10 Replies Latest reply on May 4, 2009 10:43 PM by Foxchx

    What to take in consideration before to start.

    Foxchx Level 1

      hi, i am 100% new at this and although there's a lot of support out there, there's too much!!

       

      I've been using flash for a while now but more on the design side so never switch to AS3... I need to develop a "members directory"  and the chosen software is Adobe air, so i have to learn it quick.

       

      If anybody could point me in the right direction to learn and produce a project at the same time, i would be so greatful.

       

      I assume that i would draw n flash and either use flash or flex for the localDB. i found "Using the SQLite database access API in Adobe AIR" now my first question is about what's copyrighted and whats not?(i was thinking of tweeking the insync app and see if i can start trying stuff with that)(don't even know if it's doable yet?!!? but most importantly was wondering if it was accepted or not )

      - could i use insync as the base for my project? (it's already doing half of what i am trying to do)

       

      i have so many question like this but adobe forum seems to be use by ppl who are already past the first learning curve.

       

      What steps do you recomand for a new user, and how do i know what i will need.... so far FLEX seems to be the favorite, would it be best to start with that?......

       

      I KNOW IT"S MANY QUESTIONs but i relly feel lost and i think that any comments could help me here!

       

      Thanks in advance.

        • 1. Re: What to take in consideration before to start.
          Michael Borbor Level 4

          Hi there regarding the inSync question you should probably ask Christope Coenraets, he would give you the clearance to use it for a commercial purpose or not.

           

          Regarding what you'll depends on what you're going to build. But definitively you need a knowledge about Flex/AIR, laying out interfaces, the Flex event-model, ActionScript3, a bit of SQL, and so on.  Learn Flex in a week is a good starting point if you have 0 experience with Flex.

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: What to take in consideration before to start.
            Gregory Lafrance Level 6

            I always recommend using the Flex Builder help system to learn Flex. Start at the beginning where it talks about learning Flex app creation and go through page by page. In a week you will have the basics. Don't stop there though, continue going through the FB help sys page by page, compiling the apps. I did that TWICE and learned so much.

             

            Mark this as the answer or that it helped if it did.

            1 person found this helpful
            • 3. Re: reply
              Foxchx Level 1

              thanks, i will try that...although i usually go for video, not much of a reader(not native). i am checking out some lynda.com essensials and hope that'll cover the gaps.

               

               

               

               

               

               

              Edit-----

               

              After checking  it out i must say, the help system in flex is extremely nice, i had lost hope over the years with software help as it never really helped...

              I ain't gotta choice now...better start reading now, Boy!

               

              Thanks

              • 4. Re: first post reply
                Foxchx Level 1

                that's what i though although i was expecting to use flash more then flex as i already know the workspace in flash.... it really looks like i m gonna have to get the FLEX going, a bit tight in time that's my only problem!

                 

                What's the proper channel to contact christophe?

                 

                thanks a lot

                • 5. Re: What to take in consideration before to start.
                  ilsh Level 1

                  One thing you may need to consider is that AIR applications usually take a lot CPU and memory. According to Adobe, you can speed your program up if you are really "careful". But it's not trivial.

                  • 6. Re: What to take in consideration before to start.
                    jbenson@oper8 Level 2

                    As far as Flex vs JS goes.  Personally I prefer javascript for AIR applications (of course it's probably because I'm more comfortable there.)

                     

                    I think it all depends on where your strengths lay.  Adobe has committed to providing the same level of support for HTML/JS applications as they do for Flex applications and so far are true to their word.  Don't get bogged down too much in the "which programming language platform is best" game, because almost 99% of the time, the languages that you are strongest at will yield the greatest benefits.  (Sure: learn new things, and be great at them, but do not develop production code while learning, it's a recipe for disaster.)

                     

                    On another note:  Developing your application in HTML + JS can have serious benefits for distributability of your application.  Consider that if you do not rely on AS3, Flex or SWF your application can easily be ported to *other* RIA platforms and projectors (not to name names but they're out there.)   This means that (for example) whether or not the iPhone supports Flash or not doesn't matter to you because whatever RIA tool you're using to develop for the iPhone probably supports SQLite or another db but needs a different style bridge.  This is the core reason why we segregate all air / airAliases calls from all our other code.

                     

                    Javascript in AIR is different but it's not at all any less powerful than Flex for 99% of applications needed.   (Frankly I haven't found a case where Flex was required when JS couldn't do the job.)   I've seen few instances where it was easier for me to use ActionScript in an SWF (flash) rather than JS but those have been extremely rare.  I do however really like layouts in Flex and can understand why they are so appealing.  Not my type of application though so hence the 99% for me.

