Good morning from the 360flex Conference, at the eBay Town Hall in San Jose, CA!
Mark Anders @ Adobe is presenting the keynote this morning.
How many Flash developers? A few. Mark used to work at M$... glad to hear that he is now with Adobe! He is talking about trying to develop web biz apps in Flash. Ouch! Lots of respect for the Flash developers who were/are able to make that work.
Flex was designed for developing biz apps on Flex. It leverages the best of two worlds: HTML and Flash. Flex uses MXML markup language. It's XML based, describes the UI and ties to AS for heavy lifting.
Some code... heavy stuff on Monday morning.
Talking about components and composition. Some good components and apps in the community:
- Taking a peek at the fisheye component from the quietly scheming blog - Ely Greenfield.
- LightTable (which was demo'd at the last COWPU meeting) also being shown off
- Picnic.com is a cool Flex app for photo editing!
- Virtual Ubiquity (login required) - web based word processor. (The dev team for this project is sitting behind me) Image and text alignment. Zoom. Typography. Table editing with sizing handles and guides. List Handling. (Take that, AJAX!!)
Bottom line... Flex is Flash! Cool stuff!!
Talking about AS2 vs AS3, power and speed between the two versions. Using the Ring of Fire applet to demo. (Linkage?) AS2 looks like, well, random orange blobs. AS3 actually looks like a fiery blast on the screen (don't melt the LCD panel). It renders that much faster!!
Mike Downey - Senior Product Manager for Apollo. This is the new cross platform environment for RIA's. Some of the great features coming with Apollo include local file access, offline/online detection and events, drag and drop between the local system and RIA, clipboard access, background processing, multiple window support, custom chrome and more...
An example in development is the "gTimer" calendar for organizing tasks. Sounds simple - but there are some really powerful features for the presentation management and repurposing of code.
Combining AJAX with Flex, another team created "Maptacular". You can import vCards into the app, and drag a "pin" to a Google map. It automatically shows you the pin location from the vCard on the map. That's not all... if you drag a second pin to the map it shows the location and generates driving directions. Very cool!
The next version of Flex (version 3, code named "Moxie") is coming soon, and now we get to hear more! :) One of the main themes is the designer/developer workflow - Enhancing the tie ins with other Adobe products. Working with data and connecting Flex to backends should become even easier. The ability to generate Apollo apps will also be built-in. (Woot!) Debugging and productivity are also of high importance. Mark doesn't get to show us anything today... but we will get to see more later this week. We can expect Flex 3 "Moxie", Apollo 1.0, and Creative Suite 3 ("Philo") all to ship in the second half of 2007. (hmmm... MAX?)