Future of Flex

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Future of Flex

Erik Thomas-3
Hey all:

If you are a Flex devotee, like me, a longtime admirer of the beauty in Flex that introduced a declarative + procedural model that preceded Microsoft's C sharp and WPF models that essentially stole the idea from Flex for a structural MVC where the view and controller were represented by the MXML and as3 respectively, I believe there is much life left in Flex.

It is still a very relevant platform for creating single-codebase mobile apps for Android and iOS. It produces far smaller executables than Swift and most all other competing platforms. The availability of ANEs to access native capability provides near parity with native app development, not quite, but close enough to get multiplatform support for a single platform.

I've been developing Flex apps since 2007 with the release of Flex 3 by Adobe. I was working for Intuit at the time Flex was a huge departure from Intuit's C++/MFC centric development platform that was used for QuickBooks (I was a QuickBooks engineer prior to accepting a challenge to develop a new product using Flex). It was refreshing to start a new project and not have to maintain and develop on a 6 million LOC C++ application.

While I was at it I was also one of a team that was evaluating MS WPF so I learned that too, and while I still think WPF was amazing, it stole much of it's design from Macromedia that designed Flex, and I haven't seen a new paradigm to challenge the declarative/procedural design even today, IMHO. But the real power is in the runtime. Just like Java practically replaced C and C++ based web development because of the amazing advantages of a sandboxed runtime environment, the AIR runtime is brilliant, even today. No other major platform for mobile (or web, though the flash player is definitely dying) can equal the performance of the AIR runtime. One must compile to native and that comes with a boatload of problems especially multi-platform support. A runtime engine is still brilliant, just as Java runtimes still power nearly half of the billions of web apps on the internet.

What I don't understand is why Flex doesn't attract more developers, but I'm sure it's because universities and colleges, and tech schools don't teach it because it's considered fringe. If people really understood what it could do we could see third party tools, ANEs, and new innovations that pushed it back into the mainstream.

Oh well. Sometimes the best ideas and designs don't achieve mindshare and fail for reasons entirely unrelated to capability.

Ancients like me will remember the VHS vs. Betacam wars where the latter was 10X better and still failed because of marketing, mindshare, and somewhat political reasoning.

My company still has two very successful mobile apps built with Flex/AIR and some ANEs by Distriqt (the very best ANE developer on the planet without doubt): Linqto and Keiretsu Forum.

Alas, we have even succumbed to pressure to replace these apps with REACT Native and will be embarking on this road in the next month. It's a sad day. But now that a big company like Adobe has relinquished the reins of both Flex (some years ago) and AIR (to Harmann recently), it seems the fate of this amazing development platform is destined to the graveyard.

I know there's lots of great innovation with Royale to breathe live back into Flex apps, and there are migration options as well. These are great things, but in my opinion, unnecessary because the AIR runtime is FAR, FAR better than relying on any browser-based rendering engine to render javascript, html, and CSS.

Just sharing my opinion as someone who has made his living with Flex since 2007, was once a master/guru of MFC/C++ since Windows 1.5, and got my first contract in 1983.

Erik Thomas
Chief Architect
http://linqto.com



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Re: Future of Flex

ScottM
Eric
       I have been in the business since 1982 seen a lot, I remember when our first IBM PC B/W screen with 64k memory,  single floppy dive arrived and we just looked at it and said what are we to do with that

I started developing on PL1, is GO not copy, that a different thread

I have been developing in Flex since 2010, and really enjoyed the experience, I 100% agree with every thing you said

Unfortunately Royal was too late for us,  and we made the switch to React last year, we found electron for mobile was sufficient for our dneeds, we could still create a AIR app from out flex source code if we had, but why have 2 code bases if you do not need too

The new React application is designed to look identical to the Flex app, and it does, an end user would be  hard pressed see the difference

I hate the React JS CSS design approach, but sometimes you just have to dig deep

The world is not logical place


Sent from my iPhone

> On 11 Sep 2020, at 03:55, Erik Thomas <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> Hey all:
>
> If you are a Flex devotee, like me, a longtime admirer of the beauty in Flex that introduced a declarative + procedural model that preceded Microsoft's C sharp and WPF models that essentially stole the idea from Flex for a structural MVC where the view and controller were represented by the MXML and as3 respectively, I believe there is much life left in Flex.
>
> It is still a very relevant platform for creating single-codebase mobile apps for Android and iOS. It produces far smaller executables than Swift and most all other competing platforms. The availability of ANEs to access native capability provides near parity with native app development, not quite, but close enough to get multiplatform support for a single platform.
>
> I've been developing Flex apps since 2007 with the release of Flex 3 by Adobe. I was working for Intuit at the time Flex was a huge departure from Intuit's C++/MFC centric development platform that was used for QuickBooks (I was a QuickBooks engineer prior to accepting a challenge to develop a new product using Flex). It was refreshing to start a new project and not have to maintain and develop on a 6 million LOC C++ application.
>
> While I was at it I was also one of a team that was evaluating MS WPF so I learned that too, and while I still think WPF was amazing, it stole much of it's design from Macromedia that designed Flex, and I haven't seen a new paradigm to challenge the declarative/procedural design even today, IMHO. But the real power is in the runtime. Just like Java practically replaced C and C++ based web development because of the amazing advantages of a sandboxed runtime environment, the AIR runtime is brilliant, even today. No other major platform for mobile (or web, though the flash player is definitely dying) can equal the performance of the AIR runtime. One must compile to native and that comes with a boatload of problems especially multi-platform support. A runtime engine is still brilliant, just as Java runtimes still power nearly half of the billions of web apps on the internet.
>
> What I don't understand is why Flex doesn't attract more developers, but I'm sure it's because universities and colleges, and tech schools don't teach it because it's considered fringe. If people really understood what it could do we could see third party tools, ANEs, and new innovations that pushed it back into the mainstream.
>
> Oh well. Sometimes the best ideas and designs don't achieve mindshare and fail for reasons entirely unrelated to capability.
>
> Ancients like me will remember the VHS vs. Betacam wars where the latter was 10X better and still failed because of marketing, mindshare, and somewhat political reasoning.
>
> My company still has two very successful mobile apps built with Flex/AIR and some ANEs by Distriqt (the very best ANE developer on the planet without doubt): Linqto and Keiretsu Forum.
>
> Alas, we have even succumbed to pressure to replace these apps with REACT Native and will be embarking on this road in the next month. It's a sad day. But now that a big company like Adobe has relinquished the reins of both Flex (some years ago) and AIR (to Harmann recently), it seems the fate of this amazing development platform is destined to the graveyard.
>
> I know there's lots of great innovation with Royale to breathe live back into Flex apps, and there are migration options as well. These are great things, but in my opinion, unnecessary because the AIR runtime is FAR, FAR better than relying on any browser-based rendering engine to render javascript, html, and CSS.
>
> Just sharing my opinion as someone who has made his living with Flex since 2007, was once a master/guru of MFC/C++ since Windows 1.5, and got my first contract in 1983.
>
> Erik Thomas
> Chief Architect
> http://linqto.com
>
>
>
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Re: Future of Flex

