Macromedia Flex and Macromedia Flash authoring16 Oct 2005
We arrived Anaheim in afternoon. While having our coffee in Starbucks in Hilton hotel, we met two folks from Humber Institute of Technology, Toronto Canada.
They wanted to know about Macromedia Flex, I took this opportunity to talk about Macromedia Flex and upcoming Flex 2 public alpha. During our conversation, I realized that they had an impression of Macromedia Flex versus Macromedia Flash authoring.
Honestly speaking, I also had similar impression before I delved into Flex. After spending just one week on Flex, I realized that how cool it is, it makes my life easier by letting me focus on business logic; It takes care of all low level things and provides me higher level framework with lots of services and UI components. How it helps me to use design patterns effectively. How it helps me to use standard practices and write an extensible, maintainable applications. It also allows me to use low-level stuff(Macromedia Flash Player AP) if I want to.
Anyways, based on my experience(more than five years) in Flash application development, I explained to them, how Macromedia Flash authoring can play an important role in RIA development and complement Macromedia Flex. I feel, that creative people(designers, interaction designers et al) would be using Flash authoring to create assets(animations, skins, themes etc). Developers would use Flex Builder to write/debug code using assets created in Flash authoring.
If you have watched Kevin Lynch's demo video from Web 2.0 conference, you would notice that Flex Builder 2 has nice design view which means designers can also use Flex Builder 2 to layout UI of RIAs/Flash applications. And having worked on variety of Flash applications(eLearning, RIAs, games, web applications, ecommerce apps) with small to large teams(20+ designers, 5+ developers), I can see how both products work together.
What else I noticed that some people don't see Flash developers as programmers. IMO, it is true that most of Flash developers were designers before they got into development. But there are many who are from C/C++ or other client/server side technologies or hardcore skills background but they chose Macromedia Flash and ActionScript because they liked it. I am one of them, who fell in love with Macromedia Flash and ActionScript.
BTW! If you want to talk to me more about this, please feel to stop by during MAX or comment here. I would try my best to convince you ;-)
Update: Waldo Smeets, of Macromedia, gave a talk on "Integrating Rich Flash Content into Flex applications" in MAX. Check out the presentation(Breezo) and download the source files.