Liveblogging MAX 2008 Day 1 General Session Keynote – Click Refresh!

So get ready for yet another liveblog, this year from Flashthusiast (as I can’t stick with the same blog it seems). I hope my battery lasts the morning.

The excitement is in the air. It’s palpable. We’re listening to Panic at the Disco of all things. People who are not me are taking pictures. Runes and MAX video stuffs are playing on giant monitors. Pretty – well, very – good setup, and us employees are allowed in the big room this year.

And it starts!

We have a turntable slideshow from some guy called Mike. A DJ guy in a suit.

We have videos playing — It’s Sean K and Tony D from the Flash team (whoo!) … and a bunch of other people on video… Grant Skinner and other Adobe enthusiasts I suppose. Duane N. Yep, Adobe enthusiasts.

And now it starts!

More after the jump!

MAX General Session intro by CEO – Shantanu:

Largest number of attendees at MAX, over 5000.
Event is going to be followed by MAX in Milan and one in Tokyo. Goal is to provide a great experience. One where hopefully you can connect, able to discover new ideas and information, and be inspired.
Record year for sponsorships, so thanks go to them.
Most of all to the attendees. Believe that the contributions of the users and technology leads to limitless possibilities.

Demographics of the world are changing, education, climate change, healthcare are on the minds. Changes in consumer and tech landscape. Consumers are demanding consistent experiences on devices, and at work and home. If you take advantages of these devices, is good for you. Location based services. Bar in the enterprise is rising. Consumers demanding more on consumer sites. Multi-screen experience in and outside of the browser. Experiences hinges on using these multi-screens. Purchasing, joining community, watching content – more you know about the customers, the better the experience you can deliver.

Our vision is to enable you to deliver the most engaging experiences on multiple screens, desktop, and the web. Hopefully all of you here today are using the Flash Platform which can help you have a tremendous impact.

Flash Platform can help you deliver this across all of these OSs and devices. CS4 and Flex Builder and “Project Thermo” offer you the solution for agile workflows that let you get work done faster and easier.

Project Thermo is a reality and it’s called Flash Catalyst. Preview build AVAILABLE TODAY to all of you MAX attendees (cheers!)

Better workflow, and addresses the Designer/Developer gap.

Also receive Gumbo, which is Flex “next” and lets you do a two way workflow.

To improve the development and deployment of these apps, Flash Player 10. Many people have already dones this. South Park has already done this and others will soon (Disney, Nickelodeon and others).

We want to work with partners to drive standards in Flash Player and the Platform.

Shantanu likes looking at the groundbreaking new apps – from govt, non-profit world and so on.

We’re looking at Product Red as an example. Video is playing.

Product Red has done incredible work, and raised over 100 million to fight AIDS. Looking for mechanism to supplement one time sales. What if they could offer a music discovery service in conjunction with these products and turn it into a monthly subscription that users could participate in. RedWire is born. For $5 per month, Adobe AIR delivers content each month. We’re looking at the AIR application. We’re looking at an issue, a very early version of Red Wire. It shows people showcased (stars), and surrounding this is information – the contributions and impact you have on particular causes. Plus you have music that you can listen to.

The idea that in addition to the app, there is a social media part to the app. The launch of this app will be later this year. Help drive change (applause).

“You are at the heart of where this technology is headed.”

Thanks us for the support of the platform.

Introducing to the host, CTO, Harry Potter. 🙂

Kevin Lynch

Main trends – how they’re transforming software. Looking at three.

1) Client and cloud computing. Shift how people are developing software – blend of client and cloud computing working together

2) Social computing. More connected to each other, and how that changes the experience. Friends are involved, humanding around you. How does this change what you do.

3) Devices and desktop computing. Shift to multi screen computing, and they need to work together to help people access content.

Each significant, and all happening at the same time.

Client and cloud.

We want to combine them and balance them together. Balanced appraoch with each. Taking advantage of services across the cloud. Overview of the client side, and then talk about the cloud side.

Innovation with FP10, released and adopted greatly. We can upgrade the capabilities on the web in less than a year. This means for you – you can delploy and have new technologies consistently and fastly. You can take advantage of it. FP10 introduces new stuff — speed up 3D, make text higher quality. FP10 has been made better based on what the community has been doing. Looking at FP10.

First example is a sound mixer – starts the music playing, and turns on different patterns. Music generated by the device. Adding reverb and stuff to the sound. Adds back beat. And he can add new devices to the thing, synth has been added, and attaches that to the mixer, and mixes that into the sound. Great example of what’s possible now with new audio capabilities — real time processing and mixing of audio in the player. You can also add in scripting. And 3D graphics can be rendered based on the audio – dynamic wave form analysis and has 3D effects from that.

