Friday, March 24, 2006

Flex 2.0 beta 2 thoughts

Flex has been getting a lot more press lately as we continue to release betas building up to 2.0. One thing is clear from my perspective - about 98% of all people who are exposed to it are both blown away and excited by it. IMO - this is significant.

One of the strongest proponents of Flex told me that this is due to the speed in which non-flash designers can build a flash based GUI for the web. Flash has typically been a tool used by the creative professional side of the equation to deliver a rich user experience. Flash has not been a skill set owned by developers but developers have always required a way to quickly codify visual interfaces for the products of their domain.

Typically, Eclipse based IDE's have granted developers the ease for building visual front ends to their products. Most of these have been java based derivatives to make Swing, JSP or other GUI's. The pervasive issue with all of these is consistent rendering. HTML heads can tell you that the prospect of a webpage rendering consistently on multiple browsers exponentially falls off as you incorporate more dynamic aspects of HTML 4.0 such as layers, div's and javascripting.

Flex and Flash are a match made in heaven. Because the final product is Flash, it renders consistently given the free Flash player isolates it from operating system and browser dependencies.

If you haven’t installed the latest beta 2, you can download it from here. You will need to read the installation instructions however. All previous betas have to be completely removed.

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