                     

                    On the memory usage issue.  It completely depends on what you're application is doing and remembering that you *have* to null out references to *all* objects after they are used.  Do not rely on the AIR garbage collector to divine what you are and aren't still using and you'll be just fine on that.  When in doubt object = null is the way to go.

                     

                    (Sorry if I come off as a Javascript evangelist.  Not my intention, rather trying to give some advice from the other side of this.)

                    • 7. Re: What to take in consideration before to start.
                      Foxchx Level 1

                      Sure: learn new things, and be great at them, but do not develop production code while learning, it's a recipe for disaster.)

                       

                       

                       

                      I know I am going into this backward but it's not like if I've got a choice, my boss seems to think that if I am a graphic designer I should be able to learn and produce a desktop application in no time, luckily we have AIR that kinda help more graphic oriented ppl to achieve such application, am I right?

                       

                      I don't have a difficult project (it's pretty much like the Employee management app but for a member directory instead) I hope I'll be able to learn from what's out there already because my knowledge is a bit old now, I still do my flash in AS2 and never done DB from scratch and have no knowledge of Java except for copy&pasting..... I’ve got a month to produce it!!!

                       

                      That is why I was leaning to flex... it seems to me that it will allow me to set up the app basics more easily then flash and that way I can concentrate on learning that SQLite Example for Adobe AIR and from what I gather so far I am lucky that my project have examples that fits my needs but if I had a choice I would do that all differently.

                       

                      Couple of beginner questions...

                       

                       

                      1- We can do the same result app with either flash/flex/java etc the only difference is the way we write it? (pretty much related to AS3)

                       

                      2- The help sys in flex is nice, but is there a secret for finding error solution quickly (like an error db)??(I found plenty to learn but when googling simple error msg, I never find solution!?)

                       

                      foxchx wrote:


                      I gather so far that I am lucky that my project have examples that fits my needs

                       

                       

                      3- I still don't know what's accepted and not in terms of copyright and reverse engineer apps?

                            I was thinking "inSync" but now learning "flex in a week" and they use "employee management" that I could almost just use as is...

                                          ...I don't want to rip-off anybody but needs to find shortcuts somewhere!

                       

                       

                       

                      4- We have to be very careful with the CPU usage as AIR tends to waste a lot of mem?

                       

                       

                      Thanks for all the help

                      • 8. Re: What to take in consideration before to start.
                        jbenson@oper8 Level 2
                        1- We can do the same result app with either flash/flex/java etc the only difference is the way we write it? (pretty much related to AS3)

                         

                        Yep.  However Flex will likely be faster as you won't have to write a lot of UI stuff as you would with Javascript (and to a lesser extent, pure Flash).

                         

                        3- I still don't know what's accepted and not in terms of copyright and reverse engineer apps?

                        Find the license or ask the author.  You wouldn't want someone to assume your code was public domain etc.  Ask the author if the license isn't apparent and usually they'll be happy to answer.  In the case of code samples from a book or tutorial, you're usually safe to use, but always check the license.  (For example I usually post my code with a Creative Commons Attribute and ask that my name / email be included in the comments.)  Either way if the sample "employee management" app is close and you are coding it yourself (from samples) as long as you deviate to fit your project requirements you're likely ok.

                         

                        4- We have to be very careful with the CPU usage as AIR tends to waste a lot of mem?

                        AIR doesn't really waste much mem, but developers of AIR applications tend to forget that they're not really in a browser any more.  In a browser environment people typically do not clear references to objects to make sure they are removed from system memory as you expect the user to leave at some point and let the browser handle everything.  The Flex developers have worked diligently to make sure that there are few memory leaks in Flex objects, however a few do still exist.  This is normal.  The main thing that needs to be taken into account is that when you use an obect, dispose of it properly by nulling it out.  Google for examples and you'll find several.  As for CPU usage:  Depending on what you're doing you do sometimes have to work at this.  However with a basic database app I haven't had too many issues with CPU usage.

                        • 9. Re: What to take in consideration before to start.
                          Duane Amos

                          Jason:

                           

                          Thanks for a speedy reply!  I'll send some code later. My original file was written in AS2. I rediscovered that Flex 3 only works with Flash CS3/AS3.  So I made a quick application in Flash CS3 with a button and goToAndPlay code to a labeled frame.  In Flex3 I opened a panel from components and then put a SWF loader in the panel.  It runs perfectly in Flex. But still when I move it to a remote test computer it opens to a blank application.  The panel is there, but no content. I thought the two adobe applications, Flex and Flash were to be a simple, clean interaction I'll look into your considerations and much appreciated advice in a bit.

                           

                          Duane Amos

                          • 10. Re: What to take in consideration before to start.
                            Foxchx Level 1

                            big thanks for these exstensive answer J.