Re: [silvafug-events] Re: [silvafug] Adobe's announcement on the future of Flex

From: Leds Usop J.
Sent on: Wednesday, November 16, 2011 10:19 AM
Thanks Doug. Will be looking forward to that blog post. Should we also be looking forward to you and your team's active involvement in Spoon?


From: Doug McCune <[address removed]>
To: [address removed]
Sent: Wednesday, November 16,[masked]:21 AM
Subject: Re: [silvafug-events] Re: [silvafug] Adobe's announcement on the future of Flex

I'm happy to share my thoughts, was about to write up a long email response and realized it might be better to organize it as a blog post. Will reply to the mailing list once I get that done, look for it in the next few days.

The big picture is: no, we are not actively porting our app to HTML. It's massive (hundreds of thousands of lines of code) and we make use of exactly the kind of stuff that HTML5 is immature with (intensive layered bitmap rendering, large app architecture/organization, modularized development and runtime code loading, etc). And we have many customers in large enterprises running on IE 6/7/8, which is not going to change anytime soon. So that leaves us with 2 issues: 1) it would be a monumental amount of work to try to reproduce what we currently have, and 2) even if magically we had something working right away, we'd have more headaches deploying it to our customers than we currently do with Flash (and I expect this to be the case for at least the next 3-5 years is my guess). 

That said, we're going to be investigating doing small "side projects" with HTML5. Small development efforts to do a tablet proof of concept, or things that can be little standalone supporting apps. Over the course of the next 5 years or so we may end up completely transitioning off of a Flash codebase, but it won't be because we port our existing app over, it will be because we'll have built up an entirely new app from scratch (meaning in terms of the UX as well as the technical implementation of the code) that can eventually make our current Flash app obsolete. We have no concrete plan to do this at this time. For now we're very much in wait and see mode. But my faith in Flex's long term viability (5+ years from now) has basically been shattered, so it's important to start exploring other options.

Like I said, I'm going to try to write up more thoughts in a blog post and will let you know when that goes live.

Doug

On Wed, Nov 16, 2011 at 6:07 AM, Leds Usop Jr. <[address removed]> wrote:
Hey Doug,

Fan of your work at Spatial key and your work... just curious if you guys are moving over your entire visualization stack to html5? If yes (or if you have already done it), did you use any existing frameworks? and which ones?

Sorry for hijacking this thread guys, we are also on the same boat and we want to have as much input as we can in pursuing third party frameworks to help us migrate our UI.

thanks!

best
Leds


From: Doug McCune <[address removed]>
To: [address removed]
Sent: Monday, November 14,[masked]:52 PM

Subject: Re: [silvafug-events] Re: [silvafug] Adobe's announcement on the future of Flex

Let me google that for you...

  1. Do percentage based layouts?

http://24ways.org/examples/intricate-fluid-layouts/complex-layout-example.html
 
  1. Does HTML 5 have equivalent form objects, and a framework to extend on those form objects?

http://jqueryui.com/
http://dojotoolkit.org/widgets
http://www.sencha.com/products/extjs/
 
  1. Does HTML 5 have a data grid and an advanced data grid (that again is extendable) with item renders for in cell editing? Maybe there is, Google docs has spreadsheets?????

http://livedocs.dojotoolkit.org/dojox/grid/index?action=show&redirect=dojox/grid
http://www.trirand.net/demophp.aspx
http://loianegroner.com/2009/12/getting-started-with-extjs-datagrid/ 
http://dojotoolkit.org/grids-charts

  1. Does HTML 5 have an awesome charting framework for doing data visualization?

http://mbostock.github.com/d3/
http://raphaeljs.com/
 
There are a lot of things missing that you're used to, and there are a lot of things that aren't nearly as easy to work with. But the answers to your questions are mostly yes. Are they as mature and easy to work with as the Flex framework? No, probably not. Are you going to fight against browser incompatibilities for the foreseeable future? Yes. Are you going to wince in pain a lot and wish you could go back to the good old days of writing Flex apps? Yup. But it is what it is. Your life just got harder. But on the plus side, the JavaScript world is advancing at a much faster pace than the Flex/Flash/Actionscript world has been over the past few years (note I say faster *pace*, I'm specifically talking about the rate of change). Sure, it'll take many years before things work as well and are as easy as you're used to. But again, it is what it is, and no amount of us bitching about it is going to make a difference.




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Please Note: If you hit "REPLY", your message will be sent to everyone on this mailing list ([address removed])
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