Carlos Rovira-2
Hi All just reposting here, since I saw Erik started this thread. Hope this
helps:

As a long time Flex/Flash advocate I must say that runtime fate is set for
a long time, so in that front we can't do much more and go with the flow
like it happened with VHS/Beta, PC/Amiga, and many more...

BUT, I think we can preserve what for me is of huge value: the Flex
programming model with AS3/MXML, View States, Binding, AMF (RPC), and much
more... through Apache Royale. For me having that productivity is
priceless.  Also mixing with the good stuff in the modern development world
means to boost what we already had. For example, I think CSS
implementation in browsers is far better than the subset we had in Flash
Player (and Flex), so that joins the Royale programming model through
normal CSS... or through SASS :).

I think Flex/AIR will still be there for as long as people will use it,
maybe unfortunately few people now. For many others it's normal that they
must go with the rest of the world. For many of them, like you, maybe is
late since you'll go React (that's normal since companies tend to go to the
mainstream tech for security), but just say that in 2020, I think Apache
Royale and Jewel set has reach a very good state and it's a pleasure to
work with it, as it was Flex. So maybe giving a try in the current state
would surprise you, and will make your migration easier than going React.

I'll be presenting at ApacheCon at the end of this month (31th) a talk that
showcases the TodoMVC example here [1] and here [2]. Hope that helps others
to notice how far we reach, and that Royale is now a real option for all.

Talks are here [3], and the TodoMVC talk is "Starting from a blank file"

HTH

Carlos

[1] demo: https://royale.apache.org/todomvc-jewel/
[2] code:
https://github.com/apache/royale-asjs/blob/develop/examples/crux/todomvc-jewel-crux/readme.md
[3] https://www.apachecon.com/acah2020/tracks/royale.html



El vie., 11 sept. 2020 a las 8:47, Scott Matheson (<[hidden email]>)
escribió:

> Eric
>        I have been in the business since 1982 seen a lot, I remember when
> our first IBM PC B/W screen with 64k memory,  single floppy dive arrived
> and we just looked at it and said what are we to do with that
>
> I started developing on PL1, is GO not copy, that a different thread
>
> I have been developing in Flex since 2010, and really enjoyed the
> experience, I 100% agree with every thing you said
>
> Unfortunately Royal was too late for us,  and we made the switch to React
> last year, we found electron for mobile was sufficient for our dneeds, we
> could still create a AIR app from out flex source code if we had, but why
> have 2 code bases if you do not need too
>
> The new React application is designed to look identical to the Flex app,
> and it does, an end user would be  hard pressed see the difference
>
> I hate the React JS CSS design approach, but sometimes you just have to
> dig deep
>
> The world is not logical place
>
>
> Sent from my iPhone
>
> > On 11 Sep 2020, at 03:55, Erik Thomas <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >
> > Hey all:
> >
> > If you are a Flex devotee, like me, a longtime admirer of the beauty in
> Flex that introduced a declarative + procedural model that preceded
> Microsoft's C sharp and WPF models that essentially stole the idea from
> Flex for a structural MVC where the view and controller were represented by
> the MXML and as3 respectively, I believe there is much life left in Flex.
> >
> > It is still a very relevant platform for creating single-codebase mobile
> apps for Android and iOS. It produces far smaller executables than Swift
> and most all other competing platforms. The availability of ANEs to access
> native capability provides near parity with native app development, not
> quite, but close enough to get multiplatform support for a single platform.
> >
> > I've been developing Flex apps since 2007 with the release of Flex 3 by
> Adobe. I was working for Intuit at the time Flex was a huge departure from
> Intuit's C++/MFC centric development platform that was used for QuickBooks
> (I was a QuickBooks engineer prior to accepting a challenge to develop a
> new product using Flex). It was refreshing to start a new project and not
> have to maintain and develop on a 6 million LOC C++ application.
> >
> > While I was at it I was also one of a team that was evaluating MS WPF so
> I learned that too, and while I still think WPF was amazing, it stole much
> of it's design from Macromedia that designed Flex, and I haven't seen a new
> paradigm to challenge the declarative/procedural design even today, IMHO.
> But the real power is in the runtime. Just like Java practically replaced C
> and C++ based web development because of the amazing advantages of a
> sandboxed runtime environment, the AIR runtime is brilliant, even today. No
> other major platform for mobile (or web, though the flash player is
> definitely dying) can equal the performance of the AIR runtime. One must
> compile to native and that comes with a boatload of problems especially
> multi-platform support. A runtime engine is still brilliant, just as Java
> runtimes still power nearly half of the billions of web apps on the
> internet.
> >
> > What I don't understand is why Flex doesn't attract more developers, but
> I'm sure it's because universities and colleges, and tech schools don't
> teach it because it's considered fringe. If people really understood what
> it could do we could see third party tools, ANEs, and new innovations that
> pushed it back into the mainstream.
> >
> > Oh well. Sometimes the best ideas and designs don't achieve mindshare
> and fail for reasons entirely unrelated to capability.
> >
> > Ancients like me will remember the VHS vs. Betacam wars where the latter
> was 10X better and still failed because of marketing, mindshare, and
> somewhat political reasoning.
> >
> > My company still has two very successful mobile apps built with Flex/AIR
> and some ANEs by Distriqt (the very best ANE developer on the planet
> without doubt): Linqto and Keiretsu Forum.
> >
> > Alas, we have even succumbed to pressure to replace these apps with
> REACT Native and will be embarking on this road in the next month. It's a
> sad day. But now that a big company like Adobe has relinquished the reins
> of both Flex (some years ago) and AIR (to Harmann recently), it seems the
> fate of this amazing development platform is destined to the graveyard.
> >
> > I know there's lots of great innovation with Royale to breathe live back
> into Flex apps, and there are migration options as well. These are great
> things, but in my opinion, unnecessary because the AIR runtime is FAR, FAR
> better than relying on any browser-based rendering engine to render
> javascript, html, and CSS.
> >
> > Just sharing my opinion as someone who has made his living with Flex
> since 2007, was once a master/guru of MFC/C++ since Windows 1.5, and got my
> first contract in 1983.
> >
> > Erik Thomas
> > Chief Architect
> > http://linqto.com
> >
> >
> >
>


