Mark Anders from Adobe shared a very in-depth look into their upcoming program, Catalyst. Formerly known as Thermo, Catalyst is a professional design tool for creating next-generation user interfaces. Mark built a running application in about 20 minutes, with only a prepared Illustrator design, without touching a single line of code. Designers rejoice! It was an interactive friends directory with a working scroll bar, search directory and smooth transitions.

"We look at what people are doing with our tools and how to make it easier."

Catalyst looks like its Adobe predecessors with the simplistic, slick interface and very recognizable navigational scheme. It all seems too easy to get interactivity out of a design file. As well developers can import it to Flex and can easily expand on its capabilities. Mark was able to connect his friends directory app to Facebook and instantly search his friends from the site. Catalyst is primarily a designer tool but if you really want to geek out you can always look at the code as it's being built.

Why is Flex not ideal for creatives:

  • Hard to make stuff look like you want it to
  • Flex building blocks are not what designers use
  • With flex, you build the app first and a default look
  • .. and then make it look the way you want

Flash Catalyst Workflow:

  • Start with static artwork
  • Use drawing tools to create and modify artwork
  • Transform pictures of components into real ones
  • Define states, interactions, transitions, effects

Great presentation; Mark really had fun with the crowd and did a great job. If you missed this presentation don't worry, it'll all be posted on Adobe TV.

Launch Date: "When it's done" 

Beta Date:  "When that is ready" will be released in Adobe Labs.