3D exhibit from DeYoung Museum – 3D effects to look at his art. Using PixelBender effects to look at the images, done at runtime. Done live – don’t need to process before deploy.

Cloth demo – using the drawing API to do real time cloth animation – makes the cloth look 3D, and you can even add video to it (looks like video on waving cloth).

Drawing text using the drawing API, and drawing loops of text, and it’s animated. Support right to left text, complex scripts. Drawing Japanese text and animate it. is being shown. It’s a way to share images and edit them in place – new capabilities with PixelBender, so live effects added online at realtime. New filters applied. Language came from After Effects, now available at runtime. You can apply multiple effects at once too – realtime, live. New expressive capabilities.

Also have FP10 avialable preview release 64Bit. Available now!

Web Video.
Amount of video online has gone from 66% to over 80% of all video is in Flash online. Some of the best brands are using it. Representing here today CTO of Disney’s interactive media group.

Bud Albers. from Disney.
Essence of Disney’s Interactive Media group. Take rich storytelling and merge with aggressive commitment to technology and extend it to new media platforms. Roots in technology go way back at Disney. When created Snow White (30s) didn’t have way to tell the story the way he wanted to, so worked on a multi-plane camera used to get a richer 3D experience.

Led the adoption of Flash 10, H264. Done some unique and innovative things. Using storytelling medium – new ways, new medium. Common toolsets and move storytelling forward and push the boundaries to the next level. (Tell stories with no words).

Club Penguin as an example -Flash based rich immersible environment. Interactive storytelling. Millions of kids on the site simultaneously. Interact with kids who speak different languages. Bring the entire world together, shrink boundaries.

Video. has been #1 site for kids/families. Continued adoption, traffic – aggregate the content on their site, and bring video deeper into what they do. Events, specials, made for the medium features that will drive online viewing higher.

Giving a lot of examples of many Flash sites that they’ve done that have had massive traffic, driving up traffic. Multi platform efforts (TV to site).

Immediately after airing of an episode, said you could get the next episode online before it was on TV, record traffic to the site for 3 days.

Disney/ESPN/ABC – top on the web, and such.

Back to Kevin Lynch.

Kevin Lynch.

Continuing to deploy new functionality. Flash Player — 10million installs per day, so on the way to getting it out across the web. Kudos out to the Flash Player team (cheers). will use Flash to broadcast all of its games. Opening day 2009. And they’re working on an AIR app for fans. Most of the sports teams are using Flash now (he listed them, but it was too fast. Sorry).

Enabling local file system access, offline support, and so on are enabled – through AIR. Balances client and cloud computing. Take advantage of local processing, so on.

Over a million downloads of software to develop AIR stuff. Go to to install some AIR apps.

Releasing AIR 1.5, embeds FP10 into AIR. Including Squirrelfish for HTML. First to do a production release of Squirrelfish/Webkit. Support encrypted databases using SQLite. Text engine in FP10 going to enable a lot of new apps. Enable support of text inside FlashPlayer, that perhaps newspapers will use AIR.

Welcoming VP research and dev from New York Times, Michael Zimbalist:::

Next gen reader for news, giving a preview of what they’re working on:

New news reader using AIR 1.5 for global edition of New York Times (International Herald). Desktop app that brings you the current paper. Caches the up to date feeds so you can read the news online or offline. At the top, the app brings in the latest headlines and checks them regularly if you’re online.

Looking at one of the sections — he can resize the window, and the layout changes accordingly. The article summaries appear and thumbnails — designed the app so it works on different dimensions and screen sizes.

Selecting an article. It lays out dynamically with wrapping columns of text. The words hyphenate automatically, navigation is easy and you can navigate using arrow keys. Pagination with up and down keys, left and right will take you to the next or prev articles.

Also included visual navigation system called “browse”. You can flip between pages and scan the articles just like looking at pages of a real paper. And you can browse them using the arrow keys. Ads are within the articles too – and they’re interactive too, and you can click on them and it will launch a video of an ad. And the video is cached if you’re offline. Flash Video embedded within the app.

Crossword puzzle in the app too (applause). Crossword is often the reason people buy the paper, so wanted to make sure it’s in the application too. You can get clues and so forth.

Kevin Lynch.

Looking to bring apps like this for a variety of devices. Working on a mobile internet device (MID device) for AIR. Running intel processor. Keyboard and Linux processor on it. Developing AIR 1.5 for Linux, available next year.

Showing the Intl Herald Tribune app from above on the portable device. And all the layout and images are correct, and he can use the arrow keys – same xperience from the PC, and it’s now working on the device the same way.

California Museum launching their new website here at MAX. On the site you can learn contributions made by California, where things are (grapes, software companies, etc). ( being shown – go check it out).

Can take material from site and go into an AIR app for curriculum — you can create instructional material around the site content. Site is on a web page, and the AIR app is related to the site.

