I’ve had the privilege to work on some proof of concept pages using Flex since last week. Yes, I’ve heard the buzz around RIA and Flex before but I didn’t have the time to play around with the application until now.
I originally thought that it was somehow expensive to develop applications using Flex, but looking at the new pricing models, it seems that the entry barrier to Flex has been lowered down. You can even develop Flex applications for FREE using just the open source SDK and your old IDE but you lose all the design time capabilities the Flex Builder IDE has to offer.
I downloaded the 60 day trial and since the Flex Builder IDE was built on top of Eclipse (which I have been using for Java for a couple of years already), I immediately became very comfortable with the controls.
I did some web search on Flex and found some interesting articles/links which caught my attention:
- Top 10 Adobe Flex Misconceptions by James Ward
- Hybridizing Java by Bruce Eckel (author of the ubiquitous Thinking in Java book)
- Video Tutorial: Creating an expressive application using Flex, Hibernate, and XFire
- Free Flex training (which unfortunately expired last December)
I wanted to try out writing some Flex applications but our intermittent internet connection last week prevented me from running the online tutorials.
So I just opted with buying the Early Access e-book copy of Flex 3 In Action from Manning.
After reading chapter 1 which can be downloaded freely from the site, I said to myself, “now why didn’t I try Flex earlier?” The argument there about the lack of user interactivity from pure HTML pages made a lot of sense.
I’m still in the early part of exploring Flex, but I must say that I’m really enjoying it and excited about all the new possibilities with regards to what the UI can offer.
Now all I need to do is to connect this to my Java backend and I’m ready to go.
Sounds easy? We’ll see…