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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Flex Camp 2010

Update: The presentations are online and can be found here.

The first Flex Camp 2010 is a fact and was a great success. Flex Camp is organized by the Dutch Flex User Group (FLUGR) and is a half-day Flex event with a variety of speakers and subjects. This time, the location of the event was Amsterdam. The following sessions were given:

Designer/Developer workflow with Flash Catalyst and Flash Builder

This session was all about how Flash Catalyst and Flash Builder approach the designer /developer workflow. In a traditional development environment a design usually takes the form of a Photoshop document which is sliced by the developer and incorporated in the Flex application. Flash Catalyst takes a new approach in that this product is able to import and slice the design itself. When imported, Flash Catalyst is able to convert individual elements to read-to-use Flex components.

One thing that is not incorporated in the product yet, is an iterative design/development cycle although this can partly be accomplished with the use of libraries.

Set your code on fire

Flex developers with a Java background are always disappointed by the lack of features of Flex Builder compared to working with Java editors. Luckily there are alternatives for Flex Builder and one of the alternatives is FDT from Powerflasher. During the session, an application was developed to show a lot of the capabilities of FDT. Very impressive. Some of FDT’s features are:

  • Rename and move refactoring

  • Extended use of code templates and quick fixes to:

    • Generate classes

    • Generate functions

    • Generate fields with getters and setters

    • Loop over arrays

    • Etc.

  • Superb code navigation possibilities like type hierarchy, dependency structure, outline view with search capabilities.

  • Debugger

Version 4 of FDT, which is coming in 2010, has even more features like a memory and performance profiler. To learn more about version 4 goto

Flex Builder action script projects

Flex Builder is not only good in Flex projects but also suitable for Action script only projects. The speaker showed how he developed a pure Action script only website with Flex Builder. During the session a lot of practical tips were given which he encountered during the development of the website. Unfortunately, the site is not yet live at the time of writing. To be continued.

Flex in a JEE environment

In this session the speaker demonstrated a Flex application which is used to display information about geographical locations. The application integrates with the backend using web services and Blazeds and is deployed on a JBoss application server. The speaker showed how Maven is used to build and distribute the application and how the Flex application can be configured using server side services. It was a very practical and good session, especially for Java and Flex developers.

When all presentations are online, I will post the link to these presentations here.

Flex Camp 2010 was a big success. The subjects of the sessions were diverse enough to please everyone who attended Flex Camp. From Flex designer/developer to hardcore Java developer. On to the next Flex Camp!


Jeffrey Tummers said...

Hi Jamie, thanks for the review about Flex Camp 2010. It was unfortunate I could not be there with you. Maybe next time!

Have you given FDT from Powerflasher a shot yourself? I'm curious about your opinion especially compared to FlexBuilder in Eclipse.

Jamie Craane said...

I have not tried FDT myself but I will try the product in the near future. It is especially useful to compare FDT 4 with the upcoming Flash Builder which is expected to release in the next months.

One of the new neat features of Flash Builder is the build-in network monitor.

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