1 2 Previous Next 44 Replies Latest reply on Jul 7, 2009 7:32 AM by Endoplasmic

    Testing the water on possible Flash Professional and Flash Builder integration

    Endoplasmic Level 2

      Hey,

       

      I just wanted to throw this out here instead of the bug area to see if I'm off my rocker or I'm on to something.

       

      Basically one of my major pains is that any application design I do, I do it in Flash Pro and I code in FB. Switching back and forth between apps just to press CTRL + ENTER seems like a) a waste of time and b) a waste of system resources.

       

      So what I'm proposing is having FB integrate with FLA files.

       

      When you create your product you have the option to specify a target FLA (or multiple with a build order) so that when you test your project it will actually build your FLAs in order (in the situation that the final SWF requires others) and you're off to the races.

       

      You could also have the currently associated FLA files have a checkbox next to them which could temporally disable them for a build.

       

      If you still need to make design tweaks later on, it's a mater of opening Flash and doing them, but it would be so slick to be able to have FB render the FLA for you in the same app (no more random CTRL+ENTER in FB anymore!)

       

      As far as where it could go. I think it would work the best if it was just a new tab that could be added to the perspective. Would allow drag+drop of FLA files to it, drag+drop ordering and also have the checkboxes to disable any FLAs from the build.

       

      So there we go, does that sound like a decent workflow?

       

      Cheers!

        • 1. Re: Testing the water on possible Flash Professional and Flash Builder integration
          tstatler Level 1

          Hi,

           

          Have you tried the new 'Flash Container' or 'Flash Component' components? These components offer a tightly integrated workflow with Flash CS4.

           

          Tim

          • 2. Re: Testing the water on possible Flash Professional and Flash Builder integration
            Endoplasmic Level 2

            Hey Tim,

             

            I didn't know about the components, but I did some digging and found them. Couple of things:

             

            1) It required me to make a new Flex Project (I do all of my design in Flash first)

            2) It requires a rendered SWC or SWF to add into the Flex Project (which defeats the purpose of using FB as a coding IDE)

            3) it made the swf HUGE. 600k for a square on the stage is insane (mxml below)


            <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
            <s:Application xmlns:fx="http://ns.adobe.com/mxml/2009" xmlns:s="library://ns.adobe.com/flex/spark" xmlns:mx="library://ns.adobe.com/flex/halo" minWidth="1024" minHeight="768" xmlns:ns1="*">
                <ns1:MyClass1 x="85" y="221"/>
               
            </s:Application>

             

            That resulted in 600k. MyClass1 was a SWF of a blue square on the stage.

             

             

            So maybe I wasn't clear as to how I use the 2 products, but basically the FLA that is currently open in Flash has a Document Class (and many other classes) open in Flex Builder. I do all my coding in FB, then flip over the Flash to press CTRL+ENTER. I was just hoping to get this done from 1 product instead of 2, which is sort of how I lay out the possible shared FLA senario above.

             

            Hopefully that clarifies things a little.

             

            Thanks,

             

            Scott

            • 3. Re: Testing the water on possible Flash Professional and Flash Builder integration
              Muzak Level 3
              That resulted in 600k. MyClass1 was a SWF of a blue square on the stage.

               

              That's nothing out of the ordinary for a Flex application. That's because you get half the Flex framework included with an empty mxml file.

              Try adding -keep to the compiler options and have a look at the generated classes and you'll get an idea of where the 600 kb is coming from.

               

              Mind you that FlashBuilder is beta, so there's probably still room for improvement.

              FlexBuilder 3 generates a 270kb swf for an new (empty) project.

               

              Comparing a Flex swf to a Flash swf is like comparing apples and oranges really. Flash swf is an empty box, there's no real framework there.

               

              If all you need is a better coding environment, try something like FlashDevelop.

              http://www.flashdevelop.org/

              • 4. Re: Testing the water on possible Flash Professional and Flash Builder integration
                Endoplasmic Level 2

                "Comparing a Flex swf to a Flash swf is like comparing apples and oranges really. Flash swf is an empty box, there's no real framework there."

                 

                Well the program is called Flash Builder after all :-/

                 

                I just want to use FB as an IDE to code in and have it render my FLA files. If the coding IDE in Flash wasn't shadowed by the amazing one in FB it wouldn't be an issue, but unfortunately it is.

                 

                I'm just trying to suggest a really great workflow on merging the process together in 1 product instead of 2.

                 

                FlashDevelop is neat, but it doesn't associate with FLA files either.

                • 5. Re: Testing the water on possible Flash Professional and Flash Builder integration
                  Muzak Level 3
                  FlashDevelop is neat, but it doesn't associate with FLA files either.

                   

                  If you're looking for another IDE that can handle (open/edit) FLA files, stop looking, there is none.

                  You can publish an FLA (currently open in Flash IDE) from within FlashDevelop though.

                   

                  http://www.flashdevelop.org/wikidocs/index.php?title=Projects

                  Complete workflow tutorial:

                  http://www.flashdevelop.org/wikidocs/index.php?title=AS3:FlashCS3Workflow

                   

                  Personally I work the other way around. I use FlexBuilder as the main project IDE and do graphical stuff (usually just skins) in Flash when needed and bring those into Flex (Embed from swf file), allthough latelty I do most my skinning in Fireworks and embed those. Flash I only use for fonts, again to Embed in Flex.

