Archive for July, 2008

Self-promo: my latest interview on The Flex Show

I’m very glad that Jeff and John have been able to keep this podcast going strong. Episode 49 is a conversation with yours truly about Flex futures, trademarks and legal issues, etc.

What Non-Flex Resources Have Helped You with Flex?

In a discussion with some Adobe Community Experts it came up that we expect you to have a reasonable amount of prerequisite knowledge to use Flex. You are better off if you have some familiarity with web development already, especially in areas such as exposing data as services, OO programming, CSS syntax, XML, etc. But not everyone who decides to learn Flex has all of that experience. So we were thinking it could be good to build up a list of general resources that can help with all the things you probably ought to know to improve your chances of success with Flex.

I don’t know where we’ll put this, but please start by commenting here on suggestions you might have for books, blogs, websites, online tutorials, etc. that provide the background material you might need to write any RIA, not just a Flex RIA. Feel free to be very specific, chapters in a book if you know them for example.

First round of Flex video-based training materials posted

One of the things we’ve been working on over the last few months is a series of training materials designed to get you up and running with Flex in 5 days. We have a series of videos along with exercises that go through the fundamentals of Flex, meant to be covered in a simple week.

Check them out here and please give us feedback here.

My talk at 360Flex San Jose

So 360Flex San Jose is coming up and I will be speaking about the Open Source Flex SDK Project. My plan is to quickly show the resources that are available such as the wiki, bugbase, and source control, and then go through some of the SDK itself and talk about its underlying architecture. This is going to be useful if you’d like to get in there and make edits to the SDK itself, but may also be useful as a Flex end-user.

If you have specifc things that you’d like to see covered, please let me know!

Draft documentation for Flash Accessibility

Andrew Kirkpatrick has some information posted on our draft documentation for the Flash Accessibility APIs. This is important information for anyone who builds components that need to be accessible, or is curious about how Flex for example implements all of its accessibility support.

Please make sure to post comments or bugs on the Flex Documentation Blog or in JIRA.

Download the docs

Awesome branding experience done partly in Flex!

Normally you think of high-end marketing sites being done in pure AS3 and Flash, but the Bombay Sapphire experience was a combination of fantastic Flash design and great Flex architecture. The folks at Gugga did the development and Shift Global did the design.

The folks at Gugga are working on putting together an article describing some of the process and key Flex elements which we’ll hopefully have out in a month or two.

Floorplanner, a cool Flash and now Flex/Papervision app

I saw a demo of this a few months ago, but the next beta is now out. Floorplanner is an online tool for creating, you guessed it, floor plans! Something I know I wish I had used when setting up my house a few years ago, or when helping my parents design theirs. If you go to the main site you’ll see today’s version, and if you want to see a ton of examples go to floorplanner.tv. But for the latest and greatest, check out the latest beta and click on the 3D button so you can see a little Papervision3d in action. Some pieces of the newer app are done in Flex, but a lot of the older pieces are pure AS1 and AS2.

Learn about the future of Flex at MAX 2008

We are slowly getting more information for the next versions of Flex out on the Open Source Flex site, but sometimes it’s better to get a ton of info in person. A few sessions that might be appealing for those looking ahead:

* Looking Ahead to the Next Version of Flex: Ely Greenfield
* Looking Ahead to the Next Version of Flex (Builder): Tim Buntel
* Creating New Components in Flex 3 and Beyond

Learn more about MAX and register here.

Suggested Projects related to Flex

In my role as a PM I see lots of feature requests and suggestions that we should do “X” as part of Flex. Unfortunately we can’t do everything, and in fact don’t necessarily have the expertise in-house to do many of these features. But we do have a great community of passionate folks who sometimes do know about related technologies and are interested in making a difference. Projects like Cairngorm, PureMVC, Mate, FlexLib, FlexUnit, and more recently FlexCover etc were not started by the Flex team, or even Adobe (Cairngorm was done by iteration::two before we bought them).

I’ve gone ahead and created a page on our open source site with some suggested projects that I’d love the community to work on. Things that we’d probably do if we had all the time in the world and infinite resources, but that we probably won’t get to in the Flex 4 time frame. Many of these are based on conversations I’ve had with folks, where they’d even be willing to participate. So if you see a project you’d be willing to lead, please please please speak up!

Suggested projects page

You can also of course suggest more projects and I can add them to the page. If you know of a project that we should be promoting because it addresses some of these already (or it should just be promoted in general) we can put it on the related projects page.