Many people have asked me this question – what is the best way to learn Adobe Flex in shortest time? Based on my own experience and feedback from my coworkers, the answer is: Watching Flex Video Tutorials.
Instead of spending a month on digesting a heavy Flex programming book with 500+ pages, you might get a better understanding through a good video course in a couple of hours.
Here are some places I highly recommend you to start with:
Do you struggle to find out which Adobe Flex book is best for you? You’re not alone. Considering there are so many books in the market, such as Flex Bible, Flex Cookbook, and Flex for Dummies, it is hard to make your mind. The bottom line is, you don’t want to buy a book only dusting on your bookcase later. So in this post, I like to share with you five ways to pick up a right Adobe Flex book.
Since coined by Macromedia in 2002, RIA (Rich Internet Application) has become one of the hottest terms online. However, what is RIA? Not all people have a clear answer. Many times, when someone says RIA, he actually means Flash, AJAX, or Web Video. A typical example is, some companies put “X years RIA experience” in their job requirements, while they actually want someone good at HTML.
So, what is RIA any way? It is a set of characteristics rather than a specific framework. To understand this, let’s look at 7 Difference Between RIA and Traditional Web Application:
Recently I came cross an excellent article, which gave a crash course in using Flash Builder 4 to develop Flex applications. With the permission of the original site (http://www.packtpub.com, author: Romin Irani), I post it on FlexTutorial.org. For the purpose of easy reading, I divided the original article into 4 parts. I hope this will provide first hand information to anyone interested in RIA (Rich Internet Application) development.
Using Flash Builder Data Services
In this section, we will write the same application that we have written in part one. However this time we will not write the code ourselves instead we’ll let the Flash Builder generate the code for us. Flash Builder comes with powerful new features that ease integration with external services. It can auto generate client code that can invoke external services for us and bind the results to existing User Interface components.
Yahoo! News Application
Let us write another application, we will call it the Yahoo! News Application. This application shows a list of current news items from Yahoo that has been classified as “most emailed“.
Yahoo! provides this list in the form of a RSS feed. The RSS feed for the same is: http://rss.news.yahoo.com/rss/mostemailed.
Let us first look at the application when it is all ready so that we can understand what we are trying to build.
Hello World using Flash Builder 4
In this section, we will be developing a basic Hello World application. While the application does not do much, it will help you get comfortable with the Flash Builder IDE.
Launch the Flash Builder IDE. We will be creating a Flex Project. Flash Builder will help us create the Project that will contain all our files.
The article is intended towards developers who have never used Flex before and would like to exercise a “Hello World” kind of tutorial. The article does not aim to cover Flex and FB4 in detail but rather focuses on the mechanics of FB4 and getting an application running with minimal effort.
For developers familiar with Flex and the predecessor to Flash Builder 4 (Flex Builder 2 or 3), it contains an introduction to FB4 and some differences in the way you go about building Flex Applications using FB4.
Are you still struggling to find out which RIA solution is best for you? With so many frameworks to choose – AJAX, Adobe Flash, Adobe Flex, Microsoft SilverLight, OpenLaszlo, Curl, JavaFX, do you feel lost somehow?
You have seen all kinds of comparisons or reviews online, such as:
- AJAX vs. Flex vs. SilverLight
- 10 reasons to love AJAX (or Flex, or SilverLight, or …)
- 10 reasons to hate AJAX (or Flex, or SilverLight, or …)
At the end of the day, you may wonder: “Now What?”
The good news is, life can be much simpler! You are not here to select the best movie for OSCAR. Your job is to simply find the most suitable RIA framework for YOU!
As an example, I’d like to share with you why Flex is good for me. My top 5 reasons are:
Why do you need Flex CursorManager
Flex is all about User Experience. A Rich Internet Application (RIA) is not just attractive skins or fancy animations. It also means interacting with users and helping them use your application better.
One important part of User Experience is to provide a better visual feedback. For example, when someone types a model name and clicks Search button, it might take 2-3 seconds to get results from a web service. What would a user do during that time? He or she probably keeps clicking the Search button, or thinks your application is dead.
So how to let users know what is going on with your application? You need to give them some visual feedback: like show the busy cursor when waiting for the back end response, and then remove the busy cursor when the data is ready.
To control the cursor image in Flex, you need CursorManager.