--
Carlos Rovira
http://about.me/carlosrovira
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Re: Future of Flex

Paul Stearns
Carlos:

Royale will have its place. However one thing which Royale and other similar technologies will never fully implement is a 100% coherent runtime environment. There will always be sacrifices to the needs of Javascript/HTML. As long as there are multiple browser DOMs there will always be the potential for incompatibility.

AIR and other similar technologies will have a place for people/applications which want/need a development platform where they can be certain of the user interaction layer. The reason I chose Flex for development is simple, I was tired of the limitations of HTML and I was even more frustrated with the differences between  browsers DOMs. When I found that I could develop in one environment and run everywhere, I was hooked.

In my limited experience with Royale,some of the same bugaboos of browser differences were still there. I am sure Royale will improve and become virtually seamless. However from all my decades of IT development it is difficult to build a reliable system when the foundation (DOMs) is inconsistent.

I believe there is a place for Flex/AIR moving forward. There is also a place for Royale, and I will convert one Flex application to Royale, as it definitively needs to run from a web browser. My major integrated PC applications have been converted to AIR, and are in various stages of testing & deployment.

Paul R. Stearns
Advanced Consulting Enterprises, Inc.

15280 NW 79th Ct.
Suite 250
Miami Lakes, Fl 33016

Voice: (305)623-0360 x107
Fax: (305)623-4588

----------------------------------------
From: Carlos Rovira <[hidden email]>
Sent: 9/11/20 4:23 AM
To: [hidden email]
Subject: Re: Future of Flex
Hi All just reposting here, since I saw Erik started this thread. Hope this
helps:

As a long time Flex/Flash advocate I must say that runtime fate is set for
a long time, so in that front we can't do much more and go with the flow
like it happened with VHS/Beta, PC/Amiga, and many more...

BUT, I think we can preserve what for me is of huge value: the Flex
programming model with AS3/MXML, View States, Binding, AMF (RPC), and much
more... through Apache Royale. For me having that productivity is
priceless. Also mixing with the good stuff in the modern development world
means to boost what we already had. For example, I think CSS
implementation in browsers is far better than the subset we had in Flash
Player (and Flex), so that joins the Royale programming model through
normal CSS... or through SASS :).

I think Flex/AIR will still be there for as long as people will use it,
maybe unfortunately few people now. For many others it's normal that they
must go with the rest of the world. For many of them, like you, maybe is
late since you'll go React (that's normal since companies tend to go to the
mainstream tech for security), but just say that in 2020, I think Apache
Royale and Jewel set has reach a very good state and it's a pleasure to
work with it, as it was Flex. So maybe giving a try in the current state
would surprise you, and will make your migration easier than going React.

I'll be presenting at ApacheCon at the end of this month (31th) a talk that
showcases the TodoMVC example here [1] and here [2]. Hope that helps others
to notice how far we reach, and that Royale is now a real option for all.

Talks are here [3], and the TodoMVC talk is "Starting from a blank file"

HTH

Carlos

[1] demo: https://royale.apache.org/todomvc-jewel/
[2] code:
https://github.com/apache/royale-asjs/blob/develop/examples/crux/todomvc-jewel-crux/readme.md
[3] https://www.apachecon.com/acah2020/tracks/royale.html

El vie., 11 sept. 2020 a las 8:47, Scott Matheson (<[hidden email]>)
escribió:

