Flash Builder “Burrito” sneak #3

Following on from the previous feature sneaks for Flash Builder “Burrito”, this week we’re excited to show you a quick demonstration of code templates (also referred to as snippets) for MXML, AS and CSS code.

Flash Builder “Burrito” is an upcoming version of the product that is currently in development – another feature sneak will be posted next week. Enjoy!

Flex Builder for Linux project ending

After a long Labs alpha, Adobe is stopping further development of Flex Builder/Flash Builder running on Linux operating systems. We recognize the importance of the Linux community yet after studying the market opportunity for the sale of a commercial Linux Flex Builder/Flash Builder product, we have decided to direct future development toward new features for Windows and Mac instead of adding additional Linux platform support to the product. Linux developers will still be able to use the Flex SDK from the line command to build and debug Flex applications. Also, please note this decision is specific to Flash Builder and does not affect other Linux activities for other Adobe products. Adobe continues to be committed to providing ongoing support for Adobe Flash Player and Adobe AIR for the Linux platform.

Please read the FAQ for more details >>

Dave Gruber

Flash Builder Product Marketing Manager

Another week and another “Burrito” sneak

Further to last week’s blog post introducing Flash Builder “Burrito”, we’re excited to share another feature sneak which shows something that we’re working on for the upcoming version of the product.

Here we have “Metadata code completion”. Enjoy!

Flash Builder codename “Burrito”

The Flash Builder team is currently working on the next version of the product, codenamed “Burrito”. One of the areas we’re investing in heavily, following feedback from Flex and ActionScript developers, is coding productivity enhancements.

We’re keen to provide you with a taster of what’s in store for “Burrito” (pun intended), so over the next several weeks we’ll be posting short videos highlighting some of the new features currently under development.

First up is “Generate from usage”. Enjoy!

Flash on the Beach, September 27-29th

In a couple of weeks time a number of us from the Flash product management team will be heading over to the UK to take part in Flash on the Beach. Over 45 sessions from an array of highly-respected speakers, covering everything related to Flash, Flex and AIR, makes this a conference not to miss if you’re based in Europe.

Doug Winnie, Richard Galvan, Thibault Imbert and myself will be hosting the Adobe keynote on day 1, in which we hope to reveal some new information relating to Flash Builder “Burrito” and Flash Catalyst “Panini”, and of course you can track us down in the Adobe Town Hall meeting in which we’ll try to answer all your Flash-related questions. Many Adobe folks also have sessions at Flash on the Beach, so check out the schedule to see what’s going on.

If you haven’t attended Flash on the Beach before or you’ve not booked yet for this year, then it is your last chance to get your pass before ticket sales end. If you use the code FOTBFLEX when you’re booking then you’ll get 20% off.

Hope to see you in Brighton!

Building localized Flex applications – your feedback required

The Flex product team is looking for your feedback on building and deploying applications in languages other than/in addition to English.

Please help us gather data for future releases of Flash Builder and Flex SDK by filling out a short survey.

We are especially interested in receiving input from a wide variety of users across the globe.

Thanks for your help and we look forward to hearing from you!

Update on Flex SDK “Hero”

I am pleased to announce that we have made the first build of Flex SDK “Hero” available today on the Adobe Open Source site.

The “Hero” release development practices have changed somewhat from the Flex 4 release – the biggest change is that “Hero” is built atop the latest (and as of yet, unreleased) Flash Player and AIR runtimes. Because of this tight coupling, we have been unable to provide nightly builds that showcase in-development Flash Player and AIR features. Once the current in-development Flash Player and AIR runtimes are showcased in a public release, nightly builds will resume. In the interim, we are releasing semi-regular stable builds that showcase “Hero” feature work not dependent on features under development in the latest Flash Player and AIR runtimes – the first of these builds has now been posted!

This build showcases in-development work like the Spark DataGrid (Tier 1), Spark ImageSpark Formenhancements to RSLsOSMF 1.0 integration and the SWF Size Report compiler option. Please download the build and play with the features and provide us feedback through JIRA.

Next, we are also announcing our first “Hero” Open Source Iteration meeting! This meeting is a gathering of the product team and the Flex community where we share work that has been completed in past iterations as well as discuss whats in store for upcoming iterations. The first meeting will be on October 1, 2010. You can find more details here.

And lastly, a collection of new “Hero” feature specifications have been posted! This includes:

We are eager for feedback through commenting on feature specifications and filing bugs in JIRA.

Thanks,

Deepa Subramaniam, Flex SDK Product Manager
(Posted by Andrew on behalf of Deepa due to connectivity issues).

360|Flex DC September 19-22

See how your peers are using Flex and Flash Builder to more efficiently manage their Flex 3 applications and taking advantage of the new component model for Flex 4 applications at another great Flex|360 event on for Sept. 19-22 in Washington, D.C. It’s not too late to register. Check out the schedule and session descriptions for more info.


Available Flex 4 Books

Often books are used as a measure of success for a technology platform. For instance, O’Reilly used to publish a bi-yearly report on the state of the technology book market. (They may still, though I can’t find one more recent than last year.)

