I’ll be speaking at this year’s Adobe MAX Conference in Los Angeles from Oct 4-7 on the topic “Moving from Flex 3 to Flex 4”. Here is the official description on the catalog:
“Learn about the new features in Flex 4 from the perspective of someone who has been doing Flex 3 development. We’ll discuss changes in MXML, states, effects, and CSS, as well as the new component model. This session is a must for developers who know Flex 3 and want to understand the best way to move forward with Flex.”
I’m not sure who came up with this description, but, I don’t think its that accurate saying that this is from the perspective of someone who has been doing Flex 3 development. It should probably say, “from someone who has been testing the Flex framework since Flex 1.5”. But, oh well… The talk will be on Monday, Oct 5 at 11:30 AM and Wed, Oct. 7 at 11:00 AM. I hope to touch on all of the topics that Flex 3 developers may find challenging when moving to our next version of Flex including the new namespaces, set of components, skinning architecture, layouts and states. If you have a particular topic that you want me to address, let me know. I’ll see you at MAX!
Once people got their hands dirty in Flex 4, one of the first road blocks that they hit was in styling. Our philosophy was that Flex 4 and its new Spark theme would provide people a much more flexible (no pun intended) way of skinning. Out of the box, we only provided a couple of global styles including baseColor, focusColor, color, symbolColor, contentBackgroundColor, rollOver, selectionColor and the text supported styles. These knobs were supposed to allow you to change the overall look of your entire application very quickly. However, if you wanted to do anything else, you had to create a custom skin using our new mxml graphics and states syntax.
People coming from Flex 3 were wondering… “How do I change a border?”, “Can I change a background?”, “What about cornerRadius?”… “Why didn’t fillColors work anymore?”. All of the these styles that made making small tweaks easy, were now gone in the Spark skins. (They are still all available if you use the Halo skin, btw).
After much thinking, pondering, and looking over schedules, it was decided that we would bring back support for some of the styles (definitely not ALL of them). Glenn just posted a spec yesterday discussing this upcoming work and is looking for feedback:
We are trying to find the compromise between keeping the skins flexible and lightweight and providing enough convenience knobs to change appearance easily. Again…. we are looking to the community to provide some feedback on whether the right styles were chosen to support.