Archive for April, 2009

My review of FITC Toronto 2009

Well I’m on the train (not anymore) and I have 5 hours to kill so I thought I might use this time to write my recap of FITC Toronto 2009. In a general way, I liked this iteration of the festival more than last year. I think that my choice of presentations had a lot to do with it. Looking back, there are sessions I would have changed in my schedule but since they were filming most of the presentations I can just go and watch those that I heard good feedback from. The downside of this year was that I was alone so I kinda not fulfill the Connect part of the festival mission (Inspire, Educate, Challenge, Connect) but I will work on that next year.

What I learned

Here is interesting stuff I wanted to share:

  • I really liked the presentation from PowerFlasher (makers of the FDT tool to write ActionScript). It gave insights on their creative process and how they deal with in-house projects. They said they would put the presentation on youtube so I will point it out when it is there.
  • GAIA Framework: I wasn’t convinced before the presentation. Now I would like to try it out on certain type of project. What convinced me: the fact the it handles SWFAddress for you. I like SWFAddress a lot, but sometimes I would like it to be a physical object so that I could throw it out the window.
  • Joshua Davis is an awesome presenter. If you get the chance to see him talk, seize it.
  • I chose a couple of business presentations and they were probably not the best choices to make but I still got a couple of usefull links out of them:
    • IconBuffet : Nice for Icons but also nice to know that they are made by Firewheel Design and given freely; nice way to get known.
    • CoComment : Nice way to track your conversations, will definitely try it out.
    • 37 signals : Heard so much about them that I should probably at least follow their blog
    • BaseCamp : An online application to manage projects, made by 37 signals
    • HARO : Help a reporter out : a nice way to get your name out there by helping a reporter and getting quoted
  • VizualPV3D : Layout tool for Papervision3D that looks great. Can’t believe it was done by only one dude: Gary Stasiuk.
  • Finally Colin Moock‘s presentation held a couple of gems. First he his starting a company called User1 that will offer and develop the union platform which will facilitate the production of multiuser applications be it on the web or the desktop. Also he teamed up with MegaPhone, a company that provides¬† a framework to manipulate any screen using any phone. I foresee lots of new marketing opportunities.

On a personal note

I own a HP mini 1000, one of those new netbooks. It’s a pretty nice netbook: it has a 10 inch screen, but I believe I need more than that. 10 inch is good for writting and browsingthe web, but not that good for coding. I really hope that they will develop folding LCD soon so that the laptop can stay small but the screen can get bigger.

Lastly, being in Toronto made me realize how much I like Montreal. More trees, smaller streets, no tramway; it’s just warmer. The only other city that compares (and that I have been to) is Amsterdam. I think Montreal deserves its own Flash conference.

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An update on Flash SEO

I was just in Jim Corbett Flash Player Internal v2 presentation at FITC and I learned a couple new facts about SEO that I wanted to share.

First, it now seems that Google will be indexing loaded files; that was intented for a while and I will still have to make some experiments to see if it really works but Adobe says it works. Well it doesn’t really work like they would want it to work: when Google sees that the SWF is loading a file, it doesn’t load it in the currently playing Flash file but it makes a note of it and will load and reference that content later. The text in there will still be associated with the previous url, but it won’t play in the right context. That last caveat doesn’t bother me much; my biggest concern was that all the work I do is preloaded by an external preloader, so none of my content was Flash SEO friendly. Now it will get indexed.

Another interesting fact that was kinda hinted in the presentation was that the SEO Flash player is not suppose to index text when it is out of bound of the stage; when the user doesn’t see it. But, if you put a button outside of the viewable area and that button will bring the SWF in a state where text is displaying on the stage(viewable), that text will be indexed. The problem is that the headless player doesn’t check if the button is viewable or not. This is not confirmed and I will also have to make tests on this.

Well I have to get back in there now.

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Transition to tile: third RIA for Home Depot

Yes this is the third installment of tools we did for the Home Depot and I can say that working on this one was just simple and easy, mostly because we used PureMVC on the previous one. As you can see, Transition to tile reuse a lot of components from Redefining floors, but the middle part is really different. Making the changes and adjusting what was already there really was a breeze and that is were you see the advantages of using a framework. The technologies we used were mostly the same as the one before but I am going to list them here again:

  1. TweenLite
  2. PureMVC
  3. SWFAddress
  4. SWFObject
  5. Alcon (for tracing SWFAddress stuff)
  6. Google Analytics for Flash

I hope you like the tools we are building for Home Depot because there is more in the pipeline.

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My FITC Toronto 2009 schedule

Just like last year, I’m going to the FITC Toronto conference at the end of April. Based on my last year’s experience here is what I want to see:

Sunday April 26th

  • Feed the Experts: A Sneak Peek Into the Treasure Chest of Creativity
  • The Tinkerer’s Box
  • Gaia Framework For Adobe Flash

Monday April 27th

  • Flash Interfaces in Console Games
  • Marketing Your Skillz (aka Self Promotion for the Shy Creative Type)
  • Flash Player Internals v2
  • Reality Cheque: Running a Freelance Business
  • MTV Jackass on AIR

Tuesday April 28th

  • Introduction to iPhone SDK for Flash Developers
  • The Road to “Brilliant”
  • The Magical Mystery Click
  • Your Phone is Your Controller (and Other Multiuser Adventures)
  • Technology Paving the Way for Story Telling

I tried to put more design presentation in there but it was hard, my primary interest is still programming. I also chose stuff that I have never done so that I won’t waste time listening to a 30 minutes introduction on what it is. The only conflict that hurts me is that I won’t get to see Cliff Hall PureMVC presentation. Well I can’t wait to be there.

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