Sunday, July 23, 2006

Flex2 is a zombie technology

And by zombie I mean- it's already dead, even if it looks like it's walking around, propelled by force of vivid marketing campaigns while feeding on the brains of gullible programmers. If people want to make use of Flash- this is the best way to be doing it- wrap it in JavaScript.
Ajaxian JSSoundKit: Super-Easy Sound API.
JSSoundKit wraps the Flash Sound object, making it easy to incorporate sound into your Ajax apps. Really easy, in fact:
var mysound = new Sound();
mysound.loadSound("", true);

The server side pieces of Flex are useless- there are a number of general purpose web application frameworks that do everything it does, and don't lock you in to Adobe server side technology. The ability to take advantage of the widely installed (although with a great variety in versions, if my web stats are to be believed) Flash plugin is best when it is an optional thing.

I have seen some very nice looking interfaces done with Flash- but in reality I see it as nothing more than a good widget provider. Their server side story just doesn't resonate for anyone doing .Net, J2EE, Python, PHP, Ruby etc. (with the possible exception of un-reformed ColdFusion developers and those doing COBOL on Rails). We've come such a long way to get nice URL addressable content (aka web services) in web applications- let's not give it up for some fancy widgets that come with the trojan horse of a clunky server side communication piece. I am making a pact with anyone that's willing to listen- don't learn Action Script: friends don't let friends do MXML.

I don't know where this rant leaves OpenLaszlo and such things, but I have a feeling these guys should start selling easily integrated widgets and stop building web application frameworks.