Idealism is what precedes experience; cynicism is what follows...

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Event : IEEE Workshop on Advanced Signal Processing

IEEE Denmark and Nokia Denmark are inviting everyone interested to the one-day workshop "IEEE Workshop on Advanced Signal Processing for Wireless Communication Systems". The purpose of the workshop is to facilitate professional and scientific networking among researchers in Northern and Central Europe within the field of signal and information processing in wireless communications.

The workshop will take place on
Friday, November 16, 2007 from 9:00 to 18:00
Nokia Denmark
A. C. Meyers Vænge 15
DK-2450 Copenhagen V

The workshop is the third of this kind. The program includes three 50-min tutorials in the morning, and 8 shorter presentations in the afternoon, followed by drinks and snacks. Workshop attendance is free of charge, but registration is required.

For more information:

Registration (free of charge) required:
Rikke D. Klemmesen (rdk at

RIA : Is this Web 3.0 ?

Taking a step back from the ever occurring deadlines and technical challenges that lurch around every corner, it becomes evident that RIA may have a more significant nature than it may seem at first sight.

Not everyone agrees on exactly what Web 2.0 entails. As with all great buzzwords and concepts, people are already predicting what Web 3.0 will be. Will rich internet applications dominate it?

RIAs are still in their infancy, but when done right they're incredibly powerful tools. When Google launched Google Maps a few years ago, it opened people's eyes to the fact that web browsers can do much more than merely display pictures and text.

Currently, there are four mainstream mechanisms being used to develop RIAs.

AJAX is a web development technique for using JavaScript with XML to create a rich internet application by dynamically and asynchronously exchanging data in the background without having to refresh the page. Google Maps and Gmail demonstrated what could be done with simple existing technologies like JavaScript and XMLHttpRequest. Google, Microsoft and Yahoo! all now promote their own AJAX toolkits to assist in building AJAX-rich media functionality.

The first horse in the RIA race was Flash. Adobe/Macromedia with its Flash/Flex infrastructure is still the leader in online video. Combining the programming capabilities of Flex makes an incredibly powerful toolset for creating internet applications. Flash has strong penetration and when used effectively can enhance your website.

Microsoft is barreling ahead with Silverlight, a browser plug-in to deliver interactive web applications that should be taken seriously. The company launched Silverlight earlier this year and is promoting it heavily to its large partner development network. Silverlight is delivered to a browser via XAML, which is a text-based markup language. This makes it easier for search engines to scan Silverlight vs. Flash.

Finally, even though you don't see it much, there's an open-source platform for RIAs called OpenLaszlo. Initially developed as a proprietary system by Laszlo Systems, it was made open source in 2004. Not wanting to be left out of the RIA race, IBM--consistent with its embracing of Linux and other open source--has helped propel OpenLaszlo. The company worked with Laszlo Systems to use the open source Eclipse development platform with OpenLaszlo. Applications for OpenLaszlo can be run in Flash or in DHTML.

One current issue with Flash is that while search engines can index it, they don't index it as well as with text because Flash is a binary compiled file. That's why most websites aren't entirely created in Flash. Accessibility and keyboard navigation can be issues with these rich applications as well. If you don't have a mouse or can't use one, then you'll have problems with these technologies. Also, while the plug-ins have sizable browser penetration, they're problematic for some users.

What It Means for You
What does all of this mean for business owners in the Web 2.0 era? For the tech entrepreneur it means new opportunities. Many traditional client server applications are being pressured to move their applications to the web. Entrepreneurs can potentially displace client server apps with new innovative web applications. For other entrepreneurs, you have to evaluate your business and what specific benefits you can get from adding rich features to your website.

Ever Evolving
There will be other emerging technologies in the RIA area. The combination of these rich features will help trends like social networking continue to evolve. We'll likely see many websites with more drag-and-drop-type features in the next few years. The online/offline office also will continue to develop as predominant internet companies compete with Microsoft Office for the next generation office applications. Web applications will continue to become more robust and feature rich than ever before.

Copyright © 2007, Inc.
...and thanks to Frank Bell for his input.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

DARPA : Grand Challenge 2007 finals coming up

For those interested in large-scale-field-robotics and perhaps more specifically automated cars / unmanned cars, the DARPA Grand Urban Challenge is a major event. On the upcoming November 3rd the final is taking place at the former George Air Force Base in southern California. The event will in its entirety be available as live broadcast via the website.