> Eric
> I have been in the business since 1982 seen a lot, I remember when
> our first IBM PC B/W screen with 64k memory, single floppy dive arrived
> and we just looked at it and said what are we to do with that
>
> I started developing on PL1, is GO not copy, that a different thread
>
> I have been developing in Flex since 2010, and really enjoyed the
> experience, I 100% agree with every thing you said
>
> Unfortunately Royal was too late for us, and we made the switch to React
> last year, we found electron for mobile was sufficient for our dneeds, we
> could still create a AIR app from out flex source code if we had, but why
> have 2 code bases if you do not need too
>
> The new React application is designed to look identical to the Flex app,
> and it does, an end user would be hard pressed see the difference
>
> I hate the React JS CSS design approach, but sometimes you just have to
> dig deep
>
> The world is not logical place
>
>
> Sent from my iPhone
>
> > On 11 Sep 2020, at 03:55, Erik Thomas <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >
> > Hey all:
> >
> > If you are a Flex devotee, like me, a longtime admirer of the beauty in
> Flex that introduced a declarative + procedural model that preceded
> Microsoft's C sharp and WPF models that essentially stole the idea from
> Flex for a structural MVC where the view and controller were represented by
> the MXML and as3 respectively, I believe there is much life left in Flex.
> >
> > It is still a very relevant platform for creating single-codebase mobile
> apps for Android and iOS. It produces far smaller executables than Swift
> and most all other competing platforms. The availability of ANEs to access
> native capability provides near parity with native app development, not
> quite, but close enough to get multiplatform support for a single platform.
> >
> > I've been developing Flex apps since 2007 with the release of Flex 3 by
> Adobe. I was working for Intuit at the time Flex was a huge departure from
> Intuit's C++/MFC centric development platform that was used for QuickBooks
> (I was a QuickBooks engineer prior to accepting a challenge to develop a
> new product using Flex). It was refreshing to start a new project and not
> have to maintain and develop on a 6 million LOC C++ application.
> >
> > While I was at it I was also one of a team that was evaluating MS WPF so
> I learned that too, and while I still think WPF was amazing, it stole much
> of it's design from Macromedia that designed Flex, and I haven't seen a new
> paradigm to challenge the declarative/procedural design even today, IMHO.
> But the real power is in the runtime. Just like Java practically replaced C
> and C++ based web development because of the amazing advantages of a
> sandboxed runtime environment, the AIR runtime is brilliant, even today. No
> other major platform for mobile (or web, though the flash player is
> definitely dying) can equal the performance of the AIR runtime. One must
> compile to native and that comes with a boatload of problems especially
> multi-platform support. A runtime engine is still brilliant, just as Java
> runtimes still power nearly half of the billions of web apps on the
> internet.
> >
> > What I don't understand is why Flex doesn't attract more developers, but
> I'm sure it's because universities and colleges, and tech schools don't
> teach it because it's considered fringe. If people really understood what
> it could do we could see third party tools, ANEs, and new innovations that
> pushed it back into the mainstream.
> >
> > Oh well. Sometimes the best ideas and designs don't achieve mindshare
> and fail for reasons entirely unrelated to capability.
> >
> > Ancients like me will remember the VHS vs. Betacam wars where the latter
> was 10X better and still failed because of marketing, mindshare, and
> somewhat political reasoning.
> >
> > My company still has two very successful mobile apps built with Flex/AIR
> and some ANEs by Distriqt (the very best ANE developer on the planet
> without doubt): Linqto and Keiretsu Forum.
> >
> > Alas, we have even succumbed to pressure to replace these apps with
> REACT Native and will be embarking on this road in the next month. It's a
> sad day. But now that a big company like Adobe has relinquished the reins
> of both Flex (some years ago) and AIR (to Harmann recently), it seems the
> fate of this amazing development platform is destined to the graveyard.
> >
> > I know there's lots of great innovation with Royale to breathe live back
> into Flex apps, and there are migration options as well. These are great
> things, but in my opinion, unnecessary because the AIR runtime is FAR, FAR
> better than relying on any browser-based rendering engine to render
> javascript, html, and CSS.
> >
> > Just sharing my opinion as someone who has made his living with Flex
> since 2007, was once a master/guru of MFC/C++ since Windows 1.5, and got my
> first contract in 1983.
> >
> > Erik Thomas
> > Chief Architect
> > http://linqto.com
> >
> >
> >
>

--
Carlos Rovira
http://about.me/carlosrovira


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Re: Future of Flex

Erik Thomas-3
In reply to this post by Carlos Rovira-2
Hey Carlos and all who responded to my philosophical waxing about my sadness at abandoning such an amazing platform for developing mobile apps.

I plan to play with Royale and consider it for a new side project I'm looking at for web, and I really appreciate the people who put so much of their time into creating Royale. Being able to continue with the MXML/AS3 model is extremely attractive, especially since I have such a large collection of my own UI widgets and utilities. When the mobile theme was initially released I immediately set out to create mobile apps but needed some of the heavier weight controls in spark (not mobile theme) and so I ended up recreating a lot of UI functionality from containers that didn't need to solve for every use case under the sun which resulted in better performance when mobile devices were so very slow. Of course now that devices are so much faster, that issue faded away for the most part. But being able to continue using my libraries with Royale for a web app is too good to resist.

But the decision to go with React Native for mobile has been made and the investment in reworking our flagship mobile app will break ground later this month. And we recently replaced our web app version of the mobile app with React and are going live next week, so there's no room for Royale or Flex at my company anymore, except for RTB sunsetting of the existing AIR apps until we replace them.

However, I agree with Paul's comments too about inconsistent DOMs preventing even Royale from fully achieving what we've so enjoyed from Flash all these years. It's just sad that Adobe lost their passion for Flex and Flash/AIR so long ago and didn't keep up. I keep thinking how amazing it would have been if the Flash/AIR was kept competitive, like incorporating new device capabilities directly into the runtime by wrapping the native calls, rather than depending on ANE developers to fill the gaps. ANE is a great model, but Adobe relied too much on the ANE marketplace to provide Flex developers with native functionality that really should have been part of the runtime, organic functionality that nearly every app needs.

And my only other complaint about the AIR runtime on mobile is the kludgy implementation of stage text input that never kept up. Custom soft keyboards should have been available as XCode and Android Studio exposed new keyboards, like a Phone number keyboard for instance. And the way stage text input fields have to be destroyed (not simply hidden) to avoid showing up on top of other views. But we worked around all that.

I am sorry to see the day we stop using Flex/AIR at my company. Oh well.

