Flash on the Beach update

Photo by Josh Russell

I was so busy in the past two days that I couldn't even blog about the conference. Flash on the Beach kicked off for me with the party I threw for speakers and friends on Sunday. It was a blast and definitely helped warm up the new place (seriously, it was packed; I turned the heating off!) :)

Yesterday, I presented my session and caught bits of Craig's before heading back home to undertake more domestic duties (someone had to clean up after the party.) Funny thing is, I must really love my new place 'cos it was actually fun to clean up for a change!

I sat through Jeremy's session today and it just plain rocked. Best presentation I've seen in a long time and his message was loud and clear: The Flash and Ajax worlds have a lot to learn from each other and Flash and Ajax can live in harmony. Jeremy sees web projects on a slider with document-based sites on one end and application sites (RIAs) on the other. He sees Ajax as most useful on the document end (with its usefulness diminishing as we approach the application side) and Flash/Flex as most useful on the application side with its applicability being reduced as we approach the document end. As the crossover point, his rule of thumb was that if you cannot apply progressive enhancement to a site (for example, using his Hijax method), then the application is probably too complex for Ajax (or will require lots of effort to implement in Ajax) and you should use Flash instead. He also mentioned that Flash is currently more accessible than Ajax and that Ajax developers can use FlashAid -- a little tool we developed together with Jeremy -- to enable Ajax sites to ascertain whether a screen reader is present and disable the Ajax functionality (the enhancement) in response to that.

I also caught Joey Lott's session and it was great to see design patterns in Flash presented by someone else. I also managed to see some of Craig's and Keith's sessions. All in all, the conference appears to be shaping out quite nicely indeed. Kudos again to John. I look forward to many more Flash on the Beach conferences in the years to come.