Linked by David Adams on Wed 8th Apr 2009 05:32 UTC
Graphics, User Interfaces Adobe has a promotion that states that if you will attest that you're unemployed, they'll give you a free license to Flex Builder 3 that you can use to burnish your skills.
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Right
by danieldk on Wed 8th Apr 2009 06:31 UTC
danieldk
Member since:
2005-11-18

Or use a FLOSS web application solution, and you can learn and use it freely, even when you are employed ;) .

Reply Score: 6

Comment by Kroc
by Kroc on Wed 8th Apr 2009 07:34 UTC
Kroc
Member since:
2005-11-10

'Don’t worry, you can pay us back later.'

I wouldn’t touch it with a barge pole.
Web Development can be done on any software and any computer you want. If it can type text, you can write the latest and greatest HTML5 app.

Flash / Flex / AIR / Silverlight threaten that very fact.

Reply Score: 6

RE: Comment by Kroc
by kaiwai on Wed 8th Apr 2009 09:38 UTC in reply to "Comment by Kroc"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

'Don’t worry, you can pay us back later.'

I wouldn’t touch it with a barge pole.
Web Development can be done on any software and any computer you want. If it can type text, you can write the latest and greatest HTML5 app.

Flash / Flex / AIR / Silverlight threaten that very fact.


True; I'd love to be optimistic and say that Adobe is doing it because they genuinely care for out of world programmers/web designers but at the same time it reminds me of the drug dealer who says, "the first hit is free".

Reply Score: 10

RE: Comment by Kroc
by REM2000 on Wed 8th Apr 2009 11:41 UTC in reply to "Comment by Kroc"
REM2000 Member since:
2006-07-25

I do agree that Adobe are only giving this away to hook people into flex.

However if i was an unemployeed developer then i would grab the tools, i would have the time to learn another language and it's usually pretty easy to pick up other programming language.

At the end of the day it would be another tick on my C.V.

It's really no different to the other platforms giving out free tools.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by Kroc
by Almafeta on Sun 12th Apr 2009 14:05 UTC in reply to "Comment by Kroc"
Almafeta Member since:
2007-02-22

If it can type text, you can write the latest and greatest HTML5 app.

Flash / Flex / AIR / Silverlight threaten that very fact.


Just as a sidenote: as the Silverlight people themselves have said, "All you really need to develop a Silverlight app is Notepad and the (freely available) command-line compiler." And I've done just that.

Granted, Microsoft is doing this while setting themselves up to also sell the best possible Silverlight IDE tools, but...

Reply Score: 2

GNU flex
by pgquiles on Wed 8th Apr 2009 11:40 UTC
pgquiles
Member since:
2006-07-16

Am I the only one who read "learn flex!" and thought of GNU Flex ( http://flex.sourceforge.net/ ) instead of Adobe Flex ???

Reply Score: 3

RE: GNU flex
by bralkein on Wed 8th Apr 2009 11:55 UTC in reply to "GNU flex"
bralkein Member since:
2006-12-20

No, I thought the same thing. It was a bit of a "WTF" moment.

Reply Score: 1

RE: GNU flex
by CodeMonkey on Thu 9th Apr 2009 21:18 UTC in reply to "GNU flex"
CodeMonkey Member since:
2005-09-22

Am I the only one who read "learn flex!" and thought of GNU Flex ( http://flex.sourceforge.net/ ) instead of Adobe Flex ???


Heh, I thought the same thing. Not being wise in the ways of web development (I'm a low level C++ coder), I read "free license to Flex Builder 3" and thought "WTF? Why does Adobe have a developer GUI tool for creating lexical analyzers? This just doesn't make sense!" Little did I know just how little sense it actually made.

Edited 2009-04-09 21:19 UTC

Reply Score: 2

A good deal
by arbour42 on Wed 8th Apr 2009 14:10 UTC
arbour42
Member since:
2005-07-06

I have to disagree with Kroc. First, Flex is open source. I just wrote a mashup using Flex and Yahoo maps. I originally did it using JQuery, but we were having an awful time getting it to work on certain browsers because of security restrictions on downloading cross-domain javascript (long story).

No matter, I rewrote it using the Flex component Yahoo provides, and all the troubles went away.

Now, ajax frameworks like Apple's Sproutcore (now approaching 1.0) or Cappuccino are very good, with much better binding systems than Flex or Silverlight. They should give them good competition.

RIA skills are still in demand as few really know how to put these together. so if you wish to keep your babies fed, this is an option.

Reply Score: 1

RE: A good deal
by google_ninja on Wed 8th Apr 2009 14:42 UTC in reply to "A good deal"
google_ninja Member since:
2006-02-05

RIA skills are still in demand as few really know how to put these together. so if you wish to keep your babies fed, this is an option.


In the Microsoft world, you have to duck to avoid all the silverlight job offers flying around. I'm a javascript guy myself, but I wouldn't be surprised if my next day job ends up being RIA of some sort.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: A good deal
by Nelson on Wed 8th Apr 2009 16:32 UTC in reply to "RE: A good deal"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

As rosy as HTML5 sounds, it's support among browsers still has a long way to go, where something like Silverlight is readily available.

