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
who choose to work in raw XML rather than Builder today.
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
I would suggest Fireworks for your Design team/ Flexbuilder
for your dev team.
Essentially, what Fireworks already has in terms of Flex UI
components (though a short list) is identical in theme (default
halo) AND output (mxml code) as you would expect from creating in
You can then easily extend your designs with custom
components using the Fw Commands Export Flex Skins and they can be
imported to your Flex project using the CSS Designer.
As for Catalyst, this is a separate beast altogether. It's
merely meant to bridge designs (from design applications Ps, Ill,
Fw) and create usable components for complete animations.
As for how Fw fits into the Catalyst scheme of things,
designs you create can be exported to the FXG format that Catalyst
will use, if you want to use Flex and work with this format you
have to have the latest Flex SDK plugged into FlexBuilder 3 or Flex
4 will have full support for it.