Wednesday, December 17, 2008

MAX slides posted to Slideshare, embedded here

Slides from my presentation at MAX titled "A Deep Dive Into the Flex 3 Framework" are available up on slideshare:

Flex3 Deep Dive Final
View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: flex adobe)

We got great reception and generally good reviews for this presentation, but some people were underwhelmed. Some thought that the "deep dive" didn't dive quite as deeply as they would have liked, and others thought the title was misleading. I agree with you on both accounts. :)

Matt Chotin actually picked the title and by the time we put the talk together it was too late to change it. A better title might have been "Flex 3 Junk Drawer: something things you never knew about classes you use all the time."

Balancing the depth of a talk like this is difficult. We needed to give some "intro" level discussion for people who are new to Flex, but we also wanted to dive "deep" into some topics people hadn't learned before. In the end, I really wish I would've had time to dive deeper into the style manager, but I thought Brad's presentation of Collections and Binding were both really good. It's difficult to go too deep into the SystemManager, since it's not a class many people interact with. I was hoping that information on how it works (particularly the section on the structure of the Flex-produced swf file) would be helpful all by itself, since it's a very interesting topic that most developers get away with never touching.

In our section on Data Binding we mentioned a talk given by Michael Labriola at 360 Flex San Jose. Michael also has those slides on slideshare, but I thought it more appropriate to link you to his post on the Digital Primates blog rather than embedding them myself. This is by far the best discussion I've ever heard on Binding, and I'd encourage every one, even those who consider themselves experts in Flex, to take a look.

All in all, I thought the MAX talk went pretty well. 60 minutes is a pretty short time to co-present something as blended as this talk, and I think we provided value to our attendees. If you attended and have more feedback I'd love to hear it, or if you've just checked out the slides and have questions or feedback, please let me know. I want to know how to make these talks better! rj dot owen at

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Keep It Simple, CNet

CNet's Don Reisinger completely misses the point.  It's specifically the LACK of all these additional features that makes Twitter popular.  Same goes for Facebook.  I don't WANT a social networking tool that specifically enables authors to upload their work.  Have they ever seen a blog?

Friday, December 5, 2008

Spore's DRM backfires, makes it most downloaded game of the year

TechDirt is reporting that Spore's insanely draconian DRM, much the bane of every video-gamer interested in the game, has completely backfired and made the game the most downloaded (the hacked version) this year despite being out only a few months.

When you look at the issue from a customer experience perspective, the DRM controversy is a no-brainer, and DRM loses.  DRM provides absolutely no value to customers - only pain.  Probably more than any other medium, video games are successful only when they create good and immersive experiences.  Furthermore, gamers are probably one of the more passionate demographics out there - they know they know what a good gaming experience looks like, and they get passionately involved in them.  

Starting players off with a frustrating registration process and then subjecting them to the restraints of a silly DRM system is a pretty good recipe for pissing people off, and in this case EA's customers have made their frustration loudly known.  Some paying customers have downloaded the hacked version to avoid the DRM, and a few and even filed a class action lawsuit against EA.  Sony had similar problems back when it published music CD's with rootkits, but they've since recanted - hopefully EA will see the benefit of good customer service and quit this sort of nonsense.  

Until they do, I won't be buying any EA games.  Companies like EA (and on a larger scale, the entire entertainment industry) need to hear loud and clear that we won't put up with this.  Every part of the user experience matters, and those that unnecessarily subject we-the-customers to this degree of frustration should be shunned like the plague.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

WWII as an RTS

This is just about the funniest thing I've seen in a while - WWII as an RTS game:

Here's a sample:
*Roosevelt has joined the game.*
*Stalin has joined the game.*
*deGaulle has joined the game.*
Roosevelt: hey sup
T0J0: y0
Stalin: hi
Churchill: hi
Hitler[AoE]: cool, i start with panzer tanks!
paTTon: lol more like panzy tanks
T0JO: lol
Roosevelt: o this fuckin sucks i got a depression!

And it goes on from there. :)