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The Voices of The Community: MXDJ's Exclusive Developer Survey

MXDJ Special: Exclusive Developer Survey – MX Technologies Examined From the Developer's Perspective

MX Developer's Journal Publisher Jeremy Geelan writes: For this in-depth report we reached out to the community of developers and designers whose daily work is real-world design and programming. In each case what we sought to do was, first, establish which technologies our respondents used most frequently (in order of most regular use) - so that readers can factor that in when considering their replies.

Topics dealt with ranged from the gamut of Macromedia's various technologies to wider issues such as future roadmaps, parallel technologies, competing technologies, and of course the upcoming Adobe-Macromedia deal, when it goes ahead this Fall.

At MXDJ we like nothing more than to let the community speak for itself, so without further ado, let's get into the answers of our sampling of movers and shakers in the industry. We make no claim to be scientific: but these are the raw insights of real-live technology professionals, just like you, and we are extremely proud to bring them in this very special issue of the magazine.

To all those who participated, our thanks. It is thoughtful writing like these responses that makes MXDJ what it is.

Name: Jesse Randall Warden
Position: Senior Macromedia Flash Developer working full-time at Round Box Media (www.roundboxmedia.com).

Technologies used: Flash Player 7, Flash MX 2004 Professional, Flex & FlexBuilder, and Fireworks

"Macromedia's main contribution is the immense install base for the Flash Player as well as its correctly perceived security. For the developer, an ECMA standards based language that can evolve fast (compared to JavaScript), a ubiquitous platform, and ability to interface with a multitude of services (Text, XML, SOAP/RPC, Sockets [ASCII & Binary], and Remoting). For the designer, the ability to create and display whatever they come up with, to have it look like intended on all platforms, and the opportunity to work with developers to make applications rich. For business, the ability to get quicker to market solutions for the front-end that give an edge in looking better than competitors. For the user, the ability to give better experiences garnered from the benefits outlined above."

Q. In the last ten years what non-Macromedia technologies (if any!!) have you envied?

A. Microsoft's Visual Studio, Borland's Delphi, Adobe's AfterEffects, Alias' Maya, Sony's SoundForge & ACID, and Propellarheads' Reason

Q. Having put the X into eXperience, what new areas are you looking forward to Macromedia's team heading off into (including as part of a merged Adobe-Macromedia)?

A. Bringing Flex development to the masses via an appropriately priced point and/or a hosting license; improving the Flex workflow thus allowing qualified designers to create the next generation of Rich Internet Applications; bringing ActionScript 2.0 to mobile devices via Deuce (Flash Lite 2.0); and finding a way to get a product ahead of its time, Central, back into the market again.

Name: David Sawyer McFarland
Position: President of Sawyer McFarland Media Inc. (http://www.sawmac.com), a web development and training company located in Portland, Oregon.

Technologies used: Dreamweaver MX 2004, Fireworks MX 2004

"Macromedia has really coined the term "Rich Internet Application." The evolution of Flash from animated banner-ad creator to sophisticated online application development environment has made companies (and most people who use the web, for that matter) see that the Web can and should be more than just a hop-scotch game of hyperlinks."

Q. In the last ten years what non-Macromedia technologies (if any!!) have you envied?

A. I don't know about envy, but I'd say I admire the way many open- source technologies have changed the playing field for Web design and development. The open source software movement has made a huge impact on the current state of the Web: from powerful, enterprise-level servers like Apache and MySQL, to the vast array of free (as in beer and in speech) software aimed at deploying a range of Web applications such as Blogs (Wordpress - www.wordpress.org), bulletin boards (PHP Bulletin Board - www.phpbb.com), and countless other content management systems (www.opensourcecms.com). By all accounts, the future of the Web will be peppered with even more open source technologies; or at least, many corporations will give up proprietary standards in favor of open standards. Microsoft's announcement that they'll adopt XML as the standard file format for the next versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint is probably just the beginning of a greater convergence of technologies that promote the easy exchange of information.

Q. What new areas are you looking forward to Macromedia's team heading off into?

A. Well, my bias is toward the good old HTM of L. While I'm in awe of the rich internet experience Flash is capable of, I hope that Adobe-Macromedia takes the lead in developing tools to support the fresh resurgence of DHTML, and in particular the use of what's become known as Asynchronous JavaScript and XML, or AJAX for short.

Q. And what about the technology future in general?

A new generation of rich internet applications that use HTML, JavaScript, CSS and server-produced XML are promising to deliver Web applications that feel like applications. Google leads the charge with tools like Google Suggest (www.google.com/webhp?complete=1&hl=en) and Google Maps (http://maps.google.com). But, every day, someone new debuts a DHTML and AJAX-enabled application with jaw-dropping effects that make you scratch your head and say, "No, that's got to be Flash!" Like the simple and intuitive list management web app, Ta-da Lists (www.tadalist.com), or the sublimely creative drag-and-drop shopping cart from Panic software (www.panic.com/goods), or the "hey ain't that Adobe Acrobat" world-wide news paper reader Press Display (www.pressdisplay.com) - and yes, that last one really is HTML!

More Stories By Jeremy Geelan

Jeremy Geelan is Chairman & CEO of the 21st Century Internet Group, Inc. and an Executive Academy Member of the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences. Formerly he was President & COO at Cloud Expo, Inc. and Conference Chair of the worldwide Cloud Expo series. He appears regularly at conferences and trade shows, speaking to technology audiences across six continents. You can follow him on twitter: @jg21.

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jeff.mxdj.com 09/23/05 02:30:06 PM EDT

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