Friday, September 28, 2007

The new Adobe Developer Connection: Content and community for developers

I've been extremely silent on my blog for the past few weeks and months. I've been very focused on a big project to help the Adobe developer community.

And I'm very excited to say that that new project is out the door. Its called the Adobe Developer Connection or ADC. You can visit the new site at

or you can read more details below.

Over the past few months, the team here at Adobe has launched several projects that we believe will improve the web and help developers build better projects faster. First, in November 2006 we announced the Tamarin project with Mozilla, open-sourcing the virtual machine behind Flash Player. Then, in April 2007, Adobe announced that the Flex SDK would be open-sourced. And throughout the year, we've delivered beta versions of Adobe® AIR™ so that web developers can take their application ideas to the desktop.

Now Adobe is taking the next step to support the web and application development community. We're delivering a new developer site and program, the Adobe Developer Connection or ADC. I've been working on this project with a bunch of other folks for the past few months and wanted to share some of the details of this new resource with you.

What is the ADC and why should I visit?

The Adobe Developer Connection (ADC) at is the next generation of what you may know as the Adobe Developer Center. It's a portal to connect developers to technical articles, tutorials, code, documentation, as well as to other developers. By visiting the ADC, developers can learn how to get started with Adobe technologies and find the right resources to advance their projects. And best of all, joining the ADC is completely free.

So, why should you visit the ADC? If you are reading this on, then you probably already know the answer to this question, but for those of you reading on my blog or somewhere else, here's the answer: The ADC serves as the definitive developer resource for how-to information from Adobe.

By visiting the ADC, developers can:

  • Find articles, tutorials, downloads and code to help start or advance a project. The ADC enhances delivery of technical content focused on core use cases, including RIAs, website and mobile development, interactive media, and video on the web.
  • Take advantage of the newly enhanced, streamlined search capabilities, improved design, page layout and information architecture as well as a new resource panel to easily find helpful resources, including forums, documentation and bug bases.
  • Connect with other developers and community resources.

A plethora of benefits—and we're just getting started

Most of all, I'm excited by the wide range of free benefits the ADC offers for developers who join. By joining the ADC for free—all you have to do is provide an e-mail address and password—you can:

  • Connect with other professional designers and developers through the ADC introNetwork.
  • Download the first release of the ADC Developer Desktop, an Adobe AIR application you can use to track Flex bugs.
  • Receive a special "Buy 2 books, and get 1 free" offer from O'Reilly Media, with free shipping in the United States and Puerto Rico.
  • Share code and solutions to technical issues through the Flex cookbookCSS Advisor. and
  • Choose to subscribe to developer newsletters, including the biweekly Developer Connection Update.

The ADC introNetwork: Connecting with other developers

Social networking has emerged over the past few years as a way to find friends and maintain contacts. Everyone I know is in at least one social network, if not two, three, or more. And you may be asking yourself, "Why is Adobe introducing another one?"

Quite simply, the ADC introNetwork is different. It's a way to connect you with other developers and designers based on their professional background, skills and personality traits.

Unlike other social networks, the ADC introNetwork is focused on professional attributes and individual capabilities, not just personal interests or relationships. The ADC introNetwork features an innovative Pin View (see Figure 1), which allows users to visualize how close or far away their profiles are from other participants. Users can provide details of their technology certifications, as well as spell out interest in learning about job opportunities or sharing technical knowledge with others.

IntroNetworks Pin View

Figure 1. IntroNetworks Pin View

ADC members can create a personal introNetwork profile as a free benefit for joining the ADC. You can access the ADC introNetwork by joining the Adobe Developer Connection.

ADC Developer Desktop: It's not just a website, it's a desktop application

With this launch of the ADC, we are also delivering the first release of the ADC Developer Desktop, a free desktop application that makes developers more productive. This first release brings the public Flex bug base to the desktop using Adobe AIR. Flex developers can use the Developer Desktop to track bugs and receive desktop notifications to changes in Flex bug properties.

Search: Finding answers—faster

The improved ADC search presents clearer search results that contain with more information, such as a display of the URL where the information can be found. It also lets you narrow down search results by where the information is located on For example, after conducting a search for an Adobe product, you can narrow down the results to only include product documentation.

In addition, search results are displayed using wider screen resolution to allow more results to appear without scrolling, and users can also determine how many results appear per page.

Cookbooks: The perfect recipe

As part of this launch, we've updated the Flex cookbook—a way for developers to share techniques and code samples with others in the Flex community. The newly redesigned Flex cookbook home page makes it easy for developers to navigate to answers they need through new features, including:

  • An increased number of highest-rated and recent posts surfaced on the home page
  • A convenient tool-tip that developers can use to read problem/solution summaries without leaving the page
  • Navigation by top searches
  • RSS feeds for recent posts, comments, and edits
  • An extension for Flex Builder and Eclipse that developers can use to read cookbook posts from within their development environment

What's next? We want your opinion

First, if you haven't done so already, be sure to visit the new improved home page at From there, it's easy to join and get the full benefits of the program by clicking the Join link in the upper right corner of the page.

For future releases of the ADC, we are currently looking at ways to increase visitor participation through community features such as rating, tagging, and commenting of content. We want to continue to enhance the visual presentation of content and make it easier to find technical resources quickly. The ADC team is also planning to deliver additional features for the ADC Developer Desktop.

The ADC is for the developer community, so the most important factor in determining future features is user feedback. Tell us the good and the bad, or ask questions in our feedback forum. We want to know what you think about our content, as well as what you'd like to see in the future.

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