Monthly Archives: May 2006

Projects, Moving, Vacation…

Here is an update on things happening in my camp. I spent the better part of last week working with FDS, moving from DC to San Francisco, and getting ready for a 10 day dive expedition to Costa Rica.

I have been making some great progress on several AS3 projects as follows:

Custom Preloaders in Flex 2 using AS3 Classes and Flash Blaze Alpha.

SWF2AS3 – Generate an AS3 Class from a SWF file. Not decompilation, binary embed.

FDS Radio – Custom Messaging Classes for presence, chat, IM.

Using Object Databases with Flex Data Management – Persisting instances of Java classes, not RDBMS object mapping.

Runtime MXML for Flex 2 – Render MXML loaded over HTTP/Socket into any component.

Tomorrow I am departing on a 10 day dive expedition to Costa Rica that I have been planning for over a year. The trip will take me to San Jose, Costa Rica then 350 miles offshore to Cocos Island in the Pacific. I will be diving with large pelagics (whales, sharks, mantas, and 1000’s of fish). There are few places in the world where you can dive like this and I will be bringing back lots of photos both digital and film. I am especially interested in the schooling hammerheads near Alcon bay. As few know I am a shutterbug at heart, hopefully I can find a home for all my diving photos using Flex 2.🙂

This is Costa Rica diving:

Assuming I survive the trip, I will be back online in early June and will be wrapping up several projects for release. Unfortunately there was not enough time in May to complete my FDS overview. I will get to this and the preloaders first thing when I return. June/July should be a very interesting month, after some R&R and my move to SF behind me, things should be back to normal.

More to come…


Flex Data Services – Part 1

I spent my first week at Adobe in Newton learning Flex Data Services. This product is amazing and will result in a new class of rich applications. Unfortunately many developers are going to miss out on the opportunity within FDS. Let me explain…

In talking with developers in the community, I get the sense that Flex Data Services is misunderstood as a product. There seems to be allot of rumor and misinformation about what the product does and the benefits to developers and applications. I want to shine a bright light on Flex Data Services (FDS) and let everyone know exactly what it does and more importantly how it will dramatically change rich applications.

Q: What is Flex Data Services? (My Definition!!!)
A: Flex Data Services adds rich collaborative data into RIA’s.

Flex Data Services is composed of 4 parts:

1. Web Tier Flex Compiler
Think -> MXML compilation on the server.

2. RPC Services – Remoting, Web Services, Proxy.
Think -> Exchange objects with Java and Web Services.

3. Messaging – Multi-user messaging with JMS support.
Think -> Distributed events between clients and services.

4. Data Management – Distributed Data Synchronization and Paging.
Think -> Distributed Objects/Collections with multi-user editing and synchronization.

What is interesting is that developer productivity is very high with FDS. With one or 2 tags, you can add RPC, Messaging, and Data Management seamlessly and integrate with existing java classes, JMS, data storage, and legacy services.

Next week I will be covering FDS Messaging and I will have 2 sample applications for you to download and work with. Although to be able to work with these examples, you are going to have to do a little homework first…


1. Download Flex Data Services 2.0 Beta 3 from Labs.
2. Review the sample applications and source code.
3. Have Fun. There is some great stuff in FDS, you will not be disappointed.

More to come…