Check it out:

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Facebook : Think (perhaps even twice) before creating an application

O'Reilly research has analyzed the usage patterns of Facebook applications and have come to a pretty unambiguous conclusion:

- chances are very significant that your application will be born, live and die in complete uselesssness for the bulk of the Facebook users !

The analysis revealed the following factualities:
- There are more than 5000 Facebook applications.
- There are millions and millions of active users.
- 87% of the usage only goes into only 84 applications.
- Only 45 applications have more than 100.000 active users.

Check it out:

Friday, October 26, 2007

Adobe Flex : 30 days free online training

Total Training is offering 30 days free Adobe Flex training.
Just follow the link below and you will be redirected to a page with an activation code. This activation code will be yours to redeem before the 30th of December (So there is plenty of time).

Sign up here:

Thursday, October 25, 2007

360|Flex 2008 Europe : Now its confirmed

Barely having licked the wounds from the Barcelona MAX conference its time to plan for the next big event on the European Flex scene.
Flex|360 is coming to Europe next year in April and if you are a Flex developer: be sure to attend as I am sure that its gonna be rewarding as heck as the Flex development community gains more and more momentum... and it might coincide with the release of the Flex Builder 3 as well as Thermo will be publicly available!

Read more here:

And about the 360|Flex in general here:

Adobe Flex : Improving startup performance

Watch what you do at startup !

Don’t call setStyle() if you can avoid it, it’s one of the most expensive calls in the framework since it can trigger reloading styles in every component on the display list. If you have to call setStyle(), do it in the INITIALIZE event handler instead of the CREATION_COMPLETE handler. Use deferred instantiation when possible (leave creationPolicy=”auto”). Avoid unneccessary nesting of containers.

Adobe Flex : Improving startup performance

Watch what you do at startup !

Don’t call setStyle() if you can avoid it, it’s one of the most expensive calls in the framework since it can trigger reloading styles in every component on the display list. If you have to call setStyle(), do it in the INITIALIZE event handler instead of the CREATION_COMPLETE handler. Use deferred instantiation when possible (leave creationPolicy=”auto”). Avoid unneccessary nesting of containers.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

MS Visual Studio : Features in Visual Studio 2008 and .Net "Orcas"

Microsoft has published the featurelist for Visual Studio 2008 and .NET "Orcas".
They ask us (the development community) which features to prioritize high... exciting stuff :-)

Check it out:

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Adobe "Thermo"

Both before and after Adobe MAX Europe 2007 we have discussed which role Thermo is going to play in the integration between the graphics department and the development department.
To clarify a couple of things Narciso Jaramillo has posted some of his thoughts on his blog which are worth reading if interested in the emergence of Thermo.

Check it out:

Narciso is part of the Adobe Flex Team.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Adobe Flex Builder : TODO/FIXME plugin

Among the many many cool things I have taken with me from the Adobe MAX Europe 2007, is the knowledge of Dirk Eismann who has been a Macromedia Fellow since 1996.

The first of what I expect is going to be many posts relating to this very sharp and super cool guy is a TODO/FIXME plugin he has implemented for the Eclipse-based Adobe Flex Builder.

Check it out:

Many thanx to Dirk for sharing this very cool plugin with us, the community...

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Adobe MAX 2007 : My Attended Sessions

At this years MAX in Europe (The first of its kind on this continent) I attended the following sessions:

- Flex Best Practices
- Open Source Flex
- Adobe's approach to Application Design
- Inspire Session : The blind sketch maker
- Flash Player Internals
- Customizing the Flex Framework
- Design Lead Innovation : Creation Disruptive Experiences
- Inspire Session : 50 reasons why ActionScript 3.0 rocks
- Advanced LiveCycle Data Services for Flex Developers
- Practical Patterns in Flex
- Best Practices for Developing with ActionScript 3.0
- Functional & Performance Testing Flex Applications (Borland's Approach)
- BootCamp for Flex

The sometimes very difficult decisions to make as to which sessions to attend, I made based on the person presenting as well as the topic. That explains why some of the sessions I attended can be found to be in conflict with concurrent sessions with a topic closer to my field of expertise. I think in overall perspective that this priority paid off well when we during the "post-factsessions-beerdrinking-sessions" compared our experiences, it seems that I generally have steered clear of sessions involving people with poor presentation skills and the sessions with people the less knowledgeable than myself. I did however make a couple of misses, as I found some of the sessions which hit my field of expertise 100% to be too important based on the topic alone to ignore, contained nothing new to me.

