d.construct, Mash My Flex Up

A presentation by Aral Balkan

Poor old Aral drew the short straw and was in the “graveyard shift” straight after lunch. I think he got us all on his side straight away by holding his hands up and coming clean:

[“Don’t shoot me, I’m a Flash developer!”]

Now I must confess that I’m no Flash guru. I have built one site with Flash5 (it was a long time ago!) and did a minimal amount of ActionScripting for that, but Aral’s knowledge and experience was way beyond mine! So I didn’t take too many notes, I just tried to watch and keep up 🙂

  • He gave a quick overview of Flex 2
  • Lets you declaratively design iterfaces by using MXML
  • MXML is XML
  • Scripting uses ActionScript3 (which is ECMAScript4)
  • Looks like Java, smells like Ruby
  • AS3 is optionally typed, and a dynamic language
  • Compile MXML and AS3 to SWF bitecode
  • Each MXML tag represents an AS3 class
  • SWF bytecode executes in the Flash Player which is a virtual machine
  • Flex2 SDK is cross-platform and free
  • FlexBuilder2 is a visaul IDE based on Eclipse, costing ~£370
  • There’s Flex Data Services and Server
  • RPC and real-time communication, video and audio streaming
  • There are also open source alternatives like Red5, AMFPHP and openAMF

Styling is applied with CSS. Data can be consumed via the following formats:

  • REST (see previous blog post)
  • SOAP
  • JSON
  • Flash Remoting (= binary JSON)

For more information, see Aral’s website and download his presentation.

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