Learning Adobe Flex

With the existing stream of building rich internet applications (RIAs) I also have to look at this technology. So I started learning Adobe Flex because after some talk with collegues and looking around it looks like this is the most stable and widely used technology. JavaFX is just starting and has still a long way to go and Silverlight just only runs on Windows machines with IE installed.

So the first I had to do was browsing the documentation at Adobe Open Source and getting a feeling of Flex. This means mainly downloading the SDK, looking at the examples and fiddling around with them. The concept with declaring the user interface in XML is nice and makes it really easy building simple forms and screens. With the mechanism of having an id-map in the application from where the application code, UI and everything gets and displays the entered/computed text works well. Also with ActionScript which is like JavaScript but with just a little bit more type information makes it also easier for a Java developer to dig into it. One of the biggest points is the extensive API documentation. The structure with having an example available for each UI component and function is quite charming. I hope to see this kind of documentation also in some other projects.

As an example I’d written a small application to calculate the real inflation adjusted return for a one-year cash-investment in a CD.


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