                   

                  I guess alot depends on what it is you're actually doing: developing "applications" vs "websites".

                  FlexBuilder is good at the "application" thing, not so good at the "website" thing and vice versa for the Flash IDE.

                  • 6. Re: Testing the water on possible Flash Professional and Flash Builder integration
                    Endoplasmic Level 2

                    I'm not looking for an IDE to edit the FLA files. I'm looking to associate a project with a set of FLA files that could be compiled when my project is set to run.

                     

                    I mean this is a beta, it's not unrealistic to ask for some features.

                    • 7. Re: Testing the water on possible Flash Professional and Flash Builder integration
                      Muzak Level 3
                      I mean this is a beta, it's not unrealistic to ask for some features.

                       

                      Sure isn't

                       

                      What you want (publish fla's when publish Flex project) is actually possible, just not out of the box.

                      You could achieve that through ANT. So rather than using the standard "Run" or "Debug" options in FlexBuilder, you'd write a cusom ANT script to do whatever you want.

                      From what I understand, many people are already doing this.

                       

                      If you're not familiar with ANT (or can't be bothered) you could also use the Eclipse built in "External Tools" wizard in combination with a jsfl script to publish your FLA (or as many as you like).

                      That way you can use FlexBuilder (or FlashBuilder) as your ActionScript Editor and instead of using the "Run" or "Debug" options, you'd use the "External Tools" option to launch your project.

                       

                      I just tested this in FlexBuilder 3 and it's a no-brainer

                      I have an FLA sitting on my desktop: C:\Users\[USER]\Desktop

                       

                      I then create a .jsfl file (in Notepad) with the following content:

                       

                      var doc = fl.openDocument("file:///c|/Users/[USER]/Desktop/my_project.fla");
                      //doc.publish();
                      doc.testMovie();

                      This will simply open the fla and perform a "test movie", just as you would do manually in Flash through the Control -> Test Movie menu (or by hitting CTRL+Enter).

                       

                      All you need to do then is create a new External Tools configuration in Flex Builder, point to the Flash.exe as the program to be run, set the Working Directory to where the jsfl file is located - in my case C:\Users\[USER]\Desktop

                      And lastly fill in the name of the file to execute by Flash in the Arguments field, which in my case was: Publish.jsfl

                      You can then publish your fla whenever you feel like by selecting it from the External Tools menu.

                      I do this all the time for generating documentation using ASDoc.

                       

                      You can see what the External Toosl config looks like in the attached screenshot (if it's not queued forever).

                      • 8. Re: Testing the water on possible Flash Professional and Flash Builder integration
                        andre49

                        Hi guys,

                         

                        Have you considered Testing the water on doing your design work in the new Flash Catalyst software http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/flashcatalyst/ for your skins instead of Flash CS4.

                        You would be able to export directly in the new FXG format and integrate it directly in your FB4 coding.

                        There is a tremendous productivity potential gain there.

                        I am planning to abandon eventually completely Flash CS4 for both design  and coding and substitute it eventually by simultaneously working in FB4(coding) and Flash Catalyst(design) with input symbols directly linked to photoshop and illustrator related files.

                         

                        For those of you who would like to wet their toes  and initiate  a quick dive, Lynda.com has already released, on june 11,  an 1h40 min course on this subject. Here are the details.

                         

                        Length: 1 hour

                        Watch now!

                        Online Training Library® exclusive!

                        Flash Catalyst Beta Preview

                        with: Mordy Golding

                        Flash Catalyst is a new Adobe application that is currently in beta and available for downloading atlabs.adobe.com, that allows designers to quickly create interactive Flash content and rich internet applications without having to write a single line of code. In Flash Catalyst Beta Preview, Mordy Golding demonstrates a workflow that emphasizes the intuitive nature of the tool, and shows how to achieve results in a short time. Meant to bridge the gap between designers and developers, Flash Catalyst allows the designer to work with familiar applications, such as Photoshop and Illustrator, while automatically generating the necessary code in the background for the developer. Exercise files accompany the course.

                        Topics include:

                        • Creating interactive content from Photoshop and Illustrator design compositions
                        • Turning ordinary graphics into functional components like buttons and sliders
                        • Using smooth transitions and animation techniques
                        • Moving content between Flash Catalyst and Flash Builder

                         

                         

                        Declarative Graphics

                        Flex 4 will make good use of FXG, the new graphics interchange format used with the CS4 graphics applications. Flex 4 and Flash Player 10 can together render FXG graphical elements. These include:

                         

                        • graphics and text primitives
                        • fills, strokes, gradients, and bitmaps
                        • support for filters, masks, alphas, and blend modes.

                         

                        FXG graphical elements can be used in Flex 4 in a number of ways. FXG elements can be used within an MXML file or component and can also be saved as an .fxg file format. The CS4 tools will typically export an FXG using the FXG 2008 namespace. Because these files are designed to be shared between graphical applications, you’ll find that they have a stricter format to what’s used in Flex; the Flex compiler will only use the FXG-specific tags. Adobe’s new application, Flash Catalyst, will make it easy to create FXG graphics compatible with Flex 4, which you can then use to complete your application’s user interface and appearance.

