Leo’s Tech Blog
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Leo’s Tech Blog

Will Flash ever be fixed?

Posted by Leo Soto on December 7th, 2009.

I’ve done my share of Flash/Flex development. It’s great: You can build very cool UIs and know they will run in the same way on all the browsers. There is a (mostly) sane component model to create your own widgets. And you use a (mostly) sane language to build the application. Unless you approach those libraries that are trying to Java-ize the Flex platform, but please keep yourself away of them for your own sanity (and productivity!).

Let’s face it: HTML/Javascript and Flash/Flex are the only real cross-platform alternatives for rich internet applications. Silverlight isn’t, even if Moonlight tries to make it work on Linux and Mac, because it doesn’t. And JavaFX isn’t either, as long as it continues crashing my browser every time I give it a try.

The fact that Flex is open source is also a good thing. But the Flash Virtual Machine isn’t. There the bad things begin.

Flash RIAs tend to break the web experience. It’s not only they hiding the URLs. It’s also about usability and accessibility.

— Adobe pushes Flash and PDF for open government, misses irony

So, at the end of the day, seems like HTM5 + Javascript is the way to go. But it comes with so many cross-browser issues! It hurts to think how messy some applications I’ve written in Flex would be if written in HTML/Javascript, even when using libraries like JQuery to avoid dealing directly with the DOM API.

Unless, of course, that Flex get fixed. I have no idea how, but the idealist in me says that open sourcing the VM would help a little bit…

Originally published at techblog.leosoto.com on December 7, 2009.



A personal blog on tech stuff. Includes older entries that used to live on techblog.leosoto.com

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