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MAX Keynote

Note : Here are my raw notes from the keynote. They have not been edited or spell checked. I wanted to get them online as soon as possible. I will update them in the next hours and polish them a little better.

Max 2004 Keynote

Updated : We have posted a summary of the general session with pictures on the DevNet Center. You can view it here.

Unfortunately, wireless is not working in the conference hall so i wasn’t able to blog it live.

Start. Video of bunch of clips created using Macromedia technology (over “What a wonderful world” cover by the Ramones), Seinfeld / superman ads, Ben and Jerry’s site, Max Intro, Volvo and Vodaphone.

COO Stephen Elop is on stage. New Orleans’ slogan is “happenin’ every day”. That is our goal for Max. 35% of attendees are from EDU and GOV. 38 different countries, 90% use ColdFusion, 60% use Dreamweaver. 10% use Macromedia breeze (only a year old). More than half are from large organizations.

Why do people come to Max? #1 reason is to share and learn and interact with other people (network).

We have Intro Network app again. Can use it to find similar people. Please don’t use it as a dating tool.

Another reason people come to Max is to find out what the future holds from Macromedia. Will hear a lot from Macromedia, and other sessions. We will have a bunch of sneaks in keynote, and a full session of sneaks tomorrow night.

Two years ago we released the MX line of products. Never said what MX stands for (still not going to tell), but over all it stands for experience.

We also introduced concept of RIAs, and will still hear a lot. They represent best of desktop, best of web, and deployed across multiple desktops and devices, and operating systems, deployed via Flash.

Made a lot of progress on RIAs. (Show’s Broadmore). However, it has still been hard to developer (Broadmore developer was actually a rocket scientist). At Salt Lake city last year, we showed a ton of great examples or RIAs. This week you will see how it is really expanding, and a lot easier to build this type of content.

Business results accruing from using RIAs.

Mini-USA car site. Car configurator. Really cool. 1/2 of leads to sales force for Mini come from this application.

Ralph Lauren TV Applications - take a visual experience and introduce it on the internet. Lots of video. Video section saw traffic increase of 300% after it launched.

Avery Fun Stamps - can design your own postage stamps. Hasn’t launched yet. Developers said if they would have done it in java it would have taken 20% longer (if they would have been able to do it at all).

Divergent devices explosions. PC used to be center of our universe, but now devices are becoming more important day to day. Seeing growing desire to have great experiences across all devices. One of our goals is to ensure this experience is possible across wide range of devices. More in tomorrows general session.

About 30% of max attendees are spending time building apps for e-learning. Shows non-Macromedia conferencing app. Confusing, bad experience.

Lets look at something more interesting with a better experience. Macromedia breeze, leverage Flash with a focus on experience. More during keynote tomorrow.

Underlying theme. Think of what we are doing and it starts around Flash technology. Providing tool to make experiences possible, Flash, Dreamweaver, ColdFusion, and then our providing solutions on top of this, such as BReeze.

Another experience we want to talk about, is Macromedia customer experience. Made some commitments last year, you told us we need to listen more. If we listen, then we can do great things. If we don’t listen, we have challenges and problems. We are committed to listen to customers.

How have we changed how we listen to customers over the last 12 months. We have a new product design and development process (synchronous development process (SPD)). Deep involvement and engagement with users. All current products are using this to define and refine products. Has a huge impact within Macromedia.

More open Betas. Over 2000 people on blackstone beta, 500 organizations working on Flex betas.

Have been actively talking to community. We have been leveraging weblogs to communicate . If you aren’t reading them, you are missing a great opportunity hear from and communicate directly with Macromedia.

Key reason we are successful is because of the strength of the communities. Being part of this community gives you a lot of power over Macromedia in how we shape our products. Take this opportunity here at Max. Make sure to grab us and talk to us, tell us what you want.

Today is election day. How many people haven’t voted? People raise hands. Election last time was a bad experienced (shows guy counting hanging chads). So, we have an app to take votes, that uses blackstone and flex.

-turn on cell phone
-send an SMS to a #####
-in text of SMS put b for bush, k for kerry, n for nader.

