Thoughts from the Seattle Adobe AIR stop

Here are some thought from Adobe’s AIR Bus Tour in Seattle yesterday.

First, is that Adobe is laying out some serious money to promote AIR – they got a (literally) rock star bus, complete with beds, loads of electronics, and tour paint scheme. The event yesterday was at a nice restaurant which they rented for the day, and Adobe was very generous with food and drink, which was of a higher than average quality for a conference.

On the whole, the sessions were informative, although I wished that there had been a little more detail presented. There’s already been lots written about Flex and AIR/Apollo, so I’m not going to rehash any of that. Here are some of the more interesting tidbits that I picked up.

  • Kevin Lynch mentioned that when they opened the native code portion of shockwave, they only got extensions for Windows. It was pretty clear that they want to reach platforms besides Windows.
  • Mike Chambers reemphasized that point when he said that the amenability of WebKit to mobile (ported to Series 60 by Nokia, and now, of course, on iPhone) was one of the big reasons for their choice.
  • There’s some of sample code based on hacks that involve the GPS sensors, cameras, and other gadgets on the bus
  • Aptana is supporting AIR developement in their Eclipse plugin.

I also learned a new term from Lee Brimelow of Frog Design: a “deviner”, a person who has training as both a designer and programmer. I had never heard the term before, but it’s relevant to the content of the talk that Mimi Yin and I are giving at OSCON in a few weeks.

Ryan Stewart persuaded me to do a talk for the Ignite the Web sessions in the evening. I thought it fitting to give a presentation on “Openness and the Web”, based on the content of that string of blog posts that started my dialogue with the Adobe folks. The Ignite format (5 minutes, 20 slides switched at exactly 15 second intervals) is pretty demanding of speakers. I’d consider myself an experienced public speaker, but doing the Ignite talk had me pretty nervous. The delivery went well – I only had one gap where I got out of sync with the slides. Afterwards, John Dowdell, and Ted Patrick, as well as a few others, came to talk about the content of the talk. John and I traded thoughts and clarifications sporadically during the rest of the evening, and he told me that it definitely helped to have heard more from me in person. On the whole, it seemed worthwhile. The only downside is that now Ryan is trying to get me to sign up for the next Ignite Seattle.

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