All this started when I was doing Lingo scripting with Macromedia Director in our multimedia class. I first heard about Flash there. At first I ignored it,for Lingo was giving me power that point of time (2001-2002). As an architect I used do AutoCAD and 3DSMAX and then import the 3D models into Director to add some interactivity. It was not that straight forward those days but with a lot of plugins and addons one could do Shockwave movies. While I was enjoying Lingo, I heard Flash can do animations and interactivity with very little effort. So thought will give it a try and started with Flash5. At first it seemed me a lot constrained compared to Director. Very little scripting or so to say actions one can choose from and adds to the objects you create. But then I came across some beautiful sites such as (lookandfeel.com,wearehere.com,not sure whether they exist now!) Then I thought I must try this out and there began my Flash carrer. Slowly caught Actionscript 1.0 and started doing experiements. Still love the first time I made mediaplayer in Flash to run the SWFs with stop,pause,play and seek bar.I still consider thats my best project till date.
I got myself going in Flash and slowly realised that there is not much I can do with the frontend unless I got some data from backend and the Flash community helped me right away with the support(Flash-DB,you guys rock). Within few months I started with PHP and MySQL,this were all happening from the same community. I never looked to go to a PHP forum till that time. When I visted a PHP forum,just for a test,I found those guys were also share the same kind of passion as Flash. I was been accepted and encouraged. The next thing was JAVA. Actually I started it intentionally as I heard a lot about it in everywhere. Learning was a little tough then as it was pure OOP and AS2 is just a compromise. When I have started my hands on JAVA, AS3 was shipped. And it was like a cake walk for me as I was just polishing Java. AS3 come in just the right time and I loveded it. So much of the pain of AS2 is gone. Till that point everything was going right. I was heavily doing Flash applications from casual games to applications.
The time came when Flash is pushed into the enterprise arena. Macromedia released Flex as a serverside component and the buzz was everywhere. In between the transition of Macromedia to Adobe, Flex matured as a front end component framework. Wooohooooooo, a corner stone. And suddenly there were divisions in the Flash community happened,Flex developer and Flash developer. Some people,including me adopted Flex and started learning it as to see what it is doing. While some just dove into from other programming language as it was fetching money. I found value in Flex, as an application framework and started developing applications. Fun at first,but then I felt I am decreasing my value as a creative individual and doing the same kind of stuff what other programming language guys were doing. The objective of the company(Macromedia /Adobe) was achieved, with the similar syntaxes as other programming languages and ease of use of a declarative language, Flex brought in the developers from all arround the development sphere. But then developers who were really liked Flash for its richness in simplicity started to fade up,that includes me too. If all I have to do is learn your complex event models, lifecycles(which obviously will come in a matured language as AS3) why not I learn other languages like JAVA, dotNET, PHP. They are coming up nicely and if you talk about frontends,we have JavaFX,Silverlight and HTML. Another big problem is the mindset of the community now, people coming straight to the Flex framework from other programming languages, think the Flash counterparts are just some guys but Flex developers are real ones. Common, put them into test by giving some animation logic or at least custom transition effects. Suddenly the answer would be why would that be required. Flash community was never like that, it always experimented with visual elements of any kind.
Well, with that came along iPhone and Cocoa framework for ObjectiveC. I never thought the community could be so enrgetic there. I think its quite healthy and matured community there while at very early age of their life. Within 1-2 months of my diving into the code and starting my objectiveC venture I got direct help from people into core cocoa programming. Go catch @jonsterling at Twitter,this guy is incredibly talented and helps you out , just at the moment. I am steadly falling in love with ObjectiveC.
So there are a plenty of things for me to do as to keep up with my passion.
Lets go and do it.
While every year its all about new technology,this year too came with new hopes in technology. Amongst all the cool new technology,one thing is surely missing out,the connections. Physically socialnetworking. Before few years,friends used to come home or I used to go to places to wish the new year to near and dear ones. And all the time plan my new year cards in advance so as to make sure,the cards reach the destination on time. There used to be a kind of fealing which can not be expressed in words. At the same time,used to wish I could have an option to wish my people,who are far from me, on the same day. When telephone came in,the joys were endless. I used to still go to places,people still used to come to my place to wish each other but then could also wish the fellows at distance through phone. Slowly but steadily people actually stopped going physically and started using technology to wish eachother.Though in the beginning it all felt good,now I am fealing there is a huge gap between “using technology for ourselves” and “using ourselves for technology”. This year,I hardly get any phonecalls!! But got wishes,a lot of them. Twitter,Facebook,Orkut,gtalk, sms and the like. People started using them even inside family,where its a matter of moving to the next room and wish physically.
If that ignites a thought on you,think about it.
Wish all the best to all of you this new year and wish you to use technology to your advantage not yourself to technolgy’s advantage.