Macromedia exec talks the talk

Macromedia Inc.'s chief software architect Kevin Lynch detailed the company's strategy to enhance Internet communications here on Thursday.

During the Flashforward 2002 developer conference, Lynch used his keynote address to show off Macromedia's new communications server, explain the San Francisco-based company's strategy for improving the end-user Web experience, and foreshadow some forthcoming technology.

Lynch broke Macromedia's strategy for better Internet communications into three parts: emotion, context, and interaction. He said that each experience can be improved considerably over what it is today.

When it comes to emotion, for instance, current software does little to help users express emotions, he said. "The best we can do to express emotion is put a smiley face in e-mail," Lynch said.

Furthermore, much of the information on Web sites currently lacks as much context as it should have, and is not as easy to interact with as it should be.

"That's what we are going after with the communications server, to integrate various [communications technologies] such as VOIP, Web casts, and instant messaging," Lynch said. "We're raising the level of human interaction across the Internet."

Earlier this week Macromedia took the wraps off of Flash Communications Server MX, which is currently available and includes collaboration and streaming media as well as multiway audio, video, and text messaging.

Lynch continued that Macromedia and other companies' efforts to bolster electronic communications are not new. "Computer science was basically [created] in the 1940s and 1950s, and we have kept reinventing it ever since," he said.

To illustrate his point, Lynch showed a tape from 1968 of Douglas Englehard demonstrating early word processing, collaboration, and video conferencing technology. These are some of the same ends that technologists are working toward today, he continued.

He followed the video by summoning Englehard, who was in Palo Alto, Calif., with Macromedia's communications server, and conversing with him via its videoconferencing capabilities.

Another big push for Macromedia is to more closely align its front-end Web design tools with the server-side Java software that it acquired from Allaire.

"There is a trend in using Flash with servers," he said. "We've been working to make that easier, so you don't have to be a hard-core Java developer."

One of the ways Macromedia has made it easier for Flash to work with servers is through Web services, which also enable ColdFusion to expose server code, he said.

Toward that same end, Lynch demonstrated technology he loosely referred to as data grid, which hooks into servers or databases and can download information. The software can retrieve and be filled with data from those sources, such as rows and columns of information typically associated with relational databases.

"We'll be releasing this shortly," Lynch said, though he offered no more details.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Tom Sullivan

Computerworld
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?