I just discovered the weblog of Sarah Allen, a fellow Laszlo employee. Sarah came to us in March, most recently from Macromedia, where she was Director of Engineering Multiuser Technologies. I am told that previously she had the best title I’ve heard: Director of Director.
Sarah has been working with Adam Wolf on the Laszlo Foundation Classes. These are a set of user interface, data handling, and web connectivity components and services available to Laszlo Rich Internet Applications. Writing these takes a particular kind of wizardry: the implementation of these classes requires both very high-level skills, in the use of functional programming and meta-object protocol concepts to eke sophisticated combinatorial functionality out of a very small library size. But it’s also like writing microcode, because the speed and feature limitations of the Flash plugin require an intimate knowledge of its performance limitations and a creative ability to hack in features that it was never intended to support.
Laszlo was incredibly lucky to find in Adam someone who could combine these two kinds of programming, and we have lucked out again with Sarah in finding someone who meets the bar he set. In typical startup mode, now each of them is doing the work of five, so that Adam no longer has to do the work of ten.