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Macromedia Central?  A worthwhile platform?

This looks kind of neat...not sure if is in the "just-neat-and-otherwise-useless" category...opinions?

http://www.macromedia.com/software/central/?promoid=home_prod_ce_0111903

GiorgioG
Thursday, July 08, 2004

Has anyone ever taken Macromedia Flash seriously as a programming environment?

Joe
Thursday, July 08, 2004

I don't know about business apps, but there are a TON of flash games and art projects that are actually quite involved programming-wise.

sir_flexalot
Thursday, July 08, 2004

http://www.flickr.com/

That seems to be one of the newer-ish, Flash-based distributed/collaborative applications.

Andrew Burton
Thursday, July 08, 2004

Flash is very popular for online games.

Green Pajamas
Thursday, July 08, 2004

What's the point?  If you're developing web apps, then flash sucks for all sorts of reasons, such as accessibility and indexing just for a start.  If you're developing OS based apps, then why bother with flash? 

The only people that would actually use this as a serious platform are designer-wannabe programmers who would inevitably produce a horrible result. 

Flash stuff fills a useful niche as a tool for adding visual effects, specialised animations or games.  This attempt to push it as a platform is doomed.

ka-ching
Thursday, July 08, 2004

ka-ching, I agree completely. I have personal experience exploring Flash as an application platform and I can tell you that it's a lot of work for little gain.

I can see the draw of using Flash for applications since it's cross-platform and fairly ubiquitous. However, after about three months of serious experimentation with it, I gave up on the idea.  (I had the beginnings of a really cool set of widgets, but since I had to build them all myself it was time consuming.)

I would recommend Java.

Wayne
Thursday, July 08, 2004

Flash is growing up very fast. The latest version of it has a VB-like forms programming environment, built-in connectivity to web services, tree-views and data grids, a component-based architecture, a real object oriented language, a Model View Controller framework ... a lot of what you would need to build a real rich internet application.

That being said, it's a bitch to learn (completely different abstractions: very different from just learning a new language), and it's hard to scale (since everything resides in one binary file, working on a UI with a large team can be difficult, and tracking changes is impossible). For non-consumer apps (i.e. where transitional animations etc aren't needed) I think it is too much risk for too little reward.

The real action seems to be the declarative xml languages that compile down into flash, _not_ Central. Flex and Laszlo both fall into this category. Laszlo is super-cool but everyone thinks they will be killed by Flex (which is Macromedia's offering). Both are analogous to XAML and XUL, but are available now and work on a large % of installed browsers.

I went to a Laszlo demo last night and saw, among other things, a very intuitive reworking of the eBay sell your item pages. Very slick stuff that uses animation for good (i.e. to keep the user from getting lost) rather than for evil (eye candy).

jonathanboutelle (jonathanboutelle.com)
Thursday, July 08, 2004

Does anyone think Central would take off if Macromedia were to open-source it?

Just wondering
Friday, July 09, 2004

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