Macromedia announces Flex version 1.5

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News: Macromedia announces Flex version 1.5

  1. Macromedia announces Flex version 1.5 (42 messages)

    Macromedia has released version 1.5 of Flex. Flex 1.5 improvement include improved data display and visualization, more versatile skinning and styling, additional new deployment platforms, and enhanced performance.

    Features

    • Charting components: The charting components were available to beta customers with Flex 1.0, and are now entirely integrated in the programming model.
    • New List Components (HorizontalList and TileList). In addition to the List component, you can now use HorizontalList and TileList to scroll through a data set. HorizontalList and TileList provide much better performance compared to the Repeater approach used in 1.0, especially when manipulating large data sets.
    • New stylable properties. There is now a lot more you can do with styles to customize the look-and-feel of your application.
    • Runtime Shared Libraries (RSL): You can now package classes and assets in runtime libraries that can be shared accross applications.
    • Integration with Central: You can now build Central applications using Flex.
    • Many performance and usability improvements.
    • Support for additional platforms: Oracle 10g, IBM AIX for Websphere 5, Fujitsu Interstage 6.

    Read the press release for Flex 1.5

    Read an article which discusses the new features of Flex 1.5

    Threaded Messages (42)

  2. bypasses the borwser.[ Go to top ]

    This version catches up with JDNC, and lets you run Flex outside of the browser.

    Benefits of this is that you still get to server deploy it and distribute, but now you don't have daul windowing issues.

    a Flex plus over JDNC is the runtime is easier to distribute cross platform.
    And Longorne MXML is not here yet.

    .V
  3. bypasses the borwser.[ Go to top ]

    Has anyone heard anything about possible java integration into Flex?
  4. ??[ Go to top ]

    The server part of Flex runs within .Net and Java. If you are asking if the Flash player runs within java I don't know.

    However, you could of always created a standalone swf app instead of embedding it into the browser, that was always a feature of Flex.
  5. ??[ Go to top ]

    just looking for the ability to code flex in java on the client.
  6. Standalone Flash apps[ Go to top ]

    However, you could of always created a standalone swf app instead of embedding it into the browser, that was always a feature of Flex.
    Does this depend on client Flash plugin/runtime type, or on app packaging or on both?

    Can I run any Flash app standalone? I know there are Flash players, which can show Flash movie in a standalone window, but those that I tried do not run Flash applications.
  7. 12.000 $[ Go to top ]

    I think it's a very interesting programming model. But its a pretty particular project that expects to gain so much from just the presentation tier that it can maintain that it's 12.000 $ well-spent.
    In other words: I wont be studying Flex since I don't expect any opportunities of using it.
    Pity.
  8. Consider Flash MX 2004 Pro[ Go to top ]

    I totally agree that $12,000 is ridiculous to ask for what Flex has to offer. If you still want to do RIA development, you should take a look at Flash MX 2004 Pro. The MX 2004 version is built on the new ActionScript 2.0, which is very, very close to Java. I am in the process of migrating a pretty complex (functionality wise) applet over to Flash. You can use Flash to retrieve data from your servlets/web services and send data back to the server. I seriously think this is the answer to RIA and applet if more web/Java developers know about it.
  9. Consider Flash MX 2004 Pro[ Go to top ]

    The MX 2004 version is built on the new ActionScript 2.0, which is very, very close to Java. I am in the process of migrating a pretty complex (functionality wise) applet over to Flash. You can use Flash to retrieve data from your servlets/web services and send data back to the server. I seriously think this is the answer to RIA and applet if more web/Java developers know about it.

    I hate typing Java in Notepad even I do know Java pretty well. Much less I like typing JScript, ActionScript, whatever without code completion, list of method signatures, and easy code navigation (Jump to implementation Ctl+B)

    Those things I must have for productive work. Are they available for ActionScript?
  10. Consider Flash MX 2004 Pro[ Go to top ]

    ActionScript and OO are relatively new to the Flash world. Most developers are still the creative kind, so there are not too many editors, and IDEs that support ActionScript 2.0. The only ones out there I could find are:

    PrimalScript 3.1 - supports code completion, class browser, and Help files for ActionScript 2.0.

    UltraEdit32 has syntax highlighting thru user support.

