This is my first venture into the wild world of Flex. And here are my impressions.
My First Flex App
Flex is awesome
Flex is basically Flash, but better. Since Flash is already awesome, and Flex is better than Flash, I think it's safe to say that Flex is Super-Awesome.
It appears that Macromedia and Adobe took what learned developing Flash and rebuilt it without the mistakes from the first time around. The classes are cleaner, a lot of the bloat has been removed and everything is extensible.
Documentation for Flex is lacking
While there is a good amount of general documentation on Flex. The vast majority of it is based on developing inside Adobe's Flex Builder application. If you are a cheapskate like myself and want to use the free Flex compiler, it is harder to find help.
This lack of documentation is understandable. Most likely all of the developers at Adobe are using the Flex Builder application and donâ€™t have experience coding without it. Also Adobe makes money by selling their Flex Builder application. Developers who arenâ€™t using it, aren't directly making them any money. There isnâ€™t much motivation to write documentation for them.
It is unfortunate that there is this lack of documentation, though. It inhibits new developers from picking up Flex and trying it out. Given my strong Flash background, I still had a hard time figuring out how to do simple things like dynamically creating MovieClips, or invoking EnterFrame handlers. I canâ€™t imagine how difficult this would be for someone without any Actionscript experience to get going. Maybe thatâ€™s the way Adobe wanted it. Old school geeks can get by on the free SDK, but newbies have to fork out a little cash to get in the club.
As time goes on, Iâ€™m sure more third party tutorials and forums will address development outside of the Flex Builder. I, myself, am hoping to put together some Flex tutorials of my own.
Flex is awesome
There are a lot of great new features available with Actionscript 3.0. However, at the moment, I canâ€™t justify the cost to upgrade all of my software. The fact that the free Flex compiler gives me access to all of this now, for free, is just plain awesome. Feel free to take the Flex plunge yourself (the free SDK is the last link on the page). All it will cost is a bit of your time.