I will make post's in the near future about every single one of them once I get my notes reviewed.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Adobe Max 2007 : Intro Networking Application

I just received the final details email for the Adobe Max 2007 in Barcelona.
There is a cool intro-networking application that provides you with a network map of all attendees where all attendees are placed on the map corresponding to their compatibility.

The pin in the middle is off course me, so I take it that I am not so very compatible since everybody seems to be located in an incrementing pattern away from me...

This is very cool work, guys... keep it up and we will keep coming back for more :-)

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Adobe Flex 3.0 : Charting Documentation

I have been asked many times now about this so I have decided to post about it in my blog. The Adobe Flex Documentation team has as a matter of fact already released the missed out documentation for Flex charting shipped with Flex 3.

Download it from Adobes website:

The Daily Motivator : Quit with dignity and style

"If Leaving the Company, Do So in Good Standing. At some point, every worker is faced with the dilemma of whether to leave their current employer for a better job. If you do decide to jump ship, you are then faced with the question of how to do it right."

I have found this article from the Washington Post by Lily Garcia about how to quit your job with style and how not to burn the bridges behind you just because you have found it necessary for whatever reason to move on.

Check it out:

The Daily Motivator : I love My Work

"Work is not a necessary evil. It is, instead, an intrinsic source of pleasure and value" does it sound like something you might think from time to time, then read this article about Arthur C. Brooks in where he explains the true values inherent in ones work.

Check it out:

Adobe Flex : Class Library Posters at Adobe Max 2007

Im looking forward to going to this years Adobe Max Europe in Barcelona. Not only is the weather much better there than in Copenhagen, Denmark but I cant wait to be surrounded by other developers engaged in the RIA and to get a grasp of how big and engaged the scene actually is... However, among the many things I expect to gain at the venue I also expect to get my own set of Flex Class Diagram posters in French cinema poster size.

Check it out:

Joel on software

Its old news by now, but it doesn't change the fact that its a thoughtprovoking piece of text that definitely is worth spending 5 minutes absorbing...

Joel on software, strategy letter VI:

Monday, October 08, 2007

Adobe Flex 3.0: ILOG Elixir

Adobe announced that it plans to resell ILOG Elixir, a new advanced data visualization component set for Flex 3 including org charts, gantt display, geo maps for dashboards, treemap charts for analyzing large data sets, 3D charts, and 2D chart extensions with radar charts.

ILOG elixir is a new component library for the Adobe 3.0 platform. Its currently in Beta, however its release is planned to coincide with the final release of Flex 3.0 currently scheduled for early 2008.

Built specifically for the Adobe Flex 3.0 platform. ILOG Elixir provides advanced capabilities for:
- 2D chart extensions with radar charts (also named spider charts)
- Full 3D charts including bar/column, area, line and pie
- Treemap charts, for analyzing large data sets
- Planning and scheduling displays, such as Gantt charts
- Organizational charts
- Maps for creating interactive dashboards

ILOG Elixir:

Friday, October 05, 2007

Adobe "Thermo"

Adobe's upcoming new design tool, codenamed "Thermo" enables designers and developers to create working application prototypes, design application transitions/motion, and transform static UI mockups into declarative MXML source.

Adobe Thermo:

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Adobe Flex : DataProvider to a Charting Series

I have found that when setting the series for a charting component in Adobe Flex 2.0 it is important to remember that it does not respond correctly to anything except an instance of Array, this means that you can not use any members from the Collection package directly, you can off course still use the ArrayCollection.toArray() when setting the dataProvider property.
However, another spurious thing to consider when working with the dataprovider of a Series item, you can not use the methods of the dataProvider if you want the Chart to respond to the build-in-databinding mechanisms, e.g. even though you know that the dataProvider property points to an Array, you can not use the Array.push() to add a new member of data dataProvider - you are forced to set the entire Series.dataProvider property every time you want to force a build-in-databinding-triggered-update on the Chart component.

These small quirks are not included in the documentation.

Adobe Flex Builder 3.0 B2 now here

In the new and inspired effort from Adobe to be more extrovert about their development efforts, especially towards the RIA development community to which I suppose I belong, Adbobe has now released the latest Beta version of the Flex Builder both as standalone application as well as the Eclipse plugin.

According to Adobe the changes in this release are primarily changes based on feedback from the development community... its nice to see that the effort put into the early-release program by the development community is being rewarded.

I have been using the B1 edition since it was released and I have had only minor instances of mishaps and no critical losses nor unintended alterations of data, so I don't hesitate to use the B2 as my primary development environment. If I encounter any issues I will post them here as well as in the Adobe-JIRA.

Link to the latest edition of the Adobe Flex Builder:

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