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Making the case for Flex - one question

 
Bill Johnston
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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,
 
Paul Sturrock
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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).
 
Bill Johnston
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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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A question on the same lines

Why should I, a hardcore java dude, write applications in flex, instead of swing and jnlp / java fx?
 
Joel Hooks
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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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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.
 
Joel Hooks
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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
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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
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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".
 
Harshana Dias
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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
 
Consider Paul's rocket mass heater.
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