Adobe MAX 2007 : Day 2

Posted on October 11, 2007

One cool thing about going to MAX with a group is that after the first day, you can help each other avoid sessions that might not cover what you had expected. I spent the day hearing about Integration, Wall Street and Design Patterns.

The Keynote

Bruce Chizen, Adobe’s CEO, was on stage to talk about how often he’s surprised at people’s reactions to Adobe technologies. In particular, he met most of the Dave Matthews band backstage at a recent concert and they almost missed curtain call talking with him about Adobe software.

The focus of this morning was on hosted services and new technologies.


Think of Adobe Thermo as Dreamweaver for Flex. For the on-stage demo they opened a layered Photoshop file in Thermo and proceeded to point and click around, transforming the PSD file into a mallable Flex document, MXML and all.

Picture this: one layer has the design elements for a search box. Right-click on that Photoshop layer, choose “convert to text input” and BAM! You’ve got a Flex text input field that’s styled exactly as it was in the PSD file. View-source and you see the underlying MXML for just that layer of the document.

Thermo has huge possibilities.

The Sessions

Inspire Session: Yahoo! Presents “Examples of Integration”

Various developers from the Yahoo team showed off their Flash and Flex developments, as well as their public APIs and Ajax tools. If you haven’t checked out the Yahoo! User Interface Library (YUI), do yourself a favor and give it a download.

A Virtual Trading Floor: Bringing Wall Street to the Classroom

“The Wharton Securities Exchange (WSX) is a virtual trading environment using an interface modeled after actual Wall Street trading software. WSX allows groups of students to trade simulated securities among the group in real time, using limit and market orders to understand the behavior and mechanics of exchanges.”

The original program was developed with Visual Basic (IIRC), which meant it needed to be installed to the desktop as a clent/server application. As they wanted to move the application to a broader audience, it became more and more difficult to maintain the VB codebase, especially when it had to work on newer operating systems that no longer supported the older VB libraries out of the box.

So they made the jump to Flex powered by Coldfusion and haven’t looked back. Now they can provide the application to more students in more schools as easily as loading a browser.

Inspire Session: Design Patterns and ColdFusion by Sean Corfield

I’ve been reading Sean’s site for many years, he’s an excellent presenter. I can’t recall if they recorded the session, but if it wasn’t, it should have been. The focus was on the concepts behind the patterns and which problems they solved, so there was very little code shown.

There were two big points that I hope most people took away from his talk:

  1. Design Patterns are sometimes implemented differently in Coldfusion than in Java.
  2. Most of the J2EE Design Patterns exist to fix problems that Java introduced to itself, so they don’t really apply to Coldfusion.

That second one cracks me up. :)

Leveraging ColdFusion with Adobe Integrated Runtime (AIR) Applications

This one was a packed house. Unfortunately, the presenter’s laptop had crashed earlier, so he wasn’t able to show the actual demos of the code. Since it had been a long day, most of my group bailed out of this session early.

This gave us ample time to get ready for the big party that night.

About the Author
Adrian J. Moreno

Adrian is a CTO and solution architect specializing in software modernization. More information