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Making the case for Flex - one question

Bill Johnston
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 17, 2005
Posts: 201
Hello Tariq Ahmed, Dan Orlando, John C. Bland II & Joel Hooks,

I am a Java developer who is reasonably experienced in HTML and Javascript but new to most of the HOT web programming topics in general; new to Servlets/JSP, newer yet to AJAX - just completed a course on it, and only brushed the surface of Flex. I work with Sungard's Banner product, in case you are at all familiar with that. I mention it because "they" are just recently adding in AJAX, Flex, XML and Servlet technology into the product mix - and we'll have to support and modify it.

So, with that in mind, can you please tell me the main differences (or perhaps just difference) between Flex programming and AJAX programming? Thank you all. Regards,

~Bill
Paul Sturrock
Bartender

Joined: Apr 14, 2004
Posts: 10336

Flash applications run in a stand alone player (an ActiveX control or plugin depending on your browser) so don't directly interact with the host page at all. I say don't directly - it is possible to call JavaScript or read values from the host page, but generally once the Flash application is up you can ignore the browser capabilities (or lack thereof).

So, gone is the need to know HTML, JavaScript and any data-interchange language you might use (e.g. JSON). You learn ActionScript (easy enough for anyone who is used to scripting languages) and MXML markup (again, if you are used to JSP or ASP this will be a breeze).


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Bill Johnston
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 17, 2005
Posts: 201
Thank you Paul.

I also realize that Adobe offers a Flexbuilder IDE (Eclipse based), but that Flex can be built without it, of course.

Do the authors of the book recommend - as Adobe does - using the Flexbuilder IDE?
Kalpesh Soni
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Joined: Jan 02, 2001
Posts: 312
A question on the same lines

Why should I, a hardcore java dude, write applications in flex, instead of swing and jnlp / java fx?


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Joel Hooks
author
Greenhorn

Joined: Feb 17, 2010
Posts: 15
Bill Johnston wrote:Thank you Paul.

I also realize that Adobe offers a Flexbuilder IDE (Eclipse based), but that Flex can be built without it, of course.

Do the authors of the book recommend - as Adobe does - using the Flexbuilder IDE?


Flash Builder 4 is an excellent IDE. I also regularly use IntelliJ Idea for Flex development with great success. They are still working out Flex 4 support, but it has advantages and would make a Java dev that uses it very happy. That said, Flash Builder is probably the easiest route to get started with Flex development.
Sonny Gill
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Joined: Feb 02, 2002
Posts: 1211

Like Joel, I also use IDEA for Flex 3 development. The new 9.0.* versions have very good support for Flex development.
The only thing it lacks is a visual layout designer. For all other tasks, the IDEA support for code completion, refactoring etc. is much better than Flex Builder.
Our team has Flex Builder licenses, but the only time I use it is when I need to do some trial-and-error visual design of a Flex screen.


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Joel Hooks
author
Greenhorn

Joined: Feb 17, 2010
Posts: 15
Sonny Gill wrote:Like Joel, I also use IDEA for Flex 3 development. The new 9.0.* versions have very good support for Flex development.
The only thing it lacks is a visual layout designer. For all other tasks, the IDEA support for code completion, refactoring etc. is much better than Flex Builder.
Our team has Flex Builder licenses, but the only time I use it is when I need to do some trial-and-error visual design of a Flex screen.


Honestly I haven't actively used the Design Mode in a long time and don't really miss it. There was some speculation that it might be removed in the next cycle in favor of Flash Catalyst. It would certainly make it easier for Adobe to update the product. I think it is a bit of a nightmare :>

IDEA has quirks, but MAN it compiles fast and I love the FlexUnit integration.
Bill Johnston
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 17, 2005
Posts: 201
Joel Hooks wrote:
Sonny Gill wrote:Like Joel, I also use IDEA for Flex 3 development. The new 9.0.* versions have very good support for Flex development.
The only thing it lacks is a visual layout designer. For all other tasks, the IDEA support for code completion, refactoring etc. is much better than Flex Builder.
Our team has Flex Builder licenses, but the only time I use it is when I need to do some trial-and-error visual design of a Flex screen.


Honestly I haven't actively used the Design Mode in a long time and don't really miss it. There was some speculation that it might be removed in the next cycle in favor of Flash Catalyst. It would certainly make it easier for Adobe to update the product. I think it is a bit of a nightmare :>

IDEA has quirks, but MAN it compiles fast and I love the FlexUnit integration.


I've worked some with Eclipse and Netbeans (Java dev only thus far). Just took a look at intellijIDEA. Only the $$$ version mentions Java EE developement. I realize that we're talking Flex here, but don't you need to connect the Flex client with the Java server? If so, don't you need to $pay for IDEA? And is the Flex part a built in or an add on?
Dan Orlando
author
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 04, 2010
Posts: 31
Joel Hooks wrote:
Sonny Gill wrote:Like Joel, I also use IDEA for Flex 3 development. The new 9.0.* versions have very good support for Flex development.
The only thing it lacks is a visual layout designer. For all other tasks, the IDEA support for code completion, refactoring etc. is much better than Flex Builder.
Our team has Flex Builder licenses, but the only time I use it is when I need to do some trial-and-error visual design of a Flex screen.


Honestly I haven't actively used the Design Mode in a long time and don't really miss it. There was some speculation that it might be removed in the next cycle in favor of Flash Catalyst. It would certainly make it easier for Adobe to update the product. I think it is a bit of a nightmare :>

IDEA has quirks, but MAN it compiles fast and I love the FlexUnit integration.


Heh... trust me, you're definitely not the first person to say that in regard to the visual layout designer. I think I used it a little when I first started with Flex, but can't remember the last time I switched to "Design View".


Dan Orlando
Adobe Community Professional
Author, Flex 4 in Action (Manning Press)
Harshana Dias
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 11, 2007
Posts: 327
Bill Johnston wrote:
I've worked some with Eclipse and Netbeans (Java dev only thus far). Just took a look at intellijIDEA. Only the $$$ version mentions Java EE developement. I realize that we're talking Flex here, but don't you need to connect the Flex client with the Java server? If so, don't you need to $pay for IDEA? And is the Flex part a built in or an add on?



yer..does the open source version of IDEA supports flex
 
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