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Adobe MAX 2008: Tuesday – Keynote

November 19th, 2008 Posted in General Media / Stuff, MAX 2008

The second day keynote at MAX is always a more laid back, humors look at what Adobe is doing. This year’s focus is much more on designer / developer workflow and enabling much stronger cross-application and cross-discipline integration. I took notes on the fly and I will post the highlights here and the full notes after the jump.


  • Flash Catalyst’s (codenamed Thermo) ability to directly import PSD, AI, PNG files, maintain their complete layout structure and content yet the output is a Flex App. Aaron and I will blog a lot more about Catalyst, its current feature set for the public preview and how we see it changing workflows within a project and the community.
  • Flash Alchemy, an Adobe Lab technology that translates C/C++ code into ActionScript 3. Alchemy demo’s included the classic Quake port example shown last year, a NES ROM emulator, OGG file reading / playback and encryption functionality using standard open source libraries.
  • Dreamweaver CS4’s ability to “freeze” an Ajax application in Live View and the inspect the current state of the application’s JavaScript and the CSS/HTML layout.
  • RMFTP – A new video / audio protocol within Flash Player 10 that supports the ability to enable peer-to-peer communication without the requirement of FLash Media Server as a single point of contact / distribution.

Full Notes

  • As usual, the 2nd session is all fun and games. They have a hysterical kick off presentation using a “spy theme” where they are looking at new “tech”, very much the Bond meets Q to see the new toys.
  • Ben Forta is showing an AIR application that controls home lighting / control. The AIR app is the front end UI to the growing popularity of “smart homes” that have automation systems throughout the house.
  • Doug Winnie is stepping up in the “Design Lab”. Go DOUG!
  • Looking at Flash / InDesign integration. ID can export XFL which is imported into Flash Authoring. Fully editable. XFL is an XML file format that represents Flash content. This is similar to FXG but is Flash Authoring specific. I am not quite clear on the differences between FXG and XFL, but as I learn more I will share.
  • Demoing bones support in Flash CS4 and the ability to save animation presets.
  • PSD now has the ability use the image resampling tech demo’d last year. What this means is that you can scale an image vertically or horizontally and Photoshop has the ability to intelligently scale the image to retain scale ratio of core elements within the image. The example they used is the ability scale a picture horizontally of surfers at the beach and the surfers are not scale/skewed but the water and mountains in the background are resampled to manage the scale. Really hard to describe in type, you have to see it fully grasp how amazing this is.
  • PSD can now automask out all soft areas across multiple layers, create masks and then resample into a single image. The use case was having a series of photos that each had a section that was slightly out of focus. The new feature enables the user to select all the images and then intelligently blend them to create a seamless and in-focus image.
  • 3D image loading and control with in PSD. Can paint on, can add 2D images as skins to 3D content
  • Ryan Stewart and NJ are demoing Flash Catalyst
  • FC shares the same FLex Project, able to load PSD and keeps all layers and content from the PSD, Aaron and I are doing a presentation on this topic so expect a set of post all around Catalyst.
  • Introducing project Alchemy is a conversion/translation application that takes C/C++ code and converts it to AS3, demoed SHA1 SHA2 conversion, zork ports (yes ZORK!)
  • They used alchemy to create an OGG vorbis player, a RAW conversion app that imports and decodes RAW files. They then used the PNG conversion from AS3CoreLib to export the RAW file to PNG on the desktop. All alchemy runs cross frame so that it does not affect the rendering of content. This means that as the Alchemy code is running the rendering engine and continue to display and update the screen. This is very important for heavy proccessing like reading in a RAW or OGG file.
  • rendering PDF in Flash using C++ code that has been converted.
  • They then showed a quake port for AIR and NES Rom emulator
  • They are now demoing Flex Builder 4. First import of Catalyst FXP.
  • Now showing Cold Fusion Bolt IDE which is an Eclipse Plug-in. Code hinting, completion, coloring, query awareness for Cold Fusion.
  • FB4 has the ability to read PHP and CF backend APIs and exposes the API inside FB. This enables FB to handle mapping through the UI.
  • FB4 finally has the old Network Monitor feature back! The monitor is like a built in proxy that enables debugging and network communication within the Flex builder IDE. I worked on the Flex Builder 1 version when FB was built on top of Dreamweaver. It was a killer feature that was pulled during the Eclipse port and kept being cut. So glad to see it back in action.
  • Ensemble is a new plugin for Visual Studio which enables Flex and .NET integration with an AMF C# application tool.
  • Showing AIR using Ajax and Ajax productivity in DW4
  • DW4 has the ability to freeze an Ajax application and then you can edit the content / CSS
  • Demoing how Google and Adobe are working on the virtual user and the headless player. (more on this later, we have tons of notes from the Flash Internals sessions)
  • Flash Media Server (FMS) 3.5 enables dynamic streaming which enables the ability to change resolution on the fly. This can be user or system driven. The amazing part is that when the res change is requested, such as from 420p to 720p video does not lose the current position or even stops playing (if you have the bandwidth)
  • They have a new Flash video encoder then enables the ability to toggle quality and provide multiple on-the-fly resolution streams for live content
  • They are enabling the ability to pause live streaming video from the Flash Media Server and enable a DVR experience.
  • Flash Player peer-to-peer Flash Player communication for video and audio streams using a new protocol called RMFTP

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