1 Reply Latest reply on Sep 7, 2008 10:00 PM by Dr. Fred Mbogo

    Looking for Clarification on Flex

      I am new to Flex and am trying to learn from a hands-on approach. I have an idea that I want to create in the form of an application and am just not sure if I am traveling down the right road or not.

      I work in the field of architecture and deal with drawings with multiple layers (i.e. walls, doors & windows, electrical, etc.) all of which are not always turned on for viewing.

      I want an application that I can import a drawing in whatever format that makes it possible to keep all the layers included in the drawing and then turn those layers on or off. Not only that, I want to import this drawing file onto a "whiteboard" component making it possible to mark-up the drawing with a freehand tool and stamps.

      My question is this: Can I do all of this in Flex and if so, can someone provide me a way to go about learning how to do it? If not, is there a better application suited for this (i.e. Flash)? All I am looking for is direction so that I can teach myself.

      Thanks for any help you can provide.
        • 1. Re: Looking for Clarification on Flex
          Dr. Fred Mbogo
          Flex and Flash come with built-in readers for only the common web graphics formats. This leaves out TIFF, PSD and all CAD formats.

          Since you're talking about Flex and not AIR, I assume you're building a web application. In that case, your program can accept an upload file in the standard way, then call something on the server side to break the uploaded layered graphics file up into PNGs -- lossless, and handled natively by Flash/Flex -- which it then loads up and manipulates. ImageMagick can do this, with a little server-side helper code.

          As far as handling the layer stack up with alpha and blending modes and the drawing, that's a natural for Flash or Flex.

          The choice between using raw Flash or using Flex on top of Flash depends on whether you want the facilities in the Flex framework. Flex is simply a layer on top of Flash, programmatically speaking.

          If the question is whether you should use Flex Builder or Flash-the-authoring-environment, it's no contest. Use Flex Builder. Flash's code editing facilities aren't much better than Notepad.