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Keynote - John Wilker, Tom Ortega
The morning keynote was a showcase of different applications including Mixbook, Buzzword, TileUI, and Saffron. It was great to see what the community is doing with Flex and to get a preview of the beta invites everyone at 360|Flex received.
In addition to the showcase, John and Tom also launched their new project RIACommunity.com, and provided more information about how they make 360|Flex a reality - down to the budgets and specifics that I can't say I have seen shared by any other conference before. It truly showed that these guys are in it for the love of the community and not to make themselves rich.
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"FlexBuilder Debugger" - Mike Morearty, Adobe
This was the second or third session I attended that was given by a developer from Adobe. It was great to see Adobe contributing to the conference because it doesn't get any more official than to come from an engineer who wrote the code!
Mike's session focused on tips and tricks, and advanced debugging in FlexBuilder. In addition, Mike previewed the changes/additions in the upcoming FlexBuilder 3 release such as:
+ Debugger tooltips
+ Right-click "Watch Expression"
+ Hierarchical variables view
+ Faster stepping
+ No-launch debugging / remote debugging
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"Project Artemis: Accessing Devices & Processes in AIR" - Adam Flater
I think this session would have actually been better off titled "AIR & Java" because Project Artemis is based on linking AIR with Java on the end-user's computer. With the Java bridge in place AIR can link to Java and allow AIR to do anything on a user's computer that Java can do. For instance, this is how several people have gotten the Wiimote to work with AIR.
While the session allowed me to see what is possible with AIR and Java, it wasn't really for me since I don't develop in Java. Either way, Adam has given this talk at a few other conferences and had I been a Java developer, I am sure I would have been drooling with anticipation of this project's release.
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"Custom Flex Component Development" - Doug McCune
Most Flash and Flex developers have heard of Doug for one of two reasons: his FlexLib components, or his latest experiment TileUI. Doug's session was easily one of the best of the conference and certainly one where I learned the most. Custom component development is the major way of extending Flex, so knowing how to create your own components is essential for any advanced Flex developer.
Oddly enough, Doug gave out a (since removed) link to a beta of his TileUI interface and the next day when I got home a friend IM'd me with the same link. I believe it also made an appearance on Digg. Word travels fast!