The Blog

Mar 7, 2009

Flex Camp Miami: Welcome and Keynote (Flex 4 Preview) 

by Maxim Porges @ 8:31 AM | Link | Feedback (0)

Greg Wilson gave an abbreviated version of several presentations covering the new stuff we can expect in Flex 4 "Gumbo", including FXG, Flash Catalyst, and the various language, API, and tool changes we can expect.

I won't say that there was anything groundbreaking here that had not been seen in prior keynotes at MAX and similar large Flex events around the country, but that does not detract from the coolness of the things that are coming.

I'm personally most excited about Flash Catalyst and FXG. I'll reserve full judgement on the technologies until I get to use them, but my initial thoughts are that they are huge steps forward in separating presentation and structure of components. Even so, I think there might be a little more work to be done in this area to achieve full separation; for example, there appears to be a reliance for metadata to be added to the component class to provide hooks for the skin, which seems invasive at first glance (although again, I have not fully kicked the tires so I may be missing the significance of why this is unavoidable). That being said, one of the things that bothers me about Flex 3 today is the fact that you can't fully control positioning with CSS the same way that you can with HTML, but I believe that the new component skinning model takes care of this particular issue (at least on the individual component level).

In several "hands up" polls, Greg was able to identify that a significant chunk of the crowd had not used Flex professionally, which indicates that the event was successful in educating some future Flex-ers. I think it's great when an event can open doors for people, as opposed to just being a love-fest for people who have already drunk the Kool-Aid.

Finally, Greg handed out about $5,000 worth of training DVDs, books, and software, which was totally awesome. Thanks again to Adobe for footing the bill for these items (and let's not forget their covering of the pre-event beers at the Titanic the night before!).

All Flex Camp Miami Roundup Posts
Welcome and Keynote (Greg Wilson, Adobe)
Working with Data in AIR (David Tucker, Universal Mind)
In Search of AOP for AS3 (Maxim Porges, Highwinds)
Merapi or How To Blow Your Mind with AIR (Andrew Powell, Universal Mind)
The Art of Storytelling (Christian Saylor, Universal Mind)
Continuous Integration and Flex (Brian LeGros, Highwinds)
Spring & BlazeDS Integration (Jeremy Grelle, SpringSource)
Mate Flex Framework (Laura Arguello, ASFusion)