March 1, 2008

Adobe AIR Camp
Switzerland Was a Blast!

I just got up after 18 hours of sleep. The reason? The Adobe AIR Camp Switzerland.

About three weeks ago, I got a call from Adobe and was asked if I would like to find out more about Adobe's newest addition to the family, namely Adobe AIR. The idea was to get the best Swiss web developers together for a two day workshop & contest here in Zurich. I signed up immediately and since I was given the opportunity to bring someone along, I've asked my brilliant college buddy Boris to join me. Although his background is more into heavy-duty C++ programming, he surprisingly agreed to come along.

On Day 1, Thursday, we got an overview of Adobe AIR by Mike Downey. He showed us some of the cool applications that have already been built for AIR such as eBay Desktop, a Nickelodeon application and an internal Adobe employee directory application. Later we had a good introduction to the API new in Adobe AIR by Serge Jespers. After that we were given time until Day 2, Friday, 4pm to build a cool application for Adobe AIR.

I worked the 24+ hours — with about 2 hours of sleep in between — on the same idea that I've had for quite a while now: exploring Flickr in a different way.

The approach I took, given the tight time constraint, was to seriously follow a RAD paradigm. Surprisingly, it worked out quite well. The application I've built, called Monad, is by no means anything close to finished or even stable but it succeeds in showing some of my ideas of how Zoomable User Interfaces (ZUI) can improve the way we explore information spaces.

Well, in the end — to my surprise — I've won the 4th place in the contest.

Thanks to Adobe for making that event happen! It was a blast — the people, the food & the atmosphere were awesome!

Especially, I'd like to thank Boris for joining me — it wouldn't have been half the fun without him! I am very proud of him, as he built an impressive RSS reader called AirReader based on the (still unreleased) Google Reader API using some cool tricks for authentication while having never before touched ActionScript or Flex Builder.

Well, the following are some screenshots of Monad & AirReader

Screenshots: Monad

Monad Screenshot Monad Screenshot Monad Screenshot Monad Screenshot Monad Screenshot It's cool to see the logo of your application on the desktop among all the other «real» applications – thanks to Adobe AIR!

Screenshots: AirReader

AirReader AirReader An impressive RSS reader application by Boris.