Goodbye 2007, hello 2008!

My goodness, how quickly did 2007 swoosh by?

It seems only yesterday that I was getting excited about flying out to present at MacWorld 2007 and MacWorld 2008 is almost upon us.

I was just reading my post welcoming 2007, where I wrote:

This year, I plan to concentrate on my own projects, create a few new toys and generally get back into tinkering and experimenting. I feel like I've drifted a bit from working with the things that I love and every now and then you need to nudge yourself back towards that place. I've started to do that now and plan to continue doing so in 2007.

Looking back, I think I did achieve what I set out to in 2007. I have far grander plans for 2008 though! :)

2007 has been a blur of conferences and SWX for me.

It started with MacWorld in San Francisco in January where I presented a FlashForward workshops on ActionScript 3 and Flex 2.

It’s crazy to think that it was just one year ago that we were drooling over sneak peeks of the as-then-unreleased Flash CS3. And, it was great fun to attend the Steve Jobs keynote and experience the unveiling of the iPhone. To think, one year ago, there was no iPhone! :)

Next, I was off to Singapore to teach a one-day workshop called PixelReloaded that the 3dsense Media School organized for me.

During that time, I started working on SWX, the native data format for Flash. It was originally called The Tangent, and it was officially unveiled at a talk I gave at the London Flash Platform User Group called Rediscovering Fun.

The launch of SWX came with its share of controversy, which you can read about in my posts SWX: A good idea and SWX: Still a good idea. The controversy passed quickly though, as people started discovering how easy SWX RPC was to use and started creating cool stuff and having fun with it.

Next, I presented at FITC 2007 in Toronto and the Minimax pre-conference event. It was great to witness Papervision3D win Best Experimental and the all important People's Choice award at the event.

The same month, my Memo to the CEO talk was included in the Edutech NTE Podcast.

In May, I stirred things up a little by proclaiming that Flash developers don't know the web. This was based on my own realization that I wasn't using the web as much as I should have been (something that I've worked hard to change in the time since!)

Also in May, I presented at Multi-Mania in Belgium. Multi-Mania is one of my favorite conferences. Koen and the gang put so much of themselves into the event to create the warmest, most friendly conferences ever. I also presented at Adobe Live in Amsterdam.

Based on feedback from those two conferences, I asked, Can developers be inspirational? (The answer, I believe, is a resounding yes!)

In June, we held the second Open Source Flash Conference online using Breeze (Acrobat Connect). I gave the keynote and a talk about SWX. Ralph presented on Papervision3D and Nicolas on Haxe. Firdosh, Igor, and John also gave talks on ASWing, Granite Data Services, and Red5.

Also in June, I took part in an interesting panel discussion at Adobe Live in London titled The Future Is Wide Open.

In July, I announced that I was speaking at MAX 2007. WTF?

During this time, I was still working on SWX and I created the SWX Moo Card to demonstrate how easy SWX RPC was and I was honored when it got mentioned on the Moo blog.

At the end of August, my life changed from one day to the next when I met a certain someone. You could say that Stephanie is the best thing that SWX has brought into my life! :)

In September, I released version 1.0 of SWX PHP and the SWX ActionScript Library and embarked on the SWX World Tour which I made an effort to vlog.

The tour kicked off with FlashForward Boston.

Next, I left Boston for Cologne, Germany, and had a blast presenting at FlashForum Konferenz.

But there was no rest for the wicked! After Cologne, I flew back to the States to present at Adobe MAX Chicago. At MAX, I vlogged the first public showing of Flash Player 10 and the Thermo sneak peek at the MAX keynotes.

Following MAX, I had a week to rest up in the UK before flying to Barcelona to present at MAX Europe.

After MAX Europe, I was back in my lovely hometown of Brighton to present at Flash on the Beach 2007. I can't stress enough how lovely it is that we have a Flash conference of our own here in the UK (and that it's such a wonderful one -- thanks John!)

Following FOTB 2007, FlashBrighton organized a Big Day Out and I presented a session titled Beyond the Buttons:

Learning new programming languages, development tools, and technologies is a fun (and essential) part of what we do but they are not ends in and of themselves. IDEs like Flash and Flex Builder, languages like ActionScript 3, and technologies like AIR are merely tools, like the painter’s brushes, easels, and paints, the animator’s lightbox, and the photographer’s camera. In this session, Aral looks beyond the tools to what you can make with them. You will not learn any new techniques or programming tricks but instead stock up on ideas and inspiration to spark your own creative endeavors.

Flash Brighton's Big Day Out rocked, not least because I got to build a 3D flaming count-down timer with particles for Seb! :P I'm developing the Beyond the Buttons talk further for this year's conferences, starting with FITC Amsterdam 2008.

Finally, I ended my speaking engagements with a charity dinner that I hosted for Sussex Geek Dinner where I reviewed Web '07 and looked ahead to the coming year with Web '08 predictions.

Wow, it has been quite a year!

I was recently feeling burned out and I wasn't sure why. Well, after reviewing the year, I realized that I probably had every right to be a little tired. But now that I've had a few days to rest during the holidays, I'm feeling more alive and energetic than ever and I'm ready to take 2008 by the horns :) Especially since I have a project that I'm so excited about that I can't think of much else these days.

It's called Singularity and I can't wait to tell you all more about it.

Right now, only a very small group of people know about it but I aim to change that this month with an official launch.

Oh yes, and I have a new partner on and that is coming along nicely too. is also scheduled to launch this month.

I can't wait! Here's wishing all of you a wonderful new year!

2008 is going to be great! :)

Update: Wait, there was more... the Hack Days, the BarCamps, the interviews for BoagWorld and .Net Magazine... and the wonderful coverage of SWX in .Net and Web Designer magazines, among others. Yes, 2007 was truly a very full year indeed! Here's to an even better 2008!

Update: And how can I forget, we also formed a band called Phlash5 with fellow Flashers John Grden, Chris Allen, Seb Lee Delisle, Sam Agesilas, Chris Mills, Craig Swann and Jared Simms (the only non-Flasher in the band). We had our debut performance in Hollywood following just two real-world rehearsals and got a wonderful reception. Our next gig is in Amsterdam for FITC Amsterdam in 2008.