                        New effects have been added to Flex 4 that can also be applied to FXG graphical elements. These new effects will work on both new and old components alike. Standalone effects must now be declared within fx:Declarationstags instead of the body of the application. Once again, Flash Catalyst has additional tools to help make using these effects easier.

                         

                        Ref:http://www.sitepoint.com/article/whats-new-flex-4/ by Andrew Muller

                        • 9. Re: Testing the water on possible Flash Professional and Flash Builder integration
                          Muzak Level 3

                          One thing that worries me about Catalyst is the code it will generate.

                          But maybe that's the price one has to pay for getting better cross product integration.

                          • 10. Re: Testing the water on possible Flash Professional and Flash Builder integration
                            andre49 Level 1

                            Hi Muzak,

                            I am pretty sure that you are absolutely right .
                            As per example, Andrew Muller was mentioning that "The CS4 tools will typically export an FXG using the FXG 2008 namespace. Because these files are designed to be shared between graphical applications, you’ll find that they have a stricter format to what’s used in Flex; the Flex compiler will only use the FXG-specific tags. ".

                            There are certainly many other restrictions of all kinds. But as you said, finding the way through this intregration maze is probably the way to follow if an FB4 developer wants to distinguish himself from the crowd.

                            I have already lived a few integrations with Adobe products.

                            The first one with the Creative Suite 2.

                            The second one was only partial with the Master Collection Creative Suite 3 which included the former web and flash based suite, their audio and video suite and also the publishing  Creative Suite.

                            It finally became completely integrated in Master Collection Creative Suite 4.

                            I am pretty sure that only  partial integration is only feasible right now.

                            However, after the next official release or FB4 and Flash Catalyst, I feel very confident,, as they did in the past that Adobe next integration,  will include in some way  the combination of their four present generating AS3 flash softwares i.e FB4(data centric), flash CS4(simple web sites and animation), Flash Catalyst (FB4 graphic,UI, Interaction and animation provider), Captivate 4(presentations, demos and eLearning).
                            They would probably call it Master Flash Builder Collection 5 and if you are able to meet the challenge of mastering simultaneously all these softwares you would then be able to call yourself Master Flash Builder.

                            Very humbly,

                            andre49,
                            P.S. Maybe Adobe Connect(Virtual conference rooms) could also be admitted in the AS3 family at that time. Presently, to the best of my knowledge, it is only AS2 compatible.
                            Please, dear developers, take note that this is only personal speculation and your guess could be as good or even better than mine.
                            • 13. Re: Testing the water on possible Flash Professional and Flash Builder integration
                              Randy Troppmann Level 2

                              I'm gonna throw my support behind Endoplasmic's request for better workflow support between Flash Pro and Flash Builder. Fb is a killer AS3 IDE. I wish it had a "create Flash CS4" project that set up a project that will work with the workflow of developing in Flash. That means code completion, class introspection (which it does already) and error highlighting (which it doesn't) just like it would do in a Flex project. And, a button that will compile and run in Flash. I know you can can build your own with jsfl, it's just that it should be there already.

                               

                              What also would be handy is an option in "new class" to bind it to a pre-existing library item in the Fla. That would be WICKED.

                               

                              - Randy

                              • 14. Re: Testing the water on possible Flash Professional and Flash Builder integration
                                andre49 Level 1

                                HI Brando,

                                I agree 100% with you.

                                 

                                Flash CS4 is certainly the potential next on the integrating  list.

                                 

                                If FB4 could easily and smoothly integrate AS3 based Flash projects with the

                                snap of a button, It is definitely a giant leap for flash user natural

                                graduation to FB4.You would certainly expand your existing source of

                                future FB4 developers coming from flash background and make the transition

                                much easier, faster and productive.

                                 

                                I think FB4 IDE should be seen not as an AS3 IDE killer but rather as

                                Daddy AS3 IDE welcomer, mentor, integrator, polisher,finisher,etc,  a sort

                                of Final Graduating Flash School of Coding for Flash Coders.

                                 

                                However, FB4 integration with flash CS4, Flash Catalyst and eventually with

                                other AS3 family softwares such as Flash Captivate and Adobe Connect might

                                be possibly the Adobe answer to the Microsoft Silverlight threat with its

                                army of coders. It is certainly a potential to become a

                                formidable Silverlight killer with FB4 as the key integrating Kingpin.

                                 

                                Well, that's it for today,

                                 

                                Let's go back to FB4 Learning Class,

                                 

                                Thanks guys for letting me express humbly some personal futuristic

                                speculative opinions,

                                 

                                andre49,

                                • 15. Re: Testing the water on possible Flash Professional and Flash Builder integration
                                  Muzak Level 3
                                  I wish it had a "create Flash CS4" project that set up a project that will work with the workflow of developing in Flash.

                                   

                                  We don't need another Flash IDE. And from what I understand, they're steering away from the FLA approach anyway (or at least are looking into it).

                                  Flex has its own workflow and IMO a much better one than Flash (and is probably one of the reasons there *is* a FlexBuilder).

                                   

                                   

                                  However, FB4 integration with flash CS4, Flash Catalyst and eventually with

                                  other AS3 family softwares such as Flash Captivate and Adobe Connect might

                                  be possibly the Adobe answer to the Microsoft Silverlight threat

                                  What threat? The way I see it (and ss far as I know), there is none.

                                   

                                  It is certainly a potential to become a

                                  formidable Silverlight killer with FB4 as the key integrating Kingpin.


