April 29th, 2010
Steve Jobs recently wrote a letter addressing his Thoughts on Flash for iPhone/iPod/iPad. You can read it here: http://discorax.posterous.com/steve-jobs-thoughts-on-flash-9#
Following Jobs posting there were numerous responses, a great one coming from Adam Banks in a post titled Thoughts on Thoughts on Flash. After reading it, I actually had mixed feelings on an issue where I have been pretty black and white to this point. Color me intrigued. I still feel after having used HTML5 on some small projects that as a cost effective mass market consumer ready technology, HTML5 is a ways off (2-3 years). It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out from a consumer perspective. As a developer this just means I have another technology to learn (w00t for me) and another content delivery mechanism to develop for.
Personally I enjoy the challenge of learning new technology, but it definitely isn’t the most efficient way to do business. I learned this when I made a switch from Flash to Silverlight. A project that I could quickly and accurately budget out resource wise became a shot in the dark. I would grossly under or over estimate the time needed because I wasn’t familiar with the technology. That’s what companies, like PBJS, will have to do if they want to adopt HTML5 in favor of proprietary, but familiar, plugins (Flash/Silverlight). That also means that developers will have to support that choice both with time invested in learning it, and optimizing it to create the best possible user experience.
Content is still king. If your content generates the traffic you can easily justify any expense to make the user experience better whether that is open standards (HTML5), mobile apps (iPhone), or web plugin. It’s when you are building your business that these multiple distribution technologies can hinder progress. Delivering your content via HTML5 right now you won’t have the same rich experience that it would inside a plugin. Also, I’d be surprised if your agency has HTML5 experts on staff. Plus, they can be hard to find in the freelance market. Today the question is; do you deliver your content using a more costly (resources & time) and a sub-standard user experience using the technology “of the future” or do you choose the “dead technology” that can provide a cost effective and engaging user experience?
November 26th, 2008
I was recently directed to The MossyBlog Times because apparently the “Is Microsoft or Adobe better” discussion (I use the term loosely, it more of a flame war if you’re familiar with that) has become fierce as the season of tech conferences is underway. MIX vs MAX, Flash/Flex vs Silverlight, .NET vs ColdFusion, Creative Suite vs Expression Studio…etc. The first in this list MIX and MAX are two of the largest technology conferences in the world. Unfortunately, I am unable to attend either of these conferences and have to respond to hear/say summaries by actual attendees. It’s unfortunate, because I believe both would be valuable to my job as a web developer, but I digress.
Here is the issue as I see it. There are plenty of strong opinions on both sides and plenty of blog posts for and against everything from Flash’s market penetration to support for the growing number of software developers moving into the web space. The twists and turns this industry takes was right there among them, however in the original wording there was a claim that Microsoft’s core competency was design (which it isn’t). However, the author has since reworded, but I wanted to post my comment on my blog since it hasn’t found it’s way onto the comments section of the post itself (yet).
Here was my response to Scott Barnes post about his experience at Adobe MAX this year.
“As a user of both Adobe and Microsoft technologies I was interested in this post mostly because I heard some people claim that MS was saying their core strength was Design. That was laughable at best, but now actually showing up to read this post I find that it was taken out of context. Microsoft has give me (a web developer) a very rich set of tools to do my job with VS2008, Silverlight, .NET, LINQ…however, they have yet to hit the mark with tools to help me deliver rich animations/displays. I’ve been working for the past two months on a WPF application that has shown some serious limitations to animation and code based manipulation of elements on the stage. Bottom line, we had to change our designs to address the limitations of the MS software. However, the WPF application made it extremely simple and efficient to deal with large amounts of data on the back end. Large data sets, sorted, processed, parsed, all at the blink of an eye and easy to access it was the display that kept us from reaching our goals.
My opinion, Adobe has built their technologies with Designers in mind, and MS has build theirs with Developers in mind…the race is now who can get their products to the middle first. I have to give the edge to MS here because in my opinion, dealing with versions, and data and the complexity of supporting it is much harder (as Adobe is finding out) than getting that data to display in slick ways.
If I had to build a complex RIA today, I would likely use .NET for my back end and Flash/Flex for my front end plugin…so there you have it.”
Adobe Air is awesome, Windows Presentation Foundation is really slick…only time will tell.
January 3rd, 2008
On more than one occasion I’ve been tasked with creating a way for clients to upload and share files to members of a team. I typically create a resource site and FTP all my files up. The problem is that as the project grows, I have to constantly go back and upload and add more links. I’ve automated a few solutions in past months, but I really like how Adobe SHARE beta is looking. And at the moment, it’s FREE
Above is the result of the embed code provided when you share a file with the Adobe SHARE beta. Just giving it a little test to see how well it works. You can also link directly to the file.
This service offers some good possibilities for collaborative work and getting files to clients. No more email attachments. You can track file activity. I haven’t had a chance to test the limits of it yet, but since you can zip up files, it offers quite a lot of possibilities. The beta offers 1024MB of storage space. Not bad at all. You can delete files once they have been received. One of the really neat features is the image preview, so you can see what you’re downloading before you download it.
You need to have an Adobe ID to participate in the beta. It’s free to sign-up.