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Future of Flash Builder

Dec 20, 2011 11:09 AM

I just read that Adobe will discontinue Flash Catalyst and the Design View in Flash builder ?
Is that TRUE ? Programatically Layout and Design uh?

http://forums.adobe.com/message/4085187#4085187

If so that would be a BIG step backwards

 
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 20, 2011 11:56 AM   in reply to daslicht

    Yes, this is unfortunately true.

     
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    Dec 20, 2011 3:09 PM   in reply to daslicht

    @flext from Twitter:

     

    Future versions of #Flash Builder will support Apache #Flex. Design View, DCD and Flash Catalyst support to be removed.

     

    So, DCD is also in the black list.

     

    I would say those are good decissions. They add some useful stuff for beginners only. On the other hand, Adobe wants to begginers move to Html5.

     
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    Dec 20, 2011 3:17 PM   in reply to pbeltranl

    This @flex's twitter is even more scary:

     

    “For years to come #Flex is going to be the best way to make applications on the web and desktop.” -Danny Winokur, VP Adobe

     

    Did you notice how the mobile word is not present?

     
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    Dec 20, 2011 3:28 PM   in reply to daslicht

    They add an API wrapper. What do you need those fetures for?

     

    Design View is a very slow way to design UIs compared to writing mxml code. And DCD is a big stone in the middle of the way when you need develop not trivial apps. I prefer that Adobe don't waste time and resources developing useless features and they put the focus on serius things.

     
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    Dec 20, 2011 3:43 PM   in reply to pbeltranl

    pbeltranl wrote:

     

    Design View is a very slow way to design UIs compared to writing mxml code.

    It may be slow but that doesn't mean it's without merit. Even when I'm writing views and renderers in pure as3 I find design view to be a valuable tool for sketching out ideas. It really would be a shame to see it go.

     
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    Dec 20, 2011 3:47 PM   in reply to pbeltranl

    That is unfortunate.

     

    Flash Catalyst made an excellent bridge to graphic assets produced by a designer. It forced the designer to think in terms of a "skin" rather than a flat image, and made an excellent medium to catalog and organize the assets needed for an application.

     
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    Dec 20, 2011 3:58 PM   in reply to daslicht

    Likely you don't like read this, but lately Adobe wasted a lot of money developing superfluos things like Catalist and FB features mentioned above. Surely they have some use cases,  though they were a bad decission from a product management point of view.

     

    From my point of view, Flex was becoming fat. A little of exercise and effort are sometimes good. Adobe is now following the right way. Of course, things can still done better.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 21, 2011 1:48 AM   in reply to daslicht

    I gave up using design view very quickly after I started using Flex. It seemed pointless, since I wanted control of the structure  and not have a design program try and guess the structure or me try and get the design software to nest things correctly.

     

    Writing the code by hand has always been a natural thing to do. HTML designers don't use WYSIWYG software to create their HTML, they write the structure themselves.

     

    Similarly design view is useless when dealing with dynamic interfaces adding elements programatically.

     

    I won't miss design view, or catalyst, but the shifts in policy are concerning.

     
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    Dec 21, 2011 2:00 AM   in reply to daslicht

    *delete_me* wrote:


    HTML Design is done in photoshop visually and than translated to css layout

     

    Yes, indeed. You can design your Flex interfaces just the same way.

     

    Once the design is done in Photoshop, the design is translated to HTML - manually, by creating the underlying div structure; container, header, content, footer, etc then styling that with CSS and adding graphical elements as required.

     

    You can work the same way with Flex.

     

    Good web designers don't start their visual designs in Dreamweaver using the design view.

     
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    Dec 21, 2011 2:15 AM   in reply to daslicht

    You don't import the structure, you just code it. I don't think web designers import structure to DW either. They code it.

     

    I doubt that very many developers bother with design view beyond the first couple of weeks - in FlashBuilder or DreamWeaver.

     
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    Dec 21, 2011 3:34 AM   in reply to daslicht

    Yes, I understood what you meant.

     

    I don't think people import layouts very much from Photoshop. They do layout design in Photoshop, then they export assets from the design to DW or FB. They don't do so as a complete design (except, perhaps as a background guide image).

     

    Web:

    Design in PS.

    Code structure in HTML and CSS, including elements from the PS design.

     

    Flex:

    Design in PS.

    Code structure in MXML and CSS, including elements from the PS design.

     

    Most experienced developers build the structure manually not as a direct import from PS or Catalyst.

     

    If anyone besides delete_me, thinks differrent, then please contribute!

     
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    Dec 21, 2011 1:56 PM   in reply to pauland

    The pros and cons of Design View and/or Catalyst really don’t matter to this discussion.  The fact is, delete_me is not alone, there are plenty of Design View and Catalyst users out there who are disappointed by these changes.  Somebody is a fan of every TV show that gets cancelled in its first season.  But just like those TV shows, there weren’t enough fans to justify continued development of these visual design tools.  Maybe there is a better or more popular workflow they should be using, but maybe it just was the right tool for them.

