Thursday, March 11, 2010

Lessons learned at 360Flex

It's time to reflect a bit about the latest 360Flex. This was a good time to learn about Hardware integration with the Flash Platform. Here we have integration with Arduino boards (via as3glue or merapi).  Also, I learned a bit about JComm as well as how these sensors can send Event objects whereby one can react and listen (think credit card readers, robots, etc). Nice possibilities that make so much sense for thick client applications using Adobe Air... Very exciting.

I also learned about Reflex, a new open source project aimed at building lightweight components for the Flash Platform.  Unlike Flex, Reflex components do not extend UIComponent, thus allowing components to have less clutter.  Most of these is achieved by virtue of Sprite objects This means that custom UI components simply do what they need to do without all the properties (that are hardly used yet consume space in the Flash Virtual Machine when loaded).  With the much heated debate between HTML5 and Flash, it is certainly possible that Reflex can make companies in the mobile device industry (e.g. Apple) believers in the Flash Platform (again) since lightweight components really means less SWF file sizes and, potentially, less energy consumption. Very compelling value proposition!

I also learned about the Swiz Framework, Robotlegs and the Mate framework. So far, I had a chance to play with Swiz and I'm liking it very much. I've been suggested to also try Robotlegs, so I'll give it a try in the next few weeks.  Very cool days coming ahead for me. Can't wait to try these!

Last, but not least, I was very impressed by some of the changes in Flex 4 (that is not Spark). I heard a presentation from Deepa Sabramanian (now a Product Manager of the Flex sdk) presenting these changes. I was very happy to see some of the compiler optimization, the Text Engine framework as well as some of the integration with Pixel Bender. Very nice demo showing possibilities. Very exciting!

In summary, I'm looking forward to experiment with the some of the frameworks shortly.

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