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Acknowledgments

Acknowledgments

Writing this book was much different than most projects I am involved with. Most times, developers are not afforded the luxury of learning new technology to the fullest extent of what it can do. Like most of you in developer or CTO roles, I look at a technology, quickly assess how it can affect my business and solutions, and do some analysis to develop a few quick applications to test its integration.

This process usually provides a sufficient top-level view of what the technology can offer. The Macromedia Flash Communication Server is such a radically new concept that I admit to being intimidated at first. You are probably feeling the same way. When you write a book like this, you must look at every nook and cranny of the technology. Because this is so new, there are no methodologies or best practices to follow. There are no pre-determined specific guides or recommended approaches. Even the manual contains a section called “Tips and Tricks” versus recommended practices. The manuals are adequate, but do not provide the bigger picture. Because there are so many elements to this server, I found that having multiple sources of information complexes things unnecessarily.

I hope this book gives you the leverage you need as a jumping board for this incredible technology. I must start the acknowledgments with the Macromedia engineers and beta testers that worked on this project. The technology is a solid release and is ready for Prime Time. The launch of all the MX products must have made it tough to ensure tight integration and a solid top-level understanding and passion for the technologies and the platform. CTO Jeremy Allaire has served Macromedia very well in his role for the Communication Server. He is extremely passionate about Internet technology, and if you get a chance to have a conversation with him, I am sure you will draw the same conclusion. Jonathan Gay, Macromedia Technology Vice President, also deserves recognition for his contribution in developing a brand new technology pushing the limits for Internet communication.

Peter Ryce and Heather Hollaender from Macromedia's product management team were an invaluable resource to me. They patiently answered the many questions I had over the course of writing this book, and I thank them for their passion and dedication to the product.

The Flash Communication Support Forums and Fig Leaf's Chatty Fig “FlashComm” Listserv provided me the facility to interact with developers who were going through the learning steps. These forums and lists were also invaluable to address some of the common problems that plagued people during the learning process.

All examples in this book can be seen in working order at http://flashCom.PangaeaNewMedia.ca/. Thanks to our friends at NI Solutions Group, Inc. (www.nisgroup.com) for providing the Shared Hosting environment.

If you have ever written a book, article, or even a letter, you know that you cannot do it alone. Thank you to all the technical editors (credited earlier). Your constructive comments, insights, and critique made this book the best it could possibly be. From New Riders, thank you to Lisa Thibault and Linda Bump for believing in me and making this project come together tightly and professionally. A personal “thank you” to Greg Burch for contributing one of the tutorial chapters under a very tight timeline.

Finally, I would like to acknowledge the team at Pangaea NewMedia who had to put up with me over the course of writing this book. Our production manager, Rick Mason took every chapter home when it was complete, and stepped through each exercise, returning excellent critique and suggestions to protect me from embarrassing myself. To Rick, Steph, Irina, Jean, Malia, Heather, Michelle, Hugh, and my business partner, Tony Tobias, thank you for your support and encouragement.

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