I got my Flex CD

I am so excited.

:: installs ::

I’ve installed it, and ran though the samples that it comes with. Few things I think are cool, and two things I don’t.

I’ll say what I don’t like first, just to get it out of the way. I don’t like the updated components; I like the Flash MX 2004 Halo ones better. Additionally, something puzzling was going on in a few of the apps, I believe when using the Accordion component. It appeared that it was causing a post-back (page refresh) everytime you loaded a new pane. I know that, without fscommand, that is one thing that killed a part of my past project at my current company as it interferes with javascript running on the page as well as elements loading such as form controls. One may argue that you should be doing the entire app in Flex anyway, but I still don’t like the looks of how that works. It really should just do a load movie or something… I didn’t look at the innards, so maybe it’s actually calling the mxml file, or can be changed easily.

Now, the good stuff.

First off, their layout managers are great. I know iteration::two has already talked about them, but to me, they solve I’d say about 40% of my total development time. Because I’m anti-authortime man, I spend a lot of my time writing my size function which lays everything out. A lot of times, it’s only called once in my entire app’s lifecycle; total waste of time. I gotta say, mad score for that.

Secondly, dig their ViewState component. A lot like the TabView, only …well, simpler and not as in your face.

I really dig how easily my existing components I create can be incorporated into a Flex app; it’s pretty insane that it’s that easy.

Finally, the coolest thing was how easy it is to add tooltips… omg, the only thing just as easy is Central’s way of doing it.

Anyway, they have some neat samples to look at, and a few scattered goodies throughout the install directories. It’s interesting to see they packaged the framework into an SWC + they have a debug one seperate. Clever!

One thing, though… there is no way my box meets the server requirements. I can hear my comp click away when I was hitting some of the more adavanced MXML files. All in all, I can definately see a niche in creating components again. Very cool prog, and it’s only been 1 hour with the CD!

*** Edit

Oh yeah, another thing that blew me away was the JSP integration. I’ve never seen JSP up close, but it looked just like PHP. The fact that you can create Flash apps that way suddenly hits home the whole “enterprise developer” thang. I know soooo many people that code like that. I KNOW there has to be a PHP version lurking in someone’s mind because that looks… geez, just like PHP. Anyway, very frikin’ cool the integration with HTML can be so tight.

8 Replies to “I got my Flex CD”

  1. Not sure which Accordion example you were looking at – but that component is back button enabled – so the post-back is to the hidden frame which enables the browser back button to work.

  2. I’m tempted to play around with it but I’m too cheap to pay for the trial. =)

    Is their a serial # on your trial CD or could I use it too I wonder?

  3. Naw, no serial # on my CD; when installing, it knows this and installs both Flex and JRUN developer; Flex becomes a developer edition after 60 days. I’m sure Macromedia would love for you to try it out. I’ll bring to work tomorrow unless they object. I think Alex will dig it more than you, though, since he’s the JSP meister.

  4. I think it would be cool to have a look at. I’ve heard so much about the layout manager I want to see what all the buzz is about.

    We’ll just have to check the EULA on the trial.

  5. Yep the Accordion has history management enabled by default so that the back and forward buttons work. TabNavigator is enabled by default too. You can disable that pretty easily in your own app if you’re not interested in that functionality.

  6. Not speaking for Macromedia officially and I haven’t actually read the EULA but my guess is that it’s no prob if you guys want to share the same CD since you’re in the same office.

  7. Go Go Jesse on a roll 8-) …but i just can’t believe your comparing a structured web application framework like Java and Struts, with the duct tape language that is PHP. Won’t go into a religous flame war but oh man….. 8-)

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