Sunday, January 03, 2010

Hello Flex, how have you been?

I've been a fan and an avid user of Macromedia's (now Adobe) line of web products.  I began using Macromedia Flash in version 3, Dreamweaver at version 2, Cold Fusion when it was still owned by Allaire, , and was founder of the Ann Arbor Macromedia User Group (now FlashFocused - Ann Arbor Flash Platform User Group and headed by Misty Mills).

I was extremely excited to see products such as Captivate, Breeze, Flash Communication Server and Flex launch, and I participated in many of these product beta programs.

I was a bit crushed when Adobe purchased Macromedia in 2005, and shortly after my career took a change which had me doing more IT Management and Project Management work than web design and development.

Adobe has done a great job keeping the programs I loved alive and kicking.  I was extremely excited to hear that Adobe Flex was now about to be at Version 4!  I decided it was time that I became familiar with my old favorites and so I went and purchased Peter Armstrong's "Hello! Flex 4" book in eBook format.  This book is in workshop format and I hope to work through it this week and next and leave my thoughts on the book and Adobe Flex 4 in general on this blog.

After I'm done with the workshop, I plan to use the Adobe Flex SDK to build an application to track vendor and software / hardware maintenance contracts.  This will help me in my current job at Thomson Reuters and will also allow me to become proficient with an application that I really enjoyed before I took a break from the web work that I was doing from 2000 - 2005.

Hello Adobe Flex, how have you been?

1 comment:

Nadon said...

The book reads very easily and is broken up into seven chapters. Each chapter has several workshops / mini projects. I've worked through the first two projects so far and noticed a small typo in the eBook version where the text attribute of the Label tag was missing, but other than that so far so good.

The first session was literally a "Hello World" application with nothing more than a MXML Label tag with the text attribute of "Hello Flex!" and an increased font size.

Peter mentions that the preferred method for working through the book is using Adobe's Flash Builder 2 Beta, even though one could use just the Flex SDK to do the work. As Peter said in the book, it might be a bit of a learning curve for someone just diving in, so I followed his advice and grabbed Flash Builder.

I think there was an opportunity to add some more content focus on how Flash Builder works and a little bit more about what makes up a Project within Flash Builder, but so far that's one of my only criticisms.

The second session introduces adding Actionscript and the handling of events. My experience with Flash / Actionscript is definitely going to come in handy as I progress through the book.

Here comes Session 3!