Last week was Adobe Max, the biggest Adobe conference. This is always the event where Adobe announces all of their fun and interesting projects. They usually go over any product updates also, as they did this year with the CS4 suite. I wasn't lucky enough to get to go this year but the web is a wonderful place where I was able to keep up with it. The one issue is that it is sometimes hard to find the good stuff and this is the reason for this post.
Well, I'm not going to waste any more time. The first item to mention is the release of Adobe AIR 1.5. The new features of this release include the Flash 10 capabilities, encrypted local databases, and an updated WebKit. You can read more about these over at the Adobe Developer Center Adobe 1.5 Article. I am personally excited to see encrypted databases and the Flash Player 10 abilities. Mike Chambers also wrote a small blog post about the AIR release.
The Flash Platform is the next piece of news to talk about. In a nutshell it is the application platform that is enabled by the Adobe Flash player and Adobe AIR. The platform is built using all the different tools and technologies that Adobe has to offer. This is really more of an idea than anything else. But it is an idea that will hopefully guide the direction of Flash, Flex and AIR. There is a short two page document that explains it better than I can.
One of the parts of the aforementioned platform is called Flash Catalyst, previously Thermo, which is an application that hopes to narrow the work flow gap between designers and developers. In theory this is a great thing, but in practice it usually has its pit falls. The problem that could potentially arise is not having enough designers who know the tool - which I think this is one of issues that Expression Blend has. Adobe, though, is in a better position to get designers to start using a tool like Catalyst because of all those other Adobe apps designers tend to use. Anyway, I digress, you can learn more over at the Flash Catalyst Site. Ryan Stewart has a post covering some of the Catalyst news that has come out of the conference.
There were some other tidbits that came out of the conference that are intriguing. One of interest to any company or person who builds Flex or Flash applications for websites is the announcement from Google. They have developed an API to track analytics in Flash and Flex applications. You can get the full scoop from their blog post. Another interesting news release is aimed at bringing more .Net developers to Flex: Ensemble has created a plugin for Microsoft Visual Studio to code, compile, and debug Flex applications (Props to Developer Fusion for Info).
Lastly, I want to mention a new AIR application that has been created to examine a myriad of Flex examples and components. It is called Tour de Flex - check it out. Adobe has also put up videos of the Keynotes from the Max which can be viewed at the Adobe Max Video site. Well I hope someone found something interesting in all my rambling. Next year I hope to report from the conference itself.