On Monday night, Josh Adams of New Atlanta came to speak at the New York ColdFusion Users Group about AJAX and Blue Dragon. The talk was advertised as AJAX and how it works with Adobe products and Blue Dragon. In all reality, this presentation was really two separate presentations: an intro to AJAX and an overview of Blue Dragon.
The AJAX information was very basic. He quickly covered the XML Http Object that browsers use to communicate with the server and compared its use to the standard request-refresh-serve methodology. It was good information, but even as someone who very rarely uses AJAX, I really didn't hear anything new here. I think that this is partly due to the fact that AJAX itself is quite an easy concept to understand. The hard parts of AJAX are figuring out how to use it effectively, integrating it with existing applications, and building smart interfaces. I wish he had touched a bit more on that, but I guess that goes beyond the scope of basics.
All in all, it was a fine introduction, but nothing revolutionary. Then, he launched into an overview of the upcoming Blue Dragon 7, which turned out to be much more interesting and engaging than the AJAX presentation. I have heard of Blue Dragon before but I have never looked into it. It was pretty cool to really get some solid information about what it is, what it does, and what they are planning to do in the future. One of the coolest things that Josh discussed was the CFThread / CFJoin tags which allow you to launch multiple threads in the same page that can then be joined back together. Very COOL stuff!
Josh was a good sport about putting up with our barrage of questions about what Blue Dragon can do, how it works under the covers, how many ways we can use it to crash the server, and our general New Yorker no-shame attitudes. We were certainly not shy about shouting out questions and challenging his statements. All in the interest of learning, I assure you.
Overall, it was a good time and a great presentation on Blue Dragon (and free pizza!). I would like to thank Josh and New Atlanta for his time and ask that MORE of you please attend the New York ColdFusion Users Group. Come on people, it's free and it's easy to get to. What more can you ask for :)