Introducing Me

Well hi there! Welcome to my little corner of the blog universe. I’m Matt Chotin, a software engineer on the Flex team. Those of you who participated in the beta know why I’m here. I basically can’t keep my damn mouth shut. Since the beta’s coming to a close Macromedia management decided they needed an outlet for my ramblings, so here we are. Hope you might find something interesting.


The current plan is for me to talk about Flex in the context of real world problems. Specifically I’m going to try to focus on the data side of the Flex app, the M in MVC if you will. I’ve also got some level of experience in the C, but I won’t do you much good when it comes to the V. We’re going to start off with a discussion on dealing with large amounts of data. In talking with customers I’ve had questions come up like: “what if I need to display 20,000 records?” So we’re gonna think about ways to deal with that situation. As time passes I hope to delve into other topics like general architecture, performance, and the secret to a good fruit crisp (hint: extra crisp).So what do I bring to the table? For one, I worked a lot on Flex, so I know what it can and can’t do. Beyond that I’ve primarily done J2EE development. First I worked on a standard web application where we thought generating our UI entirely using XSL at runtime was a good idea. It was not a good idea (at least in 2000). The second round of that product was much better and though we didn’t know it at the time utilized a lot of the best practices you’ll find out there, especially in its data architecture. After a stint integrating that system into another product and working on some smaller projects I came to Macromedia where I began working on the server portion of an RIA. This was my introduction to Flash (MX) and boy was it ugly. So when I found out that Macromedia was working on a product meant for people like me I knew that I had to participate. I’m pretty pleased with what we’ve put out, and I hope that many of you will be able to play with it and eventually develop real applications that provide the kind of user experience your customers deserve.I’m not sure how often this blog will be updated as I’ll be working on the next version of Flex, but I hope to put up something new every week or so. In the meantime check out FlexCoders as a way to chat with fellow Flex developers; and of course keep an eye on the Flex homepage for the latest news and information.

21 Responses to Introducing Me

  1. Gutentag Matt!Hopefully Flex turns out to be a real winner.I like what I see so far in the BETA … hopefully more is to come!… now back to reading the 800 pages of flex documentation. 🙂

  2. Another resource blog I came across besides the 2 mentioned above, not much on flex yet … but give it time …http://www.flex-mx.com/

  3. Late Bloomer says:

    Is Flex for .NET going to be offered in the initial release? Or is Macromedia going to stay Java-centric for the first few miles?TIA

  4. Matt says:

    .NET info should be coming soon on the Flex site.

  5. Stacy Young says:

    Bonjour!

  6. Hi!I’m interested to enter in the spanish group ob beta-testers, I have a blog about flash-java in spanish and I want to put info about the upcoming product.Is still possible to enter test the last beta of flex?please contact me…thx.

  7. Greg Burch says:

    Welcome Matt. Nice to see you blogging!

  8. Waldo Smeets says:

    Oh my god, I thought we would be freed after the beta! Just kidding ;-)Welcome Matt, I’m sure you’ll be a great addition to the blog world!

  9. David Bisset says:

    Hey, Matt – great to hear from you!And yes, shortly my site (www.flex-mx.com) will live up to it’s name. 🙂

  10. Scott Barnes says:

    OMG Matt you’ve been freed from the MM dev camp at last :)Heh can’t wait to read more of your posts / thoughts.I’ve got http://www.flashcoder.com registered at the moment, hopefully when FLEX goes public, this site will to 🙂

  11. Kim Hansen says:

    Welcome Matt,It is good to see these initiatives from Macromedia and I hope it is true when you say you just can’t keep your mouth shut ;)Let’s get this MVC going really fast – it is definitely the way forward for web applications.

  12. Bertil Gralvik says:

    Hi Matt!Flex is impressive.It’s good to have blogs around, as I guess we are approaching some 1.x release.After that we may more freely discuss pros and ncons and best praxis.

  13. I know it’s probably already planned … but it would be nice to have some Macromedia newsgroups created very soon for flex …

  14. Jerry Hamby says:

    What limitations does the trial version have. Is it a developer version or is it a full version with a time limit. I think Flex should be priced more along the Coldfusion model, $12,000 is a bit steep.

  15. Matt says:

    The trial version is a full version that expires in 60 days. It then reverts down to the developer version which limits the number of IPs that can access it and times out the SWFs if you were viewing them standalone. If you are using the server you won’t notice the timeout.

  16. Jerry Hamby says:

    If Flex (developer/trial) delivers a SWF to Macromedia Central, to be stored as a external swf, will the timeout still take effect? If it does timeout, what would Central see when it calls that SWF?Is this SWF timeout feature something that can be set in the full version of Flex. Might be a nice try/buy feature for dynamic information.

  17. Matt says:

    I’m not sure about trial, but definitely the developer version to Central will have the timeout. We have not tested at all with the Central beta (note that the first version of Central is based on Player 6 and Flex requires Player 7).The SWF timeout is not a feature that you can control. it is simply to enforce licensing right now.

  18. When you-all do finalize how Flex will be able to deliver Central apps please be sure to explain it to me!Thanks

  19. Ross says:

    Does Flex:1. Support multiple Flex apps in a single web page?2. Support javascript communication betwee the Flex app and the hosting page?3. Support communication between flex apps residing in the same web page?Thanks

  20. Matt says:

    Ross,Yes Flex can support multiple apps in the same web page, it’s easiset to set up using the JSP tag support. There is minimal support for using JavaScript communication using the Flash fscommand function, Flex did not add anything new. And yes, you can use a LocalConnection to communicate between flex apps.The DevNet site and Flexcoders would be the place to ask for more info.Matt

  21. Ross says:

    Matt,Thanks for the help.Ross