2 Replies Latest reply on Jun 21, 2010 6:49 AM by Noam.Taragan

    Problems with Flex 4 - Help!!!


      These are some issues that we find problematic in Flex 4 and wish someone can lead us in the right way:


      1.       Style properties in MX components: some of the styles are not supported any more. Is there a workaround this issue? What are the alternatives for those styles (e.g.: data grid: header colors property is not supported)

      2.       Working with graphics designer: as far as we have seen, the official graphics package by Adobe (Catalyst) does not support many of Flex 4 graphics components (e.g.: components). Are we missing something here? Is there any alternative to Catalyst?

      3.       We have experienced difficulties in mixing Spark and MX components. For example, chart (MX) can not contain a Spark scroll. Is there a way to do that?

      4.       We have seen a decrease in performance in Flex 4 application vs. Flex 3. Is that a known issue? Is there something to do about it with regards to the way we design, develop and build our application?


      Any help will be highly appreciated!

        • 1. Re: Problems with Flex 4 - Help!!!
          Flex harUI Adobe Employee

          1. The main premise of Spark is that you have a development workflow that

          involves a graphic designer who can draw but can't code.  That's why there

          are fewer styles.  Instead of having the designer learn all of the style

          properties, they just draw what they want it to look like and that becomes a

          new skin or a portion of a new skin.  There are Spark styles for things that

          you commonly change at runtime, but not as many for tweaking every aspect of

          the visuals.


          If you like the old workflow where we have code-based skins with lots of

          styles that affect most of the visual aspects, you can revert the MX

          components to use the Halo theme or design your own theme with programmatic

          skins and lots of styles.


          So, the alternative for "missing styles" is custom skins.


          2.  Assuming you have a graphic designer available, there are still a couple

          of common workflows that involve designers.  Catalyst is a tool for a

          particular development workflow where the designer draws what the app should

          look like and then the designer or someone else carves up the drawing into

          components.  There is little support for writing tons of code as the

          Catalyst user is not expected to be a programmer.  Not all apps can be

          created this way, and not all components are serviced by Catalyst partly

          because the configuration of some components didn't map well to the Catalyst

          workflow and partly because we ran out of time.


          The alternative workflow where you write code and solicit input from a

          graphic designer along the way is still supported by Flash Builder 4.


          3.  Spark Scroller is a container and Charts are MX controls.  I don't think

          we support putting containers in MX controls.  I'm not sure what you are

          trying to achieve, but normally, you would put the Chart in a Spark

          Scroller, not the other way around.


          4.  Spark is built as a layer on top of the MX UIComponent infrastructure

          and has new capabilities like support for rotation and z, and the new

          FTE/TLF text engine.  There is a cost to being a layer, but in general, we

          haven't seen it to be significant.  If you have a simple test case, please

          file a bug so we can track the investigation.


          We have seen measurable performance issues with FTE/TLF as it has to do more

          thinking in order to be able to handle right-to-left languages so if your

          app is heavily text-driven, you might be seeing that.  4.1 should contain

          significant improvements in FTE/TLF performance, although it still may be a

          bit slower than the old TextField.  But that's the going price of bi-di

          language support.

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Problems with Flex 4 - Help!!!
            Noam.Taragan Level 1

            Thank you very much for your detailed and helpful reply.


            Tough, we are still confused about how should it all work.


            We have a large group of experienced Flex developers and we also have a pretty large group of Graphical designers, experienced working with Illustrator, Photoshop and Fireworks.


            If not Catalyst what would you say be the most comprehensive tool for them to use in order to produce Spark Skins? By comprehensive I mean contains the more components and can edit most of their properties?


            Ideally, from our perspective, the designer should produce the skin without a programmer having to edit it- all the programmer would have to do is import the files the designer created in CS4 or the like.


            What should be then the recommended workflow in the case of Spark?