Adobe Max Day Two - General Session Keynote by Kevin Lynch

After the first session of day two, everyone came back to the General Session room for a the second half of Adobe's keynote to the attendees.  This was more of the previous day's self serving adobe update for everyone.  The first day's keynote was about what we've done with Adobe, and today was about what Adobe is doing for us.

Bruce Chizen speaks

As a huge surprise, current CEO of Adobe, Bruce Chizen, took the stage and addressed the crowd.  He began to talk about how hard is to be mister big bad CEO of a large company.  Yeah.. poor him and his million dollar salary.  But his speech ended on a good note.  The whole slogan of Adobe Max is to Connect, Discover and Inspire.  He thought it was great to see so many people inspired by the works of others and to connect with each and spread the word of Adobe.

Chizen explained that even though their job was to Inspire, it is truly us.. the designers and developers that inspire Adobe to make these products in the first place.  Adobe is our instrument to create, and in turn, we are their instrument to create.

The rest..

The rest of the speech talked about Servers, Services and Tools of current Adobe.  The only service that was truly amazing was Scene 7.  This is a Image Server that converts images in realtime.  You host an image on this server, and you can send it any number of parameters that will change the image on the fly.  Extremely helpful for generating previews and being able to zoom in on online photos.

The other interesting thing in the rest of the speech was a new tool called Thermo.  Thermo is a new Adobe program that will generate a running Flex application from importing a Photoshop document.

In this day and age, nearly all websites are mocked up in Photoshop.  Once the design is done, you begin coding this thing in HTML and CSS to make it move and work the way you'd like.  Thermo cuts out this step by creating the page for you.  Simply import that Photoshop document and the page is creating.  Of course, you'll need to do a little bit of editing to make things work.

Textbox?  If you've mocked up a text box on your page, right click your input box and sample text and click on 'convert to textbox'.  BAM, you've got a textbox that's completely operational and retains the text information from the sample text.

Next up was a List View complete with scroll bar and sample data.  He had one of these all mocked up on his page, but with a simple right click with the sample images selected.. BAM, you've got a list of objects.  You can adjust the margins of these images, and use a time-line to create roll over effects.  Pretty snazzy!  All using the UI.

Next up was the scroll bar.  He had one of those mocked up underneath these images.  With more right clicking on those components, BAM.. you've got a scroll bar.  You have to specify which object is the scroll bar, the arrows, and the container though.  But wait..  how does the scroll bar know which data it's looking at?  Simply move a little handle over to the list and BAM.  The scrollbar now works with the list!

In 20 minutes, you've already mocked up all the basic functionality of the website with actual Flex code behind it.  You can easily deploy this thing for client, no problem..

Well, i'm sure you've already seen the problem with this..  The code generated by this program has got to be the most god awful, unmaintainable code in existence.  Do you remember when Dreamweaver first came out?  All the CSS was inline and it did not tear down any tags it created.  A coder would shoot himself before ever trying to make a change on that pile of shit.

Way to go Thermo!  Let's usher in a new age of horrible web code that will create more problems than it solves.


That was about all I got out of that session.  Scene 7 is bad ass, Thermo is ass bad.  Of course, all the designers shit their pants when they did anything with Thermo.  The gasps in the audience were really disheartening..

It reminds me of a quote said by Ted Neward of Java fame.. "You should always under stand one level of abstraction below of where you are working"  Meaning, if you design a webpage, you better be damn sure you know HTML and CSS.  If you develop JavaScript, you better be damn sure you know about DOM objects and Browser differences.  If you don't know the abstract you're building on top of, then you have no right to develop on it.

So, if you're using Thermo and you don't know Flex..  don't even touch the thing.  Learn Flex concepts and some syntax, and then begin developing your UI in Thermo.  You'll probably see just how horrible a program it is and thank yourself in the end.

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