When I joined SRT Solutions a while back, one of the primary reasons for the move was to get exposed to new ideas and technologies. Although my first project at SRT didn’t stray much from my Silverlight expertise – an MVVM-driven WPF application – my second project is taking me in a slightly different direction.
For a couple of months now, I have been developing an Adobe Flex project. When I tell people this, I often get jokes about being a “defector” or a “designer” (or both). If I don’t get a joke, people often cringe. I’ll be completely honest: I was a bit afraid to get involved at first too.
You see, within the Microsoft developer community, Adobe and Flex don’t have a great reputation. It is almost as bad as the (unfair) reputation Apple and Mac developers have. On both accounts, I find this to be unfortunate. Why can’t we all learn from each other and grow as a larger developer community? Why can’t we all get along?
A Bold Statement
I am ready to say it: Flex 4 has a lot to offer. I’ll take it a step further: Flex does some things better than Silverlight. That is not to say that I am leaving Silverlight. Far from it. In fact, I am ready to celebrate diversity. I want to help other developers do the same.
I am making this the first of MANY posts where I will attempt to bridge the gap between the two technologies. It won’t be hard to do – they are strikingly similar. I will do my best to present objective comparisons of the two technologies both big and small in scope. You won’t find me declaring one better than the other. Instead, you will read posts that will help Silverlight developers work in Flex as well as Flex developers in SIlverlight.
In addition to this blog series, I will be giving two public talks on the differences:
- 11/18/10 — MI SIlverlight Users Group – Cross-Training in Silverlight and Flex
- 1/13-14/11 – CodeMash – Every Thing You Always Wanted to Know About Flex * But Were Afraid to Ask
A taste of some posts on Silverlight and Flex to expect in the near future:
- A Platform Overview
- The Future of RIAs
- XAML vs MXML
- C#/CLR vs ActionScript/AVM (Part 1)
- C#/CLR vs ActionScript/AVM (Part 2)
- MVVM vs Presentation Model
- Data Binding
- Visualizing Data
- Backend Service Consumption
- Visual State Management
- Testing/Mocking Frameworks
- Third Party Frameworks
- Design Tools
- Designer/Developer Workflow
- Deployment Story
- Re-Templating vs Skinning