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RIA Weekly #51 – Dave Wolf from Cynergy

Dave Wolf

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This week, Ryan and I are joined by Dave Wolf from Cynergy Systems, a firm that specializing in RIA development. We spend most of the time talking about Dave’s take and Cynergy’s involvement in the RIA space, but we get to a handful of news items at the end:

  • Last week we mentioned a “working with RIAs” report they did with Forrester. We go over the suggestions and tips – small teams, rich experiences don’t come from cubical farms, but open places where you can “smear monitors,” getting designers and developers to work together. Moving beyond the “isolationist” phase of J2EE and web app driven development. Using mutual-respect and tooling.
  • Grooming developers and designers to fit into this milieu, applying the usual cultural fits for tech-people. Also, “you only use full-time employees” – talent becomes a competitive advantage for Cynergy.
  • We talk about the kinds of things they work on: telcom expense management, retail banking, fleet management, hip-hop site. Also, software companies realizing they don’t have to compete “feature-by-feature” as taught by the iPhone, growth in ISVs that is.
  • Ryan asks if the iPhone is the best way to pitch RIA to “the boss.” Pretty much, Dave says. It’s a good example of how RIA tricks and whatnot can be powerful and useful.
  • What kind of interest are you seeing with Microsoft Surface?
  • “Desperately trying to get away from The Mouse.” 60 years later, we’re still using the same input device – “Mouses are strange.”
  • How do you choose the RIA framework to use, out of Flash, Flex, Silverlight, WPF, etc? We ask Dave to go over the types of applications and audiences (“users”) that each technology works well with and doesn’t work well with. The IDEs on both sides are good.
  • Ryan draws out more of Dave’s negatives about each platform – this is all an attempt to get back to the desktop – Flash Platform struggles a little bit with the designer/developer workflow, the life-cycle for the software between the designers (with PSDs) and the developers (with Flex and other code). Microsoft’s difficulty is player penetration, learning through the difficulties very quickly – catching up with Adobe/Macromedia’s 10 years in 2 years – “the ability to chase tail-lights.”
  • All that said, Dave says, we believe they’ll be a duopoly in our work in the future.
  • We discuss the old idea of having one UI instead of many: moving beyond “least” in “least common denominator” – applying the multi-screen, multi-modal thinking to applications – making it OK to have 5 UIs, for example.
  • What’s the experience been like with maintenance, across many versions of years of the RIA-based software?
  • Moonlight 2.0 Preview – see some other coverage from Mary-Jo Foley and Tim Anderson.
  • Don’t forget to leave a note in the Flex Builder for Linux “bug” listing.
  • Ryan mentioned the New Your Times AIR app write-up, the Times Reader 2.0, which talks about how the Times used and RIA for their readers and why.


This Episode is Sponsored by Adobe:

Use the Adobe Flex framework and Adobe AIR to create rich Internet applications. RIAs that combine the wide reach of the browser and the flexibility of applications that can also be delivered outside the browser. Adobe Flex combined with Adobe AIR provides an agile and powerful solution to develop and make quick iterations on applications that reach across platforms and deliver a consistent user experience.


Download the free Flex Builder trial and the Adobe AIR SDK and start building the next- generation of RIAs.

Disclosure: Adobe is a client and sponsored this podcast. Microsoft is a client as well, as is Sun.

Categories: RIA, RIA Weekly.

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