20 Replies Latest reply on Mar 25, 2011 3:08 PM by Zolotoj

    Flex UI controls - Commercial libraries ?

    VirtualCoder Level 1

      Folks,

       

      Are there any such beasts out there - commercial UI control libraries ?

       

      Or am I right that the Flex team is way to disorganized (perhaps out of control disorganizaed) that nobody is willing to bet their development dollars for such commercial libraries - seeing how they change approaches and frameworks as often as they change their underwear ?

       

      So, name me anyone out there who develops commercial class libraries for the Adobe Flex/AiR platforms ?  Anyone worth mentioning and I will shut up. Otherwise, please spare me your "adobe certified consultant" adobe but kissing.

       

      Thanks,

      vc

        • 1. Re: Flex UI controls - Commercial libraries ?
          Codeflayer

          At the risk of feeding the troll....

           

          Why would you need commercial libraries? For the most part everything that you need is included out of the box or is easy enough to create that I doubt many would spend the money on a 3rd party UI library. If it doesn't fit into the easy to create category then I'd wager that the component is very specialized and wouldn't have much use to the general public.

           

          That said there's a number of 3rd party chart libraries available for Flash and Flex (AnyCharts, FusionCharts come to mind)

           

          Also, did you really want them to stick with the MX component architecture? Spark is a vast improvement and it's backward compatible to the MX components.

           

          Maybe rather than jumping in here and slamming Adobe you could describe the problem you're trying to solve.

          • 2. Re: Flex UI controls - Commercial libraries ?
            JeffryHouser Level 4

            VirtualCoder wrote:

             

            Folks,

             

            Are there any such beasts out there - commercial UI control libraries ?

             

             

             

            http://www.flextras.com (My Company)

            http://www.drumbeatinsight.com

            http://www.adobe.com/products/flex/ibmilogelixir/

            http://www.flexicious.com/

             

            I know more exist.

            • 3. Re: Flex UI controls - Commercial libraries ?
              JeffryHouser Level 4

              Codeflayer wrote:

               

              Why would you need commercial libraries? For the most part everything that you need is included out of the box

               

              CodeFlayer,

               

              Given the multitiude of "open source" components out there; I would hardly say that everything you need is included in Flex "out of the box".  The reason to go commercial instead of open source is because the company wants to get someone on the phone to help in case things go really wrong.

              • 4. Re: Flex UI controls - Commercial libraries ?
                Codeflayer Level 1

                Good point. I'd honestly never heard of any third party libraries until you posted those links (That HTML component looks pretty cool!) Then again, I wasn't looking for them either. I'm glad to hear there's a thriving market for 3rd party components. Maybe I'll try and sell some of my own

                • 5. Re: Flex UI controls - Commercial libraries ?
                  JeffryHouser Level 4

                  Codeflayer wrote:

                  I'm glad to hear there's a thriving market for 3rd party components. Maybe I'll try and sell some of my own

                  As someone "in that market" I'd hardly call it thriving.  But, it does exist.

                   

                  I do wish you luck, though.

                  • 6. Re: Flex UI controls - Commercial libraries ?
                    VirtualCoder Level 1

                    First you speculate that you may be feeding a troll (which is always a possibility) and then you end up showing your own developer [im]maturity by asking why I would ever want to purchase commerical controls.  So, you either are a butt kissing adobe certified consultant "who can do everything" and who are always slapping others around for even daring to use something that goes outside of what they know and bleed everyone else with.  However, I take it all back and even appologize if you are not.

                     

                    Personally, I am a builder of business applications that have some elements of either "richness" or "internet" and neither of those two is my specialty.  Therefore, I am always on the lookout for components that others have built and have no problem shelling out several hundred dollars per component, even per each use case as it would always end up costing me lot more to reinvent those existing wheels.

                     

                    I have a use case that deals with naviation of hierarchical data and that initself is not all that specialized because most data out there is quite hierarchical in nature - along the lines of starting at the universe, drilling down into planets, continents, countries, states, cities, neighbourhoods, villages, streets, houses, bedrooms and even bedroom partners.

                     

                    So, I came across this JQuery example - the hierarchical menu on the left hand side.  As I was contemplating how even I could build it out of 2 lists (one at the top to hold the selected hierarchy and one at the bottom to hold the bottom level menu items) I realized that in Flex we do not have anything more than bread and butter components and that there is no commercial industry to speak of and that revolves around Flex, as it revolves around so many other frameworks.

                     

                    Here is that example control and I would easily pay $500 for it with source code and a right to use it within just one single application.

                    http://api.jquery.com/browser/

                    • 7. Re: Flex UI controls - Commercial libraries ?
                      Codeflayer Level 1

                      Nope, not an "Adobe Certified Consultant" but maybe I should look into that. Apparently I have what it takes.

                       

                      I'm just speaking from my own experiences. Typically it would take me less time to write a custom component than to hunt down exactly what I'm looking for over the internet. But this line of thinking assumes that one is a software engineer or at least likes to write their own code. Judging by the rest of your statement, that's not what you do.