Will tally votes, while voting is going on, they shows This Land by JibJab. While it is running, you can see voting results real time in Flex app.

Results are Kerry 54%, Bush 42%. So, now you know, there is no reason to spend time tonight in hotel watching results.

Kevin Lynch on stage.

Update : Kevin has posted very detailed notes and urls from this section on his weblog. You can view it here.

Rich internet applications are starting to happen. Lets look at some examples in a couple of categories.

Flash player adoption continues to be very fast and high. Shows historic adoption curves. Adoption goes from 0 to 80% in about 12 months.

Expressive Content : Flash has been traditionally strong in the area. Has always been good at delivering low bandwidth, but as bandwidth increases, we are seeing better and more engaging experiences. Especially video. Flash is more ubiquitous video play on the internet.

Shows Toyota Japan site. Mixes video with application. Well integrated video experience with interactivity.

Phillips site. Smooth, fluid experienced.

RedBull. Can change camera angles on race on the fly. Can also view data in real time about the flight. Data tracking synced with video. seeing more experiences that help show and explain data.

Guided Selling : improving shopping experiences.

Vodaphone site : app to help choose phones that filters phones in realtime. http://www.vodaphoneshop.de/shop/main/

Air Nippon Airlines site : app that helps book flights in realtime. Great interface and UI for picking flight and info.

nike site where you can pick and design your own shoe.

TJMax site. Not live yet. New check out RIA that makes checkout simple, without tons of page refreshes.

Visual Analysis : help navigate through large sets up data. applications that leverage design to help people better understand information.

New York State app that looks at well being of kids thought-out state. Pulls in and displays data in realtime. Can customize and adjust in realtime.

BBC News US election site. can drill down to individual states, and look at past examples.

University of North Carolina : Help figure out how same symptoms in kids can be treated effectively. Used to be huge HTML page with tons of charts and graphics. Really overwhelming. Now done in Flash, where it makes more sense, and is not as overwhelming. Shows video of north carolina doctors talking about the app. They built the app at Max.

Streamlined Business Processes

Zones mail order catalog (intranet app). They used to have a really complex back-end system spread across multiple applications. They used Flex to combine all of these applications into one applications, that greatly simplified tasks and workflow.

Mazda car site. Cool customer facing app, but their call center application is also a RIA.

On Showroom floor, they have same application that runs on a wireless handheld, so they can get the same information.

Seven Worldwide. ERP application using Flash. Perhaps largest flash application in world. Shows video talking to seven about their experience building the application.

Effortless Communication : Flash player can enabled internet apps that can enable communication between others, either live or recorded.

Microsoft vision site. Leverages Flash video.

IBM : Forward View website, which talks about their future vision

CNet.com : Flash video on front page of site, to view videos or review and news. Integrated into site.

Salesforce.com : use Flash and breeze to present things to customers. has increased quality of sales leads.

Patterns : we are starting to see some patterns emerge in RIA UIs and development. We are looking ways to improve on them and help standardize them.

Michael Gough and Michael Sundemeyer from Experience Design team at Macromedia.

Good news is we are seeing some cool innovations. Bad news sometimes they are so innovative that users cant keep up.

We are looking into some design standards so users can understand applications. This is a new class of stuff, designing rich internet applications. We need standards to ensure great user experiences.

Here is some of the stuff we have learned, and some of the principles we follow.

Understand the soul of the application. What problem is the application trying to solve.

Focus and emphasis. Best applications have a strong sense of what the app is trying to solve, use this to drive primary focus of application. Shows vignette on this.

Content and Control separation : merging content and control for content can be exciting / innovated, but does not work as well for applications.

Context Continuity : use film like transitions and effective to help users understand where they are in the applications, and so they don’t get lost.

We are working on a larger set of principles to help guide RIA application development. XD team will be creating an XD weblog soon to discuss these issues and principles.


Kevin shows timeline over last year, showing updates to Flash and Dreamweaver, trying to get back on track. Really focused on making next version of products solid.

Just released Flash Video Kit for Dreamweaver. Makes it easy to integrate Flash video into websites created with Dreamweaver. Shows quick demo about how easy it is.

