This was written after Adobe turned its Flex product over to Apache. An update summarizes my opinion on how this affected Flex's future.
Adobe Apache Flex!?!
Well, Adobe's anouncement that it's dropping the mobile Flash Player and giving Flex to Apache were certainly game changers. I can understand Adobe killing the Flash Player on mobile (it definitely had problems and the lack of iPad/iPhone support was a huge gap) but I'm scratching my head over their killing Flex (ok, not killing, they didn't actually strangle their baby, they just dropped it off at the Apache orphanage).
While I grok the logic of HTML5 for enterprise RIAs in the long term any migration now seems premature because HTML5 is still too immature. On the other hand, making Flex more open does present an opportunity — for an interesting discussion of some possible Flex futures listen to the Flex Show's recent Flex summit roundtable.
As for Flex's future, a lot will depend on how seriously Adobe works with Apache. It's in Adobe's interest, since their recent actions have damaged their brand, and showing they're serious about Flex will do some repair. Certainly their cooperation over the next year will be critical to Flex not just surviving, but moving forward.
Ok, that's all I'll say on this for now, until things clarify it's best to just put your head down and keep on coding — Flex/AIR work isn't going away anytime soon (though it's a good idea to start exploring HTML5 development options, and on that topic I recommend an excellent post by João Saleiro "After 6 years doing Flex, am I moving to HTML5?").
Update Summer 2012:
Yeeeesh. While I loved Flex, the combination of Adobe's incompetence and Apple's intransigence have sounded its death knell. Most companies are going to be leery of starting large projects in Flex; available Flex work has been diminishing and will continue to do so.
While there is still AIR development work out there, I no longer see it as a viable long-term path, since I no longer trust Adobe -- how long until Adobe abandons AIR developers the way they abandoned Flex developers?
Ah, well, change is good, and both the native appdev world and even the js appdev world have gotten very interesting of late...
SPA Demo Application
Backbone Demo Application
- Addy Osmani's blog
- Derick Bailey's Backbone posts
- Murphey's JQuery Fundamentals (original)
- Crockford's JS videos
- MSDN Project Silk
- Primer on Flex/AIR Multiscreen Development
- Primer on Mobile App Development w/Flex 4.5
- Primer on Flex 3 Component Lifecycle
- Primer on Flexlib MDI
Flex demo apps
all require Flash Player!
AIR mobile dev
- AIR mobile dev Tips
- AIR and Android Back key
- AIR, StageWebView, displaying local content
- AIR for Android memory issue w/large images