Learning How to Do Magic with Flash and XML
Was thinking about learning new tech, and well, I haven't gotten much farther into .NET as I'd wanted to, given moving and a sudden appearance of work. Instead, I've had a project hurled at me that combines Flash MX and XML, something I've just barely touched before.
Wow, is this stuff fun. And I write that without a trace of sarcasm-- this app I've inherited for maintenance and extension, though it's a bit grungy and shows some signs of late-night expediency, does some neat things with actions and buttons dynamically wired up in response to XML config files loaded via URL, which are in turn generated from a database managed by a simple end-user admin interface. Not sure how much more I should write about it, but I'm dying to post a link. Of course, this isn't revolutionary stuff in general. It's just a revelation to me.
The last time I had an opportunity to really, really dig around in Flash was just about when Flash 5 came out. I was immersed daily in Flash in the years between the initial acquisition by Macromedia, up through version 4, and just started drifting away, sadly, when things started getting really interesting with v5. That was when my daily job swung entirely into the backend, and client-side concerns were no longer my task.
But now I'm back in this old neighborhood, and I can see why some people would love nothing better but to build entire websites in Flash. Yeah, that's evil, but it's sexy. Despite some clunkiness, there are some very nice possibilities I see now. I love Java, and loved cobbling together funky applets 5 years or so ago, but Flash makes me want to toy with rich client-side apps again.
And then, there's this Sony Clie PEG-TG50 handheld I've recently started pining for, and it appears to run a Flash 5 player. It's probably underwhelming, but who knows?
Anyway, back to work, but just had to spill some enthusiasm for Flash.