     

    One of the things I am looking forward to, should Flex be accepted by Apache, is what kinds of input the community will provide.  Under Apache, with the community having the opportunity to add new features, I believe it will become more possible to see the birth of a new visual design tool.  You no longer are limited by how many engineers Adobe has, or what our corporate agenda is, or a need to ship by a certain date.  If enough folks vote for a request for a visual design tool, some folks in the community may decide to implement it for them.  You don’t have to convince anybody other than those who actually want to do the work.

     

    I hope everyone on this forum participates if Flex gets accepted by Apache.

    --

    Alex Harui

    Flex SDK Team

    Adobe Systems, Inc.

    http://blogs.adobe.com/aharui

     
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    Dec 22, 2011 2:48 AM   in reply to Flex harUI

    I'm sure there are people who love the design view and catalyst. I guess that if Adobe thought it was a significant number they might not have judged it possible to continue with FlashBuilder as a viable tool without the visual interface. I know some people really like Catalyst.

     

    Adobe's about-turns in the toolsets are somewhat unsettling.

     
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    Dec 22, 2011 1:08 AM   in reply to daslicht

    I agree with this decision and should be made sooner, so the Adobe not reached the point that came.

     

    The Flex SDK and Flash Builder (except the very poor performance) are too perfect and this is also a flaw in the commercial point of view.

     

    I develop in Flex for 3 years and only used the designer in very begging.

     
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    Dec 23, 2011 2:15 AM   in reply to daslicht

    I've got to say it's very disappointing to hear that they're removing the design view. It's a very valuable tool that saves a lot of time in development. Like most people I do most of the development in the code view, however the design view is integral because it shows you instant feedback on positioning of elements, and means you can finetune positioning in the design view which is a lot easier than continually compiling the program. This is especially useful when you're using multiple states i.e.  portrait, landscape, tablet, phone. I was actually hoping that they'd expand the feature and add in support for state groups.

     

    Being reliant on design view is a bad thing but it's still a very useful tool to improve efficiency.

     

    Very disappointing move imo.

     
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    Dec 23, 2011 2:19 AM   in reply to Formability.co.uk

    I prefer investments in Flash and AIR (specially in AIR Mobile performance) and code support for every new major version from the Flex after it be available in the Apache.

     
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    Dec 23, 2011 2:54 AM   in reply to daslicht

    *delete_me* wrote:

     

    Just Funny that anyone(Google GWT, Google Android, Vaadin, Wakanda, Morfik, Expression Blend for HTML....) else is moving toward a visual editor and Adobe is about to drop it.

     

    This is due the power and beauty of Flex syntax compared to others. In Flex, users don't need a GUI to wrap the framework. We like the syntax and we enjoy writing such code. In other platforms, this becomes a nighmare.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 29, 2011 8:51 AM   in reply to daslicht

    Maybe revive Flexible

     

    http://osflash.org/flexible

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 4, 2012 4:45 AM   in reply to daslicht

    If you need a Flex visual designer and youi are on Windows, bear in mind that we are actively continuing the support and development of the Amethsyt visual designer for Flash/Flex: http://www.sapphiresteel.com/Products/amethyst-ide/Amethyst-Product-Pa ge

     
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    Mar 2, 2012 7:59 AM   in reply to daslicht

    When i read that answer i could not leave without replying.

    What does it mean when even an Adobe employee tell us thats "unfortunately true"?

     

    I think its because they know that is a good functionality they´re removing. If you need to do an state of the art application, where the visual is very important, this topic seams very disapointing. I mean... thinking that i ll need to run the application one thousands of time just to get the correct layout dont seams intelligent for me.

     

    More than that, whats worring me more is the fact that Adobe seams to be lost and their objectives are not clear at this time for me. While Mac build an Design View for Xcode4, https://developer.apple.com/technologies/tools/whats-new.html#interfac e-builder , Adobe is discontinuing some tecnologies and softwares without telling us the reason. I just wanted to know why they are taking that out... and tell us whats their next steps. How can i choose a Flex platform withou knowing the directions that its going to take.

     

    I´m starting to study HTML5 and others SDKs like Sencha because as an owner of a web buissiness Adobe is a big interrogation point at this moment for me. I mean, i really dont know if in the next year Flash Builder will exists. How can i hire AS3 guys with that unstable scenario? Ok, i hired the AS3 guys, but how the Design guys will design interfaces? theyll have to learn code? i mean... designers use visual elements to do the thinks, and thats why i choose Flash Builder as development kit: designers uses the Design View to make the layout, and coders uses the Code Mode... this looks like intelligent for me. Whats going to be now?

