Some tools for flexing…

KapIT release in it lab area some tools among which we find:

  • KapInspect

KapInspect is the flex equivalent of the famous Firebug console. Activated on a simple click it allows to inspect all the flex components of the page, to show and to modify their properties.
kapi

Those consoles allow to show at runtime the various components of the framework.

mvc

The integration is quite simple. After setting the .swc component in the project classpath, you just have to add the good tag in your mxml file.

For example :



...


Then to open the console just make a Ctrl+Alt+Click in the flash stage. Notice that you can use the various consoles simultaneously
For pureMVC console you have to change your Facade class to extend DebugFacade. You’ll find explanationhere

SINGLETON in as3

To implement the pattern singleton in action script we quickly collide with a limitation of the language: we cannot return a private constructor and it is the base of the pattern.
By looking on internet we find several more or less evolved solutions which allow to protect the usage of the constructor.Often an exception is raised if it is not called by the static getInstance method.
The inconvenience of this approach is that the error is raise only during runtime and not in the compilation. In the book « ActionScript 3.0 Design Patterns » the author proposes another approach.
Continuer la lecture de « SINGLETON in as3 »

RIA : inside or outside the browser ?

The Paris JUG this time was devoted to GWT and implementation of Restlet for GWT. Two presentations greatly performed by Didier Girard and Jerome Louvel. I was impressed by the number of participants, thinking that GWT was already in the soul. Bravo to Didier continue to promote this technology and Jerome to put the concept of REST.
Still, I am astonished at the vision that people have of the RIA. For many I have the impression that RIA means rich web application. […]

The Paris JUG this time was devoted to GWT and implementation of Restlet for GWT. Two presentations greatly performed by Didier Girard and Jerome Louvel. I was impressed by the number of participants, thinking that GWT was already in the soul. Bravo to Didier continue to promote this technology and Jerome to put the concept of REST.
Still, I am astonished at the vision that people have of the RIA. For many I have the impression that RIA means rich web application. But the notion of « rich » is simply a reconsideration of the user experience and this does not necessarily by the browser. GWT, Ajax, AppletFX, Flex or Silverlight do not have the monopoly of RIA simply because they run in a browser.
Javascript enabled to overcome the limitations of HTML in the browser and gave a new dimension to Web applications. The browser now becomes a runtime JavaScript and uses HTML as graphics library. Like Java with Swing, C# with WPF or Silverlight, AS3 with Flash and Flex.
iTunes is probably one of the first RIA and this is not a web application. As I said already we must differentiate Rich Web Application and Rich Desktop Application. A RWA runs in the browser, a RDA runs in an

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OS.
There are advantages and disadvantages in both approaches but the distribution and maintenance which have long been the strengths of Web applications are no longer true today.
As you do more surprised to have your Windows automatically updated it is now also possible for an RDA to be maintained and transmitted via the Web. Java Web Start is a good example and Adobe AIR knows how to do too. But i herer what you say : to run Java or Air, you have to respectively install the JVM and runtime AIR. Yes it’s true like you do it recently when you installed Chrome or previously installed Firefox. The difference is that Windows come with its own browser and when you buy a PC with Windows you have it. At one time you install a runtime and except if you are terribly lazy person you aren’t obliged to be use Windows/IE only.
Where we must be vigilant with a RDA is to not go back to the old client/server model. The RDA must remain a UI layer and not shipping business that must always be server side.<br /> Apple had already experimented this with WebObjects Java Client and continues today to offer similar APIs for Cocoa and now IPhone SDK.
To the slogan « the browser is the platform » I answer « the

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browser is a platform ». Future architectures should not be dependent on UI layer because it must be developed in the best technology to meet the objectives of application and customer needs by focusing on ergonomics and performance.
Our application ResUrgences is in web for 8 years now in a sector (health) where applications are often client/server. Now the extension from the emergency department to the mobile emergency department (say SMUR in France) forces us to reconsider the web architecture because using a web application on a Tablet PC offline, although not impossible, is not appropriate. Especially when you have to interconnect with monitoring and electro-cardiogram equipment.
So what choice between RWA and RDA ? The first step is to think RIA, so to have a SOA server side architecture and services accessible through various formats via various protocols. At this point different criteria have to be focus on: ergonomics, performance, accessibility, environment (OS and hardware), openness, security, compatibility with existing … So there is no obvious answer. I’m looking for a long time on a table that defines what technology for what needs and now I think it’s impossible.
What should be considered is :

