Announcing Macromedia Flex

We have just released the initial version of Macromedia Flex and have updated the website with tons of information, including a new Flex Developer Center and an updated Flex product page.

I have also put together a Breeze presentation that talks about what Flex means for Flash developers and designers. Summary? While Flex is definitely targeted at developers who have not been able to use / understand the Flash authoring tool in the past, it does offer some potential opportunities for current Flash developers and designers.

Nigel Pegg has also put together a great article describing his take on Flex from the perspective of a Flash developer. You can view his article here.

We have also added a Flex category to the Macromedia XML News Aggregator (MXNA).

I am really excited about Flex. While I won’t be using it much (I already know how to do this stuff in Flash authoring), I think it has the potential to really expand the reach of Flash rich applications to a new class of developers. This can only help expand and grow the Flash platform.

You can view my Breeze presentation here.

7 Responses to Announcing Macromedia Flex

  1. the voice of reason says:

    12k ???? WTF !

  2. Greg Burch says:

    If I had my choice I would only use flash for development…why? Not because I will be doing 100% MXML (in fact I will still be doing mostly AS2) but because MXML would be the glue for my Apps instead of FLA which in my opinion MXML is light years ahead of FLA because its plain-text and easy to follow. And on top of that the layout managers in Flex are what I have been looking for my entire life. I get sick of rewriting layouts every single project (If the Central team is listening steal the containers from Flex and use them in central v2) Of course as I was discussing with Peter Hall yesterday…it would be nice if Macromedia stopped having 10 different sets of components and had one central team so they all worked together nicely (like the Flex team has done very well thus far)-Greg

  3. Peter Elst says:

    lol Mike, I like your comment saying “… I already know how to do this stuff in Flash authoring …” ;)I’ve seen the Flex marketing team bend over backwards trying to make the point that its not in competition with Flash authoring and hiring a freelance Flash developer for the job won’t be the cheaper option out in many cases (I’m not convinced personally).Big up to the Flex team for a great product, hope it won’t go the same route as prior serverside Macromedia products with a comparable price tag.

  4. Tom McGee says:

    Flex is too expensive for the kind of internal development I do. I look forward to an alternative from the open source community.

  5. Jan says:

    It looks very nice, but there are two issues:1. The speed is very slow. This will never compete with Microsoft’s Avalon. Macromedia need to make the Flash Player faster, even if it requires doubling or tripling the size.2. The competition is stuff like Java Applets and Tomcat. How the heck are you going to compete with a free environment at $12K. Why don’t you sell it on a runtime application basis with $500 per application – that would be palatable for an enterprise application contract of $10,000. Otherwise, you will only sell to large companies initially.

  6. Peter says:

    With all due respect Jan, I’d like to comment on those points:1. Though speed improvements to the Flash player are very welcome one of the key features of the plugin is it being extremely light-weight. I wouldn’t like to see this sacrificed and turn into anything like a 13.2Mb JRE. You can steadily see performance enhancements in the Flash player, especially in regards to parsing and that with only a very nominal increase in filesize which I’d like to see happening more in future releases.2. Flex is installed on top of a J2EE server like JRun, Tomcat, etc. and I’ve never seen any Java applets that could rival with the functionality, interactivity, animation and rich media that the Flash player can offer.Flex is specifically aimed at larger entreprise level businesses. I personally would have like to see a price tag somewhere around $5,000 which would no doubt greatly increase initial adoption rates instead of possibly stump growth for a brilliant piece of technology.My fears are this might turn out to be great promotion for some similar and more affordable products in the market, who knows even an open source implementation down the line as we’re seeing with Flash Remoting.

  7. Aaron says:

    We can already decompile SWF’s and extract code… How soon can we compile our SWF’s on the fly with open source, we shall see. I waited to make a decision for an upcoming project. I want to run Flex on a central server and deploy dynamic clients, but there’s no way the budget can handle this…