                                  I seriously hope that - becoming a Silverlight killer - is the last thing they worry (or even think) about and focus on important things.

                                  • 16. Re: Testing the water on possible Flash Professional and Flash Builder integration
                                    andre49 Level 1

                                    Hi Musak,

                                    One thing is sure, the workflow characteristics between Flash IDE and FB4

                                    IDE should be natural, easy, smooth, and bidirectional.

                                     

                                    Concerning Microsoft and Silverlight, my advice would be *TO TAKE THAT

                                    THREAT VERY SERIOUSLY*. The greatest mistake you and/or Adobe could make

                                    would be to show up your pride and underestimate them.

                                     

                                    Sincerely,

                                     

                                    andre49,

                                    • 17. Re: Testing the water on possible Flash Professional and Flash Builder integration
                                      Muzak Level 3

                                      One thing is sure, the workflow characteristics between Flash IDE and FB4

                                      IDE should be natural, easy, smooth, and bidirectional

                                      Again disagree. Bringing Flash assets into Flex, fine with that, afterall, Flex doesn't do graphics.

                                      The other way around (Flex -> Flash).. I don't see the point.

                                       

                                      TO TAKE THAT THREAT VERY SERIOUSLY
                                      The greatest mistake you and/or Adobe could make

                                      would be to show up your pride and underestimate them.

                                       

                                      If I got a nickle (or whatever) every time I heard that one, I'd be rich.. and I've been around for a while

                                      • 18. Re: Testing the water on possible Flash Professional and Flash Builder integration
                                        andre49 Level 1

                                        Hi Musak,

                                         

                                        On both cases, let time be the ultimate judge.

                                         

                                        andre49,

                                        • 19. Re: Testing the water on possible Flash Professional and Flash Builder integration
                                          Randy Troppmann Level 2

                                          Adobe went and called it Flash Builder, so lets see some Fb to Fl integration. Muzak, there are many Flash projects in my future that do not belong in Flex. Are you advocating building a custom video player in Flex and end up having a 400k swf? Or are you saying that the future is mxmlc compiling of AS3 only projects.

                                          • 20. Re: Testing the water on possible Flash Professional and Flash Builder integration
                                            David_F57 Level 5

                                            Many moons ago someone put together this thing called a scientific scratchpad, it became a spreadsheet then somebody decided to add scripting and turn it into a databasing tool - bad move.

                                             

                                            Microsoft decided to create a fast proto-typing tool for pre-development in windows, visual basic,once again someone thought it would be a good idea to use it as a commercial development tool - dumb move.

                                             

                                            So now we want to take a tool purpose built to allow developers to create RIA's, rather than pretty graphics timeline based presentations pretending to be applications, and wind it back - just don't have the words to describe how stupid this idea is.

                                             

                                            Flash is a timeline based graphics design tool that can be manipulated with script.

                                             

                                            Flex is a form based application development tool with an extended version of the flash scripting language.

                                             

                                            Bringing flash assets into flex is more a bonus than a necessity, trying to retard flex by making it more flash capable is, to say the least, exactly that retarded.

                                             

                                            I for one went to flex because it got away from the flash idiom, if its going to be strangled by making it more compatible with a toy development environment like flash then silverlight becomes the tool of choice.

                                             

                                            Flex is not for banner ads, it doesn't belong to the domain of the less than capable digital media environment(who are still unaware the flash 6 has been superceded).

                                             

                                            A 300-800k framework overhead is not even close to being an issue if flex is used for its intended purpose(and that is a one time download if you compile applications the correct way). So those that want a better scripting environment for their beloved flash should ask for it don't ask that a tool purpose built for developers be bastardised for graphic designers.

                                             

                                            Thats my 2 cents worth now I'll let Muzak fight the good fight

                                            • 21. Re: Testing the water on possible Flash Professional and Flash Builder integration
                                              Endoplasmic Level 2

                                              Wow.

                                               

                                              Alright can someone let me know which point in time Moses spread the red sea and put Flash devs on one side and Flex devs on the other?!

                                               

                                              David, the fact you think 300-800k is a good file size for a web app speaks world of how many web apps you've built and for the general web audience. I'm not saying you don't know what you're talking about, but saying Flash is for banners makes me LOL IRL.

                                               

                                              I'm gonna let you in on a little ... dirty... secret.... When you export your God Almighty Flex SuperApp 3.0, guess what file it becomes? Yup, a SWF. Just because Flex has a base framework to build from doesn't make the output any different than anything I could output in Flash (just the frameworks are not in place).

                                               

                                              This isn't meant to be some war, it's not meant for Flash developers who use Flex's AMAZING IDE for AS3 to tread all over the feet of people who build 1MB Flex apps.

                                               

                                              I want to streamline my productivity as I assume any other dev with a pulse does. Being able to have a program render a FLA is nothing. If I need to make changes, I open it up in Flash and make my changes, but the stage I'm at right now doesn't require me to build anymore, just add code.

                                               

                                              If it wasn't for a Papervision 3D workshop I wouldn't even KNOW about Flex. Ralph basically said "Oh man, if you guys aren't coding your AS3 with Flex you should really jump on that". So I did. I've showed others as well and I've never heard a single person say they prefer the Flash IDE to code AS3 over Flex Builder.

