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That is correct. Think of the framework more like Microsoft Foundation Classes. If I write helloworld w/o MFC it is really small, but as soon as I use MFC, it gets big fast. You have to pay for the infrastructure somehow. Java isn't small either.
So RSLs are like DLLs and so you can put the components in an RSL and therefore have several apps share it, but it has to get downloaded once, so at some point, somebody is going to have to download 110K. Also RSLs are per-domain so all of the apps have to be hosted from the same domain as the RSL. There is no way to pre-install the RSL either (unlike pre-installing Java on all target machines).
Most of our end-users have high-speed internet and don't notice the 110K. Are your target customers on dial-up? Also, serious applications easily range into 100's of K so even if you cache the components the rest of the app might be slow to download on a slow connection.
You might want to share some of your ideas on target download sizes and why your customers need that configuration (slow connections, slow computers, some other issue), so our product managers can consider your needs.
Flash is streamed, so it turns out that you can start showing visuals way before the 110K of components comes down by customizing the preloader. You can't really start the app, although I suppose you could fake a login dialog, but you can certainly show startup progress and maybe give the user something to read or do.
At any rate, we'd like to see if we can help you get around your size concerns, so please try to share more information about your needs on this forum. There are some related projects in the works at Adobe that might be better suited to a lightweight-install kind of configuration and those folks may want to work with you as well.
Hi Flex harUI,
thanks for your message. unfortunately it does confirm my basic fears! we build a variety of different applications, though all concentrate on handling and displaying streaming data in some format or other (either tables of data, graphs based on the data, other derivative methods and so forth). some of these are obviously going to be heavyweight, at which point whether it's 500k or 5M doesn't really matter too much. however, some of them are very lightweight, so we would like to keep their size as small as possible.
our backend (ie connecting to the streaming services, authenticating and so forth) is done in ActionScript classes, so builds nice and small. however, if i wanted to build a lightweight component in Flex that simply connected to this streaming service and displayed one variable updating in a textfield, it would still take about 110K. I've prototyped this entirely in ActionScript, and it fits inside 4K, which is obviously far better for a lightweight component.
I guess it is possible to combine ActionScript front-ends for the lightweight components, and Flex for the heavyweight, but I was hoping Flex would be adaptive enough to not have such a huge overhead even when it looks like it's not contributing anything to the frontend.
Which leads me onto my other question - would it be possible to RSL-ise these basic Flex components? ie the used mx.* classes (textfields, datagrids, and so forth) - if I had 10 different 4K applications, the first of which had to download 200K of Flex components that the other 9 would then re-use, that would not be as painful in the long run. Or is it only custom Flex components that are compilable into an RSL?
Thanks again for your response,