Monthly Archives: May 2008

Mozilla World Record Problems


Mozilla is attempting to set a world record for downloading FireFox, good luck with that! The problem I see is that Adobe Flash Player has seen installation spikes daily that go into the 14 Million to 25 Million per day range. We report averages on all our player stats but never the spikes in traffic. It makes me think that we should be much more open about our download statistics regarding Flash Player.

Maybe we should just just submit Adobe Flash Player installs for the World Record and resubmit it as spikes occur.

Although even this gets sticky. If they count Mozilla FireFox 3 downloads according to file size, each download is 12MB average (MAC/WIN/LIN) where Flash Player is far smaller. It gets even worse when you think about auto-update a download, I am sure the OS teams at Microsoft Update see lots of issues.

Too fun!

Ted :)

The Adobe walled garden of knowledge


As an ecosystem we do not share knowledge very well and over time this has essentially created a very large walled garden. If you are in-the-know regarding the ecosystem or sub-segment of it, you can see all the value clearly and know where and how to get what you need to succeed. If you are outside the wall (new to Adobe tools and technologies), you see a very large intimidating wall that looks proprietary at first glance.

I don’t think anyone in Adobe had a vision of building a large wall that looks proprietary but alas here is this wall and behind it is an ocean of knowledge on how to make great experiences. Actually we have spent a great deal of effort to tear down the wall around our runtimes and core technologies with Adobe Labs, Open Source Flex, Blaze DS, Bugs.adobe.com, Open Screen Project, and Tamarin but we still have a vast quantity of knowledge in the community that is not shared.

I believe that the root cause is actually that a majority of our output is compiled and thus the source code and context remains hidden from view. View Source in the browser really enabled anyone to learn HTML/JS and this “forced sharing” makes it feel much more open. SWF on the contrary is a dark magic and how it works and how to make it do amazing things is not shared automatically. It SEEMS closed and proprietary because the source code is not present and thus the knowledge and context behind great projects are by default locked into a vault. On one hand it is really great that these formats are compiled but on the other we must do extra work to share knowledge. I believe that the “lack of sharing” is the subtle gravity that is holding back our ecosystem and that if Adobe made it easier to share knowledge we would move dramatically forward, actually violently forward.

There are some large projects underway at Adobe, “ION” and “Hyperdrive”, to tear down these walls and force knowledge into the open. I am looking forward to working on them with you and helping the community share knowledge more openly, more easily. I also want to make sure that anyone sharing knowledge gets full credit for their contribution and that value flows towards those that share in the community.

Back to tearing down this wall…

Details coming soon!

Ted :)

Changing roles within Adobe


On May 1 I passed my 2 year mark at Adobe and I took some time off to think very deeply about what I wanted to focus on moving forward. The thing is that I am very passionate about helping developers succeed and have found myself selecting projects related to training (Yahoo & Google) and events (Adobe MAX, Adobe Engage, 360Flex, Etc). Effective this week I will be migrating from Technical Evangelist to focus on scaling Adobe’s events and training in the Platform Business Unit. The change is a great opportunity for me personally and I really believe that we can grow the developer ecosystem/market dramatically with some key changes to our event and training strategy.

The thing is that I will never stop evangelizing; I was passionate before I joined Adobe and I remain so as I change roles within. I will keep on blogging too and with all this “Thermo” and Flex 4 stuff coming I have an endless supply of material to cover.

Now go register for MAX 2008!

More to come!

Ted :)

ILOG Elixir – OEM Licensing Changes!!!


Since posting on Elixir Flex Components, the ILOG team has gotten a steady stream of feedback on OEM licensing. Today ILOG removed the OEM restrictions for small business and start-ups.

I have really been impressed with the quality of these 3rd party components and seeing as the only negative feedback was the OEM licensing restrictions for smaller firms, this change is a welcome addition. I keep seeing these components pop-up in applications and I am sure they will get more use with this licensing change.

Licensing FAQ

Cheers,

Ted :)

Google Maps Flash API – Distributed components/services


Google, yes, Google released a pure AS3 Mapping engine last week while I was on vacation. With all the Flash Player 10 news it was not seen by many and essentially overlooked. It is really great to see Google Maps leverage ActionScript 3 and even more exciting to understand the architecture they chose. The Google Maps Flash API is the first major component to work distributed as the core logic remains on google servers and the API you program with is just a simple proxy loading the remote SWF and that SWF talks back to Google to get data and tiles as a service. This has some very distinct benefits:

1. Updates – With the Google Maps API, Google can fix core bugs or add features without requiring an updated developer API. It also requires no changed to sites that have deployed the Map engine.

2. Security – The security model of this component model allows for more fine grained control over use of the API and services. Currently the API support developer keys and restricts use to a domain. This is essential if you wanted to put more valuable services in like ads or maybe pay a website owner using an AdSense like model.

Seeing Google explore using Flash Player and AS3 as a distributed model for services is exciting. As Google is primarily a service based company (search, ads, email, news are all services) I am sure we will see this core architecture leveraged for many other properties.

Google Maps Flash API
Basic Turtorial
Examples
Example Source

Congrats to the Google Maps team!

Ted :)

No news is good news!


I have been offline for the past 10 days and my blog has been a bit too quiet. I missed the Flash Player 10 Beta, a ton of MAX meetings, and probably something urgent in the office but sometimes you just need to take a break. On this trip I really unplugged and did some amazing things:

1. I got engaged to Linda while here in Hawaii! I surprised her on the beach on May 10 after watching the sunset. She has really changed my life and she is easily the best thing to happen to me in a long long time.

2. I completed 20 Sudoku puzzles correctly averaging about 2 per day. I am an addict thanks to Keith Peters!

3. I finished a great book The Milkshake Moment.

4. 3 dives, 5 eels, 5 turtles, 3 sharks, fish, coral, the works. w00t, go diving!

5. Mama’s Fish House – If you are ever in Maui, you must must must eat here.
(Extra points as their site uses Flash)

The week has been really great and allowed me time to reflect on my work and life. It is really great to work for a company that encourages taking time off and recharging the batteries. May 1 was my 2 year anniversary at Adobe and time has literally flown by. Looking back on the past 2 years is really amazing, from the launch of Flex 2.0, 2.01, and Flex 3 I have been very focused on technical evangelism. As I return to San Francisco I will begin a new role at Adobe and honestly I am really excited to get started. I will keep you in the loop on the change, it is a good thing.

Cheers,

Ted :)

8.1 Megapixel Camera for $160


It seems amazing to me that camera prices have fallen so rapidly yet the cameras are capable of so much more. I am headed on vacation this week and decided to get a new point and shoot camera. Shockingly the same Panasonic Lumix camera I paid for 2 years ago costs 70% less and actually has more features. In the small I got an inexpensive 8MegaPixel camera but in the large I am wondering about the overall market effect of commodity low cost high capacity digital devices. I think we are seeing the arrival of the real digital era where everyone is transferring high quality images using very low cost devices. Add a 2GB memory card to this for $24 and I have a really great camera setup for under $200, scary.

The digital tidal wave is arriving.

It is also cool to think that these same cameras might one day be programatic and run Flash via the Open Screen Project. Fun Fun!

And now PhotoShop Express allows you to edit your Flickr images.

cheers,

Ted :)