                                               

                                              Just because people use a program differently than you *think* it should be used, doesn't mean it's wrong.

                                               

                                              You and Muzak keep fighting the good fight, and let me know how the dust tastes when you're left in it. Evolve brother!

                                              • 22. Re: Testing the water on possible Flash Professional and Flash Builder integration
                                                Muzak Level 3
                                                Adobe went and called it Flash Builder, so lets see some Fb to Fl integration. Muzak, there are many Flash projects in my future that do not belong in Flex. Are you advocating building a custom video player in Flex and end up having a 400k swf? Or are you saying that the future is mxmlc compiling of AS3 only projects.

                                                 

                                                Nope, I'm advocating right tool for the job, use that tool properly and as intended.. and you'll be fine.

                                                I wrote a video player in Flex loooong time ago. No MXML there.. Flex Library project, compile to swc.

                                                 

                                                I don't do "Flash projects" anymore. I gave up on Flash (the IDE) when AS3 (and Flex 2) arrived.

                                                • 23. Re: Testing the water on possible Flash Professional and Flash Builder integration
                                                  Muzak Level 3
                                                  Alright can someone let me know which point in time Moses spread the red sea and put Flash devs on one side and Flex devs on the other?!

                                                   

                                                  Guess you missed that.. were you sleeping?

                                                   

                                                  Evolve brother!

                                                   

                                                  The way I see it, the ones who traded Flash for Flex are the ones who evolved.

                                                   

                                                  Again, the way I understand it, all you want is a better coding enveronment and keep using Flash (or its workflow).

                                                  You can already do that (using Flex and ANT/jsfl or FlashDevelop). Actually FlashDevelop was made just for that.

                                                  • 24. Re: Testing the water on possible Flash Professional and Flash Builder integration
                                                    Randy Troppmann Level 2

                                                    Whoa! i went to a fight and a forum discussion broke out. All I am asking for is a button that publishes the FLA. How does this make the tool go backwards? Flash is far more than banners ads ... that is just flame bait. Way more. The Flex framework is ridiculously big for some projects. I built an app that was able to layout itself from xml and was a 16k swf. It was class based, and fairly complicated and needed a good ... ugh this is a stupid argument that has turn into Flash vs Flex. I LOVE THEM BOTH! Just put a button in Fb allow me to bind to a Flash library item and I will love Fb a little more.

                                                     

                                                    - Randy

                                                    • 25. Re: Testing the water on possible Flash Professional and Flash Builder integration
                                                      Endoplasmic Level 2

                                                      Muzak wrote:

                                                       

                                                       

                                                      The way I see it, the ones who traded Flash for Flex are the ones who evolved.

                                                       

                                                      Again, the way I understand it, all you want is a better coding enveronment and keep using Flash (or its workflow).

                                                      You can already do that (using Flex and ANT/jsfl or FlashDevelop). Actually FlashDevelop was made just for that.

                                                       

                                                       

                                                      Dang I don't want to sound like a broken record, but I don't want to have 2 programs open when I don't need to. This is just a request for a feature, and a proposed workflow of how it could work (which I think is pretty decent). You know, evolving a product.

                                                       

                                                      I do like Randy's idea though that Flash Builder upon getting the FLA imported as part of the project can read the linked resources in the library.

                                                       

                                                      Keep the ideas flowing, this is probably the most active discussion in this forum and it would be cool to see ideas spin off of it into possibly other, better ideas!

                                                      • 26. Re: Testing the water on possible Flash Professional and Flash Builder integration
                                                        David_F57 Level 5

                                                        Endoplasmic wrote:

                                                         

                                                        Keep the ideas flowing, this is probably the most active discussion in this forum and it would be cool to see ideas spin off of it into possibly other, better ideas!

                                                         

                                                        I agree keep the ideas flowing, but no matter which way you see things and despite Adobe's efforts at bridging the gap between design and development the tools for each will have a different flow. Its the ongoing debate in every environment not just IT, centralise or decentralise. I want every tool in my development environment to be very specific in its capabilities, no compromises, no watering down to encompass a broader usability(and thats what is always going to happen as any business has defined limitations on development resources including Adobe).

                                                         

                                                        Simple question - where does the Flex integration stop a button to create a fla, a button to export a fla, a button to create a PSD a button to create an ia    etc... etc....

                                                         

                                                        Every craftsman has a collection of tools to arrive at the perfect result, I just wish it was easier to arrive at said result .

                                                         

                                                        Also re-read my post I stated that flex was not for banner ads, this as a primary reference to file sizes as it seems to me when ever anyone talks about flex overheads banner ad limitations seem to be the filesize they use as point of arguement(gee where did an uneducated fool like me find out about 30k provider limitations on advertising content and its relationship to bandwidth usage on percieved hits).

                                                         

                                                        I have had the misfortune to maintain flash websites that have flash generated swf's that are massive and every time you hit a site like that you incur the multi-megabyte d/l hit(obviously unless cached). With Flex these sort of sites would be more effective with swf runtimes that are cached by the flash player (no time limit) not the browser.

                                                         

                                                        my preference is to develop applications not applets, they have all the overheads that any well designed application has and at the end of the day a flash created swf that is capable of the same functionality is not that much smaller. If I have to create a small effective applet then I use flash if its the right tool for the job.

