I’m speaking at the Flash on the Beach conference in Brighton, England in September! I’m really excited about this conference because it’s not a Flex conference, it’s a Flash conference (but of course there will be plenty of Flex represented). I’ve got a little notoriety among you Flex developers, but Flash guys are like, “Doug McWho?”, so that’ll be pretty dope to get out in front of a different audience.
I’m going to be presenting on a yet-to-be-determined Flex topic, and I’ll likely ask for some suggestions as I’m refining my presentation ideas. Here are my current potential topics:
- super-sweet data visualization in Flex
I’ve been reading lots of Edward Tufte books and other information visualization books. These are fantastic resources to help you think about effective ways of visualizing information, and I’m thinking about taking many of the principles and applying them to the Flex framework. This would involve the creation of a bunch of altered charting controls (new axis renderers, different chart types, etc). And I’d analyze what’s good and bad about the current set of data visualization components available (in the Flex SDK, the iLog component set, and the open source community). I’d probably throw in some brief mapping examples too.
- Maps, maps, maps
I’ve been doing a ton of Flex mapping applications for work. Unfortunately a lot of that stuff can’t be shared (I certainly can’t show much of the code, and I can’t even show demos of some of it). But I’m thinking about doing a session that goes over all the different options for AS3 map components (we now have ESRI, MapQuest, Google, Yahoo, UMap, Poly9). A year ago or so ESRI was pretty much the only game in town, now there are a bunch. So I’m thinking about showing some demos of how to use the different map components, and some data visualization techniques for working with geospatial data.
- advanced open source Flex projects
My presentation at the last 360|Flex conference in Atlanta was on using open source projects in your Flex apps. I’m thinking about doing a part 2 of that topic anhd going into more depth with a smaller number of projects. My last preso was sort of the shotgun approach (ie show many projects with only cursory information). This preso would be focusing on creating two or three demos that combine a handful of projects and dive deeper into the code and how I went about creating the demos.
- Decompiling Flex applications for fun and profit
I’ve been playing a lot with SWF decompiling tools and ripping apart lots of Flex applications. There’s a lot you can learn from this (it’s not an inherently bad thing to decompile someone’s code). I’m thinking about stepping through the process of decompiling an app and talk about what you can learn, what decompiling actually gets you, how you can piece things back together, etc. I figured I could rip apart one or two main example apps (like Photoshop Express or Buzzword). I toyed with the idea of submitting this as a topic for MAX, just to see if Adobe would let me rip apart the Buzzword code base and show it off to everyone. But I figure at FOTB it’s all fair game.
- Using Flash 10 features in your Flex apps
I’m considering a presentation that focuses on taking advantage of all the new features of Flash Player 10 (specifically in relation to the Flex SDK). I’m considering this topic because it would force me to stay on top of the new technology and know my shit. I haven’t yet played with FP10, so this would force me to do some cool stuff.
I’ll be holding down the Flex front with a few other guys, I know that Ben Stucki and Tink are both going to present on Flex topics. I’m also excited to meet some Flash peeps I’ve admired for a long time.
So if you’re looking for a European vacation near the end of September, then come to FOTB and hang out in Brighton! It’s gonna be sweet.