Flash Lite 2 Component Framework Questions to the Community

After yesterday’s frustrations with the technical limitations I’m running into, I thought I’d put out some questions to the community to see what they feel is important to them in a Flash Lite 2 component framework. This will help me focus my efforts and deliver something useful to the developer community by the Ides of March.

Last fall, I set out to create a Flash Lite 2 component framework, called Shuriken, that made developing Flash Lite 2 applications not only capable (no UIComponent…wtf!?), but also pleasurable since nothing exists currently in that realm for Flash Lite 2. Adobe has provided Flash Lite 1.1 components that do not utilize ActionScript 2, nor any of the Flash Player 7 features. Their emulators, however, are top notch.

The goals, in order of priority for the set, are:

  1. work on the lowest common denominator; if it can run Flash Lite 2, the component framework should work.
  2. provide commonly required GUI components & utility classes while being easy for developers to extend.
  3. no styling or skinning code; developer / designer is responsible for decorating and/or changing base skin symbols. No assumptions are made in code.

I’m having problems meeting those goals, namely in regards to scalability. I cannot take all the RAM & CPU in the framework, but the more I take, the easier it is for the developer. I’m having serious challenges meeting both the desire to provide developers with a clean, useful API that hits most common use cases, but also is efficient enough to run on devices in a scalable way. These are bipolar goals, and meeting in the middle is starting to become impossible. I believe everything is possible, but I want to get to the most useful result, so am hoping you all can help me focus on that result.

Onto the questions:

  1. Are those goals accurate? Agree? Disagree? See a different order? Different priorities?
  2. Would you rather have a clean ActionScript 2 API, or a lightweight one that doesn’t have much functionality, but does a lot of the grunt work? You have to choose one or the other, not both.
  3. How do you prefer to write events among the 4 options:
    1. child MovieClip calls a method on the parent via _parent.onEvent
    2. using built-in Flash Player 6 callbacks, like myClip.onPress = function
    3. using Flash MX callback mechanisms, like myBtn.setPressCallback ( scope, functionToCall )
    4. EventDispatcher
  4. With regards to #2, would you prefer to have more GUI controls, or less controls that are more efficient?

Thanks for your time in answering these. It is appreciated, and will help provide a useful component framework for the Flash Lite community!

“Et tu Flash Lite Community? Then fall walled gardens.”

6 Replies to “Flash Lite 2 Component Framework Questions to the Community”

  1. What about Cairngorm Mobile Edition, have you seen it or does it exist yet? I would love a good framework for Flash Lite and I was hoping Cairngorm Mobile Edition would show up soon. Maybe you could contact Matthew Jacobi from Adobe and see if you guys can collaborate.

    I personally would rather have the lightweight framework, I need room for my content. A framework with memory management would help a lot.

    EventDispatcher would be my choice for events. Flash Lite 3/4/5 will follow the path of AS3 code-based programming rather than movieclip-based.

  2. ARP works in Flash Lite 2 already. The Google Calendar application I’m building for the Flash Lite 2 contest in February uses it currently. One could convert Cairngorm 2.1 to work as well.

  3. well. i’ve a diffirent idea about this.

    i never used flash components in my work. they’re heavy. i built my own with the only functinality i want for specific project.

    same for FL projects. as on mobile, there are greater limitations than desktops, and i’ll prefere to make specific set of components for each project.

    well, there should be component templates, which can be modified to add /remove functionality depending on project’s need. i’m doing my work on templates. but they’re ugly, but they work for me :)

    in one FL2 project, i made a pretty nice handler for keypad. its in good shape, maybe i’ll get some time to add some comments to it, and release.

    i also noticed in some flex whitepaper about the mobile mxml? i never heared of it before, but sounds interesting.

    // chall3ng3r //

  4. i never used flash components in my work. they’re heavy.
    Google doesn’t like flas
    so I still use html

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