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.
Best Deals (Selling at 1 store)
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 Kogan Agora 4G Pro review: the final word on Kogan's best smartphone
- 2 Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet (LTE) review: The tablet of choice for anyone on Android
- 3 Bose SoundLink Mini II Bluetooth speaker review
- 4 Apple MacBook Air 2015 review: Only better with time
- 5 Lenovo ThinkPad T550 laptop
Deals on PC World
- Networking, Wireless & VoIP
Deals on PC World
Latest News Articles
- Hackers figure out how to seize control of a car from anywhere
- Mozilla to focus on minimizing desertions to Edge with new Windows 10 Firefox
- Most Google de-listing requests are from everyday folk, leaked data shows
- Michael Dell: Dell will ship Windows 10 PCs on July 29
- Microsoft wraps up revamped Office 2016 for Mac
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.
- CCInternal Communications ExecutiveNSW
- CCLead Generator - Software SolutionsNSW
- FTTechnical Sales Support Representative - The Worlds largest Search Engine!NSW
- CCMarketing Coordinator - World's largest search engine!NSW
- FTDevOps Consultant - Microsoft Experience - Digital ConsultancyVIC
- FTBusiness Development Manager & Account ManagerVIC
- FTDesktop Engineering ManagerNSW
- CCAccount Strategist | Sales Executive | Global Search EngineNSW
- FTField EngineerNSW
- FTAccount Manager - PR AgencyNSW