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Macromedia MX related news and discussion
Breeze, Central, ColdFusion, Contribute, Director, Dreamweaver, Flash Arrived in SLC for MAX 2003 November 18, 2003

If you are at all interested in my experience at the Macromedia MAX 2003 Conference this year, you can read about it from the special page I will be updating at http://www.ekosm.com/projects/max2003/. I will also be photo blogging along with other's at Community Vision (created by Christian Cantrell). If you see me at MAX please say "Hi", but don't ask me to eat cinnamon.

Posted by ErikG at 01:24 AM in Breeze, Central, ColdFusion, Contribute, Director, Dreamweaver, Flash | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Central Central SDK Beta Available October 16, 2003

The Central SDK Public Beta is finally available. Download it here. Central requires Flash MX or Flash 2004. It also requires the Macromedia Extension Manager which is available for download here.

Enjoy!


Posted by Al Patridge at 08:48 PM in Central | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)
Central New Version of Movie Finder Available October 07, 2003

There is a new version (0.2) of the Movie Finder Application available for Central. I was prompted to update the application upon launching Central this evening. It was a good opportunity to experience Central's update feature. It only required one button click to install. The only thing that acted oddly was the console. When the update was done the console had two copies of the Movie Finder pod running. Upon restarting Central the console came up with no pods loaded and required the application (at this point there are only two) to be reselected. While this is a little annoying now, it will be painful when your console contains lots of applications.

Posted by Al Patridge at 09:00 AM in Central | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Central Central: First Impressions September 30, 2003

I installed Macromedia's Central public beta last night on an XP machine. Here are my first impressions:

Installation:
Installation of Central went very smooth, maybe too smooth. The installation package seemed a bit unnatural compared to a standard windows installer. It was very smooth, very integrated with the browser; the only thing I felt it lacked was interaction with the user. I got the feeling that there was quite a bit going on behind the scenes and that I had little or no control over it. On the upside, the “central” Central application (ok, I am rethinking the idea that Central was a good name) ran without a hitch on the first try.

My Applications:
Nothing major here, it looks like a browser window. The difference is under the hood. Unfortunately the limited beta doesn’t demonstrate this very well, but you can see the potential. Add applications with the click of a button, tight integration with windows, “occasionally connected applications” with smart alerts, it sounds great. My concern is that all of this seems kind of over kill for most applications. With the advent of Flash Remoting most of these things are available ala Carte. Will this be too much for most apps?

The Console:
My console has pods. I am not proud of it, but it does. This concept is very appealing to me except for the constant interaction with the main Applications window. Again this may just be the way beta applications are coded. We won’t really be able to tell how good or bad this concept really is until we can get a look at some more real world applications. For now I believe the better example of the console’s promise is the AccuWeather app.

The Beta Applications:
AccuWeather is the clear winner here. It is easy and intuitive to set up and its console is actually useful without popping the main application window. Movie Finder has promise, but right now it is light on usability and value add over dozens of other movie websites. It was also a bit slow and buggy the first three times I accessed it. The Application Finder is just a stall page so we won’t know how easy it will be to add applications until after the beta. If it is anything like installing the beta, it should be fine.

Overall, I like the potential of Central. I think if it allows developers enough freedom and functionality, it will catch on and flourish. If the framework is too rigid, I think developers will sidestep it in favor of Flash Remoting. I can’t wait to see what happens.

Bring on the SDK!

Posted by Al Patridge at 10:48 PM in Central | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)
Central Central Buzz September 26, 2003

With the release of the new Central beta, there are quite a few people talking about it. I haven't touched it yet, but I've grabbed some links to people talking about:

Web-Rat
"I didn't mind Central, I thought it was pretty neat. I like having a movie finder app right on my desktop instead of having to open a browser to go hunt down the Loews theater times, etc."

Mario Klingemann
"A Bloated Widget Tool?"
[I think Mario makes the point that it's not - hard to say for sure.]

Eric Dolecki
"would i call central a bloated widget tool? no... unless thats all people want to use it for - which i don't see happening. its a hell of a lot faster than sherlock thats for sure. i don't even have that one in my dock anymore."
[Eric, I can't seem to link directly to your blog entries. Drop me a line if I can and I'll update the link]

Peter Hall
"We can't add new apps yet, and there is no information on how to go about building one. After all the hype and waiting around, this is definitely an anticlimax."

Matt Haughey
"Macromedia's Central went into beta today, and although I've seen some pretty cool demos at conferences, the beta is fairly crippled."

YayHooray Thread
benHarper: what the heck is MM Central?
etchalon: It's pretty. And slow. It's pretty slow.

Posted by Michael Buffington at 10:01 AM in Central | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)
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