Back from the beach

Well, the company has finally made it back from a 5-day excursion to the windy coasts of Brighton, UK to attend Flash on the Beach.

This is personally my first attendance at a major Flash conference and I was definitely impressed with the breadth and quality of the presentations. It was cool to finally match names with faces. We shared many a drink with Sascha Wolter and Marc Thiele, who lead FlashForum, the biggest Flash users group in Deustchland, met up with Dave Schroeder, Geoff Stearns, Brandie Heinel, and, ah yes…finally dissolved the myth that our senior editor of Flash Application Design Solutions, Chris Mills, actually exists…and he’s rather tall. He was there sellin’ FoED books with product manager Pete Aylward. Both great fellas.

Anyways, the one interesting philosophical takeaway I gleaned was the idea of doing what you can with less. I think we get into constant feature creeping as designers and developers ourselves…when’s the latest release of XYZ? etc. In this day and age, it seems like once we’ve just gotten comfortable with something, it’s outdated and it’s time to move onto what’s new.

Brendan Dawes gave a great presentation, discussing what we lose with all of our material goods going digital (while digital music will never deteriorate like a CD or record, you lose the authenticity of having your own scratched vinyl records. Physical goods have a way of logging time – a scratch on a record, a coffee stain on a magazine).

Craig Swann also showed some innovative creative thinking. Representing Flash output and visual data in different ways than we normally think of (using hand gestures in front of a web cam to navigate an application or play sound, for example). Nothing he said was technically too difficult, but its really the concept of creating more with less. Using creative thought as your way of “forging ahead”, rather than simply using your same preconceptions and rules applied to just the latest release.

Enough thought for now, we’re back home, and we have work to do.