I raise my glass to all the awesome designers, architects, and engineers who worked at Macromedia, and later at Adobe, and later on the Apache Flex OS project (and Royale) for creating such an amazing platform that brought me such joy, some pain, frustration too, but most of all, pride in the products I created with it. Since earning my ACE years and years ago I've been so passionate about the platform, it's going to be hard to leave it and this amazing community.

Peace.

Erik



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Re: Future of Flex

Carlos Rovira-2
In reply to this post by Paul Stearns
Hi Paul,

I think that nowadays DOM differences across browsers are each day less and
less, but Royale (as many other JS frameworks out there) try to remove any
inconsistencies thanks to providing cross browser solutions that are tested
in most used browsers. Maybe IE11 is the last big one difference and this
year Microsoft planned to remove it, so I expect that the last problematic
browser is left behind and only modern browsers are used very soon by most
of the people out there in the internet, that means very few DOM
inconsistencies.

Far beyond, Royale should be not only cross browser, but cross platforms
too. But while we have right now SWF and JS, we still lack other outputs
like native IOS/Android, or WASM. That only could be done with more
talented people working together to reach that goal. In fact I work in
Jewel for JS only since supporting SWF will be a lot of work. Maybe
someday I'll try to do it, or just try to support WASM that seems to have
more future.

I think the concept (in part) is the same as AIR. AIR tried to provide a
runtime that could work cross platforms, Royale should do the same. Use the
same programming model and make the tooling output what you need. Again how
that could be done in the future will depend on how many people want to
help, enjoy working on it and are passionate about make it happen.

Thanks


El vie., 11 sept. 2020 a las 16:07, Paul Stearns
(<[hidden email]>) escribió:

