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RIA, Flex, browser and beyond

Posted by Moxie Zhang | December 16, 2005 .

How far Flex can go without getting into the same fate of Netscape or alike?

I was feeling there are something hidden as potential barrier for Flex. I love Flex app and really enjoy it whenever open up a Flex app (especially mine:-), but in the mean time, always sense something unease and remotely uncomfortable. (Do you have this kind of feeling?). Now the more I play with AJAX and AJAX application, that feeling is getting much clearer. It’s the browser!

I feel the Flex doesn’t belong to ( shouldn’t confined to) web browser environment. Flex application is really self contained and self sufficient platform. An AJAX application seems more natural and native and born-to-be web application. AJAX can only be within a browser but Flex should go way above and beyond.

But if not a browser, if Flex is still internet application platform, what environment or a thing Flex should be running in? Is there something bigger and greater than browser in the future?

Flexers, I’d like to hear from you.

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2 Comments so far
  1. Jarrod  December 16, 2005 12:00 pm

    I can see Flex being used for destop applications. address books, email apps, maybe an office suite, calendars. It could be a great way to tie normal destop applications to the internet. Isn’t Microsoft doing the same thing these days? Flex may end up one-upping Microsoft because it would create cross platform applications with ease.

    Example – try using ColdFusion Flash Forms with Flash Remoting and MySQL or Access and creating your own address book. It’s fairly simple, and doesn’t even leverage any of the real power behind Flex. If I (a newbie) can manage that, imagine what could be done with a non-browser based ‘Flex Player’.

  2. John Dowdell  December 16, 2005 9:28 pm

    If the various document browsers seem inappropriate for a particular project you’re running, then could you describe a little more which particular features need to change, be removed, added to that “browsing” experience?

    Is it the intrinsic linking, bookmarking, and other document-browsing behaviors which don’t work for you? Or the page-based refresh mechanism, despite all the IMG.SRC and XmlHttpRequest tricks? Or is it the lack of branding for an intranet application which makes a document browser difficult for your intranet app? or…?

    (There has been talk about an Apollo project, to integrate SWF, PDF and HTML in some way, but “beyond the browser” could grow in many different ways, so I’d like to learn which of those ways are most important for your own work, thanks.)

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