Friday, February 26, 2010

Event Spotlight: FFK10

We are here with Marc Thiele to talk about the FFK10 conference!

When is the FFK10 event and where?
FFK10 is taking place April 13-16, 2010 in Cologne. We invite the community to the biggest German conference about web technologies and applications for the tenth time already! Again the location is the Komed, a modern media center in the MediaPark Cologne.

What is so special about this conference?
As on many conference one thing is written in big letters: Networking. FFK is a time in the year where you can meet developers and designers in Germany. In Germany does not mean just from Germany. Over the last few years many international attendees have been at FFK thought the main part of the talks is held in German. A few things are really special at FFK. First of all we always give new talented speakers the chance to present their cool stuff. One example of internationally well known speakers is Joa Ebert or André Michelle who both had their first talk on FFK. Another thing we are looking after: Each of the 10 full day workshops has a maximum of 19 attendees. Other than at a few other conferences this guarantees that you as an attendee of the workshop get a real hands on over the day. This year for example we have Joshua Davis and Seb Lee-Delisle amongst the team for the workshops to teach you their tips and tricks.

Tell us about the types of topics and speakers at this event.
The topics vary from Multi Touch to Usability and from Interface Design and Presentation Patterns. Besides technical talks we have inspirational talks and sessions about creative experiments. Where else can you see a speaker controlling his Flash Apps with a water pistol? Speakers this year are for example: Joshua Davis, Joa Ebert, Jesse Freeman, Jens Halm (Spicefactory/Parsley Application Framework), Ralph Hauwert, Serge Jespers, Mario Klingemann, Seb Lee-Delisle, Ulrich Leschak, Johannes Mainusch (Xing), André Michelle, Chris Pelsor, Frank Reitberger and many more. Over the years a lot of well know speakres have been at FFK such as Aral Balkan, Mike Chambers or Hoss Gifford.

How can we follow details on this event?
The FFK10 website at, or (hashtag #FFK10), or flickr

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

ACP Spotlight: Cutter Blades

I'm here today with Steve "Cutter" Blades, an new ACP member who specializes in ColdFusion, being an active member of the ColdFusion developer community for almost a decade.

Liz: Hello Cutter! Wait, why do you call yourself Cutter?

Cutter: I was in the Army, going through Russian language training at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, CA. One of the other guys gave nicknames to the people he liked. My last name is Blades, so...

Liz: I hear you have a book called " Learning Ext JS" and you have a 2nd edition coming out soon. What does it cover?

Cutter: "Learning Ext JS" is the first book to explore development with the ExtJs client-side JavaScript framework.

Liz: How did you get involved in writing about this subject?

Cutter: Several years ago I was looking to update some interfaces in some administrative tools for our clients. They were originally written in what I call "classic" HTML; old tired tables, form posts to update, etc. I had heard that the Yahoo User Interface (YUI) library had a really nice data grid, but when I Googled it I found ExtJs. ExtJs was a branch off of YUI, from one of it's brightest developers (Jack Slocum), and had just gone 1.0. I figured out how to create a paging grid, and in the process I wrote a series of articles on my blog. I continued to work with ExtJs and, several months later, Adobe did a prerelease tour for ColdFusion 8, introducing their CFAjax controls, most of which were based on ExtJs. At that point I stuck with it, knowing they were a great match.

Fast forward to spring 2008, when Packt Publishing was looking for another contributor for "Learning." The primary author had gotten buried in side contracts, and they needed someone to help them finish the book. They found my blog articles and contacted me about the project. "Learning" came out in late November of 2008, and we're currently writing a second edition to cover the great updates they've made to the library.

Liz: I hear you kind of "pushed" ColdFusion into the book. How did that come about?

Cutter: When I started working on the book I had not seen any of the other chapters. The first chapter that I wrote was about working with server-side data. A few months later they're doing the technical review, and I get a call from the publisher, "Why did you use ColdFusion for your examples in the book? All of the other server-side examples use PHP." So I said, "No one told me to use PHP, and I'm a ColdFusion developer, so..." They asked me if I could re-write the examples in PHP, and I told them I couldn't, having never worked with it.

The publisher went back to the primary author, to have him convert my examples. When they sent them back to me, I read over them and found that none of them would work. I studied the PHP site, and figured out and wrote a PHP solution that would mirror the ColdFusion examples. But, it was about 5 times as much code. The publisher finally came back and said, "You know, we're going to use your examples to show that the library can work with any server-side platform." And that's how ColdFusion ended up in the book. The second edition will have even more ColdFusion.

Liz: I also hear you're a singer?

Cutter: Since I was five. I became a karaoke junkie in the 90's, which is how I eventually met my wife. When I was the IT director for Seacrets, me and a few of the guys put together a band to sing the employee Christmas parties for a couple of years (which you must do well for a crew that sees four bands a day during the summer). My grandmother keeps telling me to ditch this programming thing and make a living singing the Blues.

Steve "Cutter" Blades
Adobe Community Professional - ColdFusion Adobe Certified Professional
Advanced Macromedia ColdFusion MX 7 Developer

Co-Author of "Learning Ext JS"

FITC Awards 2010

It is here! Submit by March 1st!!!!

There are some categories for Canadians and then all other categories.

Submissions are only 40$ CDN per entry.

Flash Visual Design
Experimental Flash
Flash Game
Audio in Flash
Flash Narrative
Flash Motion Graphics
Flash Usability
Flash Animation
Technical Excellence in Flash
Flash Advertisement
Flash 3D
Flash Self-Promotion

All sites must have been launched online after April 1st, 2009.

All sites must be online. No offline projects will be considered.

More details: