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January 28, 2008

Flex: MVC frameworks comparison

Writing about web page https://admin.adobe.acrobat.com/_a200985228/p12266504/

As I’m about to move into using an MVC framework for Flex applications, I thought I’d have a look at what’s currently available. Rob has already done some work with Cairngorm, which is the solution suggested by Adobe, but there some others out there too, including PureMVC, Model-Glue, and Guasax, plus a few others I hadn’t heard of before, although some of these were immature or dormant.

The guys at Pattern Park recently conducted a comparison of the frameworks available. They scored each framework’s effectiveness using three main criteria – Approachability (how easy it was to set up a project and get started, the level of documentation and support), Scalability (how ‘expensive’ is it to add features, how ‘testable’ the code is), and Flexibility (is it open-source, can it be modified, is it context-independent etc.).

The presentation is well worth watching, but they concluded PureMVC scored most highly in all three criteria, with Cairngorm coming close behind. However as someone noted in the presentation, knowing Cairngorm is a prerequisite if moving between clients because many existing projects will be using it already. Luke Bayes has a follow-up to the presentation where these points are mentioned in greater detail.

Here are their reasons why PureMVC came out on top:

  • Composition over inheritence
  • Liberal use of Interfaces
  • Indirection is used but not overwhelming
  • Instance members hide singleton references from application code
  • MXML views can be extremely thin
  • Benefits of Cairngorm, with few of the disadvantages

The presentation is very useful for anyone considering patterns/frameworks for Flex development – I’m going to start working with PureMVC this week and see how it goes…


November 27, 2007

Zoho and Google Gears: offline editing

Writing about web page http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/zoho_on_gears.php

Zoho, the online word-processor, now implements Google Gears to provide offline editing of documents within the browser.

If you’ve got Google Gears on your computer, you can download selected Zoho documents to your hard drive with just a click. The pages for those documents will then be accessible inside your browser, even with when you are not connected to the internet. Someday soon, the company says, the other Zoho apps will also be available offline as well.

Cool – although I’m still not totally convinced that there’s a great need for ‘occasionally-connected clients’ I used Zoho to write up my final year project and there was the odd time when I couldn’t access a hotspot. Now I’m using Buzzword a lot more (I prefer the interface), but an AIR version of Buzzword would be an interesting alternative.


July 30, 2007

Flash–Ajax Video Component

Writing about web page http://labs.adobe.com/wiki/index.php/Flash-Ajax_Video_Component

Adobe has just released a Flash-Ajax Video component:

The Adobe™ Flash™ Ajax Video (FAVideo) component is a small, open source Flash component that you can use to provide video playback within an Ajax application. It exposes all of the formatting and video playback controls necessary to build a video player customized entirely using HTML and Javascript.

The component can be included with a few simple lines of Javascript:
playerOne = new FAVideo("divOne", "demo_video.flv",0,0,{ autoLoad:true, autoPlay:true });
playerOne.addEventListener("playheadUpdate",this,myHandler);
function myHandler() {
//alert("Event");
        }

Neat idea. It has some basic controls for playback and volume control, all in a 15K Flash component, and it’s compatible back to Flash Player 8. I don’t know whether it supports RTMP streams yet – there’s nothing I can find in the docs, but it could be a useful little tool.

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