Friends from Farata at MAX

My friends from Farata Systems, Victor and Yakov, were at MAX. Yakov spoke on Flex Frameworks at 360 | MAX, was part of a panel discussion on the subject and also preseted a BOF on the subject. Unfortunately, I missed his BOF, because I was busy running my own the same time. It was fun hanging out with Victor and Yakov and catching up. We (i.e. Saven and Farata) worked together (along with friends from Digital Primates  — the Mike, Mike and Jeff trio)  to bring the super successfull Flex Camp Wall Street earlier this year and hope to bring back a turbo charged second edition as soon as the stock market shows signs of a better appetite!

Here is a picture from Monday (Novemebr 17th) morning, where you see Victor and Yakov with Anthony T. DeBonis (the coordinator of a vibrant Flex/Flash user group in Albany, New York).


Anthony, Victor and Yakov at Max

Anthony, Victor and Yakov at Max

How Was Adobe MAX 2008 San Francisco?

After months of build-up, Adobe MAX 2008 (North America) managed to live up to its expectations! Its not unusual for conference organizers to over-promise — after all they want more and more folks to sign-up. However, this year’s MAX was hyped not only by its organizers but the general community ho-hum that something cool and big was coming. People knew Thermo, Flash on the iPhone and Flex 4 with its new workflow were in the oven, but there was the mystery around what the final baked product might look like and if something else was cooking that nobody had a clue of.

So with all this expectation in mind, I landed around midnight on Sunday November 16th in San Francisco. Caught on some sleep and got to the venue (the good old Moscone Center) at 8.00am the next morning. Well in time for breakfast and the opening keynote. The registration process was smooth but the breakfast was a huge disappointment. Hordes of people were gathered around a few tables. There was hardly any place to stand, let alone sit. It was difficult to find coffee in that mess. When I walked towards the rooms at the back I found plenty of coffee. The second day onwards it wasn’t so bad. Guess the bad experience of the first day breakfast had turned some people away. (See every bad problem finds its own solution!) Also, lunch was far better and well organize.

The first big thing of day 1 was the keynote. Of course day 1 wasn’t really day 1. Of late, most conferences are sold on the idea of the zero offset and end up having a pre-conference before the conference. Some believe its the warm-up day, some others believe its the revenue day (because of the paid trainings — beyond the regular conference attendance fee — on that day) and some others believe its the day to mingle with the community. Whatever the reason MAX had a day zero too and from what I heard it was fairly well attended. Ok, back to the keynote.

The keynote followed the format that has become established in almost all one company driven conference keynotes (think JavaOne, Oracle OpenWorld or MacWorld) —

  • Fancy audio, video and images — the eye catchers (Sherly Crow certainly makes the slides look better). There was a funky DJ with his turntable as well.
  • Big announcements — almost always expected
  • Key customers on stage — these folks had the Disney CTO and the Salesforce guy
  • Focus on Charity and changing the world — project RED was talked about (thank god it wasn’t someone like the JavaOne UN guy)
  • Political or Social celebrities on stage — they had Maria Shriver — the California first lady

Look at a few pictures from the keynote address —

(I found this online)

Continue reading

Adobe MAX Has Begun!

Max Starts at Moscone West San Francisco

Max Starts at Moscone West San Francisco

Its Monday November 17th and Adobe MAX starts at Moscone West in San Francisco.

Actually, like most conferences these days it started a day before the official day. Yes, Adobe MAX did have a pre-conference on Sunday and many attendees took advantage of the training opportunities.

However, the big start (a.k.a. the keynote) is only this morning and is actually going on as I write this post. Details on the keynote will come a little later today but you can see what the hall looked like just before it started.

Adobe MAX 2008 Keynote

Adobe MAX 2008 Keynote

Camps and Community (MAX BOF)

Come join me at the “Camps and Community” Birds-of-a-feather session at Adobe MAX 2008 in San Francisco. Its at Room# 2000 at Moscone West and starts at 9.30 PM on Monday November 17, 2008.

We will share experience from past Camps we have organized and participated in, for example:

We will also talk about community sites, events and more.
Bring in your questions and share your experience and ideas to make the community interaction and support better and more effective. Come and let us know how we can work together to organize more camps and more community interaction opportunities.
Remember that I am not an Adobe employee and very much a part of the community like you. I am happy the Adobe folks chose somebody from the community to run this session. Now, lets get the most out of this opportunity and share and learn from each other.

Here is the schedule for all the sessions that are part of the BOF and “Meet the Team” lineup.

Birds-of-a-feather and Meet the team at Adobe MAX 2008

Birds-of-a-feather and Meet the team at Adobe MAX 2008

The one listed on the first row that starts at 9.30 pm is the one on “Camps and Community”. You can also access the details from the Adobe MAX North America site by clicking on the “Highlights” link. Here is the url —

See you there!

Win a Copy of Advanced Flex 3 at MAX

Thanks to our publishers friends of Ed (APress), we are giving away 4 copies of Advanced Flex 3 at MAX 2008 next week. Stop by at the 360 | MAX booth, where you will surely find Tom and John (and me, many times in the day), and register to enter the daily raffle. You enter the raffle once and remain a hopeful for all three days. We will pick one winner (and two on the last day) randomly from the list of registered folks everyday and announce the winners right then. The winner goes out of the list and the rest are all carried forward to the next day. So the earlier you enter the better chance you have of winning. Good luck!

Advanced Flex 3

My Positon on the JCP and the JCP EC

Election for JCP EC members is in progress and by next week a new committee will be in place. So it’s an important time to understand where the JCP stands and what the EC members can possibly do to make things better for the JCP and the Java community. 

Simply stated, JCP is a member driven organization to create standards for the Java language and the platform. Ideally, it intends to be the common aggregation point for all the voices in the community. Unfortunately though, it’s still far away from realizing this dream. There are over 10 million programmers and thousands of companies that actively use Java to create their products and deliver their services. However, there are less than 1500 JCP members as it stands today. In addition, only a handful of these 1500 are active in proposing JSR(s), participating in Expert Groups or providing active feedback on the specifications. Therefore, JCP hardly represents a majority of the community. 

Why is it important that a majority of the community take active part in the JCP? Standards make sense only when they are adopted by a large majority. In the case of Java it means,

  • companies that make Java tools and products need to make their products and offerings comply with the standards and
  • developers and service providers who use Java in creating applications need to adopt and accept it.

The current gap is evident from the fact that many JCP created standards are hardly in use. For example JSR 69 (Java OLAP Interface), which was approved back in June 2004, never had a “final release” and is hardly supported by the OLAP vendors or developers today. There may be a small group still using it but alternative standards have rendered it useless from the time it was still being created. 

Things are improving though! Over the last few months we have seen an increased participation from all corners. This is making specifications more relevant and meaningful. However, it’s not enough yet and a lot more participation from the community is required.

Continue reading