The Flex Team’s Component Plans

There have been requests for public guidance on what components Adobe will be releasing in the future, especially since there are developers who would like to make or extend components on their own without then having Adobe duplicate their efforts. In that spirit we’d like to share our current thinking.

Note that these are forward-looking statements and therefore subject to change, but best represent our plans at the moment. The primary component areas we are focusing on include:

  • Enhancing the List-based components by adding functionality common to data grids and trees in other component libraries
  • Making enhancements to the existing Charting components (and their core framework), with a focus on expanding the API to afford greater control over axes, skinning, data hints, and other decorations.
  • Investigating new types of navigators in order to provide a best of breed solution for organizing information and processes.
  • Including some of the specialized text fields now available on the Exchange (e.g., autocomplete and masked input)

While there are many opportunities for both free and commercial components, there are several areas where we would particularly welcome community contribution, including:

  • Specialized components that address a particular UI need, such as a drawing surface
  • Components that provide better I18N support than is currently available in the core component library (e.g., the DateChooser/DateField controls)
  • Contributions to the scheduling framework currently posted on Labs
  • Utility libraries, adding to what is already available in as3corelib (http://code.google.com/p/as3corelib/); e.g., an XPath implementation building on top of the AS3 XML class that supports the W3C spec
  • Themes
  • Sample applications that demonstrate one or more concepts (big or small)
  • Flex Cookbook entries (http://www.adobe.com/go/flex_cookbook)

On a related note, we do intend to incorporate the recently released Ant tasks for the Flex Compiler and the Flex Compiler Shell into the SDK at some point in the future.

We hope that this helps clarify our plans. If you would like to double-check with us before beginning a new component or enhancing an existing one you can feel free to email Matt Chotin. With that said, in keeping inquiries confidential we will not be able to share whether we know if another party is already working on the same or similar component. We encourage you to use the public mailing lists and forums to investigate whether an investment in a particular component would be worthwhile.

Stay tuned for even more news on how Adobe intends to provide insight into future versions of Flex!