Flex 2 Learning Materials

One of the things that I focused on for the last 5 months of the Flex 2 release was the different learning materials that we wanted to get out. We decided to operate under the “more is better” principle, so I’d like to mention a few of the things that we did.

1) Introduced the Quick Starts: The Quick Starts are a series of short articles that serve as introductions to basic features and tasks that you will want to accomplish as you get going with Flex. Aral Balkan has done most of the writing. Each article points into the standard docs for more information.2) Added to the ASDoc examples and made them consistent with the Component Explorer. There is no difference in the examples between these two resources, the explorer is now essentially a different way of indexing into them. All those other examples that used to be in the explorer? Well I’m expecting them to go into number 3…3) Introduced the cookbook. We’re still working out the final name and don’t have a good codename, but that shouldn’t stop you from being excited about this great resource we’re building. You can read all about it in Craig’s article, and make sure to let us know if you’re interested in joining the seed program to help contribute initial content, provide feedback on the UI, etc. We’re going to try to keep releasing more information on this project so that everyone knows what’s coming, but it is unfortunately still a little ways off from being ready. Frankly this is the one that most excites me. But I’m still pretty happy with number 4…4) New samples! You can see the current SDK samples here but it will be another week or two before I have the FDS samples hosted publicly (hardware took longer to arrive than expected). Each sample is trying to highlight different things in the framework and describes what it’s doing in the associated README. Please take a look and give us feedback as to what other samples you might wish to see. I often hear “more samples with source” but if there’s techniques you feel we should be demonstrating, please let us know.Of course on top of this the Flex IMD team has done a tremendous job working on the documentation, we’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback on it but can always use more (good and bad). And I’m pretty excited to see the number of Flex books planned, I will happily plug your book if you send me a copy :-)The Flex team will continue to provide samples and other learning materials, but what excites me most is the level of enthusiasm I see in the community towards helping each other. It’s great to have this spirit and I really look forward to seeing what everyone will be coming up with.Make sure to let us know the things we could improve to make your learning experiences even better!

22 Responses to Flex 2 Learning Materials

  1. Jason says:

    Thanks for the resources. I’ve been looking around Adobe’s website since the release yesterday and I’ve come across quite a few. I did want to mention though that for the sample of the component explorer posted on the website, even though the caption says that we can download the source, that feature is not enabled on the actual application. It would be nice if it is.Thanks.

  2. Tim Scollick says:

    Matt,First of all, you guys did an amazing job with the documentation. It’s very thorough and well organized. Congratulations.My only real negative feedback is that the documentation is very mxml centric. Sometimes it’s difficult to discern how to do something with ActionScript from the examples. Obviously, the SDK is always available but some ActionScript examples would be nice to see.Keep up the good work!

  3. I had a chance to the preview the cookbook flex area and I am looking forward to see what comes of it. It will be a fresh way of community information hub then what we have now.Keep up the good work.

  4. Rob Dixon says:

    Matt,Thanks for highlighting the new Flex learning materials for everyone.I’d also like to point out that there is set of ActionScript samples you can download for the Programming ActionScript 3.0 book:http://www.adobe.com/go/as3examplesThese examples are pretty simple, compared to the larger-scale Flex samples, and they focus on ActionScript code (though they do come with MXML wrappers for use in Flex Builder).These examples all have detailed descriptions in the Programming ActionScript 3.0 book, which is included in the Help for Flex Builder 2.You can find the book and all the Flex docs in various forms on the Flex 2 Documentation page: http://www.adobe.com/support/documentation/en/flex/

  5. Matt Chotin says:

    Ah yes, good point. I should have included those!

  6. Matt Chotin says:

    Re the Component Explorer View Source, that’s a mistake in the article saying that it will be enabled, I’ll have that fixed. The source for the individual samples is obviously available and the source for the shell itself isn’t all that interesting, but it is available if you simply install Flex Builder or the SDK and look in the samples.

  7. Mattias says:

    Hey,We have just started a flexforum at http://www.flexforum.org. We will do the best to answer all questions. Please join!All the bestMattias

  8. Mattias says:

    Hey Matt!I can’t find your emailaddress so I write here.My name is Mattias and I live in Sweden. I’m trying to gather all profesional flexcoders on a good forum! Me and my friend Erik have just started http://www.flexforum.org, and we’re hoping to gather alot of good programmers there. By the way, great blog!Please come and join us!All the bestMattias

  9. Thomas McGee says:

    Hi Matt,Flex 2 seems to be very impressive. I’m also quite happy with the documentation I’ve seen so far.I’m working on a Mac, and I’d like to have the Flex mxml DTD so that I can create a language bundle for TextMate.Is there a DTD available for mxml, and would Adobe make it public?Thanks in advance for any information you might be able to offer, and great work on Flex 2.-tj mcgee

  10. Nolan Dubeau says:

    Hi Matt,I was wondering if you could provide a Flex 2 example or post about working with large data sets. Would the Flex 1.5 files (in your 2004 entry) work the same in Flex2 or are there enhancements in AS3 or Cairngorm that would make working with large data sets easier. Thanks!Nolan

  11. Matt Chotin says:

    Flex Data Services along with the Collections APIs are geared towards making this all easier. I’d start by reading up on those.

