Saturday, July 14, 2007

Singapore Flash Usergroup meet - MoM

I'm just back from the Singapore Flash Usergroup meeting, for the month of July. It was a day of information overload! We started off at 10 AM, and ended the sessions at adobe (the venue for the meet) at around 1:45 PM, and a few of us then continued to discuss about the future sessions etc., over lunch. In short, it was a saturday, well spent!

Ryan started off with a overview of what today's sessions were gonna be. He also talked about the FSUG site, and his Flex (and AIR) experiments on the site, using the RSS feeds for his forum. Am still amazed about how this guy single handedly handles a site that heavy; not to mention, He has a busy day job as well!

Then followed 3 full length sessions - Hu Shunjie started off with a session on AIR. He showed how the AIR commandline utilities ADT and ADL coupled with flashDevelop can be used to create AIR applications. He also demonstrated a few sample applications he had been developing using AIR. Everyone seemed to enjoy his icicle application ;o)

And then Lionel aka Flashmech started off his session where he showcased a few interesting flash extensions that he found around the web. Boy, this guy had a huge collection of extensions installed! I assume He must be hosting a detailed writeup about the extensions he demo-ed today, in his blog. Watch out his space!

And then there was this lousy presentation by yours truly. I had a tiny presentation that I aimed at 'demystifying Flex' to newbies. I spoke a little about the history of Flash based RIAs and then continued to talk about how flex came into being what it is now. But to be honest, though I've been following the developments in the flex world, I haven't really written any flex application that really does anything interesting. So I made this presentation a perfect reason to attempt something worthwhile. I wrote up a complete newbie style Flex application using the beta of FlexBuilder 3, which takes a tag as an input from the user and searched Flickr for pictures associated with the tag, and displayed them in a TileList component.

In total I spent about 1 hour building the application on stage - in the process also explaining the flickr REST API. I could've used the AS3 API for Flickr, but I did also want to demonstrate how easy it was to consume a REST response and parse it up using E4X. Luck was my side, and without any major glitches, the app was up and running! ( I've uploaded the files here)

We had Arul Kumaran attending the sessions today as well, and being an early Flex adopter, I could see him all irked by the lousy coding I was doing ;o) But like I said there, it was a demo of how a novice Flex developer could write some working flex application, in about an hour's time :D

Aftermath:
After the sessions, we walked over a bit to a food court, for lunch, and discussed on a wide range of subjects, ranging from future usergroup sessions to general tech stuff to velvetpuffin to movies. There was a whole lot of enthusiasm in everyone, which was great to see!

We finally parted around 4:30, after a whole load of geektalk. Expect to see a lot of improvements in the FSUG activities soon!

Thanks to all attendees, and thanks Adobe ( and Marian specially) for helping us with the venue and those donuts!
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