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
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.
Flex and Flash come with built-in readers for only the common
web graphics formats. This leaves out TIFF, PSD and all CAD
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
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.