    I admit that it is lacking in the tools area, but ActionScript support is very new in Flash, just like Java back in the early days. It will take application developers to really start using it to get vendors to look at providing IDEs and smart editors.
  11. Macromedia announces Flex version 1.5[ Go to top ]

    Nice to see RIA frameworks gaining steam. One thing that would be nice to see popup is OSS projects w/ new skins for the different frameworks (Laszlo, Flex).
  12. well gaining steam..

    I don't imagine there are a lot of companies using flex at these prices
  13. Runtime Shared Libraries (RSL): You can now package classes and assets in runtime libraries that can be shared accross applications.
  14. I have played with Laszlo and resulting Flash client applications are quite big. Does Flex produces more efficient flashes then Laszlo?

    And I think Flash clients cannot be reliably cashed on client as opposed to JavaWebStart applications.
  15. Any existing GOOD Flash apps?[ Go to top ]

    Can someone point me to Flash app, which:
    * scales when browser window is resized;
    * at very least, has its own control setting for font size or at best, is hooked up to browser font size event;
    * can be operated with keyboard only;
    * has print preview for documents which it shows;

    Is it possible at all:
    * to have drag-and-drop from/to native apps?
    * to have access to client filesystem?
    * to have access to client devices?
    * to have access to client settings, like locale, date/time format, money format, color scheme, fonts, etc?

    Why Flash plugin can show movies with ease, but moving a window brings back memories about Windows 3.0 on 286 machine?

    What is needed to run Flash app without browser? Do I have to pay to get this "browserless plugin"?
  16. Can someone point me to Flash app, which:* scales when browser window is resized;*
    Technically speaking Flash supports scaling/resizing/liquid layouts. It is up to developers/designers to use it.
    There is plenty of web sites which does not scale!(hate it myself) What can we expect from Flash? :((

    IMO, the best Rich client possible is XWindow server(that runs on client machine btw )
    Second comes Java Appet (Thinlet, SwixML for XML lovers).
    IMO Sun MUST ENABLE Java Web Start for Applets. Today support for Applets in JWS is very very very strange.
    If it was fixed and Applets will be in JWS supervision that would be slick and killer RIA.
  17. IMO, the best Rich client possible is XWindow server
    :-)
    Today support for Applets in JWS is very very very strange.If it was fixed and Applets will be in JWS supervision that would be slick and killer RIA.
    Firewalls and proxies may prevent applets from loading, I experience it myself. Wrong JRE or its absence prevents applets from running. On the other hand, Flash can be killed only by removing the plugin, which is not an easy task with MSIE ;-)

    I don't know about hard numbers, but Flash is percieved to be more robust, at least on startup, than applets. And even if client does not have Flash at all or has older version, installing new Flash plugin is a breeze, which cannot be said about Java plugin.
  18. Any existing GOOD Flash apps?[ Go to top ]

    Second comes Java Appet (Thinlet, SwixML for XML lovers).

    I've been playing with Thinlet recently. Very nice! I am surprised it doesn't get more attention. Combination of Thinlet + Hessian to speak to the back end is compelling. 2 tools that just do what it says on the tin.

    Kit
  19. Hi Michael,

    There are a variety of app over the internet and I think the following app I create over a year ago can you show most of the things that you want to see, check it out at:

    http://www.carlosrovira.com/projects/flashvisio/flashVisio.swf

    this was created with Flash MX and ActionScript 1.0 in early 2003. Now Flash MX 2004 and Flex brings more things to RIAs.
  20. Hi Michael,There are a variety of app over the internet and I think the following app I create over a year ago can you show most of the things that you want to see, check it out at:http://www.carlosrovira.com/projects/flashvisio/flashVisio.swfthis was created with Flash MX and ActionScript 1.0 in early 2003. Now Flash MX 2004 and Flex brings more things to RIAs.
    Wow, that is a nice one. Where do you store the data, on your server? Can Flash apps access client filesystem?
  21. Hi Michael!,

    You can use SharedObject (that is something sinmilar to "cookies" but too much powerful) to save data to the client. But you can't directly access the client machine...security issues.

    To create desktop software with flash and access client filesystem there's some third party apps that extends Flash. Try ScreenWeaver or Flash studio Pro, for example.

