12-14-2011 04:15 AM
Now that a first beta for the AIR SDK 2 arrived, is it finally possible to develop Flex aplications with it? Or are all the containers and elements still ActionScript only?
I can try it right now, because the downloads aren't available due to maintenance.
12-15-2011 02:31 AM
12-15-2011 10:06 AM
We have taking serious looks at Flex mobile in the past and have found it to be much slower and provides more overhead then we are willing to accept in our applications.
We continue to suport Flex on our devices and if you feel that Flex meets all our needs for your application then you have that option. It provides most of the same components that our SDK provides. You can continue to use all of the device API's from a Flex application. After all the Flex framework is written mostly all in ActionScript.
Separating design and implementation does not mean forcing people to use markup for their design. I am sure we could have a massive thread on why one is better then the other, but that is not really your point as Interface Builder is not markup but a design tool. Your point is to separate your design from your implementation, which I agree is a must. There are many ways to do this though.
The goal of our SDK was to provide a light weight component set to help developers, including our own internal teams, build applications. One of the biggest things we tried to do was to not make an application framework and force developers to do things in a specific way. In order for our components to fit in nicely with the Flex Framework and have them get laid out correctly in the Flex containers and layouts, it would require a very big dependancy on the Flex Framework. In doing so it would increase the memory and file size of applications greatly. This is something that we where not prepared to do. A blank Flex application is somewhere between 700-800K. That is pretty big for not having added anything to the stage yet.
At the end of the day if you want the most performant application on AIR Mobile you will need to use only ActionScript and this is where we and our SDK are focused.
12-15-2011 10:14 AM - edited 12-15-2011 10:14 AM
Nice thought out answer, jdolce!!
Has RIM considered participating in the flex development now that Adobe is planning to open source Flex - that way the overhead issue that you pointed out can be eliminated?
12-15-2011 11:35 AM
12-15-2011 03:14 PM
12-15-2011 09:14 PM
While it is true that Flex has more overhead than pure AS3, and that in you should optimize your components and especially item renderers for performance-critical parts of your app, there is no reason not to use it for non-critical parts or for prototyping. This is true for any framework - the more powerful, the more overhead it will have. The choice is yours.
Contrary to popular belief, Flex works just fine on PlayBook. In fact, it works much better on PlayBook than on other mobile platforms. The Spark (=Flex mobile) component suite has seen remarkable performance improvements since introduction. For small-scale projects the QNX/AS3 approach work just fine, but for large scale projects I'd personally recommend a mixture of both.
It is a fairly trivial task to wrap most QNX components in Flex wrappers. Once wrapped they can be re-used in multiple projects. Here is an example from Renaun Erickson:
You may need to skin your Flex components to look QNX-ish, if your app requires it.
You can also add QNX components to Flex containers at runtime from AS3.