning?

A lot of Flex stuff… amazing what it can do.

What did you do in it.

Wrote a couple components in it.

If you get your components ready you can post on your site

Ok, hehe.

Got you a backpack full of MAX items. Also have a Lego Mindstorms kit.

Crowd digs this kid.

Glad you’re at the conference and looking forward to things you create.


Bruce Chizen up next. He wants a PS3, one for him and one for Max. Not much to report. He’s showing apps, summing up their initiative, being positive for investors. Web TV or click tv… whatever it was called looks like some quick Flex app Andrew Mueller showed me yesterday, haha. He was like, “I don’t want it’s good for…” I’m like, “Who cares, let the business dudes figure it out, this is fun!” Apparently they did… or maybe not and just got huge cash flow via investors. I thought there were 3000 people here, but there are over 3500!

MAX awards. I’m sure they’ve got these peeps posted on a website. People are getting awards. Good on them!

We had to vote for the winner via SMS; they had a Flex and ColdFusion app that showed the results of voting live as it happened with what state you were from.

14 Replies to “Various MAX 2006 Notes”

  1. Your comment: Release a component set for AS3, AS2 for Flash 8 and Flash 9 IDE’s as well as Flash Lite 2. There are needs not being met here.

    You will have my dollar. I don’t think I am the only one who would like to save some development time by purchasing a well built component set. However, after doing an extensive search on what is out there, I find component sets with more complaints listed online than satisified customers. And in each case, it seems they are almost un-suppored and developed further.

    Thanks for thinking about building some proper components. I hope you or someone gets a good set out there for sale or open source.

  2. So they’re talking about high-end high-definition flash games for the ps3?? with massive multiplayer? and via online downloads? Seems like Sony wants to make big bucks with the little games and online downloads.

    Simple. Attractive. Addictive.

    Game companies like EA Games are already making a killing with these small downloads. I believe the cell phone providers want a piece of the pie as well.

    Everyone needs to remember that hubris/pride leads to the downfall of Empires. There seems to be an entanglement of proprietary-ness when it comes to these Flash outlets.

  3. Unlike you Jesse, I did go to many sessions at MAX and I have to say, your session on Flash and Flex was absolutely, hands down the worst session at the entire conference. I cant believe that you can say you did not receive any bad feedback because looking around the room during your horrible presentation, I saw many people putting negative remarks on your evaluation form.
    Your session provided no useful content and was a waste of time. I can only hope that if Adobe actually allows you to speak in the futre, you do your homework and come up with something intelligent to present. UM should be embarrassed!

  4. So… what exactly did you not like about it? I haven’t seen the evaluation forms yet, so not really sure what parts I can make better. If you can be more specific, it’ll help me improve.

  5. I’m all about the free flow of info via the Internet etc., but come one. Mr. Anonymous dude, at least have the decency to say who you are if you’re going to be critical. It’s easy to criticize when you hide yourself. I’m not flaming here, just saying that you need to step up.

  6. Harse. I went to Jesse’s session and I found it valuable. I’ve been to tons of conferences and, therefore, even more conference sessions. The only ones I really don’t like are when presenters are goofing off, dimissing the audience, or similarly not taking themselves seriously.

    I have seen tons of negative reviews too (as I’ve gotten my share –including book reviews that are less than stellar). I’d say the only explanation for mr. Anon’s travesty is that he simply expected something else. Perhaps his impression of the presentation title didn’t match the actual presentation. Who knows. Perhaps he/she will follow-up with something constructive.


  7. Jesse, I attended your second talk at MAX as well and have to chime in with Mr. Anonymous that I had hoped for a little more meat in the presentation. Your talk was very conceptual and lacked specific examples. I’ll try to be constructive by listing the things I was hoping to get out of the session:

    – Workflow: how should designers and developers work together
    – What are the best practices for creating wireframes that can then be packaged for prototyping (perhaps show the UI templates for Illustrator, Fireworks, PS and give a summary of Jaramillo’s article on the subject
    – To what degree can you use CSS and at what point do you have to actually re-skin components
    – How do you re-skin components (simple example of a panel)
    – What impact does UI redesign have on performance
    – Best practice: embed UI graphics or load then at runtime

    These are just some of the things I struggled with and I know other’s are dealing with, too.

    When people dish out $2000 plus for a conference (conference, trave, hotel), they expect to get a lot out of it. Not every session can be perfect, but the ones that are carefully prepared gain the most respect by the audience.

    An example of an absolutely phenomenal session is the ‘Cairngorm’ talk which was chock full of content delivered carefully and professionally.

    Just my 2 cents.


  8. Kai, this great feedback, thanks a bunch for taking the time to list all of these out. My perception of that list is a significant amount of content that I’m not sure I could fit within a 50 minute timeframe.

    My initial problem with this presentation is audience skill level. Some designers have absolutely no clue what Flex offers, so without context, a lot of the technicals about how you utilize Flash content is pointless. Why go through showing how to load a button into UIComponent when I haven’t covered why MovieClip’s don’t work in Flex. Tough call. I think I failed to write an accurate assessment of what I’ll cover in the preso bio to better set expectations.

    I clearly failed in showing the difference between CSS, skinning, and where Flash comes into play when you reach roadblocks with each, thanks for pointing that out.

    Regarding wireframes and prototyping, I am not an Information Architect, and that is a whole other ballgame. There is a significant amout of process improvements one can do; I’m in Detroit currently working with both Engineering & Creative to implement a lot of great cross team processes.

    To accomplish what I want to accomplish, I think I need to do 3 things based on yours, and others offline feedback:

    – write a more clear description to set expectations to what the audience needs to know. 50% of the audience being like you, and 50% not even knowing what Flex is forces me to alienate half the audience

    – focus clearly on the technical implementations. I really like integrating Flash into the workflow vs. the LocalConnection hacks.

    – showcase more than 1, truly impemented, example

    Again, you rock for taking the time to give feedback, thanks a bunch!

  9. Jesse

    Love to see you and HM down here again, was good to see you two folk on your soil this time!

    Make you a deal, come on down and I’ll put on another BBQ (like last time) next year for you and any other international speakers that make it. You can go mad jumping on the trampoline:

    we can all go down to the river again:

    and I’ll help HM find some nice tea she hasn’t tried before and some interesting wool to knit.

  10. Yah, dude, it was good to see you too! Oz represent baby-baaaay-baaaah.

    Sounds fun, excluding the shark infested river, but as always up to her majesty, not me, hehe; I’m down either way.

    …awaiting Geof to approve my speech proposal…

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