10 Jul 2007

my first Adobe Developer Center article

Phew, I just managed to finalize my very first specialist article/tutorial for the Adobe Developer Connection (link to the now published article) -- it´s about something cool I recently developed using PHP, Dreamweaver and Adobe´s awesome AJAX framework called SPRY, and I´m of course very proud of having been *allowed* to contribute something to this truly renowned developer resource.

My "application" does all sort of stuff simultaneously and was put together using a somewhat adventurous mix of technologies :: have a database driven page (PHP of course) pass some directory/file path information (a sequence of both static info and dynamic variables) to another PHP script that´s reading the file contents of the specified directory and returns all image files plus several related file data (width, height, filedate etc etc) to the very same page -- well yes, as dynamically created XML data which will "feed" a Spry Table that´s not just displaying the received data, but also allows for sorting the "image list" by all above mentioned criteria. SPRY is AJAX after all, means the sorting procedure will be done without reloading the page.

However I´m not writing this in order to brag about being a cool developer, what I´m certainly not (err, to some extent maybe ;-). The point is :: as "first time article writer" I admit it has been unexpectedly tough (took me about 2 weeks) to write a 24 page article about something I managed to develop in, say, 3 hours -- not because it´s written in my favorite foreign language English (what was comparatively easy), but because I ...
  • am innately a coder used to develop behind closed doors and without any "pressure of justification" -- that´s probably a harsh term, so let´s better rephrase it to "need to explain how you´re doing your work"

  • soon started struggling with an unpredictable insufficiency :: being a certainly somewhat skilled coder, but lacking any previous experience as writer who´s supposed to mediate his train of thougts so others will be able to follow you

  • soon observed that writing this article requires me to fabricate a greatest possible accuracy and "spelling style".

    Go figure, it´s not going to be published in your local newspaper (what probably would allow for some sloppiness), it´s being published under the Adobe hood, what starts to put you under a definitely appropriate pressure :: it has to be as *great* as possible, it has to be as *elaborate* as can be -- mind the demanding neighborhood !

    When starting to write, comparing your stuff with what´s already been published by others has been pretty scaring and stimulating at the same time :: you do note that the overall quality grade is *very* high, and your work should not be allowed to fall behind this level in order to avoid embarassing yourself in public (and your audience will be a huge one !) -- but once you start accommodating to these circumstances, you´re getting to a "well, then let´s simply *do* it this way !" point. What´s sort of funny is :: after realizing and accepting all that, things suddenly started to "flow", and the article´s lion share was written in just 3 days.
Now that both the article and all the sample files have been submitted to Adobe for review, proof-reading etc etc, I´ll allow myself to lean back a little and say -- it has been a great experience after all, because it gave me the opportunity to learn something I wasn´t aware of before :: how to deal with a brand new set of personal limitations, and how to turn the related insecurities and casual "writer´s blocks" for the better after all.

I´m truly pretty much indebted to Adobe´s George Fox !! George seems to be the main "Developer Center Article" - coordinator in charge over there and assumingly spends all his day with coordinating stuff and pampering a certainly huge amount of authors by (guess I´m not alone with this ;-) caring for their own set of existential orientations -- but whenever yours truly struggled with stuff or simply needed advice, George was always there for skillfully guiding me through the whole process with a tremendeous amount of friendlyness, patience and "heads up !" encourangements. True mentorship !!

It´s due to great folks like him why I´m not only proud of being an "Community Expert" -- this makes me sort of feel "at home", and this makes me happy !

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