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GUI Graphics Programming

Flash Builder 4 — Defective By Design? 66

Posted by timothy
from the mote-in-your-eye dept.
ApolloX writes "Adobe has released its new version of the Flex Builder, now renamed Flash Builder 4. This version is radically different from previous versions of Flex, introducing the new Spark architecture and theme support. While I am pleased Adobe has finally added support for Eclipse 3.5, I am disappointed with some of the new architecture changes that make doing simple things, such as skinning a button, now quite cumbersome."
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Flash Builder 4 — Defective By Design?

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  • Go learn CSS and JavaScript, you big baby!

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Flash is a "good enough" technology for me. It does what I want (some flash games and streaming video), It has become the defacto-standard in online streaming, which is nice for 99% of users because they only have to install flash once and they are done.
    The main "issue" I have with flash, is that it closed source (unless i'm completely off base) and closed API (again unless i'm completely off base), but thats not really a problem since adobe does make flash creation suite that is pretty powerful form what I

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by josath (460165)

      The main "issue" I have with flash, is that it closed source (unless i'm completely off base) and closed API (again unless i'm completely off base)

      Yeah you're kinda off base here.

      The full Flash runtime which executes the movies is closed source.

      The spec for the SWF file format is open.

      The source for the portion of the runtime dealing with interpreting / executing scripts (the ActionScript VM) is open source.

      The flash compiler is open source.

      The framework which provides lots of UI components is open source.

      I'm not sure what you mean by 'closed API', but the documentation on all the APIs provided by the flash player is completely open, you can browse th

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Alex Zepeda (10955)
        1.) Why? Because Flash can't even bother to provide a decent experience on desktop apps. Desktop Flash doesn't blend in with the native widgets at all. They don't look the same, they don't respond in the same way. The useful internationalization features that native widgets have... non-native Flash widgets lack. They don't respond to mouse input in the same way (often rendering scroll-wheels useless). Now move all of those complaints to a mobile platform where the mobile OS maker has spent some time tr
        • Of course, Flash also manages to kill my battery life... and utterly fail at playing even low-res video on my Core2 Duo laptop.

          I have a ton of things open, and can still play low-res Flash videos on a fairly old system (pre-Core2 Duo). I call BS.

    • I tried to like flash, I really did, but it has proven to be of VERY limited utility. Look how flash is actually used on sites now.
      1) Advertising - this helps me how? I can't say how much I hate sites that start blaring some crap at top volume as soon as I navigate to the page.
      2) Web Site splash screens - OK, where's the skip button so I can actually get to content? I have yet to see, since the inception of Flash, a splash screen that imparted useful information
      3) Games - OK, this is

  • Was this an effort for recovering from the hit it has received from the lack of support by iPad, iPhone and similars?

    It doesn't seem like a good idea to make a interface so different that it looks broken in a moment like this.

  • by josath (460165) on Friday April 02, 2010 @07:43PM (#31711262) Homepage
    Basically his main complaint is that the new API is not fully backwards compatible with the old API. They came very close, so it's possible to combine the two if you want, but it's not 100%. Generally you will most likely be keeping your old apps in Flex 3, and write new apps in Flex 4. The new skinning feature is an amazing feature. His example of 51 lines of code to replace 5 isn't really fair, his 51 lines of code has a ton of stuff that isn't required, and yet the new skinning features can do a million things that the old simpler one could not. Not sure how this random blog post by an inexperienced developer got approved on Slashdot...oh wait, it's critical of Flash and Adobe, now it makes sense.
    • Just wanted to add that I've been using Flex 4 in production for more than 6 months now, and there is absolutely no reason I would ever go back to Flex 3. My first project with 4 was to convert a Flex 3 app to Flex 4, and while the transition wasn't easy, it was quite smooth. In addition, I got the chance to replace all the old buttons with nice vector button skins, which reduced file size, and I picked up a massive performance increase just by switching to spark.
  • by Layth (1090489) on Friday April 02, 2010 @07:58PM (#31711368)

    Seasoned actionscript and flex developer here.. I read this article a few days ago, his points are all nonsense.
    #1 Duplicate code base - The libraries only include what files you reference, like c++. If you don't want the other classes, then don't use them! It's that easy
    #2 There is an in-depth article by Joan Lafferty that goes over migrating from flex 3 to gumbo. This guy is bitching about his ignorance towards the process, not the process itself.
    #3 Yeah, there is more code.. But guess what? There is also CODE GENERATION in flash builder 4, specifically for skinning. All those extra lines of code are generated for you, so who cares. It's not like you have to actually write them.

    You want some legitimate complains about flash builder? This guy doesn't really know what he's talking about, and he's not going to give them to you.
    There is one huge complaint that I have, and that is the ridiculous name change from Flex Builder to Flash Builder.

