I'm writing a book on Flex 4 and would like to demonstrate Flex features on a real-world example. I'd start with simple controls, then add layout, connect the UI to data etc., you get the idea.
The application should be pretty standard, I don't want to focus on animations, complete reskinning etc, I need to demonstrate basic features commonly used in Flex apps. Here are a couple of ideas that currently float in mind together with their advantages and drawbacks I can see:
• Twitter client:
(+) Simple, well understood service
(+) Simple API
(-) API key needed, and I don't want the readers to do any pre-configuration steps
(-) Twitter is basically a list, demonstrating something like master/detail forms, a typical use case in Flex applications, would not be very natural although I can imagine it
• Facebook client:
Generally similar to Twitter client
(-) A lot more features => complex API
(-) Facebook is a little bit too personal, Twitter seems more natural for an IT book
(+) If the book had its own page on Facebook, using it as a sample could attract more visitors which would be a good thing
• Google Analytics client
(+) Many good data for visualization
(-) Private service, would need a GA account
(-) The service offers little bit too much for my simple needs
• Generic Line-of-Business application, something like Christophe Coenraets's InSync app (http://coenraets.org/blog/2010/05/using-the-flash-builder-4-data-centric-features-with-par sley-and-other-frameworks/)
(+) Can be tailored to the specific needs
(+) Looks a lot like an application that people commonly build with Flex
(-) Doesn't sound "cool" or "fun"
It would be cool if I could take an API provided by Adobe and build a better experience for it using Flex - like if these forums had an API, or bugs.adobe.com, or ideas.adobe.com or something like that.
Thanks for posting any ideas that might make the book great