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 4, 2012 2:22 AM   in reply to daslicht

    Please don't remove this feature, is one of the main reasons I invested in Flash Builder. I make a lot of apps for Small Business, I can afford to produce a lot of single apps at a low cost thanks to features like Design View which help me to save time, so money.

     

    If they do this I don't think I would continue to use this framework which I love. I hope someone would hear us cause I know I'm not the only one who feels like this.

     
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    Mar 4, 2012 2:36 AM   in reply to daslicht

    The Adobe's position is clear: reducing the Flex/AIR budget/investment.

     

    I think most developers want to improve professional against amateur features. This is what is now happening: http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/flashplatformruntimes/air3-2/

     

    You don't want to hear what Adobe is saying you: "Do you want to develop form based apps? Move to Phonegap http://phonegap.com/"

     

    Adobe, please, remove from Builder all those useless stuff: +1.000.000

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 4, 2012 7:48 AM   in reply to daslicht

    Get a grip, guys, this is about the rise of HTML 5 not the evil Adobe.

     

    You can continue to cry over spilt milk or just get on with it.

     

    Use Flex where appropriate, HTML 5 where appropriate.

     

    Any Flex developer worth their salt doesn't need design view.

     
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    Mar 4, 2012 8:15 AM   in reply to daslicht

    You don't need design view in order to be able to replicate a given design. You aren't suggesting that designers are using FB design view?

     
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    Mar 5, 2012 12:07 PM   in reply to daslicht

    I am a designer/developer - I do use the design view extensively. And yes I am more than worth my salt and more. For me, being able to have immediate visual feedback is absolutely necessary. I don't like coding "blind". I have had the opportunity to work Microsoft Blend - Visual Studio since 2007 - It really is what I hoped flex would be. The best of both worlds. As front-end interface developer designer I could work on the exact same source-code, submitting to SVN on a regular basis together with the software engineers developing the backend and SDK. Blend allowed me controle over the primitive shapes that makes up a component. This allowed extreme customisation and optimisation. The wysiwyg view is an absolute crucial part of the process (e.g. do I want this rectangle to have 5px margins or 4, do the shadow work better with a 10 px falloff or a 8px falloff, do I want pixel snap on or off [whish flash had that] - which does look and work different than the photoshop one so I DO HAVE TO DESIGN in the wysiwyg as well)

     

    Yes sure, I do go through a phase designing in Illustrator and Photoshop, but putting the components together takes time. I do not simply import flat artwork and then wrap them in some appropriate container. I build components up using multiple primitive shapes which gets re-purposed and targeted for various states, subtle animations, color-changes and has to comply to it's parent-component's rescaling capabilities. During that phase I do NOT want to continuously recompile. (although I would sometimes create a separate project just to test a specific component that can only be fully viewed after recompiled).

     

    The excuse of "all good coders don't use the design view anyway" is a cop out. I can understand if Adobe says

    1) we did not have the resources to do it decently (like Microsoft Blend)

    2) we simply do not put the resources in to hire clever enough developers to create a decent tool

     

    But a statement like it's preferable to work only blindly in code is simply wrong and naive of the state of art of dev. tools. Maybe for a dos-like interface or win-32 forms style interface only using stock-standard layout and components.

     

     

     

    The biggest advantage of Microsoft Blend is being able to have split view open - I do this with Flashbuilder as well although it is slower and more buggy than Blend - I would write the markup and see updates realtime, switch over to Visual Studio that has the project open in the background for some serious code-completion capabilities - then miss my wysiwyg view - and switch rigth back to Blend.

     

    Why am I using flash-builder/flex - if it was not for the fact that Microsofts wpf-framework only works fully on Win-OS or a subset of it as a silverlight plugin on fewer platforms than flash - I would have used Microsoft. The reason using flash is because it can be deployed on so many platforms - consistently (not like the html4 and now 5 chaos) - It has powerful interactive and multimedia capabilities.

     

    My HTML works exactly the same way - for certain core complex components I will code and have a wysiwyg open as well for better navigation, more inuitive decision making and less time spend going backwards and forwards between compiling/running in the browser - but with the sad state of wysiwyg of dreamweaver unluckily I have to swithc more often (not because I am a more "CLEVER" developer)

     

    Summary - I will use flash/flex only if there is no alternative because of this decision - Flash was supposed to be a creative environment to create highly interactive and creative applications/content for multiple platforms.

     

    Thanks Adobe , I have used Macromedia director since 1993 - You managed to kill that off and now you are messing with flash - It could have been so much more. You simply lack the vision and we are stuck with the limitations, inconsistency, long-development time of HTML5 and a messy array of tools to try and make it usefull.

     

    Whish Microsoft had the vision to make wpf work on all platforms....

     
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