Articles Tagged: dev

development information, best practice, code samples for developers, wether web, desktop or mobile

Pattern Park Reviewed Flex Application Frameworks PureMVC winner

November 20th, 2007 | By Cedric Madelaine

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I have read and listened recently about a really interesting review on Application Frameworks for Flex. I was happy to see that my choice of using PureMVC several months ago was relevant…

Application Frameworks for Flex comparison

Silvafug, the Silicon Valley Flex User Group has had a presentation by Luke Bayes and Ali Mills from Pattern Park about Flex Application Frameworks review. This is presented for the first time. They tested Cairngorm, PureMVC, ARP, MVCS, Flest, Model-Glue: Flex, ServerBox Foundry, Guasax, and Slide.

They built their report on following key points:
A: Approachability: documentation, adoption, active community, shared knowledge.
B: Scalability: testable, clear encapsulation, accommodates change, support parallel development, modular applications.
C: Flexibility: open-source licence, context independent.

You can check the full Adobe Connect Session of this presentation. They did not finish their presentation, because an open discussion started. It is a pity that they did not show their timed comparison between Cairngorm and PureMVC. By the way the discussion is also interesting.

Results of Luke Bayes and Ali Mills review of Flex application frameworks

Their results is that Cairngorm, officially supported by Adobe, is the best way nowadays to cooperate with a wide range of consultants around the world. But they showed that PureMVC Application Framework is the one which best fulfil approachability, scalability and flexibility. Their piece of advice is then to go firstly with Cairngorm, but to learn and to use PureMVC as much as the context allows it because they consider it is the best one. PureMVC was built by Cliff Hall, a very experienced Project Architect. He started to develop PureMVC after having a broad commercial experience of Cairngorm. This can explain why PureMVC is so good and so smart addressing drawbacks of Cairngorm.

analogd use PureMVC, my experience.

I personally choose this framework few month ago during analogdesign’s transition phase to Actionscript 3. After several months of use in a commercial context for Flex and AIR development, it revealed to be amazingly efficient, flexible and clean. It deserves its denomination of pure, everything is well organised based on the role of each element in a complete respect of the Model View Controller pattern and integrate most of Gang of Four design patterns. It has also the advantage to remain independent, to lighten at the maximum the logic within views (MXML files) and delegate all business tasks. It also manages very well events by keeping them within the outer bounds of the Framework. It adds also another level of abstraction to communicate events (named notifications) through the Framework. It avoids a cumbersome spaghettis’ plate of events which may occur sometimes with development only based on official Flex events. Moreover, PureMVC has a test suite API to allow corresponding Unit Testing and on the long run seems to be very stable (the core is simple not much modification to occur which may break your apps). Last but not least, PureMVC has an excellent documentation made by people who are very efficient to communicate complex information and devoted to answer in detail every question on their forum. They are also setting up a courseware which I am currently Beta testing.

Conclusion which application frame to choose for flex

My piece of advice is that you should have a look at this framework at http://www.puremvc.org, even if you are a very experienced Cairngorm user, it does not take much time to check the main documentation which is very well written. I will prepare soon a generic Model for PureMVC to be used on Enterprise Architect (which I will review shortly). Do not hesitate to drop me a line on this subject.

Appendix

Alex Uhlmann has plenty of articles on using Cairngom efficiently.
Thomas Burleson made several points on problems caused by Cairngorm and made multiple proposition to improve it.
Derrick Grigg made very interesting suggestions on diverse points.

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Flash Flex Font Embedding Information Sharing Project SAEF project

October 25th, 2007 | By Cedric Madelaine

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Open SAEF Project (Share About Embedding Fonts)

Introduction to flash flex embedding initiative

Fonts’ embedding is one of Flash features which characterise Flash/Flex productions and a noticeable advantage of this technology. It is here from early days of Flash and I remember that anti-aliased fonts embedding was already available in Flash 3 when I started Flash developement. Along the way Bitmap fonts support and Flash type rendering engine and Unicode support has been added and allowed to manage small sized fonts more graciously and propose a wide range of languages. Font’s choice and management of embedding techniques are of course a corner stone in every commercial project analogd/I develop. I have released numerous products with complex font management including localisation and non-Latin Fonts support (like Asian Fonts) see an example here: Pac Team Group.

New versions, new Font Embedding Techniques

Flash 9 embedding brought new problems to the surface and Flex plays its own game on this point. I think that the feature allowing us to export Fonts as .swf is a very promising one. At first it surprised me because of copyright issues produced (are Linotype, Fontshop, Monotype, etc aware of this feature allowing anybody to share fonts as a .swf file? Maybe a good subject for another Blog Post…). But as usual new versions of Flash/Flex imply new techniques and issues.

My proposition: gather and share= SAEF project

I think that information on Flash/Flex Font embedding techniques, problems occurring, tricks and tips are often difficult to track through the internet even with Google. It is the reason why I decided to gather information in one place, hoping that other people will share what they found, I have named this the SAEF project(Share About Embedding Fonts) . You will find below a link to a simple Flex application including a list of Tests I made for different kind of fonts and a tree gathering pieces of information and problems. The source XML file is available, so make your modification/additions and send it back to me, or simply post a comment on analogd’s blog. This SAEF project may allow having useful piece of information in one place whatever your level of Flash/Flex development is.

Click on the image above or on this link to launch the SAEF Project. Thank you in advance for your help and involvement in improving this document!
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