6 Replies Latest reply on May 10, 2006 10:39 AM by Andrew Oliver

    Flex 2 based Webmail

    James Ward Newbie

      I didn't want to further hijack the feature poll, so lets discuss the possibility of a Flex 2 based UI for JBMS's Webmail...
      - We could create a kick-ass Webmail application
      - Flex 2 sdk and framework are now free
      - Flex 2 is much, much faster than Laszlo and Flex 1.5
      - Could potentially use the Flash player's Binary Socket support to connect directly to the IMAP & SMTP Server, I think AS3 libraries exist already
      - Could connect to JBMS through Web Services or RESTful services

      Potential problems
      - HTML support in Flash is not great, so rendering HTML emails is tricky
      - Until OpenAMF supports Flex 2, we won't be able to use remoting

      What do you all think?

        • 1. Re: Flex 2 based Webmail
          Andrew Oliver Master

          Other downsides:
          - Not open source which means if there are problems we're OOL and probably can't just fix them.
          - Tools are $1000 per developer

          However, we're EXTREMELY DO-ocratic. Meaning, I'd far rather have someone who will do a good GUI in a tech that I don't favor than ME do it in a tech that I favor...because if I do it...it will be ugly.

          I can bet that it will be faster/more stable since its from macromedia aka adobe.

          If you can roll this then I'm game so long as we can distribute the work product (unclear to me from the FAQ and doco on licensing).


          • 2. Re: Flex 2 based Webmail
            James Ward Newbie

            With Flex 2, you can use the free sdk and framework to compile the webmail application into a swf (the format Flash player understands). This swf can be distibuted without restriction. However, for developers the sdk and framework are not redistributable, so developers will have to download the sdk & framework and plop it into a lib dir somewhere in their JBMS source tree.

            As far as not being open source, Adobe is distributing the framework code, so if we find bugs in components, then we can fix them ourselves. And since I am on the Flex team at Adobe, I should be able to help get any other bugs fixed. (disclaimer below)
            As far as tools go... My preferred IDE is vim anyways. So unless developers want to purchase the Flex Builder Eclipse Plugin, they will not need to spend any money.

            I will start working on a really simple interface design to get the process rolling.


            *** Disclaimer: I totally did not intend on turning this into yet another work related project... I just have genuine interest in this project, whether the webmail app uses jsf, ajax, laszlo, whatever. If Flex is not the best fit that's fine.

            • 3. Re: Flex 2 based Webmail
              Andrew Oliver Master

              Ahh I didn't immediately relate you to the search I did on flex (earth to andy). Okay I'm cool with that. Since the framework code is availabe especially (cause nothing is as painful as a scrollbox that doesn't scroll if you reside the screen just so...see Java's swing as a primo example of why every wigit thingy should have some kind of open or shared source agreement...even though swing always had suck at its core anyhow).

              I love the vi too, but since I'm graphically impaired (I only grabbed Windows 95 back in the day because I couldn't stand word perfect) I have to draw things like GUIs with a mouse or I don't know what they'll look like up front. So far all IDEs for GUIs suck compared to the VB5/6 IDE which could actually draw a GUI on the screen and have it look approximately the same at runtime (sadly we decided to revert to mainframe technology ala HTML shortly after).

              I will start working on a really simple interface design to get the process rolling.

              DO IT NOW! I expect a working SMTP form by the end of the day :-)

              -Andy (UNIX till I die)

              • 4. Re: Flex 2 based Webmail
                Andrew Oliver Master

                the more I look at this flex stuff the more I like it...

                • 5. Re: Flex 2 based Webmail
                  pk_wasp pk_wasp Newbie

                  Hey have you seen this?


                  or maybe for HTML integration with Flex use the Flash Ajax Bridge (its open source from Adobe)

                  or wait for the Adobe "Apollo" project :)

                  • 6. Re: Flex 2 based Webmail
                    Andrew Oliver Master

                    What advantage would that have? Since AJAX is drawing HTML with JavaScript which is unmistakably harder than Flex -- why would we want to clutter our working system with it? Not trying to be an asshole just wondering what the advantage is other than "AJAX is [a] cool" abbreviation? With Flex we have an easy way to create rich UI, an easier to use way to write the presentation logic....