Friday, May 25, 2007

Flexlib updates, Bi-Di in Flash Player, and a Love-Fest

Long time, no post. Really, I haven't had much to write about, since I've been knee-deep in some CSS, HTML, & .Net work. Finally, I'm getting to spend some time in Flex again, so I'll probably turn up the volume again, so to speak.

I got some good news last night - my text highlighter component has been added to Flexlib!! Here's the full component list, and here's a link to the example itself. If you find any bugs, feel free to post them in the comments here. No matter how many times something I create goes out into the world, it's still exciting. Big thanks to Doug and Darron for making this happen!

Then, when I came in to work this morning, I saw Emmy's post about bi-directional text support in Flash Player 10. Awesome - sounds like they're planning to not only add bi-directional text support, but generally just beef up text in general. This is great news. Although it improved substantially in FP8, text handling is still not perfect. Things like styling HTML text can still be a little dicey. And I would love for things like my text highlighter component to be completely unnecessary!! Maybe they could add in some highlight-and-find functionality in there.

As a side note, I wonder how long they'll stick with numeric versioning for the Flash Player. Most software doesn't make it much beyond 10 before a change in naming convention, like Photoshop CS3, etc. I could imagine a Flash Player 11, but Flash Player 17? 13? Maybe Adobe Acropollash? Flappollobat? Blinding Ray of Transcending Glory? (I think M$ considered that one, at least momentarily). I personally would go with Flappollobat - it has a certain ring to it, don't you think?

Finally, I sometimes use this blog as a place to vent my frustrations with poor customer service and other things gone awry in the Adobe world. However, I feel that if you chose to voice your opinions in public, you should take care to present the totality of your views. In other words, if you have a concern or complaint, voice it - but if you have positive things to say, say those too. It occurs to me that I have let many of those positive things go unsaid, while I have given more energy to my irritations - this seems to me to be a special form of hypocrisy.

That said, I have worked with CS3 and Flex Builder on the Mac for some time now, and I think they're amazing. Very solid, very enabling technologies. Flash Player 9 continues to astonish me from a performance perspective, and I can develop applications using Flex so quickly that I can spend more time on the design of them, and even have time to actually implement the "nice-to-have" features that normally get pushed off to version 2 of a project. And I also happen to love the new icons. Don't change them, please? So elegant, so well thought out.

It would be ridiculous for me to itemize everything I love about CS3 and Flex - it would be a long list, and probably take up most of my available blogging time. So maybe the solution is to simply give less time to my gripes, and try to focus more on the mission of this blog, which is to publicize information useful to RIA developers. Wish me luck. :)

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