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ActionScript Framework + Ruby on Rails = JumpShip

Posted by Charles | June 10, 2008 .

InfoQ just published post about a great ActionScript framework, JumpShip. JumpShip is a Ruby on Rails inspired ActionScript 3 MVC driven RIA framework. Here at Flex RIA we are all big fun of RIA infused Ruby on Rails system. As matter of fact, the best startup we’ve written(Babble) was just like that. And now, JumpShip gives you a framework to develop a Flex + Ruby on Rails application with everything you need, including a Rail Gateway. Just as Jamie Scanlon said:

Ruby on Rails was my model of how easy a framework could be and how frameworks should make development easier. Based on my experience with Ruby on Rails, I always thought that having a data model that was defined in the framework was incredibly valuable. Rails has an ActiveRecord class, which is an abstraction of a database table and lets you do basic CRUD as well as search, sort and data traversal. When you start to think of your data as an abstraction of a database table, you would expect these types of basic operations to be available. I wanted to make an assumption that the data in my application was just values from a table. I wanted my data model to know how to search, sort, traverse and modify that data. 

I also wanted one data model that worked everywhere. I didn’t want to have to define value objects for every application, knowing that they could never be used again. The concept of one data model that you can use everywhere, not just for your current project, is still is a new idea in the ActionScript world. It not only saves you development time, but it also forces you, as a developer, to think of a data model as something that should serve you and your application. It is not just a way to parse and store whatever the server gives you. Too often developers fall into the trap of structuring their data models the same way as the raw data they receive, whether that is XML, JSON, or raw objects. Most likely the data coming in is structured in a way that makes sense to the backend business logic. However, as front-end developers, we have no obligation to keep the same structure we are given. We can and should make data work for us, rather than the other way around.

Can’t wait to give it a try. And, nice work, Jamie!

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1 Comment so far
  1. mudit  July 18, 2008 2:08 am

    i was just digging for Flash/Flex frameworks, and had a look at PureMvc. It has 44 page intro documentation, Damn it ! I almost started snoring.
    Though jumpShip is short on documentation, and I am still looking for a site dedicated to the project(I’ve been through the one hosted on blogger.com ), but the intro on http://osflash.org/projects/jumpship is somewhat satisfying, short and sweet !

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