    It would make sense, really, if Flash Builder could build flash files. But it can't. If you try to create a Flash file it tells you that you need to install CS5 to use that feature.
    And CS5 isn't even released yet. WTF? It's not even in open beta, so you can't install it even if you were okay with using a beta product in conjunction with a released product.. and yet there are articles posted on adobes web site talking about how you can edit flash files now with "Flash" Builder.. sadly, not true. And it doesn't work in conjunction with CS4, so even if you have that they're strong-arming people into the upgrade.

    • by Rossman (593924)

      See, I never got that complaint (the name change).

      Flex Builder and Flash Professional both create flash files (SWFs). The only difference is that, in general, people that use Flex Builder, also use MXML and the Flex framework.

      But, you can still create Actionscript-only projects in Flex Builder that don't use the Flex framwork, and you can easily integrate Flash Professional into your workflow if you need to include timeline animations and so forth by publishing out assets from your FLA as an SWC that you c

      • by Kenja (541830)
        I use "Flex Builder" to compile "Flash" all the time. Its the same compiler. Only difference is the libs its packaged with. If you dont use the Adobe Flash (tm) libs that are unique to Flash (tm) you can write flash apps all you want with Flex.
        • I understand where your confusion is coming from, seeing as how flash builder can build content for the flash player, and all of these different adobe formats run on the same fvm (flash virtual machine).

          I never said that flash builder cannot build flash content -- I said that it cannot build flash files.

          Whether you use the flex framework, straight AS3 or flash professional, what you have in the end is a shockwave file (swf) for users to interact with.
          You could, alternatively, have a compiled shockwave file

      • by Layth (1090489)

        Have you ever migrated a large project from flash professional into a flex development environment?
        It's not as simple as you're suggesting, because business-world library elements are often integrated into various base classes and possess ties throughout the project.

        If you simply export them into a .swc, they will continue to be associated with those classes, and any code change will require you to re-publish from flash professional.. is flash builder even your development environment if you're not compilin

        • by Rossman (593924)

          Actually I wasn't suggesting anything about migrating projects from Flash Pro to Flash Builder :)

          Agreed, that would be a pain for precisely the reasons you've mentioned, but my point was that I am 100% for the name change to Flash Builder because I think it more accurately describes what the software does - create flash files (swfs).

          • by Layth (1090489)

            swf stands for shockwave file
            fla stands for flash file, which is a format that flash builder cannot create

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Well, yes. It is flash after all.

  • by jaiyen (821972) on Friday April 02, 2010 @08:09PM (#31711438)

    "Defective By design" is meant to refer solely to products intentionally crippled by DRM.

    I think it's an effective slogan for that, and its meaning will be trivialized by calling what are intended to be positive changes or features "defective by design". Don't do the *AA's work for them!

  • For some odd reason, this guy can't figure out that there is a difference between the IDE and the SDK. The Flash Builder IDE, which was released last week supports both the older 2.x, and 3.x SDKs. Not only does it support it, it has all the code hinting, wizards, and everything else one would expect from an IDE. Targeting a different SDK version is as simple as chainging the properties in your project.

    The newer 4.0 SDK is different, but nobody is forcing you to use it. It is an open-source project (htt

  • How many button skins does it take to make a nice pair of gloves?
  • Eclipse has to be the worst environment ever made--and I've used Lotus Designer.

    It's great Adobe made a legit IDE for their various tech(Flash, ActionScript, ColdFusion). But when it's built on top of the steaming pile that's Eclipse, how effective of a tool can it really be?

    I do Flash and ColdFusion development. I've tried to use Flex Builder 3, and the Flash Builder 4 betas. It just isn't good. Every time I try to write code with something based on Eclipse, I'm fighting the IDE more than I'm actually writ

    • by mjbkinx (800231)
      Maybe you would prefer IntelliJ IDEA [jetbrains.com]?
    • by pjt33 (739471)

      I recently moved from writing Java in Eclipse to C# in Visual Studio, and while it's nice to have non-buggy cut-and-paste I miss the more powerful refactoring and better searching in Eclipse.

  • There's a distinct difference between Flash Builder and Flex/Flex SDK. One is an open source application framework (Flex), the other is a standalone version of Eclipse running closed source plugins (Flash Builder, formerly Flex Builder, also available non-standalone).

    I take issue with the fact that he's singling out Flash Builder when his complaints actually seem to be with Flex (not even the SDK per se, but the framework/API). That alone makes me question his credibility. I really regret clicking the lin

  • I think this doesn't really matter anymore. I mean Flash is in it's decline. More and more websites start supporting HTML5, CSS is also starting to provide features that make Flash more useless. Not to talk about Flash performance or the fact that it is proprietary. Flash is dying and I think it's a good thing. Flash's omnipresence on the internet is pure evil IMHO.

Man must shape his tools lest they shape him. -- Arthur R. Miller

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