Back from MAX

2008 November 23rd by todd anderson

Just got back from Adobe MAX and a sweet short vacation for the missus and i. Been to SF only once, when i was 9, and all i cared about were Garbage Pail Kids and pleading with my mom to buy me some Nikes. Needless to say, i remember – i think – a lot more about this last trip.

I was overjoyed to be able to sit on the Flex Architecture Face-Off panel with Chafic Kazoun, Josh Noble and Yakov Fain. They are amazing architects with strong beliefs and open ears. We had a pretty good turnout and the session ended up being sold out. Only noticed one person walk out, but as it turns out they were over-caffeinated…

It was my first MAX and i didn’t know what to expect with the record-breaking attendance and my bundle of nerves. All said, i really enjoyed it and renewed my interest in the software platform that constantly evolves and inspires me to keep digging even after the workday is over. Of course it was centered around Adobe products, but i truly got the sense of it being a presentation rather than being force-fed. A lot of great things are on the horizon and even though i am a mark-up snob in a sense, i love the direction that the Flex platform is taking. Would have liked more ‘inspire’ sessions, but Ryan Taylor, Andre Michelle and Mario Klingemann kept me wide-eyed and ready to go back to my room to code… although there always seemed to be free beer that blocked the exit :)

Adobe also sponsored a party on Tuesday night at the de Young and Science Academy. I thought that these were venerable institutions in Golden Gate park, but it was dark and as I later found out after going with the missus again later in the week that the are relatively new. If you are in the SF area anytime soon, i highly recommend checking them out. That was a great night with two great museums and some really great friends… plus me and Josh schooled some poor saps in Foosball… after i got schooled in NBA Jams by Ash – rematch, all i’ll say.

Some people found me after our panel and had some questions about things i brought up that i wish i could have gone into further:

  1. As far as specs, docs and architecture go, I think your best bet is Enterprise Architect. That is, unless you are on a Mac in which case it is not available and i prefer Omnigraffle.

  2. I briefly mentioned Prana and IoC as a segue from scaffolding and I wish i had more time to devote to it during the panel. Though Mate does support some dependency injection for their event mapping, it is compiled in and i prefer an external application context that can be configured for runtime. We use it heavily at Infrared5 and I would whole-heartedly suggest you look into it for your next project – Prana developed by Christophe Herreman.

  3. On the panel, we were all familiar with Cairngorm and mostly use it when business requirements and dev team size makes it a perfect fit. But i did bring up the black hole of state control that comes with it… in my opinion. I am quite taken with how PureMVC handles state through mediators, but i have other weight-baring problems with PureMVC that i can’t get around that make me choose Cairngorm when it comes to incorporating a micro-architecture into our projects. I basically said that i hate throwing string-denoted state on the ModelLocator that is bound to a view. I can’t stand it, but i do it because i know that developers are familiar with it. In my personal opinion i think this is the best case for the Strategy pattern. I like the Mediator pattern as well, but i think there is too much baggage and extra code that needs to be thrown in an if..else of I know that Strategy is behaviour pattern but i see it fitting in nicely with presentation as well. I can go into that farther in another post if you all want, but i just wanted to convey that even though you might represent a simple string on a global model, i think you are losing the loose-coupling infrastructure… but don’t even get me started on Singleton models… this 3 point has already run too long.

In any event, if you sat in on the panel, I would love to hear your thoughts – good, bad and ugly. Leave a comment… and bundle up, it’s cold here in boston.

Posted in Conferences, Flex, Infrared5, Prana.