This year AdobeMax was really hot for developers. Even though most of the demos and news rely on beta products, they still offer a lot.
AdobeMax'09 dropped the bombs as with the keynote of the first day. Here are the highlights;
-Flash 10.1 includes mobile support. This is a long waited love story between the mobile world and the flash player. Seems like not much left for them to meet. How would their relation be? well time will tell.. The demonstrations of mobile Flash Player performed on Nokia, Android, Windows Mobile and Palm. Guess which one crashed... ok good guess, seems like Windows is still Windows even it is mobile.
-Flash 10.1 also includes lots of runtime enhanchments. Most of them target Air platform to run with less memory and better integration such as usb support, triggering external applications.
-Ok this one is also another love story, eventhough i didn't start with this one this is the highlight of the show... iPhone running flash applications or should i say flash building applications for iPhone. Since applications built on iPhone are not allowed to execute other codes building a flash player (or JVM) is not permitted. Adobe's approach is totally different but solves the problem. Since they are not allowed to run flash player on iPhone, they convert flash applications into native iPhone code which results installable native apps seperate from flash player. Flash CS5 is needed to achieve this, and it is not even relased as beta yet but it will definetly be a huge impact as it becomes available.
-Mobile movement in Flash also covers flex development. Even though this is not available in public beta of Flex4, Flex will also be available to build mobile apps which include iPhone. Suprisingly the outcome (transitions, layouts) suprisingly looks like native iPhone apps. Flex also lets customizations depending on the platform the application is running on. One important thing is mobile components are different than desktop ones, even though they are used in similar way still you need to design and develop from strach (which JavaFx lets the same components to be used both on mobile and desktop).
-Flex moves to version4, so should the developers.. Flex 4 offers a totaly new namespace "Spark" with still supporting "mx". Using states is much more simplified, new Flash Text Engine is impressive and PixelBender s are amazing. The whole effects and animations library is rewritten (which i plan to write a more deep in detail post). I must admit Chet (the former Java Swing Architect, also author of Filthy Rich Clients) did a great job with that. It is much simpler to take control of the effects with writing custom easing and interpolations using IInterpolator and IEaser. I must tell you Flex is becoming the dream way of a developer to built animations without touching design tools.
-Clouds are the popular topic of the year, so Adobe can not resist to built one and of course by using their server software; The ColdFusion. Coldfusion 9 looks promising, and they also offer an eclipse based CF IDE.
-Livecycle, well if there is a cloud, LC can not be excluded. So here it is LC also comes with cloud support.
All the sessions of AdobeMax is available on AdobeTv. I strongly recommend watching the keynotes, and Chet's Flex session.
Developers has never been so much supported and had available tools from Adobe. Seems like JavaFx, Silverlight and ObjectiveC has broaden the perspective and made Adobe more creative. Lets see when the real products hit the ground!