                       

                      What baffles me is why you would waste your time on a forum devoted to those who actually want to write code in Flex complaining that Flex and the community aren't meeting your specific needs. It sounds like you need to hire someone who will do the work that you're unwilling to do.

                       

                      As to the jQuery take on the tree, is that a standard component? Does it come out of the box ready to use? If so great! Maybe jQuery has the components you need to build whatever it is you're trying to build. As a builder of business applications you should weigh the costs and benefits of the technologies you wish to use and go with the one that meets your needs.

                      • 8. Re: Flex UI controls - Commercial libraries ?
                        VirtualCoder Level 1

                        Sorry to disappoint you but you sound more like a "sofware hacker" than someone who is qualified to be a "software engineer" because the ladder re-invent the wheels only when they have to.

                         

                        Furthermore, have you looked at JIRA and the embarrassing number of bug reports that have been logged for Flex?  So, if Adobe Flex "sofware engineers" can not consume the slop that they are putting out than what hope do the rest of us "application developers" have?

                         

                        When all is said and done, you might have at least half an argument if it was not for the fact that Adobe does not position and market Flex as a tool set that requires ultimate "sofware engineering" skills but rather as a product that is supposedly easy to use for applications development.

                         

                        Regardless of everything else, it is more than evident that when it comes to "sofware engineering" the Flex team has failed miserably, time after time. The fact is that they (not I) cooked up the MX slop, only to change it with some half baked and mostly unfinished "Spark".  Actually, "Spark" is a great name because it does show a spark of what could be done.  Sadly, it is far from being a stable burning flame that we need.

                         

                        You would be mostly right if it was not for the sad fact that Adobe Flex team is proving you wrong.  So, do not expect us application developers to be able to do what they themselves are clearly incapable of doing well.

                        • 9. Re: Flex UI controls - Commercial libraries ?
                          JeffryHouser Level 4

                          @VirtualCoder

                           

                          Looking at some of your past posts; you are often negative about Flex and sometimes belligerent to other members of the forum.  It is no surprise to me that some may approach your posts as flame bait.

                           

                          VirtualCoder wrote:


                          The fact is that they (not I) cooked up the MX slop, only to change it with some half baked and mostly unfinished "Spark".  Actually, "Spark" is a great name because it does show a spark of what could be done.  Sadly, it is far from being a stable burning flame that we need.

                           

                          I personally wouldn't call MX Slop.  I wouldn't call Spark unfinished either.  Spark as a framework for building, and styling, components is solid.

                           

                          You might call the Spark component set incomplete, which is a fair criticism.  

                           

                          Neither approach, or component set is perfect, but no programming library / toolset / framework I've used is. 

                          • 10. Re: Flex UI controls - Commercial libraries ?
                            Codeflayer Level 1

                            By your definition someone is a "hacker" if they write their own code as opposed to lifting it from the internet? Even if lifting it takes more time??? Is that really what you're going with here?

                             

                            Then you go on to try to base the quality of Flex on the number of bugs logged against it? You do realize that their JIRA is open to the public right? That I, you, or anyone else can log bugs against it. How many of those are duplicates or feature requests? Would you prefer that their bug system was not available to the public? I and many others appreciate that it's as open as it is even if it shows some of the warts.

                             

                            But like I said, if Flex doesn't meet your needs then find something that does. You seem to be a big fan of jQuery. Why not go there? Maybe they have the answers you need.

                            • 11. Re: Flex UI controls - Commercial libraries ?
                              VirtualCoder Level 1

                              Facts:

                               

                              (1) Each time when I have been "beligerent" to other members, each and every time an adobe *** kissing "adobe certified" and self serving consultant jumped in.  If you look a bit closer, you will notice actual niceness to individual Adobe employees because what I am criticizing is the overall what seams to be leaderless effort and not any one of the individuals.  Even I would bet that the individual pieces add up to lot more than the sloppy whole. 

                               

                              (2) Number of logged JIRA issues is unprecedented in the so called SOFWARE ENGINEERING world.  That is the sad(dest) fact.

                               

                              (3) Flex might be a great "framework" and if it was being sold as just that then I would likely be OK with that but it is not.  It is being sold as a RIA development tool and NOT as a framework with which one develops their own tools.  RIA or even any type of application sofware development and tool-set building are two totally different areas that require quite different skill sets.  That is a fact and as such, it is total insanity to be posing as a RIA development tool when it is mostly a tool with which one (but who?) could develop tools that RIA developers need.  In fact, if you think about it a bit more, Flex as a framework is an excellent tool for third party tools and components developers for building tools that RIA developers need.  However, it is such a half-baked mess that next to none have dare to bet their farms on such slop.

                              • 12. Re: Flex UI controls - Commercial libraries ?
                                UbuntuPenguin Level 4

                                LOVE YOU Virtual Coder !  You add spice to the forums.

