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Up periscope: Adobe's GUI updates for US Navy's green screens

I could comfortably blog for the next two weeks on stories emanating from Adobe's MAX developer conference which I attended in Milan at the start of this week. There are new “project” releases aplenty which I could warble on about; but instead I'd like to mention a small aside which came up in a break out session with Michele Turner, the company's VP of the Flash platform.
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Written by Adrian Bridgwater on

I could comfortably blog for the next two weeks on stories emanating from Adobe's MAX developer conference which I attended in Milan at the start of this week. There are new “project” releases aplenty which I could warble on about; but instead I'd like to mention a small aside which came up in a break out session with Michele Turner, the company's VP of the Flash platform.

Turner told a mixed bag of journalists from Western Europe that she was almost disappointed that web development has failed to keep pace with desktop application development in the wider sense. Well, if your “baby” was a route to online runtime success for web apps of all kinds, then you would probably say that too – but I guess I know what she meant.

Anyway, in a “not really a press release or formal announcement” kind of type of thing, Turner spoke about her company's work with the US Navy to work with its systems people to potentially help update the green-screen terminals still used inside areas like its submarine fleet.

She didn't make mention of whether it was a formalised contract or a major new roll out for the Navy – but here's the interesting part...

The problem, it appears, is that the US Navy has no problem finding really skilled young programmers. But once they get their hands on the world of green screen – their productivity wains as they are forced to work with technology that is essentially alien to them in terms of look and feel.

This “Facebook-generation” of military techies needs “Windows under the waves” (or an Open Source alternative one can only hope) it seems before they can concentrate on what they are doing and look for the beeps and blips that really do matter.

“Consumerisation of the Internet has even impacted the US Navy,” said VP of product development Dave Story (he was there too) and he might just be right. “These guys need web 2.0 technologies to be at hand if they are to work productively,” he added.

Interesting stuff no? Is this kind of thing a reality that we should just embrace and work with? Is it a sad indictment on the youth of today and the way they have been consumed into a GUI-based existence a world away from the command line? Is it Adobe reaching out to every level of the user community in a productive and progressive fashion? Or is it just a story about submarine monitoring software that just is basically cool anyway as a result of what it is?

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