3 Replies Latest reply on Jul 21, 2007 7:14 AM by Robert Hirst

    Flex 2/3 Big Missing Feature

    BerubeS
      Dear Adobe;
      We have migrated to the Flex platform and have been having great success with it for the most part. As a tool to build enterprise class products I'd say its well on its way. There is a huge feature missing for components build to run in the Flash Player (Not AIR). We have a requirement that the product must be web based, as in work in a web browser as its primary means for usage. The secondary requirement is that we can URL integrate IN and OUT of our application.

      Out : Integrate both flash and non-flash application UI's into our own (I'll get back to this one in a second.
      In: Have other applications URL integrate our application/subset or a specific screen into their application.

      Inbound integration we've prototyped and its 'ok'. I'm hoping the deep url integration in Flex 3 will help with this more.

      Outbound is where the real problem is. AIR has a nice component called HTML. Unfortunately it only works with AIR which is a show stopper for us. So I've both developed and helped others develop the iFrame controls you've seen around (ie. iFrame.mxml and HTMLComponent from Judah)

      While these work 'ok' they are really hacks to get around a badly lacking feature of Flex. URL integration with other products today is a huge requirement for building enterprise applications, and this workaround we are using won't cut it long term. Some reasons are wmode issues on browsers other than IE, accessibility conflicts and general product navigation.

      I implore you to address this issue in Flex and have it work in Flash Player (not just AIR). Is there no way for flash player to access the hosting browser API to render complex html/js from a remote URL within the SWF object?

      As more companies adopt flex and move away from the existing Web 2.0 headaches, issues like this are going to keep coming up.

      Other issues like localization you seem to be address in flex 3 (ie. remove url loading of message catalogs to avoid re-compile to add custom messages)
        • 1. Re: Flex 2/3 Big Missing Feature
          Robert Hirst Level 1
          I've been hit by the wmode issue with IFrames, when tested an application on Linux which floats a PDF over my Flex.

          The main reason that it work in Firefox on Linux was that there wasn't any support at the Firefox end, so there was no point in adding the feature... but it looks like Firefox contributors have finished the work needed in the last couple of weeks!:

          https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=137189

          So hopefully we'll be seeing from platform floating IFrame support.

          There was also a pretty hardcore hack someone noticed Google were using which lets you float HTML content over Flash even on Linux, did you ever come across that? If not and you can't find it, I'll try and dig out a link.

          Floating IFrames floats my boat, provided it can produce consistant results across all platforms.

          There is an issue with dot pitch on windows though... try changing the DPI and see where the lovingly position frame ends up!
          • 2. Re: Flex 2/3 Big Missing Feature
            BerubeS Level 1
            That is great to hear about firefox and wmode. I'll see if I can find that google hack. For IE I ended up removing wmode=opaque so Jaws would work. The only issue is sometimes the html iframe disappears when you click the Flash app, but not always.

            I guess the point on this thread is Adobe really should address this with the flex/flash player product and allow for URL/IFrame integration w/out all the hacks/fighting the product that currently needs to be done,
            • 3. Re: Flex 2/3 Big Missing Feature
              Robert Hirst Level 1
              Just found that link where the hack Google used is dissected:

              http://blog.marcoos.com/2006/07/21/html-div-above-a-flash-animation-on-linux-its-possible/

              I personally haven't used it , as the project I was working is for our intranet, and I'm the only one using Linux at the moment, so it was more of an annoyance than a major issue for me