                                                         

                                                        Flex needs to evolve away from flash and even small ties to the flash work flow will erode that needed evolution.(why they call it Flashbuilder is beyond me)

                                                         

                                                        one last thing : Flex creates SWF's ?  (golly-gosh and gee-wizz I didn't know that Flex was a swf generator thanks for pointing that out)

                                                         

                                                        David

                                                        • 27. Re: Testing the water on possible Flash Professional and Flash Builder integration
                                                          andre49 Level 1

                                                          Hi David_F57,

                                                           

                                                           

                                                          "I for one went to flex because it got away from the flash idiom, if its going to be strangled by making it more compatible with a toy development environment like flash then silverlight becomes the tool of choice."

                                                           

                                                           

                                                          Interesting.....

                                                           

                                                          If you switch to Silverlight, your colleague Musak would lose his first nickel  !!!???

                                                           

                                                          What do you mean by flash idiom and toy development environment?  Please explain.

                                                          What makes you feel that FB4 will be strangled by Flash Professional ?

                                                          Do you really think that Flash Builder integration with  flash professional would make your life

                                                          so miserable to the point of already considering switching to Goliath Silverlight camp ?

                                                          If so, do you really think that Silverlight could and would eventually fulfill all your Developer dreams ?

                                                          Can you support your Silverlight expectations with solid facts ?

                                                          I invite you to answer these questions for the benefit of all.

                                                          Thanks,

                                                           

                                                          andre49

                                                           

                                                           

                                                           

                                                           

                                                           


                                                          • 28. Re: Testing the water on possible Flash Professional and Flash Builder integration
                                                            David_F57 Level 5
                                                            David, the fact you think 300-800k is a good file size for a web app speaks world of how many web apps you've built and for the general web audience

                                                            The general web audience wouldn't even know if the Application they are running is 100k or 500k. Maybe i could return your compliment ,the fact that you have never developed a site that has been 300-800k swf means you have never developed a comprehensive RIA.

                                                             

                                                            Developing a thousand applications for the web doesn't mean a person actually understands what they are doing, the world is full of developers who think they are good becuase they have produced thousands of spec jobs,  it doesn't alter the fact that they have minimal comprehension of anything outside of the scope of their part in any of those projects.

                                                             

                                                             

                                                            An example of this is watching the frustration of a tester cursing the 100k video player they are using on a web page becuase the little preloader just spins and spins and spins. Hey but the player is only 100k why don't I get the 300mb file playing immediately, well you see this guy wrote a really tiny video player but he was so smart he didn't use buffering, and why becuase it wasn't in the project scope, clients deserve better than this. At the end of the day I don't give a damn how good someone thinks they are becuase it's the client that makes the call not you or me.

                                                             

                                                            I do my job and I do it well, there are people better than me and people worse than me, one thing I know for certain is using the wrong tool for a job is anything but productive and trying to have one tool to do it all is asking for a tool that can only offer compromise.

                                                             

                                                            Anyway enough of the off topic --

                                                             

                                                            we have 2 tools flash pro/ flexbuilder they each have a purpose, There is no point in blurring the lines this has never boded well for anything,  its all about putting the effort into knowing and understanding the environment(s) you are working with. If an environment needs to be enhanced discussion on such enhancements is always productive. Wanting to bend or alter a tool so that it complies to something that it wasn't designed to do is counter productive.

                                                             

                                                            As far as catalyst / flex is concerned, thats almost dejavu  lets call it VB with pictures - just what the world needs more point and click developers.

                                                             

                                                            David

                                                             

                                                            [edit] wanna do a 'who has the best published commercial flex/flash' website shootout- just for fun

                                                            • 29. Re: Testing the water on possible Flash Professional and Flash Builder integration
                                                              Endoplasmic Level 2

                                                              Simple question - where does the Flex integration stop a button to create a fla, a button to export a fla, a button to create a PSD a button to create an ia    etc... etc....

                                                               

                                                              What's wrong with integration? I mean Flex Builder is based of a product that is all about integration (Eclipse). I have my source control, php/css/html/xml, AS3 all in one program. I think that's pretty amazing and streamlined. Having a plugin or module that handles the rendered output does nothing to clog up a workflow at all. If you don't need it, hide/don't use it. You think everyone that uses Photoshop uses every single tool the program offers?

                                                               

                                                              Flex needs to evolve away from flash and even small ties to the flash work flow will erode that needed evolution.(why they call it Flashbuilder is beyond me)

                                                               

                                                              Probably because you're building stuff for the Flash plugin.

                                                              • 30. Re: Testing the water on possible Flash Professional and Flash Builder integration
                                                                Endoplasmic Level 2
                                                                The general web audience wouldn't even know if the Application they are running is 100k or 500k.

                                                                *rubs eyes and re-focuses* Yup, you did write that?! Apparently where you're from everyone has fibre optic cable and can download things faster than anything. I assure you a web user knows the difference between 100k and 500k.

                                                                 

                                                                I do my job and I do it well, there are people better than me and people worse than me, one thing I know for certain is using the wrong tool for a job is anything but productive and trying to have one tool to do it all is asking for a tool that can only offer compromise.

                                                                Again, Eclipse by it's very nature is a tool that is BUILT to bring in other tools so that you can be in an integrated environment. How is supporting another asset type to be the target of a render doing anything but helping?

