So last night I attended my first London Flash Platform User Group meeting at CosmoBar, EC1. The idea of the group is to bring together like-minded developers to discuss, demo and practice what’s new in the Flash world.
Last night’s chat was made up of two presentations, ‘Cairngorm: Making a Molehill out of a Mountain’ from Neil Webb and ‘Can Code, Will Code: Flex Application Development in 60 Minutes’ by Mike Jones – both exploring and providing me with my first real insight into Adobe Flex.
Neil Webb introduced Cairngorn, an open source architectural framework for Flex. Thankfully colourfully analogised, it’s essentially a complex augmentation of an MVC model. Like I said, being new to Flex it’s specificity gracefully flew over my head but there’s obvious merits in extrapolating processes and good OOP. I’ve recently been working with Drupal so could appreciate it’s granularity – and like Drupal – Webb admitted it excels in some applications but for smaller projects can be overkill. Presentation slides (and blog) can be found here.
Then came the workshop! Mike Jones is Head of Development at London agency Mook. He remained confidently ambitious that a Flex app can be created in an hour – even for a complete newcomer – albeit with the help of a very small amount of Blue Peter style pre-prepared source.
One of only a few to draw out a laptop and attempt to the challenge I completed it with modest success. Admittedly when the hour overran and Mike rattled through the final touches, a couple of lines I merely copied down, the majority I comprehended. The tutorial was thorough, if indeed entry level and the final outcome a relatively simple drag and drop photo sharing app.
Anyway, good to meet other developers and finally get involved with Flex and MXML. I also got secret sneaky peak at next month’s presentation – I look forward to it!