                                 

                                And to you Adobeans, I think you all have an idea of which direction the component naming should take.  I would like to vote that the next batch of components be named one of the following "fire","inferno","flamethrower","Human Torch","GreatChicagoFire".

                                • 13. Re: Flex UI controls - Commercial libraries ?
                                  VirtualCoder Level 1

                                  UP, with name suggestions like that, it is not quite clear on which side of this argument you are and especially considering that fact that those name suggestions support what I am saying but in a mocking way.

                                   

                                  Forget all of my arguments and tell me just one thing.  Why would they take 2 open software products and then choke off some of the most critical features. For example WebKit supports the notion of plug-ins but not as far as Flex *decision makers* are concerned.

                                   

                                  However, the most ridiculous one is to do with SQL Lite and the fact that they needlessly stripped it of full-text-searching. Are any of you in software product management and would you ever contemplate doing such a stupid thing and especially if it was free for the taking and provided and supported by the open sofware community that Adobe tries so hard to make us believe that they are part of.

                                   

                                  Anyone?

                                  • 14. Re: Flex UI controls - Commercial libraries ?
                                    Codeflayer Level 1
                                    (2) Number of logged JIRA issues is unprecedented in the so called SOFWARE ENGINEERING world.  That is the sad(dest) fact.

                                     

                                    [Citation Needed]

                                     

                                    So I'll ask a third time. Why are you here again VirtualCoder? When it's clear that Flex doesn't provide what you need.

                                    • 15. Re: Flex UI controls - Commercial libraries ?
                                      VirtualCoder Level 1

                                      (1) You have access to JIRA so take a look at those sad numbers.  On the flip side, maybe you can give us citations that support those numbers and those levels of misery as being a normal thing.

                                       

                                      (2) I am here because I got sucked into it.  I learned MX to an OK level but mostly on the "Spark" promise and then got sucker punched into its beta and actually loving what I saw *as a great proof of concept".  However, sadly enough, it is still lot closer to a proof of concept then a polished off an complete reality.  But even then, I managed to putz about and get by.  Then I made a totally collasal mistake by *assuming* that SQL Lite *is* SQL Lite - complete *WITH* FULL-TEXT-SEARCH.  Too deep, both to go on and too deep to go back, here I am venting my frustration for basically being lied and/or sucker punched by having no reason to assume that they would break what is already there and working in the community version of SQL Lite.

                                       

                                      (*) RICH INTERNET APPLICATION development with UNRICHED DATABASE SEARCHING capabilities.  Apparently they are still struggling to get out of that CARTOONISH FLASH mentality !

                                      • 16. Re: Flex UI controls - Commercial libraries ?
                                        Codeflayer Level 1

                                        Based on how widely used Flex is, the openness of their bug tracking system, and the ratio of closed bugs vs open bugs, I'd say their bug numbers look pretty darn good.

                                         

                                        So you're here ranting on the forums because they took out SQLite plugins?

                                        • 17. Re: Flex UI controls - Commercial libraries ?
                                          JeffryHouser Level 4

                                          What other "big software projects" have public bug bases?

                                           

                                          I think the number of "reported bugs" in Flex seems staggering because you can actually see the list, and anyone can post.  I doubt that the number of bugs is uncommon.

                                          • 18. Re: Flex UI controls - Commercial libraries ?
                                            UbuntuPenguin Level 4

                                            You'll have to ask them why they disabled full text searching.  That is a plus about the forum though, there are actual developers that hang around

                                            . In fact, there is a thread concerning the loss of FTS and some of the head engineers responded.  That was in 2010, so you probably could PM

                                            them if you want a true in form engineering response.  I would be interested to find out why FTS was removed too.

                                             

                                            Kind of reminds me when harUI explained why the crossdomain policy file was necessary. At first it seems to be an annoyance placed there by a software architect having a bad day.  Then harUI came in and explained it, I forget what the reason was, but it had something to do with the zombie apocalypse and the fall of mankind.

                                             

                                            PS., Unit testing would have allowed you to see the lack of FTS much earlier than when you did.  That is of course if I am thinking you found it WELL after overcommitting.  And those names are awesome, I expect to get a call from Adobe's legal department as to obtaining the rights any minute now.

                                            • 19. Re: Flex UI controls - Commercial libraries ?
                                              VirtualCoder Level 1

                                              >> I expect to get a call from Adobe's legal department as to obtaining the rights any minute now.

                                               

                                              On that classy note, my wishes for a great weekend to everyone.

                                              • 20. Re: Flex UI controls - Commercial libraries ?
                                                Zolotoj Level 3

                                                You would need components just like you need different sets of tools in your tool shed. if I call a plumber who would have just a screwdriver in his toolbox that would be very scary. In order to develop world class (or at least, attractive to your client)  applications you would definitely want to use external components that have been commercially developed, tested, and etc. I have noticed too that Flex does not have a vast number of third party components out there. But I do love the product and not going to leave the trenches.  Because every new product is a lot of pain learning it, don't see a point to jump form one to another. Better, bite the bullet and keep learning damn thing. Just my two bytes.