Mike 12.27.2010

  • Investigating the Flex Text Layout Framework
  • The Good:
    • The mark-up language looks very similar to HTML and classes exist for importing and exporting from several sources
    • The language can be read by many existing flex components including TextArea, RichText, and RichEditableText
    • A fairly nice open-source text editor component exists
  • The Bad:
    • Simple things like lists with bullets are not yet supported
    • FlowText does not actually flow around things until 2.0 is released with the Flex 4.5 SDK along with many other needed features
  • I plan on making a Report application which will be able to contain other applications such as a rich text widget, advanced data grids, charts, and anything else we come up with down the line.  It will lay them out according to whatever layout the user wants and hopefully look just like a report would on paper.  I think the first iteration will read a config in from a xml file and the next version may have editing similar to a wiki page.
  • When working on the report widget I started thinking about how widgets will communicate with each other so I decided to refresh my memory on some existing popular flex application frameworks:
    • Cairngorm – not very dynamic out of the box
    • PureMVC – Could work but it completely ignore the built in eventing of flex and makes its own publish/subcribe methods…. so every view component needs to be wrapped in another layer to translate events.  This is, of course, a good idea to make reusable widgets but if you’re already doing all this extra work for your widgets, why not use your own architecture instead?

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