    The data can be stored on the server and retrieved in several ways. Flash Remoting (for Java, PHP or .NET,...), XML, Web Services, HTTP GET/POST...
  22. Any existing GOOD Flash apps?[ Go to top ]

    Can someone point me to Flash app, which:* scales when browser window is resized;* at very least, has its own control setting for font size or at best, is hooked up to browser font size event;* can be operated with keyboard only;* has print preview for documents which it shows;Is it possible at all:* to have drag-and-drop from/to native apps?* to have access to client filesystem?* to have access to client devices?* to have access to client settings, like locale, date/time format, money format, color scheme, fonts, etc?Why Flash plugin can show movies with ease, but moving a window brings back memories about Windows 3.0 on 286 machine?What is needed to run Flash app without browser? Do I have to pay to get this "browserless plugin"?
    * scales when browser window is resized
      this feature can be enabled in html.
    * at very least, has its own control setting for font size or at best, is hooked up to browser font size event;
      The font related setting is controlled in flash.
    * can be operated with keyboard only;
       Flash app supports accessibility.
    * has print preview for documents which it shows
       I'm not sure.
  23. Any existing GOOD Flash apps?[ Go to top ]

    scales when browser window is resized  this feature can be enabled in html.

    This might be a little misleading. In normal HTML apps, the font size, images, etc will stay the same when the browser is resized. The only thing that changes is the amount of space separating the various elements in the layout. However, with Flash if you specify that the flash component should take 100% of both the width and height in the HTML <embed> tag, the result is that *everything* (font, images, etc) increases/decreases in size in response to the browser being resized.

    Not exactly what I think the original poster was looking for.
  24. Any existing GOOD Flash apps?[ Go to top ]

    scales when browser window is resized&amp;nbsp;&amp;nbsp;this feature can be enabled in html.
    This might be a little misleading. In normal HTML apps, the font size, images, etc will stay the same when the browser is resized. The only thing that changes is the amount of space separating the various elements in the layout. However, with Flash if you specify that the flash component should take 100% of both the width and height in the HTML <embed> tag, the result is that *everything* (font, images, etc) increases/decreases in size in response to the browser being resized.Not exactly what I think the original poster was looking for.

    Flash can do flexible layouts but most animator types don't know how or aren't interested in that. The only site I've seen lately using it is http://www.nranews.com which has several content areas that flow differently according to browser size.
  25. Any existing GOOD Flash apps?[ Go to top ]

    Flash can do flexible layouts but most animator types don't know how or aren't interested in that. The only site I've seen lately using it is http://www.nranews.com which has several content areas that flow differently according to browser size.
    The right pane is resized with browser window which is good, but text does not flow well in some places, like two-column design with fixed column sizes. And again, they provide live video, but at the same time window movement is dead slow.

    Anyway, this website shows some better use of Flash to create rich web interface. And after being pointed to SharedObject to save state locally (thanks Carlos), I am starting to like Flash more :)
  26. RIA comparisons[ Go to top ]

    I've been hoping to use a RIA tool like Flex, Laszlo, Thinlets or Droplets instead of DHTML for a while. I haven't had time to do a deep study or anything, but so far I see the field something like this...

    DHTML:
    -- pros: inertia, definitly inertia
    -- cons: remote scripting is wierd and not ubiquitous, multiple browser support is painful

    Flex:
    -- pros: small runtime, (other things noted in his thread already), one "JavaScript" version to support (ActionScript)
    -- cons: $$ pricy, vendor lock-in

    Laszlo:
    -- pros: slow
    -- cons: open source, less mature ActionScript than in Flex, Less tightly integrated with Flash (after all, Flex is Macromedia too)

    Thinlets:
    -- pros: open source, XUL (standard), no scripts just Java
    -- cons: why is it one Class? (that scares my boss and me too), if Java's not on the client already they better have a good fat connection

    Droplets:
    -- pros: no scripts just Java, professional support
    -- cons: vendor lock-in, if Java's not on the client already they better have a good fat connection


    None of them is a slam dunk.

    ...
    (sorry but I need to rant)

    The part about having to download Java really irks me. For cry'n out loud, we still can't rely on averyone having at least Java 1.1 !?? Sheesh. And, yes, apparently this is a real concern for my customer. It's not so much that installing is pain but that factions in my customer cannot agree on anything except "all computers come with web browsers". I don't think they understand version numbers and such. Explaining that supporting multiple browsers basically means writing multiple front ends just gets a blank stare.