                                                                 

                                                                we have 2 tools flash pro/ flexbuilder they each have a purpose, There is no point in blurring the lines this has never boded well for anything,  its all about putting the effort into knowing and understanding the environment(s) you are working with. If an environment needs to be enhanced discussion on such enhancements is always productive. Wanting to bend or alter a tool so that it complies to something that it wasn't designed to do is counter productive.

                                                                How is what I'm proposing blurring the lines? I'm just saying it would be nice that when I'm finished my design phase that I can tell Flash Builder to build from Flash Pro files. If I need to make asset changes then I open Flash Pro to do so.

                                                                 

                                                                [edit] wanna do a 'who has the best published commercial flex/flash' website shootout- just for fun

                                                                Oh you mean 'Who has the biggest e-peen?'. Sorry I'll pass. I'm trying to help get some great functionality into an already fantastic product. Don't need to prove anything to you pal.

                                                                • 31. Re: Testing the water on possible Flash Professional and Flash Builder integration
                                                                  Randy Troppmann Level 2

                                                                  Swf size is also about the client's bandwidth bills, but you know this

                                                                  already so I won't belabour the point.

                                                                   

                                                                  You have been burned by baldy developed Flash. Don't blame the tool.

                                                                  Flash is a developer tool as well, although it is becoming more of an

                                                                  asset repository in the workflow for me these days. I'm not asking for

                                                                  a button in Fb that will build a Fla. Just for a button that will

                                                                  cause Flash Pro to publish the associated Fla.

                                                                   

                                                                  The process of generating a class that is bound to a existing Library

                                                                  item already exists in Flash CS4 as the Project panel (thanks to the

                                                                  gskinner guys). I would like to see this in Fb, but the Project panel

                                                                  works very nicely.

                                                                   

                                                                  Now once that is in place, it would be killer to incorporate some sort

                                                                  of timeline so I can tween right in Fb

                                                                   

                                                                  Silverlight? Really? I actually don't care about this point because I

                                                                  will use whatever tech is the right for the job.

                                                                   

                                                                  - Randy

                                                                  • 32. Re: Testing the water on possible Flash Professional and Flash Builder integration
                                                                    David_F57 Level 5

                                                                    Horses for courses goes the saying, I use a multitude of tools for both front end and back end development. When Adobe decided to give us a break away swf generator in the form of Flex I applauded this decision becuase suddenly I had a development environment that made sense to me, it opened up RIA development possibilities that just were not financially viable propositions in flash, the addition of air just sweetened the deal(mind you it would have been even sweeter if they hadn't applied the internet sandbox securities to it). Now with the skinning i'm hoping to move away from flash developed assets.

                                                                     

                                                                    There are areas where flash will beat flex hands down so then it becomes the better option. Everything today is about cost effective development and the right tools are always part of the equation. For me it is a simple argument, flex was very specifically designed to break away from flash now years later I see no value in trying to integrate it back simply to breath life into a legacy file format. What Would be more important is a smoother process that allows AS3 to be compiled into non SDK dependant SWF's then flash could really be packed away.

                                                                     

                                                                    And for your tweening I recommend playing around with parallel animations(leave the timelines to dr who) it can do some really kewl stuff, i'm starting to get the hang of it and it absolutely blitzes tweenmax which was always my tweening toy of choice.

                                                                     

                                                                    <s:Parallel id="flipright" duration="550">

                                                                    <s:Animate target="{paperModR}" repeatCount="2" repeatBehavior="reverse" duration="525">

                                                                        <s:SimpleMotionPath property="force" valueFrom="0" valueTo="2.5"/>

                                                                        <s:SimpleMotionPath property="offset" valueFrom="1" valueTo="0.45"/>

                                                                        <s:SimpleMotionPath property="angle" valueFrom="0.00" valueTo="-0.3"/>

                                                                    </s:Animate>

                                                                     

                                                                    <s:Animate target="{PageR}" startDelay="75">

                                                                        <s:SimpleMotionPath property="rotationY" valueFrom="0" valueTo="179"/>

                                                                    </s:Animate>

                                                                    </s:Parallel>

                                                                     

                                                                    have a look at round one of a 3d page flip using away3d and as3mod-bend  http://gumbo.flashhub.net/flip/
                                                                    at the end of the day its all about the end results and enjoying the process that gets you there.

                                                                    • 33. Re: Testing the water on possible Flash Professional and Flash Builder integration
                                                                      Muzak Level 3
                                                                      How is what I'm proposing blurring the lines? I'm just saying it would be nice that when I'm finished my design phase that I can tell Flash Builder to build from Flash Pro files. If I need to make asset changes then I open Flash Pro to do so.

                                                                       

                                                                      That's where (IMO) your way of thinking is off. You think of FlexBuilder - with this line: tell Flash Builder to build from Flash Pro files - as an extension to Flash, which it isn't and never will be.

                                                                       

                                                                      Now once that is in place, it would be killer to incorporate some sort

                                                                      of timeline so I can tween right in Fb

                                                                      Timeline??? REALLY??

                                                                      The whole idea of Flex is to get away from the timeline.

                                                                       

                                                                      Sounds to me like some people really need to have a closer look at Flex, away from Flash, rather than trying to make Flex into Flash.

