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Flash on the Beach 07 / Day 2 / Sessions

"Flex and AS3 Worst Practices" - Ted Patrick, Adobe
"Perceptive Interactions and Alternative Interfaces" - Craig Swann
"Let's Talk About SWX, Baby!" - Aral Balkan
"Next Generation Sites with Papervision 3D" - Carlos Ulloa
"Flashing Flex" - Tink (Stephen Downs)
"Breaking Away" - Robert Hodgin
"Inspire Session" - Erik Natzke

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"Flex and AS3 Worst Practices" - Ted Patrick, Adobe

Ted's session was informative, but he really just used Flex as a means for discussing best practices for any programming language or development framework. Although I felt like the title was a bit misleading, I certainly left at the end of the session with some great pointers for future Flex development.

He started off explaining some 'best practices' for overall development such as why you should create written project requirements before coding, and why you should use version control and bug tracking. He then went into explaining how Flex is extensible and thus should be extended to suit your needs.

Overall a good, solid session.

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"Perceptive Interactions and Alternative Interfaces"
- Craig Swann

Last time I saw Craig spoke I immediately went online and ordered a Phidgets kit. The projects he has created over the years started this mini-revolution of getting Flash to interact with the real world -- not just a virtual, online one. He also has this great way of looking at Flash as a way to play, not just make functional applications for business.

This philosophy was evident again during Craig's session where some slide titles included "R&R = R&D", "Happiness is the fuel for creativity", and "If you change the way you look at things, it changes the things you look at." Craig has this real gift for creating interactions that are outside the computer, and I have no doubt that comes from his 'play' mentality.

Craig's sessions are always inspirational for both developers and designers, and this was certainly no exception.

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"Let's Talk About SWX, Baby!" - Aral Balkan

I had seen Aral's session at FITC where I was pleasantly surprised to see him feature the GalToGalWalk site I had built using SWX in his talk. I know Aral has been hard at work on SWX, so I attended this session as well to see the new advancements he had made and show my support for his amazing contribution to the Flash community.

Although Aral had some minor technical difficulties with his internet connection during the session, he recovered very well and ended up giving a great talk. I was happy to see he had updated his talk a little bit to cover additional information, so I didn't end up sitting through the exact same talk as I did at FITC.

New features announced at FOTB included .NET, Ruby and Java implementations of the SWX gateway, as well as a more formal announcement on the forthcoming AS3 SWX implementation.

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"Next Generation Sites with Papervision3D" - Carlos Ulloa

Papervision3D seems to be the talk of the town when it comes to open source Flash development. While I have had very little experience with it, I went this session for two reasons: to see what all the buzz was about in terms of real world development (i.e. what has been done with it to date), and to see some code.

Carlos did a great job in giving an overview of Papervision3D and its capabilities, covering topics such as planes, cubes, models and cameras. In addition, he showed off some sites he calls "Next Generation" which include transitions, navigations, exploration, and interaction all in one site.

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"Flashing Flex" - Tink (Stephen Downs)

I was really happy to see Flex represented at FOTB as much as it was -- mainly because this was a sign that the conference had some good sessions for developers, and wasn't only inspirational sessions for designers. Tink did a great job in catering to the development community, and had a packed house to show for it.

Tink started off by showing some sites that were developed in Flex but look nothing like the standard Flex UI, such as http://www.miniusa.com. He then dived into how to create a custom preloader, applying styles through all the different methods, skinning through the various methods, and also transitions. All in all, Tink provided one of the most code-heavy technical sessions and I afterwards I felt like I walked away having learned a thing or two.

Be sure to check out Tink's comments on the conference as well as all the source code from his talk on his blog.

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"Breaking Away" - Robert Hodgin

If you haven't heard of Robert's work, you need to check out his site now. Robert works mainly with Processing now, but his roots are in Flash. Over the years he has done some amazing generative and programmatic artwork that, at times, can be extremely hard to put into words. That said, his session would also be extremely hard to put into words, so I'm not even going to attempt. Instead, below are some photos of his wonderful work that I took during his presentation. I also suggest you check out his blog for more information, including his thoughts on the conference.

Robert Hodgin 01

Robert Hodgin 02

[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.jonnymac.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2007/11/robert_hodgin_video.swf" height="360" width="400" /]

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"Inspire Session" - Erik Natzke

When I attended FlashForward in Austin and Erik had to cancel his presentation, I was extremely disappointed I wasn't going to get to see him speak. So you can imagine my excitement when I found out he was presenting at FOTB this year. And really, there couldn't have been a better forum for Erik's talk than an 'Inspire Session' -- a new format at FOTB where you come back in the evening and get a free beer and do nothing but... get inspired.

Just like with Robert's presentation, this is a hard one to put into words. While Erik works mostly with Flash, it appeared he too has some experience with Processing. Check out the full presentation at http://play.natzke.com, and you'll see why I couldn't exactly put into words what Erik is capable of.

Erik Natzke

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jonnymac blog » Flash on the Beach 2008 Schedule said,

September 24, 2008 @ 4:50 pm

[…] you’d like to see all my write-ups on last year’s FOTB conference, you can view them here: Day 1 Day 2 Day […]

jonnymac blog » Flash on the Beach 08 / Day 1 / Sessions and Adobe Keynote said,

October 17, 2008 @ 8:01 pm

[…] been a proponent of changing Flex from its standard skin or design since well… last year when I saw him speak at FOTB 07 about including Flash elements in Flex (which inheriently makes it looks 10x […]

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