> Carlos:
>
> Royale will have its place. However one thing which Royale and other
> similar technologies will never fully implement is a 100% coherent runtime
> environment. There will always be sacrifices to the needs of
> Javascript/HTML. As long as there are multiple browser DOMs there will
> always be the potential for incompatibility.
>
> AIR and other similar technologies will have a place for
> people/applications which want/need a development platform where they can
> be certain of the user interaction layer. The reason I chose Flex for
> development is simple, I was tired of the limitations of HTML and I was
> even more frustrated with the differences between  browsers DOMs. When I
> found that I could develop in one environment and run everywhere, I was
> hooked.
>
> In my limited experience with Royale,some of the same bugaboos of browser
> differences were still there. I am sure Royale will improve and become
> virtually seamless. However from all my decades of IT development it is
> difficult to build a reliable system when the foundation (DOMs) is
> inconsistent.
>
> I believe there is a place for Flex/AIR moving forward. There is also a
> place for Royale, and I will convert one Flex application to Royale, as it
> definitively needs to run from a web browser. My major integrated PC
> applications have been converted to AIR, and are in various stages of
> testing & deployment.
>
> Paul R. Stearns
> Advanced Consulting Enterprises, Inc.
>
> 15280 NW 79th Ct.
> Suite 250
> Miami Lakes, Fl 33016
>
> Voice: (305)623-0360 x107
> Fax: (305)623-4588
>
> ----------------------------------------
> From: Carlos Rovira <[hidden email]>
> Sent: 9/11/20 4:23 AM
> To: [hidden email]
> Subject: Re: Future of Flex
> Hi All just reposting here, since I saw Erik started this thread. Hope this
> helps:
>
> As a long time Flex/Flash advocate I must say that runtime fate is set for
> a long time, so in that front we can't do much more and go with the flow
> like it happened with VHS/Beta, PC/Amiga, and many more...
>
> BUT, I think we can preserve what for me is of huge value: the Flex
> programming model with AS3/MXML, View States, Binding, AMF (RPC), and much
> more... through Apache Royale. For me having that productivity is
> priceless. Also mixing with the good stuff in the modern development world
> means to boost what we already had. For example, I think CSS
> implementation in browsers is far better than the subset we had in Flash
> Player (and Flex), so that joins the Royale programming model through
> normal CSS... or through SASS :).
>
> I think Flex/AIR will still be there for as long as people will use it,
> maybe unfortunately few people now. For many others it's normal that they
> must go with the rest of the world. For many of them, like you, maybe is
> late since you'll go React (that's normal since companies tend to go to the
> mainstream tech for security), but just say that in 2020, I think Apache
> Royale and Jewel set has reach a very good state and it's a pleasure to
> work with it, as it was Flex. So maybe giving a try in the current state
> would surprise you, and will make your migration easier than going React.
>
> I'll be presenting at ApacheCon at the end of this month (31th) a talk that
> showcases the TodoMVC example here [1] and here [2]. Hope that helps others
> to notice how far we reach, and that Royale is now a real option for all.
>
> Talks are here [3], and the TodoMVC talk is "Starting from a blank file"
>
> HTH
>
> Carlos
>
> [1] demo: https://royale.apache.org/todomvc-jewel/
> [2] code:
>
> https://github.com/apache/royale-asjs/blob/develop/examples/crux/todomvc-jewel-crux/readme.md
> [3] https://www.apachecon.com/acah2020/tracks/royale.html
>
> El vie., 11 sept. 2020 a las 8:47, Scott Matheson (<[hidden email]>)
> escribió:
>
> > Eric
> > I have been in the business since 1982 seen a lot, I remember when
> > our first IBM PC B/W screen with 64k memory, single floppy dive arrived
> > and we just looked at it and said what are we to do with that
> >
> > I started developing on PL1, is GO not copy, that a different thread
> >
> > I have been developing in Flex since 2010, and really enjoyed the
> > experience, I 100% agree with every thing you said
> >
> > Unfortunately Royal was too late for us, and we made the switch to React
> > last year, we found electron for mobile was sufficient for our dneeds, we
> > could still create a AIR app from out flex source code if we had, but why
> > have 2 code bases if you do not need too
> >
> > The new React application is designed to look identical to the Flex app,
> > and it does, an end user would be hard pressed see the difference
> >
> > I hate the React JS CSS design approach, but sometimes you just have to
> > dig deep
> >
> > The world is not logical place
> >
> >
> > Sent from my iPhone
> >
> > > On 11 Sep 2020, at 03:55, Erik Thomas <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > >
> > > Hey all:
> > >
> > > If you are a Flex devotee, like me, a longtime admirer of the beauty in
> > Flex that introduced a declarative + procedural model that preceded
> > Microsoft's C sharp and WPF models that essentially stole the idea from
> > Flex for a structural MVC where the view and controller were represented
> by
> > the MXML and as3 respectively, I believe there is much life left in Flex.
> > >
> > > It is still a very relevant platform for creating single-codebase
> mobile
> > apps for Android and iOS. It produces far smaller executables than Swift
> > and most all other competing platforms. The availability of ANEs to
> access
> > native capability provides near parity with native app development, not
> > quite, but close enough to get multiplatform support for a single
> platform.
> > >
> > > I've been developing Flex apps since 2007 with the release of Flex 3 by
> > Adobe. I was working for Intuit at the time Flex was a huge departure
> from
> > Intuit's C++/MFC centric development platform that was used for
> QuickBooks
> > (I was a QuickBooks engineer prior to accepting a challenge to develop a
> > new product using Flex). It was refreshing to start a new project and not
> > have to maintain and develop on a 6 million LOC C++ application.
> > >
> > > While I was at it I was also one of a team that was evaluating MS WPF
> so
> > I learned that too, and while I still think WPF was amazing, it stole
> much
> > of it's design from Macromedia that designed Flex, and I haven't seen a
> new
> > paradigm to challenge the declarative/procedural design even today, IMHO.
> > But the real power is in the runtime. Just like Java practically
> replaced C
> > and C++ based web development because of the amazing advantages of a
> > sandboxed runtime environment, the AIR runtime is brilliant, even today.
> No
> > other major platform for mobile (or web, though the flash player is
> > definitely dying) can equal the performance of the AIR runtime. One must
> > compile to native and that comes with a boatload of problems especially
> > multi-platform support. A runtime engine is still brilliant, just as Java
> > runtimes still power nearly half of the billions of web apps on the
> > internet.
> > >
> > > What I don't understand is why Flex doesn't attract more developers,
> but
> > I'm sure it's because universities and colleges, and tech schools don't
> > teach it because it's considered fringe. If people really understood what
> > it could do we could see third party tools, ANEs, and new innovations
> that
> > pushed it back into the mainstream.
> > >
> > > Oh well. Sometimes the best ideas and designs don't achieve mindshare
> > and fail for reasons entirely unrelated to capability.
> > >
> > > Ancients like me will remember the VHS vs. Betacam wars where the
> latter
> > was 10X better and still failed because of marketing, mindshare, and
> > somewhat political reasoning.
> > >
> > > My company still has two very successful mobile apps built with
> Flex/AIR
> > and some ANEs by Distriqt (the very best ANE developer on the planet
> > without doubt): Linqto and Keiretsu Forum.
> > >
> > > Alas, we have even succumbed to pressure to replace these apps with
> > REACT Native and will be embarking on this road in the next month. It's a
> > sad day. But now that a big company like Adobe has relinquished the reins
> > of both Flex (some years ago) and AIR (to Harmann recently), it seems the
> > fate of this amazing development platform is destined to the graveyard.
> > >
> > > I know there's lots of great innovation with Royale to breathe live
> back
> > into Flex apps, and there are migration options as well. These are great
> > things, but in my opinion, unnecessary because the AIR runtime is FAR,
> FAR
> > better than relying on any browser-based rendering engine to render
> > javascript, html, and CSS.
> > >
> > > Just sharing my opinion as someone who has made his living with Flex
> > since 2007, was once a master/guru of MFC/C++ since Windows 1.5, and got
> my
> > first contract in 1983.
> > >
> > > Erik Thomas
> > > Chief Architect
> > > http://linqto.com
> > >
> > >
> > >
> >
>
> --
> Carlos Rovira
> http://about.me/carlosrovira
>
>
>

--
Carlos Rovira
http://about.me/carlosrovira
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Re: Future of Flex

Carlos Rovira-2
In reply to this post by Erik Thomas-3
Hi Erik,

As I said, I understand your company wants to go React. It's just natural.
I'd love to see more companies trusting Royale and going with us, but while
that is attractive don't think that should be our final purpose. I must say
I'm glad to work on improving Royale since I believe in this technology and
its programming model, I think there's nothing better than it and enjoy it!
:). So getting others (individuals and companies) to jump and use it, would
be very cool, but don't want that to make any difference, but the potential
people that could invest his time in submitting PRs, patches or work in new
outputs like WASM/IOS/Android.

I think Royale should be fun and make people work with it for his personal
apps or try to introduce in its business or company, but knowing there's a
team of passionate people behind it that love to invest his time on making
it better and better over time, and that nowadays is already working, and
maybe we still could miss some things, but now anyone can learn Royale and
make anything he still miss on the current state.

Techs, frameworks,...all come and go all the time :), so I feel comfortable
pushing something that is not behind the commercial business tentacles of
Google (Angular), Facebook (React), Microsoft or Apple...