Inviting up to tell more about the above project

Ann Lewnes and first lady of California Maria Shriver (wow!)

Vision of the project and the idea behind it.

Idea is the freedom trail in Boston. Having grown up in that area and learning about it, thought could we do something like that in California. So many people move to CA but don’t know the history, only know the history of the variety of places they came from. Thought if could do this in an innovative way, could really educate people about these things. look forward to doing many different kinds of trails – technology trail, environmental trails, mission trails. And people could do their own trails. We can educate people about the culture, history, diversity of California.

Suggestion that there’s lots of kinds of trails that this audience could offer about what we know. Noted that this general session is like watching star trek – don’t know anything that’s going on up in the stage — so lots to learn from this audience. But noticed it’s 99% men here at MAX (how true!!!) so thought she’d stay 🙂 Could do a “mens trail”, or a “what men really like” trail.

Best way to give ideas is go to the website (link above). Later in 2009 will have the AIR app that ties in the website with curriculum.

Kevin Lynch again.

Cloud side of client and cloud.

Building a lot of services,, and working on more.

Exposing APIs . Going to show how easy it is to connect them. Tour de Flex being offered starting today at MAX. Really splashy intro that is so over the top. Suggestion team spent 80% of their time on that – People laughing.

Tour de Flex is a convenient way to understand the APIs. Visual. Can bring in language reference too. Cloud APIs. Amazon, over 200 examples and all with code that you can take advantage of. You can see the web service being called, and rendered on the screen. You can then see the source code being used to do that page. And then you can go and look at the amazon web services site.

Showing Twitter now. Can bring in Twitter feeds and send tweets using your applications, and you can learn more about it in this Tour de Flex thing. Now showing Salesforce sample application.

Working with to advance the cloud and connection with Flash Platform.

Welcome Steve Fisher, SVP Platform Division at Salesforce.

Share the revolutionary change that’s sweeping through software. Enterprise software has historically been where innovation has gone to die. Client server model has been about huge fees, long implementation, and reward has been time consuming upgrades. No room in model for innovation. But now there’s a new model for great experiences at front end and back end – deliver as a service over the internet. New business model that you pay for what you use, not for what the vendor wants you to use. Do this through AIR and Flex (of course).

Going to show site – all coming from the cloud. 87K custom applications being used on the site. 900 SAAS are available on this site. Runs over the internet, so don’t need to get servers and so on – infrastructure (engines, database, billing, provisioning, etc) is provided as a service instead. Focus on innovation and user experience instead of infrastructure. Now giving a demo of the site. Which you’ll have to imagine, because it’ll mean nothing if I start typing this stuff. General gist is that he’s showing Flex built stuff within pages – something kinda like the MAX session builder – so you might get this stuff. If not, go look at the MAX site again. Rich, seamless, lots of potential, scalable, secure, feature rich, cloud enterprise as a service, etc. Brand new world – if you want to learn more, go to his session Wed at 3:30pm and there’s a book raffle.

Kevin Lynch again

How does client and cloud work together.

2) Social computing.

Moving from a world as single thing to something that brings in the rest of the world. Less broadcast, more interactive. Social are significant – just as much as the tech trends you just saw. Big shift in how software / apps are built — real time collaboration. When building an app, want to bring in friends. Help make it work in an easy way (Adobe is). So you can do this and leverage using a social service.

Welcome Nigel Pegg.

Lets talk about Cocomo

Build realtime social applications in Flex. Working with people who are actually doing this. Medical Peer Reviews application — welcome “Doctor Fong” within the application.

There’s a video in the app, a bunch of bar charts, and so on. It’s a little Connect-like, but custom. It’s an AIR application though. So they’re looking at some records, and they’re sharing cursors, webcam, and using VOIP. So you can co navigate the records and info in the application. No screensharing involved – not sending the data. You are sharing the actual graph, zoom level, and cursor position. The sensitive medical data stays in the database of whoever owns it.

Embed real time info into the app that you use every day. Runs in AIR/Player and sits on top of Flex framework. 30 lines of code to make the app. Takes advantage of Adobe-managed infustructure – so maintenance and so forth is taken care of for the developer. You can build rooms using the service. UsersAV/Files are sitting on top of a realtime data messaging (chat, whiteboards, etc) — library with full source is available.

As of right now, opened up Cocomo opened up as FREE PUBLIC BETA on Labs.

Kevin Lynch

Adobe Wave

Brings together notifications into a unified thing. Displaying a desktop notification as a simple as sending an email. You can sign up for it today. It’s up on Adobe LABS.

He has connected to a bunch of services, and you can sign up for more. You can connect within the Wave app or through a website. Showing an example of eVite. An invitation has been sent out — and you can get notification on your desktop instead of getting a bunch of emails. Then you get little alerts on your desktop (a bit like Outlook or IM alert in the bottom right corner).

