Drawbacks of using Flex for data processingapplication?

27 Jan 2009 - 3:25am
5 years ago
3 replies
366 reads
Gregor Kiddie
2008

(Edit : This is a re-post as my original didn't pass moderation.
Providing context is a crime it seems)

Just to defend Flex for a moment (again another Flex developer here).

1. It is free, it is just the Adobe IDE that costs money. You can
download the SDK for free and start working.
2. Flex is more like a traditional programming language, so while
Javascript / HTML developers may struggle to get their heads round it
("traditional" web developers), hand it to a Java developer and they'll
be banging the work out in no time.
3. You get a lot out of the box with Flex when it comes to both data
handling and UI. Check out the iLog components and the Degrafa libraries
for examples of excellent work.
4. When you say data processing, do you mean data visualisation? Flex is
a client side technology, so your heavy lifting is best left on the
server.

Gk.

Gregor Kiddie
Senior Developer
INPS

Tel: 01382 564343

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Comments

27 Jan 2009 - 7:02am
DrWex
2006

Gregor

Thanks for adding in to this. I don't think anyone was attacking
Flex. As a new-ish technology my guess is lots of people have
questions about it.

> 2. Flex is more like a traditional programming language, so while
> Javascript / HTML developers may struggle to get their heads round it
> ("traditional" web developers), hand it to a Java developer and they'll
> be banging the work out in no time.

I agree. Our programmers are all trained in Java and found it easy to
pick up Flex in just a few days.

> 3. You get a lot out of the box with Flex when it comes to both data
> handling and UI. Check out the iLog components and the Degrafa libraries
> for examples of excellent work.

Would you provide some URLs if you don't mind? Also I'm curious when
you rate something as 'excellent work' is that your response to the
code of the library or to the interactions provided by the widgets? I
ask because one of the things I'm looking for in my own application is
more powerful UI widgets - e.g. fisheye menus, tables-within-tables,
and other things that will let me compose more sophisticated
interaction flows for my apps.

Any suggestions appreciated.

Best,
--Alan

27 Jan 2009 - 9:17am
Gregor Kiddie
2008

"Would you provide some URLs if you don't mind? Also I'm curious when
you rate something as 'excellent work' is that your response to the
code of the library or to the interactions provided by the widgets? I
ask because one of the things I'm looking for in my own application is
more powerful UI widgets - e.g. fisheye menus, tables-within-tables,
and other things that will let me compose more sophisticated
interaction flows for my apps."

When I say excellent work, I mean both. Degrafa is an excellent library
(code wise) which lets you skin components (including data visualisation
components) in a variety of manners, including CSS.
Some examples
http://flashspeaksactionscript.com/5-custom-charts-using-degrafa/
http://www.insideria.com/2008/04/degrafa-data-part-2-the-sparkl.html
and the library itself
http://www.degrafa.org/

iLog Elixir is a paid-for library of components which can both prove as
inspiration for your own components or be a solution (if you can use
paid-for in your application)
http://www.ilog.com/products/ilogelixir/

Flex gives you a lot of flexibility (ha ha) out of the box, and the
means to quickly put together the components you need. There is a
thriving community, much of whom are cross overs from the Flash
component days who produce and release components, so hunting for what
you need may be an option.

Lastly, if you are thinking about the future, keep your eye on Flash
Catalyst for changing the face of how Design and Code come together. If
Adobe can deliver on the initial promise, it will be something special.

Gk.

Gregor Kiddie
Senior Developer
INPS

Tel: 01382 564343

Registered address: The Bread Factory, 1a Broughton Street, London SW8
3QJ

Registered Number: 1788577

Registered in the UK

Visit our Internet Web site at www.inps.co.uk

The information in this internet email is confidential and is intended
solely for the addressee. Access, copying or re-use of information in it
by anyone else is not authorised. Any views or opinions presented are
solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of
INPS or any of its affiliates. If you are not the intended recipient
please contact is.helpdesk at inps.co.uk

2 Feb 2009 - 5:30pm
Ryan Stewart
2008

This has been a really good thread as an Adobe employee. Very good insights into both pros and cons.

If you guys want to talk about Flex or what we've got planned with Flash Catalyst, a few of us from Adobe are going to be at IxDA in Vancouver and we'd be happy to chat.

If you want to set something up, send me an email.

=Ryan
ryan at adobe.com
http://blog.digitalbackcountry.com/
Platform Evangelist

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