A Java Perspective I got a lot out of this thread. The last sentence just made me laugh out loud. Flash and Flex have a ProgressBar component, where the label is underneath the progress animation itself. However, I really liked the elegance of the methods, so converted for a project I am using. I believe for many this is to understand if it is worth investigating, and to shed more light onto where it fits in our future.
What drew me to Flex in the first place was I was bored with Flash. I have reached a point in Flash where I have little to learn in the Flash development world worth learning. I have plenty of things to learn in the programming world, such as additional design patterns, application of them in real world scenarios, and more advanced OOP concepts.
There are a plethora of other technologies that would help my career by learning, such as Java and. Some of my co-workers at work are all about model, and together this makes a good team. Therefore, it is very difficult to find interest in learning additional, model based languages such as Java,.
Flex does a significant amount of busy work that Flash does not. Not only does Flex separate your GUI layout from your code cleanly with the option of merging to various degrees if you need, it also separates the actual design of that GUI. All the components look better than the Flash 7 ones, their designs have been improved, they work smoother and faster at least they feel that way , and the coding API is much more matured.
You can tell not only does Flex have a future, but Macromedia has a clear vision for it, but they are also taking feedback from the community to help shape it. They have clearly stated that the next version of Flash will be mainly for designers, and there will still be stuff added for developers, but that is not the focus. If we need something, with just a few additions to JSFL, and most plug-ins and features can be coded by us.
While the concept is fantastic, I would much rather build things using a tool vs. I do believe Flash will be around a lot longer. As Nigel pointed out in his article , there will still be a tight coupling of Flash Developer and Flex Developer in teams, but I think that only applies to bigger companies.
Yes, I can honestly say that I feel Flex will be used in a normal production environment, my conclusion at the bottom of this article non-withstanding. That, in itself, showcases a wide array of disciplines brought together under that title, but a lot are more understandings than actual applications.
That said, Flash is not the optimal solution for a developer. Therefore, for a front-end developer, I believe Flex is the optimal solution. Frankly, though, I have a hard time seeing someone only using Flex, whilst another uses only Flash. In the real world, a pragmatic, business orientated one, people wear many hats.
Although the waters may appear murky, I think the intention is for front-end developers, but because the barrier of entry is so low, approaching GUI has never been easier for even back-end developers, and a good looking, awesome potential GUI at that. Another point to add is that history is repeating itself. Director 5 implements Lingo, Flash 5 implements ActionScript. Director 8 implements ground breaking new feature of 3D, Flash 8 implements ground breaking feature of bitmap blitting. Director lives on as a Flash support product.
Flash, for developers, will live on as a Flex supporter product. The device gang probably disagrees on that last point, I bet. So where am I again? Flash Developers in many small companies, will be doing Flash and Flex development in tandem; back-end developers will have little if anything affected on their end.
For those things that do change, probably for the better and both sides positive about the changes. The same will hold true for bigger companies; again, I have a hard time seeing what Nigel describes as how a Flash developer could NOT know and utilize Flex and a back-end developer could stand to spend half their time in Flex.
It seems like a gross negligence of responsibility appointment. I mean, we helped bring Flash where it is today. Devices will be taking another 2 years to mature in player version to where serious developers want them.
The ideal many had of Flash, Central, and Flex all having 1, global SWC file which contained the entire framework as Flex now currently does is dashed upon the rocks violently. Many of us were frustrated and wanted the same components for all 3 products.
If Macromedia updated 1, all 3 products would get updated, and all 3 would look the same to end users. Well, it would of… Without any uncertain terms, your future is not in Flash, only with it and Flex.
Abandon all hope your future as a Flash Developer is strictly within Flash, and Flash alone. The RIA revolution is here, and this year promises additional big projects, but Flash will not have all of that pie. If you want the same amount you used to have, and perhaps more, learn Flex.
Change your title to include Flex in it. Flash ones anyway, thus keeping your skills up to date. The application allows adjustment of fine grained application details such as script timeout and recursion limits, something one can only do in Flash using ActionScript Viewer , a 3rd party application. To me, Macromedia has clearly shown that most of its resources are aimed at making Flex more kick ass than it already is. Conclusion Without further ado, let me remove all validity from the above, because I can.
I have no qualms about my ability to convince everyone in my company to switch to Flex vs. Flash as the primarily development, whilst still keeping Flash around because it is without a doubt still necessary. Because my company knows that our customers cannot justify the cost increase in our software offerings. Increasing our price 6 to 12k for something I could do in Flash is an impossible sell.
Those things, however, will not allow it to gain a foothold. It certainly made Flashcom an approachable solution for projects vs. My guess is, once Flex does, it may offset barrier of entry resulting from price.