Pownce, myspace, etc are in the list of services. You can control notifications in a centralized fashion.

Go check it out. Adobe Labs, folks.

3) Devices and Desktops.

Transformative wave that’s happening. No longer using big desltop screens. PCs are the minority – mobile phones and so on are the majority of devices. PCs are a small fraction of what’s on the network. 1 billion people will access from mobile phones. Smart phones are catching up in computing power. World is changing, dramatically, need to think about content and applications and think about mobile first. Design for multi-screen world so experiences are available to everyone. Working hard to bring flash to these devices. Goal of a billion phones available by 2010. A billion Flash enabled phones will actually be available in 2009. Not sufficient becuase there are more than a billion phones, and you can’t update the player on these phones. So the focus is to have a consistent experience across the screens and be reliable, and update the technology dynamically – can keep bringing forward the mobile screens. Doing this with a variety of partners – carriers, chip vendors, etc to enable this revolution. So we can access and get our content to users consistently.

Two problems to solve – web browsing. Ability to browse the web as it is from a variety of screens. Flash should be on the smart phones.

Second – standalone applications, install them on a phone. Like AIR and PCs – going to do this across devices, so AIR app installed on a variety of screens.

Rate of web browsing increasing. Engineering FP10 for Smart Phones now. Taking the FULL flash player and making it run on smart phones. (applause)Update – right now. He’s going to show this running on a variety of devices. Series of phones running Flash Player 10.

Nokia is running symbian Nokia N85. Interactivity working on Nokia symbian phones.

Running Flash Player 10 on Windows Mobile. Using Opera browser with FP10 running inside. Showing website, and the music player is running. Plays a song. showing on a new device. Playing video on the phone.

Shows the iPhone!!!! (big cheer) Team is busily working on this, but has to pass the taste test of Apple’s top chef. But Flash Player team is busily working on FP10 for iPhone.

Android OS, G1 phone from TMobile. Running android. Going into browser, bookmarks, from, bunch of star dudes episodes. Running FP10 Playing the content using touch screen — Playing animation. Interact with it while the content is playing, move it around. Touch screen working, events, audio, etc.

Very good progress on Google’s Android system.

Introducing Google’s Andy Rubin, Director of Mobile Platforms.

Performance looks pretty good, and smart phones are like computers 5 years ago — the gap is going to get shorter and shorter.
Google did Android to get an open platform, and have a better internet experience on cell phones. FP10 on Android warms his heart — why Android was created. Can’t wait to see what developers in audience will do.

Back to Kevin Lynch.

Also looking at challenge of standalone applications that work across a variety of devices. Get them on the phone at all is a challenge. Where we’re at today with FlashLite.

Nokia current phone with FlashLite on it. In order to launch the app today on devices you need to launch FlashLite and then find an application through a folder and open a SWF file. Then it goes into the great experience. Once you have it launched, it is a great exerience. However as a user launching it, can be challenging.

Aiming to create a system where you can package up applications and distribute them to Smart phones. Introducing a developer release of this. Package an application built with Flash and deploy it to Smart phones. Then can distribute it, including the player, using aggregators or from your own web site. They can download it to their phones. If you don’t have FlashLite, it will detect that and install it over the air.

Has a Samsung phone using windows mobile, which does not have Flash Lite. Going into messages, and a SMS message has a link to a page – goes to the site, and will download the application.

Deployment of content, and detection of FlashLite. Goes into the start menu – so you get a top-level icon. No more icons, user can launch the application directly. A much better user experience.

What’s the future really going to be like?

Put together a phone from the future. Connected to the cloud, Flash Player, AIR, etc. Kevin picks up a great big Samsung concept device or something. Touch screen, and the device will be aware of other devices in the room. Grab one of the photos and throw it on the big screen. So he’s actually throwing photos from the device onto the big screen. Multi-screen awareness. Points it at another screen and throws pictures to that screen instead.

Introducing Gever Tulley from XD team. Who has another one of these devices and they’re sending photos and music back and forth between the two devices and the television. And now they’re playing some multiplayer game between the two devices.

Tomorrow before general session you’ll be able to come and play this game – supports hundreds of connections over wireless.

LINK: Includes summary of everything discussed today!!!

And that’s it. I’m outta here.

Author Jen deHaan

Jen deHaan is a freelance graphic and web designer, fascinated with great layout and usability. She has been working in the software industry since 2001, and has held positions with Macromedia, Adobe, and Motorola in the Silicon Valley area near San Francisco. Jen has written and contributed to over 20 print publications on web design that have been published by Peachpit, Adobe Press, and Wiley. She now lives on a farm with her family and dogs in central Vancouver Island, Canada.

More posts by Jen deHaan

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