    Maybe more important is that there seems to be a paradigm issue going on too. The idea that enterprise applications have web app front ends that run in browsers is so pervasive that it's hard to shake. Of course the notion that an application UI should be responsive is also pervasive. My client is used to fat clients with lots of interactive widgets, so there is always a desire to see that in the web apps too. I've had some success with remote scripting via iframes, but it always feels like a kludge.

    Writing DHTML for multiple browsers is s l o w a n d t e d i o u s. For what I do I can't just use drag and drop goodies in Dreamweaver or something. Basically everything is from scratch. I hate to think what I'll have to retrofit when Longhorn comes out.

    I need RIA. If anyone has strategies to help sell it please let me know.

    OK, Me stop ranting now.
    ,boz
  27. RIA comparisons[ Go to top ]

    Flex,Laszlo
    -cons: No reliable cashing on client;

    Thinlet
    -cons: limited functionality (AWT based)

    SwixML
    -pros: full power of Swing;
    -cons: need Swing support on client;

    All Applet based solutions:
    -cons:
    No reliable cashing on client;
    No support from JavaWebStart, Sun, Please Please Please fix it. If applets were reliably cacheable by JWS it would be killer approach where app is frequently used and JRE downloading is acceptable!
  28. RIA comparisons[ Go to top ]

    No reliable cashing on client

    Good stuff.

    Could you clear up "reliable caching" for me? Do you mean that there isn't support for realiable knowing when a new version of the client is available from a server?

    ,boz
  29. RIA comparisons[ Go to top ]

    No reliable caching on client
    Good stuff.Could you clear up "reliable caching" for me? Do you mean that there isn't support for realiable knowing when a new version of the client is available from a server?,boz

    All things get cached on client by browser in a cache of unknown size that sometimes means that a thing will be loaded all over again even it did not change on server ( lets say, clean-on-exit cache setting on client).

    There is no way (almost) to say that this particular applet (flash) is my favorite application and it has to live cached on disk unless it has changed on server. That is JavaWebStart is meant for, but unfortunately JWS does not support applets as parts of a web page ( it uses Applet Starter to run them as standalone applications and doc says that such support is to help migrate applets to JWS applications).

    IMO – JWS provides reliable code caching, everything else is not reliable.
  30. RIA comparisons[ Go to top ]

    I'd like to throw Nexaweb into the mix of RIA vendors. Sorry for the sales pitch, but a vendor comparison was posted ;-)

    Nexaweb Platform

    Pros:

    Nexaweb's stateful client uses XML for UI definition; Java for event logic on both client and server; runs in Java 1.1 or better (works with MS JVM); client tested in IE 4+, Netscape 4+, Mozilla, and Safari.

    Nexaweb's server components deploy as a Servlet in any 2.2 or better container (Tomcat 3+, WebLogic 7+, WebSphere 4+, JBoss, etc.). Developer writes JSPs and Servlets.

    We've also added what we call the Nexaweb Desktop Client. This is a desktop installed client which is conceptually like an installed version of the web browser hosted Nexaweb client. A user can run the same Nexaweb app from both web browser and desktop client; the desktop client provides more integration with the desktop at the cost of a desktop installed thing. Also enable code caching.

    See the Nexaweb sponsored whitepaper 'Enterprise Web Apps: Alternatives to Swing' for more of my thoughts on this; the paper gives a good overview - IMO - of the architecture differences. I'm happy to slug up the details in a different thread (not fair to completely usurp a thread on Flex).

    Cons: not free (as in beer); needs at least Java 1.1 on client.

    Thank you for your patience for two blantant pitches (product and whitepaper).

    Scott Cranton
    Nexaweb Technologies
  31. I've been hoping to use a RIA tool like Flex, Laszlo,
    > Thinlets or Droplets instead of DHTML for a while. I haven't
    > had time to do a deep study or anything, but so far I see
    > the field something like this...

      What about the Luxor XML UI Language (XUL) toolkit that supports Swing UIs and Eclipse UIs, for example?

      Also as far as I know there are many more Java XUL toolkits besides Thinlets and Luxor e.g. SwiXml, xWidglets, XPML, XMLFace, etc.

