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Getting Started with Cairngorm – Part 5

In Part 4 you saw the full Service to Worker pattern demonstrated. However, the method discussed in the last tutorial doesn’t fit every situation. In this tutorial you will learn a few “best-practices” for Cairngorm projects as well as an extension to the Service to Worker pattern for more complex cases.


PDF and Advertisements

I just read that Adobe has partnered with Yahoo to allow publishers to place ads inside of PDF files. I have mixed feelings about this. I am leaning toward “this is a bad idea”. The main motivation listed in the article was “allowing more free content” that would be subsidized by the ad revenue, but I feel that this has the potential to devalue the PDF format as a whole.

There are potential advantages (if the publisher chooses to take advantage of them). What if a publisher offered an e-book version of “Learning Flex 3″ for $10 that was subsidized by advertisements? What if online magazines were free (also supported by ads)? This would be great, but I feel that they still will charge the same price and still include the ads.

What do you think?

UPDATE: Here is the actual info on Adobe Labs.

360Flex Atlanta Badge

Since I will be speaking at 360 Flex Atlanta (and since I am a Georgia resident), I made up a quick badge for the speakers. This badge uses the sign from the famous Varsity Restaurant in downtown Atlanta. The Varsity has been around since 1928 and is a staple for downtown Atlanta residents (and it is certainly one of the most visited tourist locations).

Please let me know if you would like any other formats.


AIR Gets a Logo

Adobe AIR now has a new logo (I think this one will go over much better than the Photoshop Logo).


Education and Web Developers Today

Ok, I’m looking for your input. I was intrigued to read a post by Jesse Rodgers about a recent posting from 37Signals. The summary is that 37Signals states that “We don’t put much value in formal education when deciding who to hire”.

Here was my comment to the article (on Jesse’s Blog):

I have mixed feelings about this. I do value higher education – and I actually work for a university. However, I feel that part of this problem was caused by the universities themselves. Many comp-sci students come from programs that are more than outdated. Employers then get students that have to be completely retaught. Also, it seems the standards have become a bit lax. At least now, if you get a “self-taught” worker – you can assume that they are interested in the technology and are self-motivated. You can no longer make this assumption about students coming out of a university.

Personally, I value the time I spent getting my degree, but it was not in web development (or computer science). My bachelor’s degree was in Recording Industry Production (audio recording). Do you think that a truly great developer should have a degree? Do most of the developers at your job have degrees? In computer science? What role does / should higher education play in creating good web developers?

New Feature – Community Posts

I have added a small new feature to the blog, Community Posts. This section will display the latest blog postings that I believe are important or useful. The sidebar will display the five most recent, but you can click on the “Read More” link to get a full listing. There is also a feed link so that you can subscribe to these posts. Most of these posts come from MXNA (the news aggregator for Adobe), but some of them will come from other feeds that I subscribe to. For those web developers that regularly keep up with MXNA, this might not be a useful feature. However, if you are a new (or overworked) developer, this might be a way to “hit the highlights” of these feeds without having to read all of the 200+ posts that come out of it everyday. This becomes increasingly important as MXNA continues to grow.

Adobe’s Career Focused Curriculum

Adobe’s new “Career-Focused” curriculum is an amazing step in modernizing technical education in both high schools and universities. I have looked over the curriculum for Web Design, and I don’t believe that any other curriculum that I have reviewed covers current day software and topics as effectively as this curriculum does. Many more schools are offering classes in topics such as “Web Design” and “Rich Internet Applications”, but in the end I feel that most of the instructors are not aware of the current nature of the digital development world. Many programs are geared toward certifications that are either outdated or insignificant. My hope is that this curriculum will begin to permeate these programs and increase the quality of education, and in turn the quality of digital media in the future.

Web Design Curriculum
Design and Print Curriculum
Video Design and Production Curriculum

My initial hope is that if you know an educator that is teaching a digital media course of any type (at any level) let them know about this curriculum. As always, I look forward to hearing your comments.

What is after the Cairngorm Tutorials

This is the time for some reader response. We have two parts left in the Cairngorm Tutorial Series. I am trying to plan ahead and determine what topic to tackle next (with Flex,AIR,Flash or CF). The Cairngorm series came out of several people specifically asking me to do it. What would you guys like to see next?

Getting Started with Cairngorm – Part 4

The basic Cairngorm Event Flow that is handled in Part 3 is essential to any Cairngorm application, but most applications interact with a server. The Service to Worker pattern that was discussed in the previous tutorial is essential to this process. To learn the expanded Cairngorm Flow, you will need to learn a few new Cairngorm elements.


Blog Challenge – Honor Your Inspirations

I am working to finish Part 4 of the Cairngorm tutorial sometime today or tomorrow, but I have a Blog Challenge for all of you out there. Most everyone who is involved in web development has been inspired, encouraged, and taught by people that they might not have ever met. I know that there were a few people in particular that really helped me along the way (people that I have since met at conferences). However, I wanted to take the time to point out the contributions that they made to my development as a web developer. I would encourage all of you to do the same on your respective blogs.

Lee Brimelow – Lee started his tutorials at a time when I was just getting into Flash. I had “played” with it previously, but I had never been a serious Flash developer. The training videos themselves also made a big impact on me. Screencasts (or whatever you want e to call them) have played a big role in the way I receive and offer training. My current Cairngorm Series is a testament to this fact. Lee has made such a positive impact on so many developers, and I am very glad that he is now at Adobe.

Ben Forta – What can I say? Ben’s books are never far from my desk. When I was learning ColdFusion, several of his articles were ingrained into my Firefox address bar. However, Ben’s value as a writer is surpassed only by his ability as a speaker. You honestly feel that he could answer just about any question you could come up with. I don’t know of anyone in the community whose opinion is valued more than his. Also, he has answered every email that I have ever sent to him (and usually pretty quickly). I can’t even imagine the number of emails that he gets in a day.

Ben’s Blog

If I can find a wish-list for each of them, I will be giving a contribution to each of them. Hopefully that will help remind them of how much the development community appreciates their contributions. Who are your inspirations?