7 Replies Latest reply on Jan 10, 2009 10:06 PM by Newsgroup_User

    Should I learn Fireworks or Builder to Design Flex Apps?

    zackella
      I need help in making a process decision on how to build Flex Apps going forward.

      In the past, we have built the concept for our Flex app in Photoshop and sent it over to our development team in India to build. The process has been difficult because our engineers are not designers and our designers are not engineers. Invariably we spend alot of time bridging the gap between whats possible and what we want to see in our Apps.

      I want to bring our Design and Dev much closer together and essentially take the GUI out of the hands of my Indian Developers and let them focus on the backend.

      To accomplish this goal, I will be training my US Design team to become either Fireworks Experts or Flex Builder Experts.... (they are already Photoshop experts) This is where I need your help. If you were starting from scratch with a talented design team that could learn either tool, which one would you choose to accomplish the goal? Does the Fireworks to Flex export create crappy code like Dreamweaver thats tough to modify manually? Does a "true" Flex developer despise Fireworks-generated code?

      I have read up on the Fireworks>Flash Catalyst>Flex Builder Path and dont understand the additional step... is Catalyst part of Fireworks and thats how Flex code is developed or is it a new code generation engine that does code better than Fireworks CS4?

      Thanks in advance.
        • 1. Re: Should I learn Fireworks or Builder to Design Flex Apps?
          run,ryan! Level 3
          I would say nothing is impossible, as long as you have enough budget.
          lol I'm joking.
          Instead of training your designers, you should have 1 or 2 leaders of the development team, who are gurus of flex, working with you and your designers locally, I believe it will save more time and money.
          • 2. Re: Should I learn Fireworks or Builder to Design Flex Apps?
            Gregory Lafrance Level 6
            I would check out Adobe Thermo, as that is supposed to bridge the gap between Flex and Photoshop to a degree, and long-term that might point you toward the direction you should take.

            I also think it is good to level-up both designers and developers so they at least start to gain an appreciation for the challenges the other faces. Have someone who can work in the middle, talk to each group, consider what they need to know about the other group's tasks.
            • 3. Should I learn Fireworks or Builder to Design Flex Apps?
              zackella Level 1
              I am understanding my question better now... Please read below

              I am attempting to remove inefficiencies in my Flex development process by re-tooling my design team so that their UI and application design output files can be imported directly into the developers environment. Essentially, I want designers to produce prototypes with working client-side interactions while the developers focus on back-end interactions.

              Our current process has a number of throwaways that occur during the web application build process: from wireframe, to Photoshop, to development using the Photoshop output as a guide for development... this last step is often the most mangled because is difficult to implement the design exactly as the designer created it in Photoshop because designers do not fully understand what is possible. I want to remove the steps in-between and have found two possible solutions to do this.

              Option 1) Fireworks CS4>Catalyst(Thermo)>Flex4 SDK>*.SWF
              Option 2) Fireworks>Flex3 SDK>*.SWF

              With Option 1, we would tool up our Designers on Fireworks and Catalyst and get our developers on the Flex4 SDK. The output of the design/build would be only compatible with Flash10 and the stock component library for Flex4 would be limited.

              With Option 2, we would tool up our Designers on Fireworks and use the native Fireworks export to Flex 3 (not sure how well this works?). The output would be compatible with Flash 9 and the stock and aftermarket component library for Flex3 would be rich.

              Do I have this right? Which option would you choose and why?

              Thanks in advance.
              • 4. Re: Should I learn Fireworks or Builder to Design Flex Apps?
                Michael Borbor Level 4
                Hi there, Thermo is currently in development so you cannot use it in a production environment, in my opinion a designer must be skilled in PS or FW in order to create the layouts, the assets and all that stuff. But It wouldn't hurt if they learn to layout components in Flex, and the process of skinning, and so on.
                • 5. Re: Should I learn Fireworks or Builder to Design Flex Apps?
                  Level 7

                  "run,ryan!" <webforumsuser@macromedia.com> wrote in message
                  news:gk88re$269$1@forums.macromedia.com...
                  >I would say nothing is impossible, as long as you have enough budget.
                  > lol I'm joking.
                  > Instead of training your designers, you should have 1 or 2 leaders of the
                  > development team, who are gurus of flex, working with you and your
                  > designers
                  > locally, I believe it will save more time and money.

                  Or find someone new to hire who can do both. They're out there ;-)


                  • 6. Re: Should I learn Fireworks or Builder to Design Flex Apps?
                    John Hall Level 4
                    Amy, are you still looking for your next assignment?
                    • 7. Re: Should I learn Fireworks or Builder to Design Flex Apps?
                      Level 7

                      "John Hall" <webforumsuser@macromedia.com> wrote in message
                      news:gkburq$nkf$1@forums.macromedia.com...
                      > Amy, are you still looking for your next assignment?

                      Yes :-)