3 main ways to deploy video. Embed in SWF, good for short clips (less than 5 seconds). Use external FLV files. Good for longer video, 5-60 seconds. Can play as they download. Streaming, supports long form video. Need Flash Communication server or hosting. You can do bandwidth detection to stream appropriate bitrate for users bandwidth.

Flex 1.5. Announced availability today. (applause). You can download it directly from Macromedia.com (more applause). We have a free version of Flex for non-commercial use (more applause).

George Riley : Flex demonstration. Shows how he built the voting application showed earlier. SMS votes were gathered by Blackstone (new feature in blackstone). Flex connected to blackstone via web services. Showing Flex code for application. Uses data-binding. Shows how we used the phone numbers from the SMS to drill down into what parts of the country voted for who. Writes code on stage.


Ben Forta and Tim Buntel

15 months on development
over 20,000 development hours
over 200 beta testers
7 months of customer testing
over 15,000 regression tests

User design is very important. Shows how you cane easily add Flash based forms that are more usable, using new CF tags. Progressively builds up more advanced form. First input, then input in a panel, then a tabbed base input, then a confirmation page that uses data-binding from other form inputs. All done via simple CF tags.

Shows how simple it is to create dynamically create flash paper and pdf docs from CF output. (Applause)

Shows some report generating functionality of blackstone. Done in a new ColdFusion report building tool. Builds one from scratch that looks at data from SMS voting. The tool is really cool. Can drag and drop db tabs, and link them by dragging the columns. (applause)

Clip of interview with FAA who has been using the new report functionality.

Blackstone can take data outside the realm of the web. Goes into Admin and starts an SMS tester to test SMS functionality. Launches built in cellphone emulator so he can test sending SMS messages to CF app. Sends an SMS and immediately gets results back on phone.

SMS feature is part of a bigger feature called gateways, that allows you to tie into other systems, SMS, JMS, etc… You can go to cyber cafe, enter you mobile number and you will get alerts via SMS. or you can send an SMS to a number and get information about your sessions.

Beta of Blackstone is included in your Max bag. (Applause)

Kevin asks if crown would like to see sneak of future flash player (crowd responds very loudly yes).

Next version of Flash player, code-named maelstrom. Focuses on performance and expressiveness.

Mike Downey : Flash Technical Product Manager

Focusing on performance. Shows cacheAsBitmap example. Shows example that creates hundreds of movie clips. Frame rate is really slow because it has to recalculate all vectors every frame. enables cache as bitmap, so player draws the vectors as bitmaps, so now it just shifts the pixels, which is super fast. Information is still maintained, so if the vector changes, the bitmap will be updated automatically. This shows improved rendering speed.

Shows another example with components. This will help improve component performance. Hundred of component instances on stage. run in player 7, really choppy (components are in an accordion tab). run same swf, but cache the components as bitmap, now performance is very smooth. (applause), but components still function as normal.

Graphic Effects demo : Shows application that shows realtime graphic effects being applied to various assets.

Shows drop shadow being applied in realtime. will also be available at author time on timeline. Applies drop shadow, and adjusts the property, and then animates it (applause).

Shows animating effects and typing and changing the effects in realtime (applause). Performance is very smooth, fast.

Shows realtime blur effects on a bitmap. animates the blur, performance is smooth.

Shows live video, and applies a Color Matrix filter, which transforms the video at realtime. Animates it (applause).

Also have major text improvements. Much better display and control. New text rendering engine code-named saffron. Shows comparison between saffron and clear type (saffron appears to be clearer, more legible) (applause). More formating control over text in authoring tool.

Video : Flash video is changing web. We are incorporating a new codec (among the best in the industry), still supporting old. Shows comparison between old and new codec. New one is much, much clearer (very clear difference) (applause). Quality is much better.

New codec also gives us new capabilities. Shows super cool demo with alpha support in video. Can still interact with background (applause). Overlays multiple videos on top of the other.

Shows super cool content / demo created by BigSpaceship (water splashing, cool video effects). Multiple levels of alpha (8bits), so water is transparent, really cool.

You can view some images from the keynote at vision. Kevin Lynch is will be posting the links used in the keynote on his weblog.


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