Can you describe yourself and what you do ?
I'm a 30 year old architect currently living near Brussels, Belgium.
I was actually trained as a real architect, but I've been playing with the Flash Platform for over 10 years now, with an exclusive focus on RIA design & development since something like 3 years now.
Before Lovely Charts, I was working for Adobe Consulting as a User Experience Consultant & Design Technologist, where I humbly helped at defining or refining user experiences for some damn sexy Flex RIAs.
I do a lot of different things (especially now as the sole founder/ceo/employee of my lovely startup), but overall, my passion really lies with the architecture of experiences, from the initial concept to the implementation details that will all make a difference.
Can you talk a little bit about LovelyCharts ?
Lovely Charts is an online diagramming application, designed and built to help people communicate visually.
It all began because I was kind of frustrated with all the diagramming solutions I could find. I wanted a cheap, simple tool that would just help me create diagrams I wouldn't be ashamed of putting in reports or presentations, without requiring me to think about what symbols to use, how to draw them etc.
Easy, Sexy and Efficient.
So I started working on this in 2007 as a pet project, without any big business plan in mind or anything, just the goal of building something nice & useful, learn a lot in the process, and then use that whole experience as nice case for my future activities, whatever these could be.
The first beta versions came out at the beginning of 2008, and the V1 was officially released in February 2009, after what I've decided to, well, "give the product a real chance", by dedicating 100% of my time to it, what I've now been doing since May.
I now share my time between customer support and the development of the V2, which I expect to start beta testing in November/December this year and publicly release sometime by the end of Q1 2010... It's a very exciting release, with a completely revised architecture, lots of new features, notably a desktop (AIR) version on top of the online edition.
Lovely Charts will be present at Adobe MAX this year as an "Emerging" sponsor/exhibitor, so please drop by my booth in the community pavillion, I'll have belgian chocolates ... More seriously, I'll also have a preview version of Lovely Charts V2 with me, so if you're interested in seeing what's in it for you before everyone else, just come over and say hi!
Where can wee see LovelyCharts in action ?
For which usage did you use AlivePDF in LovelyCharts ?
Obviously, PDF export of diagrams. It's not yet the full blown vector PDF export I know some people are awaiting, but it's a pretty useful feature nonetheless for when you just need a quick export to print and send around.
How did you hear about AlivePDF ?
What did you like in it ?
Easy to implement, well documented, useful, funky author, what more? Seriously, being able to generate PDF client-side, without requiring any backend technology, is probably the key advantage of AlivePDF over all alternatives, especially considering the advent of AIR and offline or semi-connected Flash/Flex apps.
What would you like to see in future versions of AlivePDF ?
As far as Lovely Charts is concerned, a complete exposure of the format's vector capabilities (I think it's based on EPS, right?) would be terrific, as it would open the door to high quality vector export. That being said and beyond my immediate focus, the PDF format is actually a very rich format and I see tons of opportunities in exposing some of its most recent additions, such as the ability to embed SWF files, make those talk with the underlying PDF data, and create thereby rich portable forms and portfolios.