Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Hello from Web 2.0 2006 in San Francisco

I am at the Web 2.0 conference today. I have been treated like royalty today thanks to the huge announcement today that Adobe donated source code for the ActionScript Virtual machine (AVM - the code behind Flash) to Mozilla. The renewed and invigorated commitment to open source software has made us hugely popular with the crowds here. As an opportunist, I will be honest and state that I will accept any offers of free drinks on behalf of Adobe ;-)

A great session was put together to examine the subject of impact of SaaS and other W2P0 paradigms on Small Business. Google, Etelos, Soho and Microsoft were panel members. Some concerns that SMB’s voiced were the lack of good software use models (trials etc) are in contravention of the needs of SMB’s. Despite being standing room only, the session was pretty active. Danny from Etelos is a smart guy with a funny sense of humour (note the Canadian Spelling - I do this to poke fun at his USA accent and spelling mistakes WRT the queen's english. maybe he'll comment back ;-)

I pointed out during the discussion that Adobe has made huge strides in the area of SaaS to recognize that not all PDF users will pay $500 for a copy of acrobat if they think they will only ever need to make 5-10 PDF’s. We also offer the functionality of Acrobat Connect (formerly Breeze) and Adobe LiveCycle Policy Server as a Service. The question posed back was – when will Photoshop be a service? Interesting idea. There are a few good ideas that came out of this during the ensuing conversations:

1. Would someone make a web service to compile MXML into Flash files (*.SWF)?
2. Will our Web Service for PDF be extended to accept pure XML input and what format will that input be? Perhaps PxDF – an XML version of PDF?
3. What services will Adobe offer that can be used in Mashups? Currently, we enable many other companies to expose their services in a way they can be consumed.

The main conclusions drawn from this session are that ecosystems are good for services and there has to be trust in the service provider. SMB’s also need to know they are not locked in when using SaaS models.


  1. To answer point number #1, there is the "Flex Online Compiler" at http://try.flex.org/

  2. In regards to item #2, look at the labs project called Mars.


  3. Pleasure to have you in our workshop and thanks for the kind words. Yeah, I spell words wrong, but wait 'til you C my gramhar.


    On a serious note, I found the audience participation engaging and raising some great questions that we are excited to answer in the market.

    BTW - Great news on the XML bit... we have clients that need this and can't wait until we see it inspiring some new innovations in web applications.

    And tell the guys at Adobe to stop scrubbing the XML that InDesign spits out with SVG. We have to recommend inferior products because of that... If we tag something, name it, or whatever it, we want to see it in the XML.


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