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An Architect's View

MAX Day Three

October 4, 2007 · No Comments

Back home and catching up on a full week of mail and chores. Why do I ever go away? Anyway, day three of MAX was a much more subdued event without a general session. I started off with the "Bootcamp for Flex" run by Matt Chotin, expecting it to be a great way to go from basics to something useful in three and a half hours. It seems that "Bootcamp" means something very different to Adobe and, instead, I was treated to a very disorganized "open mic" event where random people got up and gave short presentations on random topics.I hung around for two hours hoping it might get back on track but finally gave up and went and hung out in the community lounge. I later heard that all the bootcamp sessions were much the same. Note to Adobe: most people expect a bootcamp to be an immersive learning experience to get you up to speed on a new technology. These sessions were not as advertised! While I was in the community lounge, I got to see a copy of FAQU 4 which focuses on user interfaces and Flex - and a very, very nice journal it is! I'm looking forward to issue 5 which will be dedicated to ColdFusion 8. If you're not already a subscriber, it really is terrific value for the money and you will find yourself keeping them close at hand and referring to them over and over again (my issues 1-4 are within arm's reach at my desk at all times!). In the afternoon I went to Geoff Bowers "INSPIRE" session on FarCry, showing us how it's more than a content management system. Well, it still is a content management service but it has certainly grown up a lot. He showed how it can create an entire site skeleton from a simple text-based site map (it generated all the navigation and sub-navigation and stub pages automatically). The "webtop" for entering and managing content is very, very impressive - intuitive, slick and powerful. The entire system is driven by metadata on your CFCs and he showed how easy it is to create custom content types, including ORM-style joins, and then apply custom rendering. A sort of super-scaffolding-wizard. He built a multimedia slideshow application in fifteen minutes, making good use of FarCry's administration scaffolding and ColdFusion 8's various features including, of course, the cfpresentation tag! Personally, I'd like to see a few more hooks in FarCry to support building serious application models behind the scenes (and I talked to Geoff about this after his talk, as well as getting some insight from Jeff Coughlin on how to hack around the deficiency). It inspired me to promise that I'll have yet another attempt at installing FarCry and giving it a more serious test drive. And then it was all over. No more sessions. No more food and drink and parties. At least until MAX 2008 in San Francisco in mid-November, right on my doorstep. So, in summary:
  • It was huge. I know everyone has said that but it really cannot be overstated just how vast MAX was this year. The keynotes were overwhelming and loud. The building was vast. I've had more exercise walking between sessions this week than I've had in the last six months!
  • It offered the biggest variety of sessions that I've ever seen at a conference. Insane amounts of choice. I have to admit, sometimes the choices were overwhelming and in the absence of making a decision, I simply wandered the corridors chatting to people and hung out in the community lounge
  • It felt like I didn't go to many sessions - unlike some of the tech conferences I attend where I come away with my brain a mush from information overload - but I was always busy doing something at the conference. Tuesday in particular had a hollow feeling with an hour and a half for the general session and another hour and a half for the awards and sneaks (and in fact both ran over time) and then nothing in the evening - by which I mean no sessions... the party does not count.
  • Adobe sure showed off some amazingly cool stuff! Since I really don't do multimedia or even user interface work, very little of it was particularly relevant to me - but it made me feel good about Adobe's level of innovation and it was certainly encouraging to see the relatively high profile of ColdFusion in pretty much everything.

Tags: adobemax07 · coldfusion

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