I think the Library Panel in Flash Catalyst is one of the most important parts of the product when it comes to working in a team environment and the design-develop workflow (more on that in a later post). I’m also trying to do more small, detailed Catalyst tutorials as we ramp up to MAX, so I’ve posted a tutorial on using the Library Panel. Most of this will be pretty obvious but there are a couple of nuances to what shows up in the Library Panel so hopefully it’s valuable to folks. I suggest toggling into full screen mode so the tutorial is actually watchable.
It looks like Ted posted Mark’s session on Flash Catalyst at FITC. There is some new info there and he goes into a lot more detail than Kevin did in his Web 2.0 demo of Catalyst because he has the whole hour. It’s a great look at how the product is coming along. Enjoy!
I just posted over on the MAX blog about the fact that MAX is going to be the only way you can get your hands on Thermo early. But Thermo is also going to finally get it’s grownup name at MAX. I’m not spoiling that surprise but I did want to give you a quick look at the new logo. Enjoy! Go MAX! Go MAX Europe!
It’s a little tough when you live inside the Adobe bubble to step back on release day and talk about all the “new” stuff (and some bug fixes) that you’ve been talking about for months. But Flash Player 10 is a big release, so I’ll do my best. As I’ve said a bunch over the past couple of months, I felt Flash Player 9 was a developer-centric release. We rewrote the virtual machine, introduced ActionScript 3, released Flex 2, and essentially laid the groundwork for rich Internet applications. We created the train tracks for more complex, interesting, and sophisticated applications in the browser. We’ve since extended those train tracks to the desktop with AIR and into the world of real time collaboration/communication with things like BlazeDS and LiveCycle Data Services.
Flash Player 10 on the other hand, is in some ways about getting back to the core of what made Flash great in the first place – really creative people. We’ve got Pixel Bender which companies like Picnik are already using to enhance the graphical capabilities of their photo editor. We’ve got new 3D APIs that will help make it easy for anyone to add a 3D-like effect to their applications. We’ve got new drawing APIs and primitives that enable some very interesting visualizations and will go hand in hand with a lot of open source projects out there that were previously pushing the Flash Player further than most. We’ve also got new low-level text APIs that for the first time make text as rich as other aspects of the Flash player. I was showing off some of those text APIs a couple of weeks ago in Asia and they went over very well. It’s going to help the Flash Player become truly global.
With the importance of video we also added a lot of video enhancements. “Movestar” was our big video release with support for H.264, but in Flash Player 10 we’re enabling dynamic streaming which means your users can get the best possible picture that their bandwidth will support. That means smoother video playback and a better video experience.
So now that Flash Player 10 is out we’re providing the platform on which to build some very cool stuff. A way to blow people away with your creativity and vision. That’s going to be a major theme next year, I think. Adobe is a design company at its core. We make great design tools and we answer to designers. That provides us a big advantage in the increasingly design-heavy world of the web. Creative Suite 4 and Flash Player 10 are a great example of what’s possible. Flex 4 and “Thermo” are going to build on that so that when it all comes together it’s going to be the best platform around for great looking, fast, and cutting-edge applications. And if our penetration story sticks, in 6 months we’ll have upgraded the web again so you can just take it for granted and deploy those apps without a second thought.
Ted just posted a video of the day 1 keynote at 360|Flex in which Mark Anders shows off Thermo as well as FXG and Flash Player 10. It’s a great overview of the future of Flex and Flash and also a nice sneak peak of Thermo. I’m really excited to watch all of you guys play with Thermo. It’s been a fun and hard problem to solve. We’re also trying to be very open and transparent. We want to get your hands on it as early as possible, so we’re planning to make the bits available as soon as possible. The build probably won’t have the full bells and whistles, and the actual product release is still a ways off, but I think you’ll enjoy jumping in and kicking the tires while helping us drive features for the product as we march on to a 1.0 release.
I’m giving a few talks in the next couple of months, but with all due respect to the 360Flex guys, the one I’m most excited about is my MAX talk – Next-Generation Flex Authoring: In Depth. I’m not a huge fan of the title (and it may change) but I’m going to be providing walkthroughs and demos of Thermo and Flex Builder Next. If you’re interested in how to use Flex Builder and Thermo to collaborate between designers and developers, you’ll want to catch the session.
And what’s even better is that it’s a Monday session. That leaves you the rest of the week to attend Serge and NJ’s session on Creative Design for Flex Applications. They’re doing a 90 minute lab/workshop deep dive so you’ll be able to jump in and start messing with Thermo. Between my session and that lab, you should be all set to Thermoize your life. MAX is going to be kick ass this year and I can guarantee you that between Flex and Thermo, MAX is going to be ground zero for really revolutionizing the designer-developer workflow. And we’ve got a few surprises with regards to the platform and workflow that I think are going to make people very happy.
Here’s to better looking, more engaging applications.
A few minutes ago we posted a new build of the Flex SDK which includes a lot of the stuff we’re doing for Flex Next. This is your first chance to jump in and start playing with Flex Next features. A couple of my favorites are FXG and the new states model.
Ely Greenfield has a good video on Adobe TV about the new designer/developer workflow in Flex 4. We’re making a ton of improvements around the designer/developer workflow. That includes FXG, it includes Thermo, and it includes making it easier to work with our current design tools.
Now that it’s live, I’m going to be trying to do a ton of content/tutorials/info about how to use these. Right now I’m working on an online/offline sync demo for my talk at 360|Flex, but if this stuff interests you and you haven’t registered for MAX yet, you should – *hint*.
Rob Adams has been doing a bunch of user testing for Thermo and he has a post up that talks about the process. He describes it as “Thermo: The Board Game” and in reading it, that’s basically what it is because we’re using paper prototyping at the moment to see what works best for people. If you’re interested in the process or just user testing in general, it’s worth a read.
At Web 2.0 Expo, Steven Heintz gave a session on Thermo and after the session he sat down and talked to Rafe Needleman about it. They cover how things are done today and what make Thermo different. There’s not a whole lot of new content for people that have been following Thermo, but it’s targeted at more general designers, so you can share it with your designer friends.
Also, I still like “Devigner” better than “Devsigner” but I suppose “Devsigner” doesn’t sound quite as religious.