      See the XUL Challenge 2004 showcase for more online @ http://xul.sourceforge.net/counter.html

      - Gerald Bauer
      United XAML
  32. For Christ sake Mr. Bauer, please start using another acronym.

    http://www.mozilla.org/projects/xul/xul.html
    http://www.mozillazine.org/talkback.html?article=4564

    For the rest, XUL is a specific XML application created by Mozilla (at that time part of TW/AOL). Luxor (Mr. Bauer's project) is a half assed attempt to implement that spec. I guess that he has done his best, but still it is a small subset of what the Mozilla XUL spec describes.

    I guess that this is the reason that he maintains that every ui that uses XML as resource description language can be called XUL. But then what about calling each IDE IDEA; or each web container Tomcat?

    gaaarghhhh

    /me frots and runs in another direction
  33. For Christ sake Mr. Bauer, please start using another acronym.
    +1

    Also please do not mislead people by mixing different XML UI definition concepts:
    1. XUL as a set of 'standard' XML definitions for 'standard' set of UI widgets.
    2. XML UI descriptors for a particular UI framework (SwixML for Swing as one example)
  34. I second that request. The use of the term 'XUL' for everything that uses XML for creation of UI is incorrect, and has been pointed out before.

    "... he maintains that every ui that uses XML as resource description language can be called XUL. But then what about calling each IDE IDEA; or each web container Tomcat? "
  35. I need RIA. If anyone has strategies to help sell it please let me know.

    May I be so humble to suggest my ongoing "Rich Client, Rich Browser, Rich Portal" lecture series. See http://xul.sourceforge.net/events.html for details.

      - Gerald Bauer
    XUL News
  36. Have you take a look at Flash 2004 MX Professional? I was also looking for a RIA solution to replace applet and I think the latest version of Flash (not Flex) is it. Flex is cool but it costs $12,000. And Flash plug-in penetration is like 98%.
  37. MX vs Flex[ Go to top ]

    Ben,

    I did write a small application using MX (not MX 2004 though).
    I found the Flash programming model quite confusing: I can't see an overview of the code I've written. Only when I give the right subwindow focus does my code appear.
    It worked but I did find it quite confusing.
    That's why the Flex setup would be so interesting: it fixes exactly these issues. If it wasn't for it's prohibitary price....

    groeten,
    Joost
  38. MX vs Flex[ Go to top ]

    Hi Joost,

    I totally agree with you. Flex is exactly what Java developers need, except the price tag will only attract a few corporate clients.

    You should take a look at MX 2004 Professional as it has ActionScript 2.0 - which is very close to the Java language. For example, you can write classes and each class file can be an external file. I agree that the Flash programming model is very confusing to the Java developer (timeline, MovieClip, etc.). But once you overcome the learning curve, it is not that bad. I am still struggling with it (and swearing at it) but it is getting better :-).

    Ben
  39. Another option[ Go to top ]

    Have you seen SwiXML?
  40. Another option[ Go to top ]

    Have you seen SwiXML?
    I did and even initially I liked it I gave it second thought:

    Why XML? Keeping UI initialization code in separate file is enough.
    I can code all shortcut functions in code and have nice text file that describes UI: it is not XML, it is simply Java source where tons of help available from IDEs - code completion, hints, syntax control etc.
     
    Do not forget that Swing comes with predefined skinnability: Look-and-Feel packages.
    So, what is the need for XML?
  41. Downloading Flex[ Go to top ]

    Is there some kind of developer edition for Flex to allow us to get into contact with Flex ? Its all very nice to have something like Flex but i dont think such a technology would grow in the industry if it is not made available to a wider audience.
  42. re: Downloading Flex[ Go to top ]

    It's available on CD.. There doesn't appear to be any way to download the developer version.
    I personally think macromedia would get a lot more people interested if they made it downloadable. I know I'm interested, but just can't be bothered going through the pain of jumping through hoops to get a CD sent out.
    regards,
    Nathan Lee
  43. Macromedia Flex and Tablet PCs[ Go to top ]

    Does anyone know if Macromedia Flex applications can be run on Tablet PCs? I have looked at the Macromedia site and have not found anything.
  44. In relation to 2004 elections, here is a very nice Flash app. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/shared/spl/hi/americas/04/vote_usa/map/html/default.stm I wonder was it made with Flex or with Laszlo?