This post is a little overdue as I left LA and MAX on 5th October, but I've been enjoying some much needed time off since then.
How was MAX?
Simple answer is "awesome".
Most if not all of you by now should be aware of the major announcements made during the keynote presentations. In terms of creative development, Adobe are making an asserted push to enhance the workflow and creative freedom for it's users. A few large announcements were made, including Adobe acquiring Typekit and Nitobi (developers of the immense Phonegap application).
Adobe's push into touch applications for tablets and mobile devices was incredibly exciting, and especially the announcement of the "Creative Cloud" (you have to say that part with a whisper to make it sound even more exciting). This was really impressive, and seriously highlighted some cool functionality and device syncing to really streamline and enhance the workflow of designers / developers.
For me, the most exciting of all touch apps to be released was Proto, the wire-framing tool for tablets. When I heard the phrase 'wire-framing application' I must admit I thought it would be something similar to Balsamiq.. powerful, but not original. I was totally blown away by the application, and cannot wait to get my hands on my copy when it's released.
Consider taking your tablet to a clients office and mocking up a web layout with them on site, using touch gestures and a library of components. The gestures themselves and the ability to create core elements with a swipe of the finger was amazing. That was enough to impress me, but what really set this application apart was the ability to upload the mock up to the *whisper* Creative Cloud *whisper* and pull down or sync to your desktop / laptop device and import the generated HTML, JS and CSS skeleton files into Dreamweaver to start building the site! That was impressive, and I can see so many possibilities for this application. From what I saw when playing around with it, it's built to work on the grid layout system, and as such you can select to create a full screen or mobile device size site from a simple drop down box. Very very cool!
If you haven't seen them, check out the official keynote presentations online: Day One - "Creativity Unleashed" and Day two - "Creating the very best user experiences".
Sessions and Presentations
I was very busy this year at MAX with three sessions in total (almost a fourth) and as such sadly didnt have much time to sit in on many of the official sessions or labs. Most of the time was spent at the ColdFusion Unconference event in the community pavilion, and as always the level and standard of presentations and topics were superb. Big thanks HAVE to go out to Ray Camden, Scott Stroz and Ezra Parker for their hard work and dedication in setting up and running the unconference. They did a superb job.
One of the most fun presentations in the unconference was Tim Cunningham's Fishbowl session. Changing the layout of the area to sit 'in the round', this was a really great session and focussed on interactivity by inviting all attendees to get involved by sitting in one of five hot seats in the middle of the room. The initial discussion was based on best practices of a modern ColdFusion developer, and it was interesting to hear not only points raised on this subject, but where the topic naturally evolved into something else.
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Tim did a great job of chairing this session, and I for one would love to see this return as a regular event at MAX.
CodeBass Radio were hitting MAX full force with interviews and live shows, managed by Vicky Ryder and Ben Farrell. These guys did a superb job, and managed to rope the majority of the ColdFusion crowd in to a (more or less) impromptu live show with Dave Ferguson and Scott Stroz (the disembodied voices of the immense CFHour podcast, this time with bodies well and truly attached)
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By the end of the hour-long 'show' we had quite a crowd of people around the booth and joining in on the various random discussions. It was great fun to be a part of this, and big thanks to the CBR team for working so hard throughout the event.
Big thanks go out to two organisations from me. Every attendee at my official mobile development BYOD Lab "Mobile apps from 0 to 90: Powered by ColdFusion" received a little treat.
The fantastic folks at Host Media UK provided limited edition monkeh USB sticks. These contained all of the lab asset files, completed projects and the complete 60 page workbook so everyone had a copy they could work on in their own time / their own pace. They looked superb, and also had details of Host Media's ColdFusion hosting services to help attendees set up their own remote CF server account if they needed.
The awesome folks at iBend who provided each attendee with one of their iBend mobile device stands - small enough to store anywhere and such a simple but elegant way to hold your mobile device. These were perfect for attendees to prop their mobile devices during testing and debugging so they could easily see their screens.
A big THANK YOU to both of you!
For me one of the most important thing at MAX is the interaction and time spent with other community members. It gives you the ability and chance to chat in person to people who you know very well from social media sites and various forums, and actually catch up with them in person. I met many more new people this year whom I have known virtually for many years - thank you to them for putting up with the British accent and for their Dick Van Dyke impressions!
Also, thank you to everyone for their really kind words and comments on my various open source projects and the ColdFusion OOP book!
Adobe MAX 2012
MAX will be returning to it's home in LA next year between 20th - 24th October, 2012! Hopefully see you there!
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