Adobe Flash Catalyst beta
Adobe has certainly succeeded in shrinking the distance between design and development with its latest batch of RIA tools
- Catalyst is very easy to use, new state model and Spark skinning simplifies coding, new Builder tools help debugging efforts, good client-side data management additions.
- Catalyst lacks advanced components, transitions are awkward to apply, Network Monitor monitors services calls (Flex RPC) only
By allowing you to import Illustrator or Photoshop artwork and turn them into interactive Flash, Catalyst jumpstarts any Flex project. I can't overstate how accessible and easy to use I found Flash Catalyst.
If only it were as easy to build a Web application as it is to design one in Illustrator and Photoshop. Maybe it will be someday, and maybe that someday is closer than we might think.
Adobe has certainly succeeded in shrinking the distance between design and development with its latest batch of RIA tools: Adobe Flex 4 SDK, Adobe Flash Builder 4 (the Flex Builder IDE renamed), and Adobe Flash Catalyst, all recently made available in public beta.
The new kid on the block is Adobe Flash Catalyst, previously code-named Thermo. By allowing you to import Illustrator or Photoshop artwork and turn them into interactive Flash, Catalyst jumpstarts any Flex project. I can't overstate how accessible and easy to use I found Flash Catalyst.
Using Catalyst's pallet of UI components (scrollbars, buttons, data lists, and so on) and other tools, I was able to graphically construct a data-ready interface from scratch within minutes. Page and button states were quick to customize; even glitzy transitions such as fades and slides were a one-click cinch to apply.
Catalyst reads Adobe's new static XML graphics interchange format, FXG, so importing bitmap and vector images from Creative Suite 4 applications (Illustrator and Photoshop) is a snap. Elements altered in Catalyst can still be edited back in Illustrator and Photoshop tools. And you can include 'design time data' to give designers a view of actual data formats.
To be sure, Adobe needs to fill out the asset library with more controls, containers, and prefab layout grids -- but this is a nice showing.
Meanwhile, under the hood, Catalyst generates the Flex code behind the user-interface components, which developers can import into Flash Builder 4 and combine with the business logic.
I liked the ability to isolate code by page (or state) in the Flash Builder 4 IDE (known as Gumbo). Because a single Catalyst FXP file contains the code for every state of the entire interface, it can become cluttered. To streamline navigation and comprehension of the design, developers can isolate by state and view only the code relevant to the page they're working on. I'd like to see the code actually collapse too, rather than just gray out.
Flash Builder 4 brings new tools to data-centric workflows, rounding out the coding and design focus of its predecessor, Flex Builder 3. Builder 4's new data service wizard makes very quick work of importing and introspecting back-end services and binding them to UI objects. In addition to PHP, Web services, and HTTP services, Builder also supports BlazeDS, LiveCycle Data Services, and ColdFusion.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Witness a 241% Australian price hike: Dell Latitude 7370 review
- 2 Is this the best value phone on the market? Moto G4 Plus review
- 3 Sony Xperia X Performance review: Sony’s most disappointing product in years
- 4 Huawei P9 review: lifting photography to another level... sometimes.
- 5 Huawei Mate 8 review: probably the best all-round Android phone you can buy
Best Deals on PC World
Latest News Articles
- What Microsoft is taking away from Windows 10 in the Anniversary Update
- Microsoft Word gains powerful Editor, Researcher tools to help you write more good
- Aussie regulator calls for greater broadband speed transparency
- Michelle Rowland to lead broadband fight for Labor
- Chinese $1.2B deal for Opera crumples
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- FTSocial Media AssistantQLD
- FTApplications Support / Systems Administrator | DefenceACT
- FTSystems Engineer | Defence | NV1 / NV2 clearanceACT
- CCTest CoordinatorQLD
- FTFull Stack DeveloperNSW
- FTSOE Desktop Engineer - must have SCCM 2012NSW
- FTSenior .Net Applications SupportACT
- CCStrategic Business AnalystNSW
- CCFrontend DevelopersQLD
- FTSenior Oracle Functional Analyst (Finance)VIC
- CCChange Portfolio ManagerNSW
- CCOracle Pl/SQL DeveloperNSW
- FTProject ManagerVIC
- FTBusiness Intelligence - Policy and Governance ManagerNSW
- CCSAP Solution ArchitectACT
- FTDefence Network Architect | NV2ACT
- CCFull Stack Java DeveloperNSW
- CCChange Analysts - multiple rolesNSW
- CCDatabase AdministratorNSW
- CCBusiness AnalystNSW
- CCSenior Data ArchitectNSW
- CCTrainer - Windows 10 / Office 2016ACT
- CCSenior SAP BW & HANA Developer/Technical ArchitectVIC
- CCBusiness Analyst - Logistic and TransportVIC
- CCPractice Lead - Java, FrontendVIC