So I was there (I’m lucky I know). First of all let me give you an advice: if you are really interested about AIR you should definitely go to this event especially if it is coming to your town/country (last two stops: Munich and Milan). Did I mention that it is free? If you can’t, then you have a second chance: go to MAX – either in States, San Francisco or in Europe, Milan Italy; MAX is THE Adobe conference and it covers all the products, there will be a lot of talks about AIR and Flex).
First of all there were no empty chairs, about 160 people showed up. Second the organization was excellent: the Staropramen brewery provided a great location, the food was yami-yami and after 4PM we were able to taste the Czech beer (I think this is the rock and roll part :D). The single downside I can think of: it was a little too hot for my taste.
- Keynote by Ryan Stewart. He talked about where is AIR in the Flash/Flex platform and Web/Desktop worlds. He showed some goodies that will come with Flash Player 10 (thus Flex/AIR developer gets them): hardware accelerated effects engine (formerly Hydra, now it is called Pixel Blender) – this one lets you apply cool effects in real time over pictures or movies; second feature is Vellum, the new font rendering engine from Flash – this will add support for left to right languages; and the last was 2.5 D Engine which is not meant to be an alternative to PaperVision but an easy way to create 3D effects. He also had a cool application a Korean one was pretty cool; it was a Dashboard for executives and it had some nice transitions and effects.
- Building your first AIR application with Flex by Mike Chambers. This was a Hello Worlds! example in AIR using Flex and Flex Builder as an IDE. He explained some more advanced concepts such as: what is doing the app.xml file and the most important properties from it.
- Czech Flex User Group – as I am not Czech I don’t know what they talked about.
- Deploying and Updating AIR App by Serge Jespers. This was very interesting because sooner or later you may want to distribute your application. So, it showed us three different types of installer badges and also a framework to push updates of the app to clients.
- AIR API overview by Daniel Dura. This was a nice introduction to AIR API: Windows, File I/O, Storage, Drag & Drop & Clipboard, some notifications: idle, online/offline.
- Google App Engine by Dion Almer. This was about what the Google App Engine is, why it exists and why and how you can use it, as well as some previews about what to expect in the future.
- Data Intensive Enterprises AIR App by Andrew Shorten.
- AIR Conditioning by Lee Brimelow.
Between sessions there were raffles; prizes such as books, Flex Builder 3 and Creative Suite licenses, T-shirts.
A funny thing: Daniel Dura’s Mac Book fell two or three times from the presenter’s desk (Daniel wasn’t there) and it was still working when he did his presentation (I think everyone expected it to be broken).
After the last presentation people remained for some more beer and networking. I was amazed that after 8-9 hours they still had the energy and curiosity to stay around. I had the chance to have an interesting discussion with Juraj Michalek, the Manager of the local Flex User Group. That’s all folks!