Also important to note, is that while the open nature of HTML5 is good, it will never be able to fight something like Silverlight feature for feature. The Silverlight feature set dwarfs the HTML feature set by a considerable amount.

The last nail in the coffin is how easy it is to develop, and the ability to leverage powerful backend .NET languages to power Silverlight content. That's the straw that broke the camel's back for HTML5.

Silverlight is an absolute joy to use, and I'd imagine something like Flex being very similar, and given the current economic situation around the world, I'd say more people gaining more skill is definitely a good thing.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: A good deal
by Kroc on Wed 8th Apr 2009 16:54 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: A good deal"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

Nail in the coffin? Straw that broke the camel’s back? Hello Mr. Arty Mc.Strawman! How are you today?

As rosy as HTML5 sounds…: ‘I haven’t used it’.

The Silverlight feature set dwarfs the HTML feature set by a considerable amount…: ‘I don’t understand the difference between a structural document markup language, and a media runtime environment’

it's support among browsers still has a long way to go

Oh, notice how Google just released an update to GMail mobile written in HTML5 and using all the advanced features like client-side databases? Firefox 3 usage is greater than IE6, greater than IE7 in Europe. IE can use HTML5 elements using a Javascript shim. Websites are beginning to adopt and use HTML5 now http://html5gallery.com

where something like Silverlight is readily available.

Ho ho ho, I almost thought you were serious there. HTML5 capable engines are available on more platforms than Microsoft have had version of Windows. Windows/Mac/Linux, BeOS even? 32-bit, 64-bit, ARM, PPC, Sparc? Linux support for Silverlight is pants, at best.

I forgot to mention mobile browsers! So how’s silverlight support there? Is that a tumbleweed I see? In the mobile space, HTML5 support is actually greater than on the desktop! There are 10 million+ iPhone users with an fully HTML5 capable browser; whereas the iPhone, will never run Silverlight.

Silverlight is an absolute joy to use: ‘I used Dreamweaver and couldn’t get on with it.’

I'd imagine something like Flex being very similar: ‘I am opposed to the idea of choice when it comes to my development tools.’

I'd say more people gaining more skill is definitely a good thing: ‘Not enough people agree with me’

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: A good deal
by Nelson on Wed 8th Apr 2009 19:44 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: A good deal"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

You've got to be kidding me. Try to shove that load of bull down anyone's throat when justifying using HTML5 for RIA.

The feature comparison to Silverlight is a valid one, since your general argument seems to be that HTML5 can be a drop in replacement for something as elegant as Silverlight.

Windows makes up a sizable portion of the desktop market, and so does their browser, the mobile market is largely irrelevant when it comes to the purpose that RIA's serve.

Of course, if finding all sorts of corner cases to inflate HTML5s usage numbers makes you happy, then by all means.

I must say I'm impressed, you're the only person with the ability to bs enough through your teeth to even try to argue about the availability of HTML5.

HTML5 has it's uses, but it's not for the same audience that Silverlight, or even Flex aim at.

Edited 2009-04-08 19:48 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: A good deal
by Kroc on Wed 8th Apr 2009 14:44 UTC in reply to "A good deal"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

The Flash Player runtime is proprietary. If Adobe folded tomorrow, Flex would die with it too, no matter how 'open' the SDK is.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: A good deal
by arbour42 on Wed 8th Apr 2009 15:40 UTC in reply to "RE: A good deal"
arbour42 Member since:
2005-07-06

Yes, the player itself is proprietary. But given that Flash runs on over 95% of computers worldwide, the chances of Flash disappearing over the next 10 years is close to nil. That exceeds most business app lifetimes.

If Adobe goes bust, there will be a stampede to buy their technology. Of course, we in the West are about to fall into a hyper-inflationary depression, so you never know what could happen. Maybe Norway's sovereign fund would buy Adobe.

Edited 2009-04-08 15:41 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: A good deal
by google_ninja on Wed 8th Apr 2009 16:20 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: A good deal"
google_ninja Member since:
2006-02-05

I could so see yahoo or google buying flash

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: A good deal
by Kroc on Wed 8th Apr 2009 16:35 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: A good deal"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

Some of the largest banks in the world disappeared overnight, with market caps greater than even the likes of Google. The fact that Flash is on most computers means jack-diddley-squat about Adobe’s (or anybody’s) safety. That’s like saying that the banks are infallible because they have lots of money.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: A good deal
by arbour42 on Wed 8th Apr 2009 16:59 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: A good deal"
arbour42 Member since:
2005-07-06

Yes, completely true. But if Adobe goes down with NO buyers, then no one is going to be developing HTML 5, or Firefox, or Chrome either. We'll all be too desperate searching for food and water (which is where I think we're headed no matter - the entire banking system is insolvent).

As for now, Flex and Silverlight are far ahead of HTML 5. Sproutcore is pretty good too.