So just say you, don't worry about your company going React, if you love
the Flex (now Royale) programming model and have some personal Flex Apps
you want to migrate, try to go yourself with Royale and enjoy it, I'm sure
you will! :)

Best,

Carlos



El vie., 11 sept. 2020 a las 17:47, Erik Thomas (<[hidden email]>)
escribió:

> Hey Carlos and all who responded to my philosophical waxing about my
> sadness at abandoning such an amazing platform for developing mobile apps.
>
> I plan to play with Royale and consider it for a new side project I'm
> looking at for web, and I really appreciate the people who put so much of
> their time into creating Royale. Being able to continue with the MXML/AS3
> model is extremely attractive, especially since I have such a large
> collection of my own UI widgets and utilities. When the mobile theme was
> initially released I immediately set out to create mobile apps but needed
> some of the heavier weight controls in spark (not mobile theme) and so I
> ended up recreating a lot of UI functionality from containers that didn't
> need to solve for every use case under the sun which resulted in better
> performance when mobile devices were so very slow. Of course now that
> devices are so much faster, that issue faded away for the most part. But
> being able to continue using my libraries with Royale for a web app is too
> good to resist.
>
> But the decision to go with React Native for mobile has been made and the
> investment in reworking our flagship mobile app will break ground later
> this month. And we recently replaced our web app version of the mobile app
> with React and are going live next week, so there's no room for Royale or
> Flex at my company anymore, except for RTB sunsetting of the existing AIR
> apps until we replace them.
>
> However, I agree with Paul's comments too about inconsistent DOMs
> preventing even Royale from fully achieving what we've so enjoyed from
> Flash all these years. It's just sad that Adobe lost their passion for Flex
> and Flash/AIR so long ago and didn't keep up. I keep thinking how amazing
> it would have been if the Flash/AIR was kept competitive, like
> incorporating new device capabilities directly into the runtime by wrapping
> the native calls, rather than depending on ANE developers to fill the gaps.
> ANE is a great model, but Adobe relied too much on the ANE marketplace to
> provide Flex developers with native functionality that really should have
> been part of the runtime, organic functionality that nearly every app needs.
>
> And my only other complaint about the AIR runtime on mobile is the kludgy
> implementation of stage text input that never kept up. Custom soft
> keyboards should have been available as XCode and Android Studio exposed
> new keyboards, like a Phone number keyboard for instance. And the way stage
> text input fields have to be destroyed (not simply hidden) to avoid showing
> up on top of other views. But we worked around all that.
>
> I am sorry to see the day we stop using Flex/AIR at my company. Oh well.
>
> I raise my glass to all the awesome designers, architects, and engineers
> who worked at Macromedia, and later at Adobe, and later on the Apache Flex
> OS project (and Royale) for creating such an amazing platform that brought
> me such joy, some pain, frustration too, but most of all, pride in the
> products I created with it. Since earning my ACE years and years ago I've
> been so passionate about the platform, it's going to be hard to leave it
> and this amazing community.
>
> Peace.
>
> Erik
>
>
>
>

--
Carlos Rovira
http://about.me/carlosrovira
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Re: Future of Flex

Erik Thomas-3
Hey Carlos:

Our decision to commit to React Native was because:

1.) It is very difficult to find skilled (or even interested in learning) Flex developers anymore. I posted a job on this very forum six weeks ago and received no interest from anyone wanting to go full-time as a Flex/AIR remote developer, and our other recruiting channel also came up empty.

2.) Schools are teaching React, and there are many young, passionate developers who want to work with it.

3.) The right business decision for us was to identify and embrace a platform that's proven, yet young enough to still be growing in adoption, and shares language, tools, libraries, design patterns etc., between web front-end (React) and mobile (React Native), and supports implementing native access to devices without relying solely on a plug-in marketplace.

I'm not really interested in learning and developing with React myself, but I've been coding less and less as our company has started growing pretty fast now since we released an MVP in February that has gone pretty viral among investors who want to invest in pre-IPO companies, like Robinhood, Ripple, and more.

If I were to start another company with a great app idea by myself, I will certainly use Flex/AIR for mobile, and almost certainly use Royale for web and continue with a Java/Spring back-end with MySQL all running in AWS cloud. That is my comfort zone tech-stack I've been working in for many years.

Thanks for making me think about Royale for my next web project and I wish you the best of luck evangelizing and recruiting a strong team to push this tech back into the mainstream.

Best regards,

Erik

=====

    Hi Erik,

    As I said, I understand your company wants to go React. It's just natural.
    I'd love to see more companies trusting Royale and going with us, but while
    that is attractive don't think that should be our final purpose. I must say
    I'm glad to work on improving Royale since I believe in this technology and
    its programming model, I think there's nothing better than it and enjoy it!
    :). So getting others (individuals and companies) to jump and use it, would
    be very cool, but don't want that to make any difference, but the potential
    people that could invest his time in submitting PRs, patches or work in new
    outputs like WASM/IOS/Android.

    I think Royale should be fun and make people work with it for his personal
    apps or try to introduce in its business or company, but knowing there's a
    team of passionate people behind it that love to invest his time on making
    it better and better over time, and that nowadays is already working, and
    maybe we still could miss some things, but now anyone can learn Royale and
    make anything he still miss on the current state.

    Techs, frameworks,...all come and go all the time :), so I feel comfortable
    pushing something that is not behind the commercial business tentacles of
    Google (Angular), Facebook (React), Microsoft or Apple...

