The old goat bites back
In reply to my previous post Gumbo, Substance behind the hype? – Jones wrote “Flex a hindrance? Only for old goats who sneer at changes to their old way of doing things.”
If someone doesn’t know about software development, then Flex is great. It’s ok for dragging together a quick application that exploits the components in the limited way they were intended. But as soon as you want more customised behaviour – it’s quicker to code from scratch with Pure ActionScript, than to wrestle with Flex idiosyncrasies. And I know these idiosyncrasies better than most people.
In my professional capacity as a senior Flex developer – I’m always getting asked to do with things with Flex components that Flex components don’t do. Ok coding custom components and objects may be an “old way of doing things”, and being an experienced software developer and AS3 expert may make me an “old goat” – but it gets the job done, and I get paid very well for it.
In the early days, the market for Flex was predominantly existing Flash developers. They probably didn’t delve as deeply into things as programmers do. But now, I suspect that a lot of experienced software goats are moving to Flex. I don’t think Gumbo went far enough to accommodate for this new user base.
The bloated swiss-army-knife monolithic components were written to be manipulated inside the Flex GUI – they were NOT designed to be inherited and extended by a programmer.
Anyway, since when is Flex a new idea? It’s like Visual Studio for ActionScript. I hate .NET more than I hate Flex. Jones is probably too young to remember when Visual Basic first came onto the scene. The problem with these drag-and-drop software making GUIs is how they handle the transition to more customised behaviour – Flex does not handle this well.
Buggy, bloated and badly conceived is not a new idea either.
Entry filed under: Flex sucks.