UI Smackdown: Session 4

Combining Flex with other technologies

Is it possible to combine Flex with other technologies?  We saw James Ward build a Flex front end for a TurboGears app at CodeMash.  What else makes sense? Those are the questions that we tried to answer in the last session that I attended at the UI Smackdown.

Flex runs on the Flash VM, which has a small memory footprint. It's possible to build a GWT programming model for Flash.  This would generate ActionScript instead of Javascript. That's interesting.  The goals of such would be to reuse components so that you don't have to learn a new interface, leveraging the Flex framework (e.g., tab navigation, etc.).  You would want to use the GWT Compiler, which is written in C/C++.

This would provide good discipline in Javascript, in terms of using libraries and namespaces.  It would improve searchability.  This would be heavy on HTML, rather than AJAX.  One downside of AJAX is that it's not spiderable, hence the reduced searchability.

This is an interesting area which certainly requires more thought. It sounds like James Ward IS thinking in that direction and it will be interesting to see what Adobe comes up with.