Was thinking about learning new tech, and well, I haven't gotten much farther into .NET as I'd wanted to, given moving and a sudden appearance of work. Instead, I've had a project hurled at me that combines Flash MX and XML, something I've just barely touched before.

Wow, is this stuff fun. And I write that without a trace of sarcasm-- this app I've inherited for maintenance and extension, though it's a bit grungy and shows some signs of late-night expediency, does some neat things with actions and buttons dynamically wired up in response to XML config files loaded via URL, which are in turn generated from a database managed by a simple end-user admin interface. Not sure how much more I should write about it, but I'm dying to post a link. Of course, this isn't revolutionary stuff in general. It's just a revelation to me.

The last time I had an opportunity to really, really dig around in Flash was just about when Flash 5 came out. I was immersed daily in Flash in the years between the initial acquisition by Macromedia, up through version 4, and just started drifting away, sadly, when things started getting really interesting with v5. That was when my daily job swung entirely into the backend, and client-side concerns were no longer my task.

But now I'm back in this old neighborhood, and I can see why some people would love nothing better but to build entire websites in Flash. Yeah, that's evil, but it's sexy. Despite some clunkiness, there are some very nice possibilities I see now. I love Java, and loved cobbling together funky applets 5 years or so ago, but Flash makes me want to toy with rich client-side apps again.

And then, there's this Sony Clie PEG-TG50 handheld I've recently started pining for, and it appears to run a Flash 5 player. It's probably underwhelming, but who knows?

Anyway, back to work, but just had to spill some enthusiasm for Flash.


Archived Comments

  • I have to agree that it's a whole new ballgame with Flash MX. I've managed to move from backend to front a few years back and while I mainly play in Mozilla, Flash MX is a welcome treat on occasion, see link in comment. I'm also doing some of this in an open source card sorting application where I pass javascript data from Mozilla chrome into Flash via WDDX (an xml format for data structures), uzilla.mozdev.org. Lots of possibilities for merging things like browser history with Flash viz.
  • Erk, didn't realise Blosxom displays my email address if I provide it (I thought it would be over-ridden by my URL) :(
  • Just don't make me read content from Flash. Fancy GUI things with XML socket back ends and dynamic data are fine, stupid (but amusing) optional animations are fine, but having to READ stuff in a Flash environment (where the many readability enhancements provided by my browser no longer apply) tends to make me wish it had never been invented.
  • Sorry about that, Simon. I just ducked in and clipped your email address out for good measure. I should think about making that an option for my comment plugin