Before MAX even got underway, I spent an afternoon at Adobe HQ with a bunch of other ColdFusion die hards. Apparently, the plethora of ColdFusion sessions available at MAX weren't enough for some of us. Afterwards, beer!

CF_Underground 2008

Put together by the wonderful Liz Frederick and Nafisa Sabu from TeraTech, CF_Underground was a great way to start the week. We had four speakers and their topics covered quite a lot of ground for an afternoon.

Practical Refactoring: How Small Improvements Make a Big Difference

Dan Wilson's presentation on how to approach the process of refactoring code was very well done. I've inherited many legacy code bases and there's been many times I've wanted to refactor code, but resisted the urge as sometimes spaghetti has to stick together for a reason.

So how geeky did things get this afternoon? In the code Dan presented, the fact that a comparison operator was "IS" in most cases and "is" in another drove one guy up the wall. For me, I brought up that while

view plain print about
1<cfif isSomething() IS true>

(where isSomething() returns a boolean value) is more readable, it's doing twice the work (theoretically) as

view plain print about
1<cfif isSomething()>

So yeah. Serious geek overload. You can download his presentation here.

Groovin' to the Fusion

Joe Rinehart of Model-Glue fame showed us some of the architecture behind Broadchoice Workspace.

"Broadchoice Workspace is sales workgroup collaboration software for companies and communities who want an easy way to boost productivity by connecting people and their ideas." It has an AIR front-end for the desktop, as well as an iPhone UI for mobile users. The AIR UI is built using the Swiz Framework, while the iPhone UI sits on top of Model-Glue.

Both talk to a Service Layer built with Groovy (hence the session's title), which sits on top of JBoss. If you've not heard of Groovy before, he quotes someone else who says, "Groovy is what Java would be, if Java was created this century."

You can find a bunch of posts about using Groovy with or without ColdFusion at The ArgumentCollection.

Unit Testing in Flex with Fluint

Jeff Tapper is a Senior Consultant at Digital Primates, as well as an author of many books on ColdFusion, Flex & AIR. Fluint (yes, that's spelled correctly) is a "graphical test runner" for Flex and AIR applications.

While I'm still in my "learning a whole lot about Flex" phase, I'm not yet into my "setting up unit tests inside Flex applications" phase. All I can tell you is that Jeff & his team create an insane number of tests for all the applications they build and Fuint makes the process pretty easy to setup and configure. Hopefully I can put it into my workflow in the near future.

Stuff I wish I knew 10 years ago

Ray Camden talked about all this things he's recently started using and learning vs. the kinds of stuff he went through to get to where he his today. i.e. Most of his open source applications started off as projects he used to learn new things. This session was very discussion based, which allowed us to hear lots of issues we all faced.

Implementing things like bug trackers or source control, things that most of us know to be "must-haves", can be a daunting task given your environment. Getting your co-workers to use them can be even more difficult. Great session.

Afterwards, beer!

Once everything was wrapped up, we all hopped on a bus to the Marriott, which was less than two blocks from the Moscone West, which was a block away from The Chieftan, an Irish pub that became a beacon for many a MAX attendee.

Afterwards, more beer!

For some reason, this year there was no Sunday reception for the general MAX attendees. At least, nothing I had seen published to date. There was however, a get-together for Adobe Community Leaders. And as the Co-Manager for the DFW CFUG, it was my duty to check it out.

Adobe Community Leader Shindig

This took place at The Thirsty Bear, which was one block in the other direction from Moscone West.

Now this was the place to be Sunday night. Ran into John Dowdell at the door, saw a bunch of "celebs" here and there. I finally caught up with Jon and Derek from the Dallas Flex group and they introduced me to the Manager of the Singapore Flex UG. Later on, I ran into Brian Meloche from CFConversations as well as many other people I only knew online.

Afterwards, even more beer!

Marc Esher introduced himself and a few other people before the party wrapped up (rather, before the open bar closed). We eventually ended up in the bar at the Marriott, where I caught up with some of my friends from Dallas. Later, Mark and I went with a group to find a place to smoke cigars.

You'd think that'd be an easy thing to do in California, but noooooo.

On the way to 7-11

We head around the corner from the hotel to a 7-11. We're not 5 minutes from the hotel, when a police car stops a pair of guys across the street from us. A lady cop jumps out and yells at them to stay put and keep their hands in view. Another police car shows up and one guy bolts across the street.

Yeah, almost straight at us.

3 more cop cars and a few cops on motorcycles show up within seconds. Someone in our group kinda faked like they were gonna stop the guy and that slowed him down a hair. The lady cop just shook her head as they passed by. One of the cop cars followed them down the corridor of shops. Dude should have stopped. You can't outrun 10+ police men and women.

Talking about this and that

We finally find a place down the road from the hotel where we can just chill out and talk. Most everyone had introduced themselves by their first name. Turns out they were:

Around 10:30 or so, some homeless guy walked right through the group of us and sat down on the bench to my right with his garbage bag full of stuff. *checks wrist* Time to go!

Summary

I was soooo worn out and MAX hadn't even started. Sunday was just a great start to the conference and things just got better as the week went on. Next up, Day 1 at MAX.