And since today I received an email letting me know that a new book called “Effortless Flex 4 Development” was released (written by Larry Ullman, a well known author of many technology books), I decided to check Amazon to see how many Flex 4 books have been released.

A quick search for “flex 4” yielded 18 results for published and soon to be published books on Flex 4, plus one curiously titled “Handbook of School-Gymnastics of the Swedish System” (Note to Amazon: you may want to work on your search algorithm.)

The highest rated book is from Adobe: Adobe Flex 4: Training from the Source, Volume 1. The second highest is the Flex 4 Cookbook: Real-world recipes for developing Rich Internet Applications (Oreilly Cookbooks), based on recipies from the Adobe Developer Connection Cookbook site. Either of them would be great books for someone looking to come up to speed on Flex development.

There are 67 books available for Flex 3, which has been out for about 2 1/2 years. Flex 4 books are already nearly 1/3 of the way to that total, only 6 months into release.

Introducing….Hero!

It is with great pleasure that we introduce to you the next release of the Flex SDK, code-named Hero. The Hero release has three main themes:

  • Multi-Screen Development: Allow developers to build applications that target the web, desktop or mobile devices using a single unified framework.
  • Spark Maturation: Polish and grow the Spark architecture by adding new Spark components and capabilities.
  • Large-Application Development: Support developers building large applications by improving fundamental Flex infrastructure pieces.

What’s even more exciting is that these three themes are being satisfied by taking advantage of new features in the next generation Flash Player and AIR runtimes. As those runtimes become publicly available, you will be able to download Hero builds and exercise in-development Hero features in order to learn and provide feedback.

Let’s dive into more detail for each of these themes.

Multi-Screen Development

We are currently building new mobile development capabilities into the Flex framework. The Hero release of Flex will enable developers to continue to create application experiences that translate well across platforms, in addition to making it easy to build applications that work well on a wide variety of mobile devices. Hero will augment a number of existing Flex components with mobile- and touch-optimized skins and functionality and will also add new components that support mobile-specific UI patterns. Developers already familiar with core Flex concepts like data binding, MXML and dynamic layout will be able to quickly leverage that knowledge into building applications that can target numerous mobile devices.

Previously, we had investigated splitting off mobile development into a separate, new branch of the Flex framework, code-named Slider. However, the rapid increases in performance on smartphone-class devices over the past year, combined with the highly optimized performance of Adobe runtimes on these devices, now make it feasible to support mobile use cases directly with the core Flex framework. This unification of both mobile- and desktop-targeted features into a single framework is one of the cornerstones of the Hero release.

You can learn much more about the mobile features targeted for the Hero release by reading the Flex and Mobile Whitepaper and the Flex and Mobile FAQ, as well as perusing Hero Mobile feature specifications on the new Hero open source site.

Spark Maturation

With the Flex 4 release, we introduced a new component and skinning architecture called Spark which allows for designers and developers to separate component logic from behavior and declaratively customize the visuals of a component. Spark has proven to be a key addition to the Flex framework, and the Hero release focuses on building more Spark-based components as well as providing new Spark capabilities to existing Flex features. Some of the new Spark components being offered in the Hero release include Spark Form, Spark Image and Spark DataGrid controls. These new Spark components not only provide parity with the previous MX versions, but also expose capabilities that allow for more modern component designs.


Large-Application Development

As people use Flex to build much more complex and mature applications, core pieces of the Flex framework must be retrofitted in order to support these efforts. The Hero release aims to improve the compilation experience (with regards to full and incremental compilation times as well as memory consumed during compilation) for large applications that make heavy use of modules or themes. Additionally, the support for linking runtime shared libraries has been enhanced to allow for smaller download size and faster startup time. You can read more information about the changes to RSL linkage by reading the Hero feature specification here.

Changes to Build Availability

More so then ever before, the Flex SDK is tied directly to the evolution of Flash Player and AIR. The Hero release is being built atop the latest, in-development (and as of yet un-released) Flash Player and AIR runtimes. Because of this tight coupling, we are unable to provide nightly builds that showcase in-development Flash Player and AIR features. Once the current in-development Flash Player and AIR runtimes are showcased in a public release, Hero nightly builds will resume. In the interim, we will release semi-regular builds that showcase Hero features not dependent on features under development in the latest Flash Player and AIR runtimes. We will be posting the first of such builds over the next coming days. These special builds will feature several of the items mentioned in the Spark Maturation and Large-Application Development themes above. Builds showcasing Hero mobile capabilities will follow in later months. Watch the Hero open source site for more information.

More Information

This is just the start of many documents outlining new features in the Hero release. Keep an eye on the Hero open source site for the sharing of whitepapers, special Hero builds, feature specifications and design documents. Additionally, we will soon be announcing our first Hero Open Iteration Meeting, where work completed in past iterations is reviewed and upcoming feature work is previewed. Also, you can find out more about AIR for Android and participate in the pre-release program by going here. We hope you are just as excited as we are with all of the new applications and workflows Hero will enable you to build!

Sincerely,
Flex SDK Product Team