Last saturday (2009 jan 24th) I attended the phpGG Frontend Special. phpGG stands for ‘PHP Gebruikersgroep’ which translates to ‘PHP user group’. The meeting was held in a nice little theater in The Hague and was attended by what looked like about 50 people. The four main presentations scheduled:
- Microsoft – User Experience on the web
- Adobe – Flex/AIR
- The frontend is your friend
Microsoft – User Experience on the web
First speaker was Bram Veenhof, of whom I allready attended a presentation two months ago. Here the available time was more limited so less subjects were covered. He started with some coverage on the forthcoming Windows 7. Interesting features were addressed like: Dockable windows, swappable taskbar buttons and functionallity in preview windows. Next on was Silverlight and most specifically the video and deepzoom capabilities.
Adobe – Flex/AIR
Next on was Mihai Corlan, Adobe Platform Evangelist as he described himself. First part of his presentation was about Flex. For me it’s been a while since I’ve done Flash Development so I was curious about what’s happening on the Adobe front. Mihai summarized Flex as ‘Just another way to create a Flash app’. The Flex platform consists of:
- 2 Languages: MXML and Actionscript 3
- Rich Component Library
- Flex SDK (Open Source)
- Flex Builder IDE (Eclipse so it runs nice alongside Zend Studio)
As for the benefit of RIA’s he showed a little demo of a very graphical intuitive interface allowing users to report details about car damage.
After the topic was Adobe Air. Adobe Air allows web developers to develop beyond the browser. Api’s like file access, drag � drop, allow for desktop apps to be developed using techniques familiar to Flash/Flex developers. Very interesting and probably much easier than starting to learn writing apps in Objective C or Java.
The link to PHP was addressed by the way Flex and Air applications communicate with online back-end software: REST, Web Services and RPC. Areas where PHP is at it’s best, especially with the arrival of Zend Framework’s AMF component. The AMF component provides RPC connectivity that is easy to implement and very efficient.
The frontend is your friend
Conclusion: A nice day. Interesting subject and interesting presentations. And of course it’s nice to meet some new people working in this field. As it pointed out phpGG has just recently become more active again after having been dormant for a long period. So on that part 2009 looks promising.
For the web 2.0 afficionados: Flickr & Twitter