Adobe Flex 2.0 training day 1
6 November , 2006
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When the first beta of ADOBE Flex 2.0 came out to public I played with it like a little child doing stuff that had no real purpose (like play with webcam and sound possibilities,… ) but you can also make wonderfull “real life” projects with it. So a few weeks ago I was reading about the first official Flex 2.0 training from Adobe at Belgium (organised by Multimediacollege) and I decided to follow the 5 day course so I would be able also to make some serious programs with it :-). Technical University of West-Flanders, department PIH, where I work, has to miss me for a week but I will come back next week with a lot of extra knowledge which I want to teach my last year students as soon as possible :-).
Today was the first day and I have the intention to post every day a bit of a summary of the key points we learned. The first three days mainly focus on developing rich internet applications in Flex 2.0. The last two days focus on de Flex Data Services 2. The course is given by Simon Slooten, one of the really few certified master instructors for Adobe Flex 2.0 in the world.
What we talked about today:
- an introduction to Rich Internet Applications and the evulution of RIA during the last 10 years. We talked about Allaire (who invented Coldfusion) and the merger with Macromedia. A new platform for internet enabled applications was born, but everything was still using a page based model. As we all know Macromedia decided at a given time to make the Flash player as accessible as possible. As you know that in future 500 million people in China will be connected to the internet without a PC (using phones, PDA, other handheld devices,…)you know that Macromedia made a very good decision. But one of the big reasons for Flex was that it was very difficult to make applications in the Flash IDE so Flex was born. In Flex we do not have a timeline and a movieclip based system. It’s now all based on Sprites which is actually a lightweight MovieClip version (eg without the timeline…). A good example to demonstrate the possibilities of Flex 2.0 is the Schiphol application or even the new yahoo maps application.
- The “must do” looking to the interface .
- We made a simple Flex application using different layout models. We talked about containers, properties of components, … so what we call basic layout stuff.
- Then we started with user interface controls and data binding. This all resulted in making an own “custom” MXML component. The binding is really important because when we compare with AS 2.0: AS 2.0 compiler monitores everything (every variable) eg 12 times per second. In contrast with this AS 3.0 did not monitores anything; when you want a variable to be updated 12 times per second, you have to make it bindable with the bindable option. This main difference between AS 2 and 3 results in an increased performance.
- As we all know Actionscript is an event driven programming language. Every second there are 100’s of events fired. You know when an event occurs something should happen but most of the events are fired but not used during application runs. Think about the MouseMove event, it is fired for every pixel your mouse is moved. Events work with classes and function calls are used when events are fired. We learned to handle these events with actionscript 3.0 functions. A good best practice is to use a initApp() function which initialises all events on particular objects like a button. This way of working makes a strict separation between design and development possible. (Model-View-Controller).
- At last we worked with several Flex components to get familiar with it and started our application we will work on during this training week.
tired but satisfied looking forward to tomorrow 🙂