7 Replies Latest reply on Aug 9, 2008 10:01 AM by Peter Lorent

    Flex...is it really that good?

    john isaacks Level 1
      I hear all these things about flex being a rapid development environment for flash apps. I have been using flash for quite some time, I don't really use the timeline nor do any timeline scripting I just use AS3 classes. So I think flex may be good for me. So I download the trial and so far I am not very impressed. It seems to me like just using markup (mxml) to layout and control components but outside of the components theres not much you can do? (I am not saying this is the way it is, just the way it seems to be so far in my very little experience with it) I tried to make a new Sprite() and it wouldn't let me because it didn't extend the core mx component. So far to me it seems like Flash is like C++ and I can use AS to create everything, and Flex is like VB.

      I plain on reading the programming flex 3 book by o'reilly scheduled for release next month, and I think I really must be missing something because most people swear by flex, I just don't see it yet. But as an actionscript developer if flex can make like easier for me I would really want to understand it.

      Please note I am not saying flex is not good...I am just saying I dont understand what makes it good...and I would like to hear reasons that make flex good (over programming in the flash IDE).

      What are your thoughts?

      Thanks
        • 1. Re: Flex...is it really that good?
          Gregory Lafrance Level 6
          It depends on what you want to do. Flash is great for creating timeline based animations and such. Flex is great for creating applications.

          Flex will not be a good choice for creating Flash apps, but then again, you probably don't want to create apps in Flash, so welcome to the beauty of Flex.

          • 2. Re: Flex...is it really that good?
            Michael Borbor Level 4
            John, I think that what Greg said is the most dramatical difference between Flash and Flex. Also the difference in the environment, and beyond that quite a few libraries that you don't have in the Flash environment for instance the RPC libraries that allow you to communicate with remote services or objects, obviously these libraries come with the Flex 3 SDK.

            Obviusly everything that you could do in Flex, you could make in Flash but you'll have to spend more time in order to accomplish the same thing, and that's what makes Flex more productive when you use it to develop apps.

            YOu can use both together, they don't have to be exclusive at all.

            And if you want to create an action script project in Flex, your class must extend the Sprite object in order to beging building an graphic app.

            That's what I think.

            Michael

            • 3. Re: Flex...is it really that good?
              Level 7

              "john isaacks" <webforumsuser@macromedia.com> wrote in message
              news:g7idpd$ih1$1@forums.macromedia.com...
              >I hear all these things about flex being a rapid development environment
              >for
              > flash apps. I have been using flash for quite some time, I don't really
              > use the
              > timeline nor do any timeline scripting I just use AS3 classes. So I think
              > flex
              > may be good for me. So I download the trial and so far I am not very
              > impressed.
              > It seems to me like just using markup (mxml) to layout and control
              > components
              > but outside of the components theres not much you can do? (I am not saying
              > this
              > is the way it is, just the way it seems to be so far in my very little
              > experience with it) I tried to make a new Sprite() and it wouldn't let me
              > because it didn't extend the core mx component. So far to me it seems like
              > Flash is like C++ and I can use AS to create everything, and Flex is like
              > VB.
              >
              > I plain on reading the programming flex 3 book by o'reilly scheduled for
              > release next month, and I think I really must be missing something because
              > most
              > people swear by flex, I just don't see it yet. But as an actionscript
              > developer
              > if flex can make like easier for me I would really want to understand it.
              >
              > Please note I am not saying flex is not good...I am just saying I dont
              > understand what makes it good...and I would like to hear reasons that make
              > flex
              > good (over programming in the flash IDE).
              >
              > What are your thoughts?

              There are a lot of people who use Flex Builder to edit Flash as files,
              because it's way better with things like code hinting and shortcut keys.
              That alone will save you huge amounts of time.

              I'm not sure about what you mean "outside of the components". The
              components contain HUGE amounts of functionality that would take you YEARS
              to reproduce from scratch, so that's like saying "if it weren't for that big
              hole in the ground, the Grand Canyon wouldn't be all that." And you can
              modify and extend these pretty much infinitely. And if there aren't any
              that do what you like, you can create your own from scratch. So, yes, the
              bulk of what you get from Flex is the components. But to dismiss them is
              missing the point.


              • 4. Re: Flex...is it really that good?
                Dr. Fred Mbogo Level 1
                Have you tried File | New | Project | ActionScript Project? Maybe the Flex library just isn't for you. That doesn't mean you can't use Flex Builder as an ActionScript IDE.

                If you later find uses for the Flex classes, you can instantiate them from ActionScript, you don't have to create them in MXML.
                • 5. Re: Flex...is it really that good?
                  Peter Lorent Level 2
                  >> but outside of the components theres not much you can do?

                  LOL! This must be the understatement of the year :-)

                  There is no comparison whatsoever other than the two both producing sfw. Do Flash for highly interactive content, bring it into Flex and use that power (which comes free, how great is that!) to do some serious blazing fast coding. Man, where would I be without Flex as a Flash Developer!

                  Dive in, explore, learn and then come back to read your post again...
                  • 6. Re: Flex...is it really that good?
                    john isaacks Level 1
                    >> but outside of the components theres not much you can do?

                    OK I didnt mean to imply that the components were very limited. I realise they provide great functionality, but personaly, I like to create my own interfaces, and the components dont always match the visual style of the rest of my application interface. But in flex I currently dont know how to build my own interface or even skin a component.

                    >> Dive in, explore, learn and then come back to read your post again...

                    Oh I plan to, I mean I didnt think too highly of AS3 when I was using AS2 until I actually learned it. I read Moock's Essential AS3 and then I loved AS3. Maybe the same thing will happen after I read "Programming Flex 3". I'll post my new thoughts then too.

                    Thanks everyone for your comments.
                    • 7. Re: Flex...is it really that good?
                      Peter Lorent Level 2
                      John,
                      Let's say it will be worth it to study the book. And you will probably use Flash and Flex for your projects because they both are great products. See the Flash kit for Flex, you will be surprised.