12 Replies Latest reply on Sep 18, 2008 5:50 PM by Ansury

    Can Flex do anything Flash can?

    ThisNicknameIsFree
      I'd like to ditch Flash CS3 and develop Flash websites using Flex but not Flex Builder but a normal editor like I do with HTML, PHP, Javascript, etc. Will this be possible? Can I do with Flex everything I can do with Flash including animations, sound, music, effects, everything I can do in Flash with Actionscript? I've always hated WYSIWYG editors, found them limiting in many ways.
        • 1. Can Flex do anything Flash can?
          Peter Lorent Level 2
          Both Flash and Flex produce swf content that can be interpreted by Flash Player and both use ActionScript to create that swf content. But, since Flex is code only and any editor you use to write AS doesn't have a timeline or a library, some content is very hard or even impossible to create. That is where Flash comes in. It can create highly interactive visual content that is impossible to create only using code.
          In our daily workflow, designers use the Flash IDE, developers use an IDE like Flexbuilder, Flashdevelop or FDT with the Flex SDK to write the code and compile. And now we have the Flex Component Kit For Flash it's even easier to bring Flash content to Flex.

          When you say 'everything I can do in Flash with Actionscript', sure, with any editor and you have the compilers to produce html wrappers and the swf's. But some content can only be produced in Flash.

          And, only Flash still supports AS2.
          • 2. Re: Can Flex do anything Flash can?
            Level 7

            "LuigiL" <webforumsuser@macromedia.com> wrote in message
            news:gat539$dqf$1@forums.macromedia.com...
            > Both Flash and Flex produce swf content that can be interpreted by Flash
            > Player
            > and both use ActionScript to create that swf content. But, since Flex is
            > code
            > only and any editor you use to write AS doesn't have a timeline or a
            > library,
            > some content is very hard or even impossible to create. That is where
            > Flash
            > comes in. It can create highly interactive visual content that is
            > impossible to
            > create only using code.
            > In our daily workflow, designers use the Flash IDE, developers use an IDE
            > like
            > Flexbuilder, Flashdevelop or FDT with the Flex SDK to write the code and
            > compile. And now we have the Flex Component Kit For Flash it's even easier
            > to
            > bring Flash content to Flex.
            >
            > When you say 'everything I can do in Flash with Actionscript', sure, with
            > any
            > editor and you have the compilers to produce html wrappers and the swf's.
            > But
            > some content can only be produced in Flash.

            I'd disagree. If you have the skills to figure out the drawing functions,
            etc., you can do that stuff in Flex. This will be more true in Flex 4,
            which will integrate tag-based vectors and animations.


            • 3. Re: Can Flex do anything Flash can?
              Peter Lorent Level 2
              That's great but watch http://tv.adobe.com/# - DEVELOPER - UNDER THE HOOD WITH ADOBE - CREATE CUSTOM FLEX COMPONENTS WITH FLASH CS3
              So, you are going to trace out all of the parts of the car using the drawing API? Certainly possible but I'm not going to pay you for the time it takes :-)
              • 4. Re: Can Flex do anything Flash can?
                Level 7

                "LuigiL" <webforumsuser@macromedia.com> wrote in message
                news:gatlm7$33r$1@forums.macromedia.com...
                > That's great but watch http://tv.adobe.com/# - DEVELOPER - UNDER THE HOOD
                > WITH
                > ADOBE - CREATE CUSTOM FLEX COMPONENTS WITH FLASH CS3
                > So, you are going to trace out all of the parts of the car using the
                > drawing
                > API? Certainly possible but I'm not going to pay you for the time it takes
                > :-)

                He asked if it was possible... If his time is essentially free, why not?


                • 5. Re: Can Flex do anything Flash can?
                  Gregory Lafrance Level 6
                  The bottom line is we are trying to help him make informed choices about which technology to use to his benefit, and implicitly, using his time in an efficient manner.