  • access to local resources (files, applications, USB, serial, Bluetooth) is an argument to look to the RDA. Although this can be remedied with an applet and increasingly with Gears (but it’s a RWA/RDA mix, why not is what I do) and that the Flash plugin already allows access to the camera.
  • the concept of « push » to send data to a client from the server is now possible with RWA (Comet, reverse Ajax) and soon standarize in HTML 5 (WebSocket).
  • exchanges via asynchronous MOM with queues client side cannot yet be in RWA. Gears should propose an API and LifeCycle Data Service does not really do it because the queue is server side.
  • uniformity of application with a single platform deployment independent of the OS is probably the most powerful argument for the SI to choose a RWA

Go back to JavaFX

In a previous post i said JavaFX lack was a design tool to promote a good relationship between developers and designers, essential for membership of the community around this technology. Knowing that designers will not change tools easily the best approach would be to make a bridge between the existing design tools and JavaFX. That is the purpose of Project NILE by offering a Illustrator and Photoshop plugin to export a FXD or a FX file but also a SVG converter and a graphic viewer.
It’s the good strategy i think, so I realized a test.
Continuer la lecture de « Go back to JavaFX »

TETRA approach : developer, designer, ergonomist and orchestrator

The adoption of rich client is not only a craze for a new fashion concept, it’s a response to a request from users thinking that computing should be simple and intuitive. Technologies and tools are being put in place, but we need to think how to design applications involving more user in the visual interface. Rich client now allows us to realize all that users can imagine and it’s this ability that makes this concept innovative. The problem is that the user does not always able to imagine what would be the best UI for him, we must involve people who know the business, mastering ergonomics conceptss, have knowledge of design and how it can cost in terms of development. It’s this set of skills that we must coordinate to answer to the expression of user needs. We can sum up this approach in the form of a tetrahedron:

tetra_en

Orchestrator have the particular role of reconciling the technical and the visual with the trade. The difficulty lies in finding the person who is familiar with the three above concepts and is able to understand the subtleties of different trades. In my opinion, the success of a rich client project go through this approach.

FLEX vs AJAX vs GWT on the Grid

The title is a little a canvasser but the purpose of this post is rather to get acquainted with 3 manners to make RIA and to compare them through a central component of an application: the grid.
I was thus used to recreate a simple screen containing a label, a button and a grid.

Continuer la lecture de « FLEX vs AJAX vs GWT on the Grid »

eXo Platform Enterprise Suite

It was a pleasure to assist at the launch of eXo platform final product range for company’s portal. Benjamin Mestrallet and Francois Moron were able to meet quality people that even the greatest would like to have for their presentations. After a brief history of eXo platform, Benjamin introduce the 4 new products :

  • ECM
  • Collaboration Suite (mail, contacts, calendar)
  • Live room (video conference)
  • Forum / Faq

Continuer la lecture de « eXo Platform Enterprise Suite »

360 Flex Conference Resume

I confirm that this technology is very interesting and successful. I am not agree when payday 2 masks someone tells me that Adobe has managed to do what Sun failed to do with Java client side. Indeed with Applet all this is possible for a long time. http://paydayloansnearmeus.com Apple had already made this choice with WebObjects Java Client with a customized NeXT library in Swing.

Continuer la lecture de « 360 Flex Conference Resume »

360 Flex

I will be, next 7, 8 and 9 april at the Flex conference in Milan. US version have been in Atlanta in february. I’m not waiting big news, it’s more a

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technical conference and it’s the reason i go to. Italian speakers in majority but not only, interesting sessions for example Flex and Ajax by Marco Casario. Don’t hesitate ask me to be your eyes and ears if you can’t go to it, i’ll make a day to day feed back. You can find the shedule there and if you want to go, there is a an offer.