  12. Ben Ochoa says:

    Hi Matt,I came across your Flex website and I think you would be a great candidate to review our newest training series on Flex and share with your visitors:http://www.totaltraining.com/prod/web/flex2_ria.asp? (product page with web clips)http://www.totaltraining.com/prod/outlines/web/flex2_ria.asp? (course outline)Total Training Announces New Video Tutorials for Adobe Flex 2:Learn how the Adobe Flex 2 product line delivers a standards-based programming methodology to combine the richness of the desktop with the reach of the web. Presenter, James Talbot, has been with Adobe for over six years, on both the sales engineering and training teams. James has also authored two books: “Object Oriented ActionScript 2.0″ and “Adobe Flex 2: Training from the Source”.Save 20% off Total Training for Flex 2 – Rich Internet ApplicationsCoupon Code: save20flex2Expires: Midnight (PST) on 8/31Please contact me if you are interested in reviewing a copy and sharing it with your web visitors,-Ben- – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

  13. Victor says:

    Matt,I love Flex and I think you have about the best help files and examples in the business. I have not programmed in a few years (instead doing management), but this is so intellectually appealing that I have started again, at night in my spare time.In looking at the restaurant sample application, it appears to reload the entire list of headers every time you click on a restaurant. In accordance with the white papers, and to put your best foot forward on this, the first real app that most people see in Flex, wouldn’t it make sense to : 1) Pre-load the headers asynchronosly 2) check for new posts or a “change bit” before reloading the whole thing when a restaurant is selected. I know this is a beginner’s example, but it has gotten quite slow with the number of posts, and it reflects badly on the Flex architecture. Meanwhile, I will look for another one to show my colleagues/investors how cool Flex really is! I would like to develop the next version of our product in Flex. Thank you.

  14. Matt Chotin says:

    I am planning on getting a process to clean up the database more regularly because as you’ve said the point is to show off the basics of the application building without advanced features. If we were to take this and make more of a dataservice example we might start defining lazy properties, etc. I do appreciate the pain that comes from the experience right now, unfortunately we are actually not hosting the samples on the final production hardware yet so I have delayed some of those optimizations.

  15. Tim Heald says:

    I would like to say thanks, seriously. After trying to get somewhere with Flash Forms, and the craptastic documentation there is for it, it is really nice to see the depth of documentation you guys have gotten out here for us.Thanks 😛

  16. nwebb says:

    Hi Matt, I’d like to express my gratitude for the quality and quantity of Flex2 learning resources put out there by Adobe so far. “more is better”, but only as long as you keep the quality up :)Cheers,Neil

  17. The QuickStart sample in Chapter 15 seems to have an error. When created as directed in the book, the LoginBox custom component does not appear in a separate panel as it does in the documentation figures. Instead, it is inside the primary main panel and scroll bars appear, requiring you to scroll right to see the Login Box panel.

  18. Tulnio says:

    Hello Matt,I just completed the Blog Reader sample and found my way into the blog here. I have to tell you all that this was all a bit overwhelming when I first thought about undertaking this Flex stuff, but EASY is the first thing that comes to mind now. With the step-by-step instructions, and then the following explainations, this has got to be one of the best learning tools there is. Thanks to you and the rest of your cohorts at Adobe.Mike

  19. Further to the comment above by the Total Training representative, I can whole heartily endorse their product as I am a big fan.Thanks Matt for this excellent documentation and please continue to keep us updated around flex. Especially now that it is opensource!

  20. dereck says:

    I would like to say thanks, seriously. After trying to get somewhere with Flash Forms, and the craptastic documentation there is for it, it is really nice to see the depth of documentation you guys have gotten out here for us.

  21. messenger.liu says:

    Dear Mr:I am sorry to trouble you because of encountering the problem in studing Adobe.Flex.2.Training.from.the.Source studing as lesson 13 and lesson 6 to copy the file from the cd to the porgram in the book required.So that I want to get the source code from you to this book with the season that this book fail to publish in mainland of China and I can not buy it in the city book shop of China.However this book is very important to learn the Flex2 as you know.I expect you can help me with sending the source code of this book or telling me the Url to loaddown it.it is very important to me and i need it so much in work,peremptorily. Please quick.thank you very much, sincerely.My Email address is longxinshi2007@tom.com or longxinshi@yahoo.com.cnmessenger.liu

  22. Rupesh says:

    Hi,I am a Graphic/web designer but with no programming background.Need guidance as to how should I proceed to learn Flex 2?My expertise is in HTML, CSS and I can handle Javascript and basic actionscriptingRegardsRupesh