Tim O’Reilly on Flash and more

…Well, I’ve just joined the Macromedia board of directors, so that may tell you something about the importance I place on Macromedia. It’s important for Flash to become more open and more standard (even if only to the level of Postscript and Acrobat, which have widely been accepted as standards despite Adobe’s ownership, because of Adobe’s complete and timely documentation of all new releases).

I find Central fascinating, because I do think that we’re deconstructing the browser these days. Central is one of several attempts to take the web apart and put it together in new ways. On Mac OS X, Watson and Sherlock are analogous examples. And of course RSS and related syndication technologies are also deconstructing the web in new ways.

We’re entering a new world in which data may be more important than software. The frameworks that enable the manipulation and distribution of that data are yet to be defined. Flash does enable great cross-platform interfaces using a small client footprint (orders of magnitude smaller than Java), so if we can just open up the right kind of innovation and sharing on top of that platform, a lot of great stuff can happen.

It’s essential that we keep those new frameworks open and cooperative. I used David Weinberger’s wonderful phrase above: “small pieces loosely joined.” This is the current architecture of the internet. Tools like Flash and Central are really useful, but they don’t currently support that architecture. However, I believe there is an opportunity for them to play better on the Internet, and by doing so, to become even more successful than they already are.

Read the rest at stage4.

Motorhead, Dio, Iron Maiden, Sheryl Crow, The Goo Goo Dolls, and Bon Jovi

Chris Puzak risks his “indie street cred” but gives a great review for last Thursday’s Motorhead, Dio, Iron Maiden show for Blogathon.

I was there too. We missed an opportunity to hang out it seems! Let me share my thoughts on a great night.

I’ve never seen Motorhead before, but knew a few songs from friends. Like Chris, songs I’ve heard from them always sounded kinda the same. Bad sound during the set emphasized this impression. But man – they had power. Tons and tons and tons of driving power. Lemmy is as much a grandfather to metal as Ozzy. You can hear Motorhead’s influence in so many bands – the genre simply wouldn’t have been the same without them. I guess it’s around 20 years late – but it’s time to buy some CDs 🙂 I bow my head in shame.

Dio put on a terrific show. He always does. Like Ozzy, he picks a talented band to take on tour and this night was no different, featuring “Dream Evil” guitarist Craig Goldy. The band had chemistry. They were tight, their sound was balanced, Dio’s vocals were soaring and the crowd enjoyed every minute.

Iron Maiden has always been one of my favorites to see, but something was wrong. The bass overwhelmed everything. I realize to some Steve Harris practically defines Maiden’s sound, but I’ve never heard him mixed so loud as to drown out Bruce Dickenson, or their triple guitar team of Dave Murray, Adrian Smith, and Janick Gers. Maybe it was the conservative set list. No surprises in it except for the missing “Wasted Years”. That was a disappointment. In any case, it was particularly fun listening to Bruce rip into Metallica, oh so subtly, when he urged the crowd to tape the show and trade it on the net.

When I was a kid these three bands were very much considered “underground”. No way would you hear them on the radio. You kept up with news via fanzines or word of mouth. Fans of them took sport in deriding more mainstream acts (like Bon Jovi). Funny how perceptions can override reality after the fact. Funny how closed minded marketers encourage us to be.

Speaking of Bon Jovi… I should share my review of last night’s concert – but words don’t come easy just yet. It was a night to remember. They, Sheryl Crow, and The Goo Goo Dolls gave the Vet its last rock concert and it couldn’t have been better.

“The challenge is to get everyone on your side, singing along, driving you to work harder. Not just the people down front, but the people in the upper deck, too. They’re paying you to jump around, but they don’t get anything extra for doing it themselves. They can sit on their hands if they want. But their actions and reactions are what fuels me to reach to a higher plane. When I get there I know I’m doing my job well. I’d be brokenhearted if it was ever some other way.”

Mission accomplished. Last night the Vet was a cathedral of rock n’ roll.

Flash MX

Any pointers on great Flash MX sites for newbies? From a developer perspective?

Update: You can download a fully functional trial edition (expires after 15 days) from Macromedia. It comes with a full set of tutorials to get you started. The environment kinda reminds me of VB and Paradox for Windows.

moock.org’s blog is a weblog by the author of O’Reilly’s “ActionScript for Flash MX: The Definitive Guide”. A book I am digging into. Very well written and easy to follow.


To “Turn Java into a first-class citizen of the Mozilla/XUL platform. This will enable developers to build applications where a Java backend can be used to interact with a Mozilla/XUL front-end, combining the power of Java’s server libraries with the interactivity and user interface capabilities of Mozilla.” Looks like a project to watch.

Now that Mozilla is free of AOL (a great thing for Mozilla – a horrible thing for those AOL let go) – I wonder if you will see more big company involvement.