Reply Score: 0

RE[5]: A good deal
by raboof on Wed 8th Apr 2009 21:34 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: A good deal"
raboof Member since:
2005-07-24

As for now, Flex and Silverlight are far ahead of HTML 5. Sproutcore is pretty good too.

Dude, what's with the comparision of apples, oranges and furniture in the comments on this article?

If you have to compare, recognise that a RIA platform (using the term lightly) basically consists of 3 components: a markup language, a programming language to write code that manipulates the markup, and a container the user will need to install to run the application.

In Flex, MXML is the markup language, ActionScript is the programming language, and Flash is the container.

In Silverlight, XAML is the markup language, the .Net languages are the programming language, and the Silverlight plugin is the container.

In 'the modern interweb', HTML5 is the markup language, Javascript is the programming language, and the browser itself is the container.

The main differences between the approaches are in the supported programming language and in the container. Silverlight is ahead of the pack in the sense that the .Net languages are much more powerful than Java/Actionscript.

This, however, comes at a cost when comparing the containers: plain HTML5+Javascript has the huge advantage that the browser *is* the container. Flash, the Flex container, is a nuisance, but after some years of frustration this is actually getting relatively stable. I'm afraid that the new kid on the block, the Silverlight plugin, still has those years of frustration ahead of it.

All in all, I think all solutions suck. One alternative that's been largely left out of the discussion so far, JavaFX, also sucks (mature, widespread and open platform, good backing language, but slow and generally unimpressive). As far as I'm concerned, the jury isn't out yet on which sucks less - it's probably a tradeoff situation where project-specific factors will decide how the balance plays out. There doesn't seem to be a clear winner to me.

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: A good deal
by JeffS on Thu 9th Apr 2009 18:25 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: A good deal"
JeffS Member since:
2005-07-12

"In Flex, MXML is the markup language, ActionScript is the programming language, and Flash is the container.

In Silverlight, XAML is the markup language, the .Net languages are the programming language, and the Silverlight plugin is the container.

In 'the modern interweb', HTML5 is the markup language, Javascript is the programming language, and the browser itself is the container."


Good post. But there are subtle differences here.

In the case of both MXML and XAML, those are just high level markup abstractions on top of corresponding ActionScript (MXML), and .Net (XAML), and compile down to Flash and .Net executable byte code.

In the case of HTML, it's not a high level markup abstraction on top of programming constructs. It's markup for documents - representing structure and presentation of documents.

Also, Javascript is interpreted at runtime, not compiled to intermediate bytecode.

Both or those are huge differences.

The HTML based web was, and essentially remains, a way of distributing documents. In spite of using great DHTML, CSS, Javascript, and AJAX techniques, to try and make HTML document look and behave like actual applications, they're still documents at the core.

And Flex and Silverlight are actual applications, made with actual programming languages, with all the power and richness that comes with those things. The MXML and XAML, once again, markups are merely high level abastractions on top of actual application programming constructs.

Recently, after initially mostly rejecting Flex and Silverlight, and preferring AJAX, I'm getting on board with the whole Flex and Silverlight RIA phenomenon. I really see the power, ease of development and deployment, and versatility. And I take those things as complmentary to the HTML based web, not as an all out replacement.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: A good deal
by raboof on Fri 10th Apr 2009 07:48 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: A good deal"
raboof Member since:
2005-07-24

Good post. But there are subtle differences here.


Sure - any comparison is bound to make (over)simplifications, but i tried to do it a bit less blatantly compared to some other posts ;) .

Javascript is interpreted at runtime, not compiled to intermediate bytecode.


This is indeed a huge difference between JavaScript and .Net/Java. As for ActionScript (Flex), the advancements in browsers' javascript engines makes the difference less pronounced - in fact, much of the Flash9 ActionScript code is open-source and planned to be shared with the Firefox javascript engine (e.g. http://hecker.org/mozilla/adobe-mozilla-and-tamarin - not sure what the status of those efforts is today).

In spite of using great DHTML, CSS, Javascript, and AJAX techniques, to try and make HTML document look and behave like actual applications, they're still documents at the core.


I wholeheartedly agree the whole HTML/AJAX thing is clumsy. However, each step in the more 'powerful' direction (Flex, then Silverlight) brings bigger issues with the requirements (Flash, then the Silverlight plugin).

Also, turning your service from a 'document' into an 'application' contained in a plugin also makes it more of a black box - things like microformats and browser plugins get less useful.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: A good deal
by abraxas on Thu 9th Apr 2009 11:14 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: A good deal"
abraxas Member since:
2005-07-07

Yes, completely true. But if Adobe goes down with NO buyers, then no one is going to be developing HTML 5, or Firefox, or Chrome either. We'll all be too desperate searching for food and water (which is where I think we're headed no matter - the entire banking system is insolvent).


The only way that no one would buy Adobe (they have a ton of IP) is if the economy was so bad that it was self destructing. At that point I don't think you would be worrying about what computer language to learn.

I think this is a good thing for Adobe to do. It takes advantage of joblessness to leverage their technology and one more tool in your repertoire is never a bad thing.

Reply Score: 2