TechCast #17 – Interview with James Ward of Adobe Systems on Flex

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If anyone has been listening since our very first Podcast, we covered flex way back in February with our own Peter Paugh.  But when we had an opportunity to talk to James Ward of Adobe, a Flex evangelist and someone passionate about Flex as well as Java development, we jumped at the chance.

James was a great interview, a fantastic source of information, and will be a good listen.  We talk about Flex, Flex Builder, the open sourcing of various technologies, the Open Screen project, why Java developers should care, and many more topics.

Helpful links and resources:

  1. The Census Benchmark App – James has been working on this for a while.  It is a benchmarking application comparing various RIA / AJAX technologies and speed of operations like sorting, table management, etc…  An interesting way to see relative performance metrics.
  2. Flex Home – the main Flex developer site.
  3. Adobe Open Source – James mentioned this site a lot.  This is where Adobe places all of its’ open-sourced technologies.
  4. The Flex SDK Download Page – The open source, freely available SDK
  5. The Shockwave File Format – Adobe has fully documented the SWF file format.
  6. The Open Screen Project – a consortium including Adobe that wants to push Flash onto mobile devices by opening up the standards and exposing the flash player.  More info at the FAQ
  7. Gnash – an open-source flash movie player mentioned in the show
  8. AMF – (pdf download) the ActionScript Message Format – Read up on this, as Flex supports AMF for fast transfer of data between client and server.
  9. BlazeDS – A server-side Java remoting technology using AMF.
  10. LiveCycle ES – A commercial, J2EE-based server platform for Flex development from Adobe.
  11. FXStruts – the FXStruts Library allows Struts developers to expose java objects within a Struts application using AMF

James Ward’s blog and useful information is located at www.jamesward.com.   The Flex Show episode 50 is also a good listen…