                  I would say that based on what you have heard here you might be able to consider the type of work you will be doing, and then decide whether to use only Flex or Flash, or whether it makes sense, once again based on the nature of your projects, to use Flex sometimes, Flash sometimes, or both, with Flash SWF content used in Flex applications.
                  • 6. Re: Can Flex do anything Flash can?
                    ntsiii Level 3
                    Also, "I've always hated WYSIWYG editors..." I use FlexBuilder, but mostly just the code editor and rarely use design mode. (actually using it more and more these days)

                    I like the integrated workspace, project, file manipulation, compiler, preview, debugger, etc.
                    Tracy
                    • 7. Re: Can Flex do anything Flash can?
                      Gregory Lafrance Level 6
                      I never use design view. I just never even think about it. Maybe I should, what kinds of things are you doing when you do go into design view Tracy?
                      • 8. Re: Can Flex do anything Flash can?
                        Level 7

                        "Greg Lafrance" <glafrance@chikaradev.com> wrote in message
                        news:gauabl$s0h$1@forums.macromedia.com...
                        >I never use design view. I just never even think about it. Maybe I should,
                        >what kinds of things are you doing when you do go into design view Tracy?

                        I think design view is only useful if you're not doing anything data-driven
                        (i.e. don't need Flex!)


                        • 9. Re: Can Flex do anything Flash can?
                          MotionMaker Level 1
                          My two cents is that even if you use Flex Builder, eventually some UI solutions will require code and variables that will make the UI designer not useful for layout.
                          • 10. Re: Can Flex do anything Flash can?
                            Dr. Fred Mbogo
                            I'm working on a project that needs to be code-heavy in the final version, but it's based on something graphics-heavy to start. As a result, I've eschewed creating any graphics on the stage directly, and am instead creating everything in ActionScript. I happen to be using Flash CS3 to build it, but it could just as well be Flex Builder or the Flex SDK.

                            I'm replying to this thread because a simple 2-layered graphic with a few filters applied, which I created in maybe an hour graphically, has taken me about a day to recreate in code. Much of this is due to my inexperience in this area of Flash coding, but still... Printed out, the code for this would probably fill a whole page, and it's really not that complex an effect. Just doing the desaturation step takes half a dozen lines of code.

                            To interpret my answer, you should know that I'm a better programmer than an artist, and I just love Flex Builder. Yet, for the start of this project, I will tell you that Flash CS3 is the easier tool. If this graphic effect were the sum total of the thing, it would be foolish to use ActionScript at all. Only the fact that I will be adding a lot more non-graphics-related AS code down the road makes the AS path the right choice for this particular project.

                            So: use the right tool for the job. Since you have Flash CS3, keep it. You will probably need it later for something that isn't code-heavy. For a code-heavy project, by all means, use the Flex SDK.
                            • 11. Re: Can Flex do anything Flash can?
                              ThisNicknameIsFree Level 1
                              Wow, thanks for your responses guys. As a clarification, I almost never draw or animate anything "by hand" in Flash. I make bitmaps and vector graphics in other applications and then I import them into Flash. When I animate something in Flash, I usually give it target coordinates/angles or paths and move it via actionscript rather than tweening since there is much greater control.

                              I realise it may seem strange to some people to prefer to do things this way but they said that about making websites in Notepad and now I write valid XHTML 1.1 without thinking about it. Same with ASP.net and Visual Studio. Hope I can do the same with Flex.
                              • 12. Re: Can Flex do anything Flash can?
                                Ansury Level 3
                                Wow, what's with all the hate on "Design View"? I know it can tend to be a little buggy and slow at times but I use that thing constantly. Even the properties editor, alot of times it's actually faster than adding mxml attributes even with autocomplete. Until now I've hated every WYSIWYG editor on the face of the planet, so this is saying something.

                                And it's not because I don't do data-driven UIs. The complex *** UIs I need would be difficult to work on without design view; these UI designs can't be broken down or simplified much more than they have been. Actually, no, it wouldn't just be much more difficult-- it would be almost like going back to JSP. Argh.

                                To answer the OP question with my take, "technically" Flex can mimic Flash, but I'm certain that Flash is not going to go away. Flash is more multimedia and game (high-framerate game) centered, but Flex is much better for RIAs.