    So just say you, don't worry about your company going React, if you love
    the Flex (now Royale) programming model and have some personal Flex Apps
    you want to migrate, try to go yourself with Royale and enjoy it, I'm sure
    you will! :)

    Best,

    Carlos

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Re: Future of Flex

Carlos Rovira-2
Hi Erik,

My history, although different (of course) is very similar to yours in
terms of background, actual needs and work path, so understand perfectly
what you tell me :)

Let see if more people come to Royale to continue making it bigger. We
don't need to be the next breaking tech. Others like haxe did a great job
with its own passionate users, so I hope we have a sufficiente group of
people interested in making something good and fun.

thanks for your thoughts! :)

El sáb., 12 sept. 2020 a las 18:31, Erik Thomas (<[hidden email]>)
escribió:

> Hey Carlos:
>
> Our decision to commit to React Native was because:
>
> 1.) It is very difficult to find skilled (or even interested in learning)
> Flex developers anymore. I posted a job on this very forum six weeks ago
> and received no interest from anyone wanting to go full-time as a Flex/AIR
> remote developer, and our other recruiting channel also came up empty.
>
> 2.) Schools are teaching React, and there are many young, passionate
> developers who want to work with it.
>
> 3.) The right business decision for us was to identify and embrace a
> platform that's proven, yet young enough to still be growing in adoption,
> and shares language, tools, libraries, design patterns etc., between web
> front-end (React) and mobile (React Native), and supports implementing
> native access to devices without relying solely on a plug-in marketplace.
>
> I'm not really interested in learning and developing with React myself,
> but I've been coding less and less as our company has started growing
> pretty fast now since we released an MVP in February that has gone pretty
> viral among investors who want to invest in pre-IPO companies, like
> Robinhood, Ripple, and more.
>
> If I were to start another company with a great app idea by myself, I will
> certainly use Flex/AIR for mobile, and almost certainly use Royale for web
> and continue with a Java/Spring back-end with MySQL all running in AWS
> cloud. That is my comfort zone tech-stack I've been working in for many
> years.
>
> Thanks for making me think about Royale for my next web project and I wish
> you the best of luck evangelizing and recruiting a strong team to push this
> tech back into the mainstream.
>
> Best regards,
>
> Erik
>
> =====
>
>     Hi Erik,
>
>     As I said, I understand your company wants to go React. It's just
> natural.
>     I'd love to see more companies trusting Royale and going with us, but
> while
>     that is attractive don't think that should be our final purpose. I
> must say
>     I'm glad to work on improving Royale since I believe in this
> technology and
>     its programming model, I think there's nothing better than it and
> enjoy it!
>     :). So getting others (individuals and companies) to jump and use it,
> would
>     be very cool, but don't want that to make any difference, but the
> potential
>     people that could invest his time in submitting PRs, patches or work
> in new
>     outputs like WASM/IOS/Android.
>
>     I think Royale should be fun and make people work with it for his
> personal
>     apps or try to introduce in its business or company, but knowing
> there's a
>     team of passionate people behind it that love to invest his time on
> making
>     it better and better over time, and that nowadays is already working,
> and
>     maybe we still could miss some things, but now anyone can learn Royale
> and
>     make anything he still miss on the current state.
>
>     Techs, frameworks,...all come and go all the time :), so I feel
> comfortable
>     pushing something that is not behind the commercial business tentacles
> of
>     Google (Angular), Facebook (React), Microsoft or Apple...
>
>     So just say you, don't worry about your company going React, if you
> love
>     the Flex (now Royale) programming model and have some personal Flex
> Apps
>     you want to migrate, try to go yourself with Royale and enjoy it, I'm
> sure
>     you will! :)
>
>     Best,
>
>     Carlos
>
>

--
Carlos Rovira
http://about.me/carlosrovira
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Re: Future of Flex

leokan23
In reply to this post by Erik Thomas-3
Erik Thomas-3 wrote
> 1.) It is very difficult to find skilled (or even interested in learning)
> Flex developers anymore. I posted a job on this very forum six weeks ago
> and received no interest from anyone wanting to go full-time as a Flex/AIR
> remote developer, and our other recruiting channel also came up empty.

This has been so true and it has been like this for years. I was always
taking care of recruiting Flex guys, and I was not able to find new ones for
years. Even the last hires 4-5 years ago, were junior devs who I trained in
flex.

Apart from that, my biggest concern / issue / realization is that Flex has
not been actively developed for years. Last update was in 2017. Even when a
fellow dev tried to donate his Android skin update, that never actually
happened. It is true that as long as Harman doesn't make any change in AIR,
Flex will be working more or less, but I dont see it gaining any more users
as it looks abandoned.




--
Sent from: http://apache-flex-users.2333346.n4.nabble.com/
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Re: Future of Flex

Carlos Rovira-2
Hi,

I think people still using Apache Flex should take over this project and
make this kind of things happen.
I still believe in Flex for AIR projects, but I must say that currently my
focus is in Royale and that takes all of my time, and  I don't have any AIR
or Flex project out there now, so I'll not doing work for Apache Flex
project. I'm only interested in the BlazeDS part, and maybe we'll be
migrating to Royale to have it more near.

So others that still are using Flex should take over, and make that kind of
things happen. If you love Flex, things like the Android theme or any other
thing could happen if you make it real or recruit others to integrate PRs,
implement things or do releases.

That's the good and the bad of OS projects, you can't rely on others to
make it happen it depends on all of you still interested or using Flex :)

Carlos


El dom., 13 sept. 2020 a las 17:42, leokan23 (<[hidden email]>) escribió:

> Erik Thomas-3 wrote
> > 1.) It is very difficult to find skilled (or even interested in learning)
> > Flex developers anymore. I posted a job on this very forum six weeks ago
> > and received no interest from anyone wanting to go full-time as a
> Flex/AIR
> > remote developer, and our other recruiting channel also came up empty.
>
> This has been so true and it has been like this for years. I was always
> taking care of recruiting Flex guys, and I was not able to find new ones
> for
> years. Even the last hires 4-5 years ago, were junior devs who I trained in
> flex.
>
> Apart from that, my biggest concern / issue / realization is that Flex has
> not been actively developed for years. Last update was in 2017. Even when a
> fellow dev tried to donate his Android skin update, that never actually
> happened. It is true that as long as Harman doesn't make any change in AIR,
> Flex will be working more or less, but I dont see it gaining any more users
> as it looks abandoned.
>
>
>
>
> --
> Sent from: http://apache-flex-users.2333346.n4.nabble.com/
>


--
Carlos Rovira
http://about.me/carlosrovira