First Impressions: Adobe Flex
My friend and I are in the process of building a website, and we’ve been looking around and all kinds of interesting platforms for delivering web content. We’re probably doing most of it in Google’s Web Toolkit with a mix of Perl and Python on the backend, but one very neat thing we’re looking at for delivering a web chat interface is Adobe Flex.
Flex is a technology from Adobe that allows developers to write Flash applications. People have been doing this for a while, but (from what I understand) it’s kind of been clunky, because most applications used for doing this were focusing specifically on delivering multimedia content. But Flex is made for use specifically by developers, and so far it seems to deliver very clean, very pretty, and very easy-to-code Flash.
Besides Adobe’s provided Flickr client tutorial, I’ve been working on a chat program. The code is in MXML/ActionScript, so it’s pretty flexible and tends to do what you tell it in the same sense that Perl does.
If you need to quickly code up a quick web application, I’d suggest Flex. I think, but am not totally sure, that you can download the Flex developer kit for free. The awesome Eclipse-based editor, however, is somewhere in the magnitude of $200 USD.
Would I really pay that much for it? No. I got it for free with a student ID. :-)
You can also try a 30-day trial, I think. It looks like it’s much more advanced than I can comprehend right now. Since I’ve never done any Flash coding before, I think that’s understandable. My next task is reading up on how to do direct socket communication, which looks pretty easy via the SocketXML class.