Monthly Archives: October 2007

Just a quick note, firstly to say that the Live from London Diggnation is now online, but also to congratulate two of my Bournemouth coursemates who’ve been deservedly recognised for their final major project efforts.

Arni Lochner has received a Top Talent Quality Seal from the Europrix Multimedia Top Talent Awards for his online interactive graphic novel The Eighth Day. The final nominations can be found here.

Secondly, Leo Lanksford has made it to the shortlisted final four in the Student category of the 2007 BIMA Awards with project Medialib, a portal for students to upload and share media they’ve produced in order to collaborate and discuss each others work.

Good Luck and well in.

So last night I was able to attend the my very first London Flex User Group meet, organised by the guys at Emak Mafu, kindly hosted by those at Poke.

First up was meant to be a walkthrough/demo/first look from the people at doof.com, who’ve developed a fully Flex-based ‘casual gaming and social networking site’, but a beta bug meant their presentation was prematurely cut short. I’d already had a play beforehand anyway without a hitch and it’s pretty nice. They’ve gone further than a lot of other Flex projects I’ve seen, it’ll be good to see it at full tilt when all the bugs have been ironed out.

Simon Gladman took over demonstrating WatchFaceBuilder, a CAD-like application process for designing custom built watch faces. His self-proclaimed debut outing in Flex, it also uses Cairngorm, which I first encountered a while back. I was surprised how easily Simon claims to have emigrated from Flash to Flex and how much of this he puts down to Cairngorm.

The night’s main event was a comprehensive an insightful talk with Mike Potter from Adobe’s Flex product marketing team. Running through the top picks in recent Flex and AIR development, he covered a fair amount of the usual apps as expected, but also some that deserve far more attention.

Firstly on behalf of Adobe, there’s Photoshop Express, essentially a lite Photoshop in the browser, online, but as he admits there’s already Picnik doing very well – which personally was probably the first Flex app I’d ever seen and catalyst to start learning. But he compares Photoshop Expresss to Premiere Express, Adobe’s parallel Flex/brower-based video editing software, which already powers YouTube’s video editing and MTV’s Remixer contest. Where a number of independent Flex apps lock features for premium users, Photoshop Express could be a angled as a could-be de facto standard to power any kind or number of image manipulation online platforms.

There’s Bluestring, from AOL, which lets users upload, store and share files, video and images, as if we need another, but what’s more interesting is even if the idea might be already becoming redundant, companies the size of AOL are investing considerable amounts in Flex.

Buzzword is impressive, this is basically for word processing what Picnik is for photo editing. Far more responsive and comprehensive than say Writerly, it pretty much is what-you-see-is-what-you-print unlike a lot of other online word processors. Needless to say, it handles Word .doc files and has an amount of saving/sharing options to boot.

Other links of interest, the Flex showcase (generally), Mike’s new blog RIApedia, Adobe Share (more file sharing), the new Adobe DevNet, the Adobe Media Player and eBay’s desktop/San Dimas project can now be found at http://desktop.ebay.com.

Followed was a lengthy, pretty sincere feedback session for Mike to take with him back to Adobe. Overall an insightful evening, good stuff.

Oh and free beer and FLEX STICKERS? – Sold ;)

Managed to get to ExCeL last night to see Kevin Rose and Alex Albrecht’s first live Diggnation in the UK. Can’t say I’ve ever watched one but went along anyway and it was pretty good stuff, I’m now subscribed :)

I only caught one half of LFPUG this month, Jolyon Russ ‘Introduction to AS3: The First 5 Things You’ll Want to do With ActionScript 3, unfortunately missing Tink‘s Papervision3D Effects for Flex – he’s recently posted a promise to upload the source soon though.

I’ve recently found and registered with the London Flex User Group, who’ll next be meeting on October 10th – looking forward to it!

Update (10.10.07): Tink’s source files and a video of the presentation can be found here.

Keep goin’ straight until night and then boy, you’re on your own.