Having Fun with Adobe Flex

Screen Cap of Flex.orgOver the last few weeks I've been focusing on some personal and professional development. Part of that has included finally take a serious look at Adobe Flex.

In a nutshell Flex is a framework for developing applications with actionscript that run in Flash Player or Air.

Adobe uses the buzzword "RIA" or Rich Internet Applications when describing the nature of the applications you build with Flex. I'm not crazy about buzzwords, but I appreciate where this one comes from. I've been developing web-based applications for nearly eight years (that's over and above the time spent tinkering with web pages since the dawn of the web). The only limitation of web-based applications has been building exceptional (extraordinary) user interfaces for those applications that are on par with the user experience of desktop applications. Don't get me wrong, its been getting much easier to build those interfaces because of the ubiquity of faster processors, broadband and amazing javascript frameworks like jQuery. But even so, there are times when you bump into some technical or practical limitation of XHTML and javascript.

I've been pleased to discover in the short time I've spent toying with Flex that it is possible to build very rich interfaces to web-based backends that "just work" in any browser with the flash plug in. And since it is just as easy to build desktop applications with Flex as it is to build browser based applications I'm finding it very exciting to think about the possibilities for this new found toy.

Check out the Flex showcase site (powered by Drupal of course) for some nifty applications of Flex.

January 28th 2009 2AM
By: andre
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