                                                                      • 34. Re: Testing the water on possible Flash Professional and Flash Builder integration
                                                                        Endoplasmic Level 2

                                                                        Muzak wrote:


                                                                         

                                                                        That's where (IMO) your way of thinking is off. You think of FlexBuilder - with this line: tell Flash Builder to build from Flash Pro files - as an extension to Flash, which it isn't and never will be

                                                                         

                                                                        You mean you prefer that it's not an extension of Flash. Never say never by the way. If you put a "New Flash Component" component on your stage and highlight it, guess what button shows up on the right under "Common"? Wait for it..... "Edit in Adobe Flash". In which case I can make edits and hit 'Done" to have it all come back into FB. So FLASH Builder is integrated with Flash?!

                                                                         

                                                                        All that needs to happen is that it goes the other way. So instead of having to work with already compiled FLA files, it can read a FLA, be in a build order, and render out. That way it can take any classes built from the Document class. I'm assuming the hardest part is getting FLA parsing into FB.

                                                                        • 35. Re: Testing the water on possible Flash Professional and Flash Builder integration
                                                                          Randy Troppmann Level 2

                                                                          Ok, I was kidding about timeline tweening in Fb. Nice example David. I

                                                                          have been using gTween but I'm really impressed with the mxml tweening

                                                                          ang graphic libraries.

                                                                           

                                                                          Mark my works, Adobe will bundle Flash Builder with Flash. They have

                                                                          already said they are not putting effort into improving the Flash Pro

                                                                          code editor.

                                                                           

                                                                          Like I said, they renamed it Flash Builder so in my mind that means

                                                                          better integration into Flash Pro.

                                                                          • 36. Re: Testing the water on possible Flash Professional and Flash Builder integration
                                                                            Muzak Level 3

                                                                            Like I said, they renamed it Flash Builder so in my mind that means

                                                                            better integration into Flash Pro.

                                                                            Nah, has nothing to do with it. Read some of the blogs about the name change.

                                                                             

                                                                            You mean you prefer that it's not an extension of Flash.

                                                                             

                                                                            Exactly.

                                                                             

                                                                            If you put a "New Flash Component" component on your stage and highlight it, guess what button shows up on the right under "Common"? Wait for it..... "Edit in Adobe Flash". In which case I can make edits and hit 'Done" to have it all come back into FB. So FLASH Builder is integrated with Flash?!

                                                                             

                                                                            No surprise there. That's just expected better integration, to bring Flash assets into Flex. An extension of what was already there with the Flex Extension Kits and similar to what you have between Dreamweaver/Fireworks and Flash/Fireworks, etc..

                                                                             

                                                                            All that needs to happen is that it goes the other way. So instead of having to work with already compiled FLA files, it can read a FLA, be in a build order, and render out. That way it can take any classes built from the Document class. I'm assuming the hardest part is getting FLA parsing into FB.

                                                                            Not gonna happen. At least not untill they change the FLA from a closed file format to something more open, e.g. XML based, which from what I've heard is something they're looking into. So until then, don't get your hopes up.

                                                                            • 37. Re: Testing the water on possible Flash Professional and Flash Builder integration
                                                                              David_F57 Level 5

                                                                              Yeah I could see a mile away that the timeline thing was tongue-in-check, but this sort of comment is actually where discussions on flex features can become interesting.

                                                                               

                                                                              Tweening is one area that i have seen a lot of people struggle with when you take away their timeline, a motion editor is something that I feel would benefit a lot of people shifting to FB,  this sort of  feature/enhancement I would happily vote for along with a skin editor.

                                                                               

                                                                              The button thing is something that I can sorta of see as handy only if you could write a small script that could be fired from flex which basically got flash to compile any fla's your project needed just to ensure your assets were the latest builds. From the flex side of things you can run external tools and scripts I'm just not familiar with how flash would deal with the process.

                                                                               

                                                                              Integrating the shockingly unmaintanainable fla format in any shape or form I am totally against, fla format RIP, even my version control software is voting to kill the fla format.

                                                                               

                                                                              David

                                                                              • 38. Re: Testing the water on possible Flash Professional and Flash Builder integration
                                                                                Muzak Level 3
                                                                                Tweening is one area that i have seen a lot of people struggle with when you take away their timeline, a motion editor is something that I feel would benefit a lot of people shifting to FB,  this sort of  feature/enhancement I would happily vote for along with a skin editor.

                                                                                 

                                                                                I would go as far as saying that when one tries out FB and and misses that timeline, he/she should probably go back to Flash

                                                                                 

                                                                                I've been using Fireworks for most of my Flex skinning. Some nice Flex/FW integration was added to FW CS3

                                                                                http://www.adobe.com/devnet/fireworks/articles/introducing_fireworks_cs3.html (middle of the page)

                                                                                 

                                                                                These are a must (for Flex 3):

                                                                                http://www.adobe.com/products/flex/flexdownloads/#skins

                                                                                http://www.adobe.com/cfusion/entitlement/index.cfm?e=flex_skins

                                                                                • 39. Re: Testing the water on possible Flash Professional and Flash Builder integration
                                                                                  David_F57 Level 5

                                                                                  I would go as far as saying that when one tries out FB and and misses that timeline, he/she should probably go back to Flash
                                                                                  sshhhh... you don't wanna upset the thread owner
                                                                                  mind you I hear flash is on a timeline ticktock.... ticktock....
                                                                                  David.

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