I went to Flash in TO again last night, which turned out to be about all things not flash. There was a good crowd of people there and free pizza for everyone. The event also featured a little bar which makes for a good night. The presentations for the evening were:

Unity 3D by Cam Warnock

Cam presented the Unity 3D environment and library. His presentation was following the Pecha Kucha style so it was pretty rushed. He gave a quick overview of the Unity 3D capabilities, the developer IDE, down loadable modules and the network functionality. I was disappoined that there wasn’t a question period after. I would have liked to find out what % of browsers have the Unity 3D module already installed. I expect it is small and most designs will need to consider that the 3M+ download will need to installed before interacting with the user.

FlashPress by Alex and Raz (sp?) from PHUG.ca

The idea behind FlashPress is to develop a WordPress front-end that is based on Flash. The WordPress backend could be used for the content management but a Flash front end would handle the presentation in a more interactive format. I think its an interesting idea, and if it were done it would be worth checking out, but I think implementing it will take a lot of work and probably be very specific to certain Flash presentation schemes. I haven’t seen alot of good examples of Flash front-ends working with any content management systems, let alone one designed to output HTML and CSS. It will be interesting to see this project evolve.

Intro to SilverLight by Paul Laberge, Microsoft Canada

Every now and then you see a presentation that is a colossal train wreck and at the same time being very well presented. The Silverlight presentation was one of those. Paul took us through the process of creating a SilverLight animation, while a relative smooth presentation, the process just looked horrible. For starters you create you vector in Expression Design, which is suppose to be like Adobe Illustrator, then you animate the Expression Blend, which kinda like Flash, then you program in Visual Studio. Afterwards you get a Silverlight file that is not playable in all browsers. In the Adobe world all of these functions are contained inside Flash and you don’t need to learn how to use 3 different program or UI paradigms. Microsoft will really need to clean up this process if they want to get the Flash crowd to convert.

Intro to Processing by Rob King and Ken Leung, OCAD – Mobile Lab

I had heard of processing before and knew it was based on Java but hadn’t really looked at it. Rob and Ken did a great job of highlighting the benefits on the processing environment and how it further abstracts the Java functionality. The examples of Processing implementations were really interesting and all the demos were presented as video’s to simplify the presentation process. I thought the presentation was a little long though, especially following the Silverlight presentation.

I didn’t stay for the Virtools presentation and I think my feedback on the whole event is that its too long. The presentations should all be much shorter, 15 mins tops, and have more options to engage different people.

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