MAX Day 2 Recap

A quick recap of MAX Day 2…

  • Two very good sessions by Charlie Arehart on hidden (or less well-known) stuff in CF8 and the use of Derby (the open source Java-based database from the Apache project that comes as part of CF8). Both were excellent sessions with lots of good pointers that left me with a fairly lengthy list of things to follow up on for our team at work. Charlie, as always, did a great job covering lots of ground at the right level. I’ve sat in on several of his presos at CFUnited in the past and he is a very strong presenter. So far, these two sessions were probably — in terms of valuable potential takeaways — the high point of the conference so far.
  • A disappointing session by Scott Stroz on “hack-proofing” your CF app. Not much new ground to plow (which I suppose could be considered a good thing, given our focus on some of this stuff in the past 18 months). He kind of let the audience hijack his session with questions, comments, and even “me too’s” and ended up spending 75% of the preso on SQL injection which left very little time for the remaining two thirds of his talk.
  • Another disappointing talk on the use of jQuery and AIR by Ed Finkler. Too much jQuery, particularly given that about 90% of the audience indicated that they were at least somewhat familiar with it, and not enough AIR. Sharp guy, obviously knows his stuff, entertaining speaker with a dry sense of humor, but the preso itself missed.
  • The keynote, hosted by Ben Forta and Tim Buntel, highlighted some pretty impressive workflow integration on the design side of Adobe’s product lines, touched on the coming IDE for CF (codenamed “Bolt” in honor of the old CF lightning bolt; an Eclipse-based environment which looks to have some pretty interesting capabilities for the coders in house but for which few if any details are really available), and some cool stuff called Alchemy that allows for existing C/C++ code to be automagically transterpolated into ActionScript for use in Flash.
  • Spent a bit of time talking with the CF designee in the Adobe “support lab” about a couple things we’ve bumped in to, and posing a couple of questions about things that Ben had mentioned related to the new CF IDE. Walked away thinking “That was a waste of time…”
  • MAX hosted a customer appreciation event at the de Young Museum and California Museum of Sciences in the evening. Very cool place to spend a couple hours hanging out. Saw the show in the new Morrison Planetarium; also very cool!
  • Late dinner with Jeff and Blaine (we lost Marco somewhere at the museum, but did talk to him late after he got back) at the Pinecrest Diner. Try the hot pastrami on rye. It’s the kind of place that — had they had one on the menu — I would have ordered the chicken fried steak sandwich. The guy who runs it is a 30-year old guy whose grandfather had it in this same location since the 1960’s, is trained in Italy as a chef, and is keeping the place going. Great basic food and an interesting menu.

So, kind of a mixed bag from a technical standpoint but I did get a couple of items of real value from Charlie’s presos.