So, what once was code-named Royale at Macromedia has finally become Flex, and it’s in it’s Beta phase.

I’ve been reading some whitepapers and articles about this, and i’m really excited about it and can’t wait to play around with it, i’ve even applied for the beta program, i hope i get chosen.

Basically Flex is a Rich Internet Application Server that does almost everything the same as any other application server would, but generates swf flash files in the end.

It has a special markup language called MXML which is very XML-like, reminding me of ASP.NET and ColdFusion, but even easier, i’ve taken a quick look and i already feel like i’ve got a good grip on it.

It’s interface will be event driven using ActionScript 2, and it will be able to use WebServices, HTTPService and RemoteObject to access data.

Flex actually runs on a Java Application Server for the time being, but there will also be a version that runs on Microsoft .NET.

I think it’s great that developers will be able to produce rich user interfaced applications a lot easier now using Flex, and i hope that it works out great and grows into something big.
I think the main criteria that will make or break it is whether it’s fast or slow, if it’s going to mean minutes and minutes of loading time, then it will certainly fail.

An idea i have is that maybe Macromedia could have all the basic stuff such as the textboxes, buttons, …etc in Flash Player so that all the application would do is return certain tags for the player to interpret and display, instead of making it part of the returning swf. In short, something like the browser, where the load is thrown onto the user’s machine not on the server resulting in bigger files to download.

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Mohamed Marwen Meddah is a web development director, amateur photographer and web enthusiast from Tunisia, currently living in Canada.

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