Tonight Adobe is announcing a collaboration with Google and Yahoo! to enhance the searchability of SWF content by helping their spiders playback SWFs in the Flash Player runtime. The project runs SWF files within web spiders and allows all contents within a SWF file to be read by both major search engines. The cool part is that this also covers dynamic data loaded in from requests to a server, these are typically ignored in both AJAX and SWF applications.
The net result is that SWF as a file format is now fully searchable by spiders at Google and Yahoo!. This is a very exciting announcement and is sure to be the talk of the town all day tomorrow.
Go SWF, Go Flash Player!
The popularity of Flex has produced incredible demand for skilled RIA developers. I reported in May that the FlexJobs site has grown to 1000 subscribers with over 600 jobs posted.
While the amount of valuable online Flex resources and blogs has grown, there is still a tremendous void of quality Flex training. One of the biggest areas in need, ironically, is right in Adobe’s backyard, between San Jose and San Francisco. As more and more web 2.0 and tech companies, ranging from CNET to Google, have realized the power of Flex, the need for skilled Flex developers in Silicon Valley (a.k.a the San Francisco Bay Area) has grown enormously.
I am happy to a learn that two of the most well-respected developers in the Flex community will be offering a series of Flex and AIR training, right here in Silicon Valley. Established and certified instructor Mike Kollen is being joined by Flash/Flex/AIR expert and author Chuck Freedman for a 2-day specialized training session.
“For Those About to Code: Flex & AIR” will happen first during the weekend of July 19, 20. This fully hands-on, 2-day event aims to teach you how to code Flex and AIR applications, having you ready to code when you return to work on Monday. What’s even more impressive than the talent of the instructors, is that the course will cost just $675. BELIEVE ME, this is a great deal to learn Flex & AIR over a weekend.
The course will max out at 50 and I am delighted to know that through the efforts of Mike and Chuck, that many more talented Flex and AIR developers will be building great apps on Adobe’s platform.
I really love the ACDC reference too! Chuck and Mike, We Salute You!
Posted on FLEXJOBS:
“JibJab is looking for another Flex engineer to keep building our Flex
team here. We’re small but we like it that way because we all get a
lot done and try many different things. You can see the direction
we’re going in Flex by looking at our beta site:
You will responsible for technical design and implementation of
cutting edge RIAs using Adobe Flash/Flex 3 with ActionScript 3.0. You
will work closely with our very talented technology, product, design,
and business development teams, to create next generation applications
that will make millions laugh and maybe a few cry — tears of joy, that is.
We are big fans of Cairngorm; we use it to interface with a web
services layer on the backend to deliver awesome RIAs on a pretty
killer architecture. And it’s a heck of a lot of fun.
We’re located one block from the ocean on Venice Beach in the LA area. We pay you in actual dollars, give you stock options, health benefits, etc. etc. You’ll love us.
Send an email to techjobs-2008 AT jibjab.com.”
Posted on FLEXJOBS!
Adobe MAX 2008 is going to be highlighting a new RIA product codenamed “Thermo”. Working with the product development team directly I was able to get some exclusive screenshots of “Thermo”. Make sure to take a look at the higher resolution images (linked). We will see a ton of “Thermo” at Adobe MAX 2008, see you there!
See you at Adobe MAX 2008!
Given my role within Adobe is changing, I wanted to set the DARE project free and get the source code posted online. I wrote DARE on leg 1 of the onAIR tour in Europe and it was a really fun project to work on. I am looking for someone to take over the DARE project and continue where I left off.
As soon as DARE finds a new home, I will be sure to blog about it again. The local http server is written in pure Python and only leverages the standard library of Python 2.3 so it will run on OSX 10.4 or higher seamlessly.
DARE SOURCE CODE
God do I love Python!
I really like YSlow as a development/diagnostic tool. It provides a very simple scorecard for web pages against some proven best practices for web site development. Before I blogged about YSlow I wanted to do some site optimizations with it and decided to point it at my own blog. It is really amazing what small changes will do for page performance.
Here is what I did:
1. Reduced the # of HTTP Requests from 23 to 4
2. Reduced the # of images from 10 to 4
3. Added a cache headers to the /images directory via .htaccess config
4. Removed the Etags from Apache via .htaccess config
5. Moved linked imaged onto /images
OnFlex.org went from a YSlow score of F(31) to a B(81) and the page loading times are far faster 2x+.
Another item I was watching was page weight and loading time. Before my pages were around 250Kb in size but now they are all under 100Kb and in many cases under 50Kb with all components on the page (js, css, img, swf). The result is now all my page loading times are always under 1 second and in many cased under .5 sec for a full page load including the slow loading tracking js(uggghh).
I have to say that YSlow is one of the best tools for looking at website performance, you can see pages from the browsers perspective and optimize against some excellent best practices.