One of the things that I’ve found to be a bit of a pain is structuring data correctly so it’s easy to chart. Luckily there are some things you can do within the charting framework in Flex to make that a bit easier as well as some things you can do with the Zend Framework to send data in a way that’s easier to chart. I cover the basics in a new post on the Adobe Developer Center.Tweet
The official Flex team blog reminded me that Effortless Flex 4 Development is now available. It’s the perfect book for Flex and PHP developers and I got an inside look at it as I did the tech-reviewing for it. Larry is an awesome author who usually does a lot with PHP but recently started getting into Flex and in talking to him it sounds like he really enjoys it. So definitely go out and grab a copy. I think we’re going to try and buy some to give away as I go out and talk to PHP and Flex developers alike.Tweet
This is a fairly straightforward topic but I did a quick DZone article on charting with Flex and PHP using the data-centric design wizards in Flash Builder. The wizards make it very easy to at least get the basics down and start using data in charts, and I covered some basic ways to add animations and interactivity.
I’m working on a more in-depth article with Zend that will cover grouping/sorting/etc on both the client and server side. It will provide some info on how to structure your data and make it more flexible for manipulating when it’s in the chart.Tweet
Last week I presented at the Front Range PHP User Group on getting started with Flex and PHP. It was a really awesome group and I had a great time presenting. Thanks guys for having me and for sticking around for drinks afterwards. If you were at the meeting (or just want to take a look) I just posted my slides as well as my demos from the event. The slides are embedded below and you can grab the demos from my DropBox account. There isn’t much documentation on the demos, but hopefully they’re semi-helpful.
That is the most important thing that Flex brings to Flash: professional grade tooling. The Flex framework, which Adobe has open sourced, makes application development quick and painless for programmers familiar with event driven programming.
One of the things that fascinates me about the Flash Platform is the number of different types of web professionals it attracts. Those web professionals have very different goals so we largely try to stay out of the way and let them create what they want. But to make them productive we create tools and sell them. But trying to have one tool that does everything isn’t practical. Flex was always intended to be a developer-centric way to create Flash applications and I think Flash Builder 4 is going to show that off better than the previous versions.Tweet
Join Mihai Corlan while he goes through the basics of debugging a Flex and PHP application.See how to work with:
- Flash Builder 4
- Eclipse PDT
to ensure a bug free project. The presentation will take about 45 minutes, leaving 15 minutes to answer any questions you might have on this subject.
Xdebug looks like a cool project and I know Mihai has been finding it very useful as part of the client-server debugging workflow.Tweet
I’ve been blogging more recently about PHP, which may be confusing for people who know me and my ColdFusion background. But in looking at things, the PHP community has been incredibly vibrant and successful on a number of fronts. We’ve started adding more support for PHP developers through partnerships and support of things like Zend AMF, the PHP Data Wizards in Flex Builder, and encouraging community speakers at events like ZendCon. On the Adobe side, Mihai Corlan has done a fantastic job of creating resources for PHP developers who want to learn Flex. The team needed someone to take the lead here in North America and I asked to do it (Lee is busy with cool Flash stuff and going to Latin and South America). So now PHP developers have a go-to guy here in North America working to further the PHP agenda here at Adobe and helping more PHP developers be successful with Flex and Flash.
So why me, someone with little PHP experience? I’ve always felt like evangelism is about growing your developer community and developer relations is about helping the community you have. At Adobe we don’t really have a specific developer relations role (it’s basically Mike Chambers) so the evangelists end up doing both. Which is fun because our community is awesome. But I also wanted a challenge and to grow professionally as an evangelist. I thought the best way to do that would be to get out of my comfort zone, immerse myself in a new technology, and execute on ideas that could be applied to any technology by any evangelist.
Luckily we’re working with some great PHP people and the PHP community is a very welcoming and open place. There are a lot of places where PHP and Flash fit really well together so there are features like data visualization, collaboration, video, and data-heavy applications where I think PHP developers can use Flash in a helpful way. And in the process hopefully I’ll end up being a better evangelist and helping to grow the number of Flex developers.
If you’ve got ideas, or applications that show off Flash and PHP together, I’d love to hear them. You can always drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call/text me at (307) 438-9716. I think 2010 is going to be a huge year for PHP and Flash momentum.Tweet
Wade just blogged about a patch that was submitted by Mark Reidenbach to Zend AMF that provides a 10x performance boost over the old one. This isn’t a final release and everyone is still making sure the patch hasn’t introduced any new bugs so he’s encouraging everyone to download this one and make sure it works correctly. If you have issues, add it to the current open bug.
From Wade’s post:
Thanks so much Mark! I have also added a reference check optimization that uses SPL_object_hash to quickly see if an object has been seen before or not. Overall you should see a big performance increase. The test case I used was the James Ward’s census data from my ZendCon talk which consists of random people objects ranging from 1 – 100 duplicates totaling 5k total rows. Xdebug profiling analyzed by KCacheGrind showed roughly a 10X increase in performance!