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360Flex - Day three

08:30am Last day’s Keynote by Ted Patrick

Tom Hobbs from the Experience Design group of Adobe presents how they developed the Tour Tracker a complex application tracking a cycling race with gps locations of the racers, links to Flickr feeds of the photo, video. It was done by 3 people in 6 weeks. Tom goes in detail through the iterative development they used, the team started building upfront and gradually added complexity. He presented the values the team where using to reach a great design. Great talk.


And now Ted Patrick on the “Next Flex”. He wants to talk about what Adobe and the people using Flex are working on. What he is going to show us may not ship, Adobe tries to be open about what they are working on but may decide not to deliver it or deliver it later. They want to expand the reach of RIAs to include desktop, web and offline applications. They want to make it easier for web and enterprise application developers to learn Flex. They want to invest in the platform to server the needs of enterprises and the Flex ecosystem. They want to be much more Open and transparent, they want to build the next generation of Flex with everyone that is working with it. They are two release of Flex set for this year, Moxie and Borneo. The next generation of Flex will be build on the Flash Player 9. They want to better integrate Flex with CS3 (Flash, Fireworks, Illustrator and Photoshop). He now stops and show the integration with Fireworks. In Fireworks he can drag Flex components on a Fireworks image. FW implements scale 9. Is building a UI in Fireworks. In FW he can changes the properties of a Flex components. The he can export the image a MXML and images. Now a designer can prototype a Flex application without using Flex right from Fireworks. The next piece of the puzzle is “Borneo”, the next version of the Flex Data Services. Integrates with LifeCycle. The team has rewritten the mx:WebService to support better SOAP. Moxie is the next version of the Flex SDK and Flex Builder with improved “Language Intelligence”, integrated Profiler, enhanced Design View, Data integration, enhanced DataGrid and Lists. He now shows a demo of it. FlexBuilder 3 now has a refactor method where a method can be renamed right from it’s use. It has also variable renaming. command-shift-j finds cross class all the uses of a given method/variable. Flex and Apollo They are working on a Apollo plugin for Eclipse. Will be release at Apollo camp on March 16th. FlexBuilder will host an Apollo Project. Flex Ecosystem Flex is more than Adobe. It’s fantastic. He now shows some examples. ESRI, the world is not flat! ESRI created a set of components to allow vector mapping to be included in a Flex app with one or two tabs. Ted now shows a demo of these components. The next demo is from Farata Systems. Their background is from the PowerBuilder days and having lots of fun with Flex. FlexBI (Business Intelligence). He shows a customized data grid and can modify the view and the data to be retrieved. The gird is grouping, sorting and totaling the data. Now onto Flexlib. Darron Schall and Doug McCune published many of their components under the MIT license on google code. They also created a whole environment to allow the community to contribute. They have put a demo out at http://dougmccune.com/flexlib/keynote/.


Last thing is Yahoo. Yahoo provides open apis to allow 3rd party developers to make their site better. At this conference Yahoo provided the AS3 apis to their different services. Flex API Posters Everyone on the 360Flex mailing list (at the conference or on the waiting list) will get an email and will get the Flex API poster. Next 360Flex Now Ted asks Tom and John who created the conference to come up on stage and he talks about the future of the conference. Tom is asking who would be interested to do another 3 day conference in August. About half of the audience responds. He also asks who would be interested in a one day event in your city, 120Flex, and who if the topics should rather be introduction or advanced. Lots of interest for the one day event and no interest in the beginner sessions. And now three quick announcements from the Ebay team. 1) they are hiring 2) they are holding their developers conference in June 11th-13th in Boston ($350 for 3days) 3) An Ebay Actionscript open source library that is released today. Allows to use ebay easier. (http://adobe.com/go/ebaylibary, will be available shortly). Tom now thanks his team has he wasn’t very productive during this conference. End of Keynote.

11:00am Model-Driven Integration Strategies by Joe Berkovitz

Modeling: describing software abstractly
Integration: hooking up disparate components
Strategy: an overarching approach to a problem
Model-Driven Integration Strategy: An approach that uses abstract descriptions of drive the hookup of disparate components.

He will mostly talk about transformation tools: Axis, xdoclet, xdoclets2, XSLT. He will not talk about these tools directly but about Hamachi, a generator generator. Hamachi can generate Value Object, and Cairngorm classes. Hamachi use a language neutral XML format. All right…I am out of this talk. If I need Hamachi I will look it up, but some guys from Adobe are about to publish a FlexBuilder plugin for Cairngorm, that’s all I would need for now.

05:10pm Ok it’s a wrap. I am at the airport on my way back to Denver and a little dazzled. Lot’s of Flex during the last three days. But I must admit that the Flex team created an awesome platform that showed it’s potential during this conference. It’s gonna be the year of Flex and many companies at the conference (Yahoo, Allurent, Ebay, Adobe, Userplane and others) where looking for people willing to dive into Flex. There will more Flex applications developed this year than ever before. So keep an eye open for Flex. For me it’s gonna be back to consulting work tomorrow and I have a big Flex project to “finish” for the end of the month. So I may not have time to play with all the cool new stuff I learned. I hope you enjoyed my attempt of live coverage of the event. Have fun!

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