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We're doing a couple of things to bridge the gap with Flash designers. If you do use Flash, you've probably written your fair share of ActionScript. There's really not much more you can do with Flash beyond simple tweens without using ActionScript.
In Flash 9 the ActionScript will be the same version (3) as with Flex. That will help a lot. Secondly, Flex starts off with all the familiar Flash classes, like Numbers and String, but also MovieClips and events. We've built a robust set of user interface controls in Flex that would be a challenge to build yourself in Flash. You are now more free to work with those and tie them together using events and Flex data-binding (so you don't have to write as much ActionScript).
That said, you'll find that you need to write ActionScript. Sometimes a lot of it, sometimes not so much. Where Flex is used most often, the corporate environment, designers and developers work together to build a project. Designers work on the styles and skins, adding in Flash elements. The developers hook up the elements using ActionScript and fill the controls with data from the services.
If you are a one-person shop, then you have to wear both hats. It would be similar to being a designer who wants to build a home but doesn't have any construction skills. If you want to do it yourself, you have to add new skills. And that makes you more marketable.
Flex 2 applications are written in mxml which is an xml based language. Do you have any experience with XHTML and XML?
Because you use Flash MX, I would assume you are familiar with Action Script 2. If you are familiar with using ActionScript 2 in Flash you will be a little bit a head of the game learning ActionScript 3.
A huge tutorial site I would recommend is Lynda.com. For $25 a month you get UNLIMITED access to their massive video tutorials. Currently they have over 17,600 tutorials in over 260 different topics. For Flex they have 15:45 hours of tutorials and for AS3 they have 13:00 hours. I have also learned a lot using this forum. When you run into a road block this forum is a great resources to turn to.
I have the Web Bundle from Adobe ($1800 software) and was deep into using Dreamweaver which is a great product too, but then I began hearing about Flex 2. After doing some research I decided to order it and I'm glad I did!!
Mxml is a language and as with any computer language you'll have to learn to do things the Flex way, which takes some time and effort. But as with any language your previous experience should help you out a lot.
For the last few years I have been learning XHTML, ColdFusion MX7, CSS, C#, AS, MS SQL and various other web technologies all which have helped me with Flex 2. I love being creative! Flex 2 has enabled me to express my creativity in ways I knew were possible, but didn't know were to turn. As you can probably tell, I am committed to Flex 2 and believe it to be a powerful solution to building RIAs.
Is there a high level description of :the Flex 2 way?" There is lots on mid to low level topics, but not much view from the top.
Because Flex 2 is fairly new there aren't a lot of resources out there. Therefore to become well equipped in doing things the Flex 2 way we are left to having to use forums like these, Adobe's documentation, blogs, google search, you name it. A big help for me has been to view the source files of many of the examples provided on Adobe's site. In Flex 2 you are pretty much limited by your imagination.
Have you tried FLEXing lately?
In the architecture section of the Flex Developer Center there are a number of interesting articles. SO far I really like the sound of the Cairngorm micro-architecture.
I got talked out of Crairngorm by:
But, there is something else good in the Flex Developer center:
This seems like a decent lightweight way to organize everything. I am going to base my project heavily on this.