Many would have read or heard this before. I stumbled across this at O’Rielly’s onjava.net in a post by Shashank Tiwari.
Today we have between 3 and 4 million Java developers and we assume that this number grows to 5 to 6 million within the next three to five years. (Which itself is very optimistic, though Sun thinks they can grow the number to 10 million).
Now as per current estimates the number of Flex developers are still in thousands. Assuming that half of the 1 million developers that they claim they will have come from the set that are with Flash, ColdFusion,
PHP or any other skill set, we still have half a million coming from the set of Java developers. Considering that the server side for Flex is Java, this even sounds logical. This implies that 1 in every 10 or at worst 1 in every 12 Java developers is learning Flex or already knows Flex today. What do you folks have to say about this?
Ok. Now, this is an interesting topic 🙂 . When we started looking at Flex for our application and were building the team, we had a really hard time finding actionscript developers (atleast in southern India). So, we got together a team of Java developers and started learning Flex. Eight months since, we are on the verge of our beta release. I can really see why Java developers would like Flex.
- The package like imports
- Availability of Classes in the scripting language
- Capabilities Arrays & ArrayCollections
- On the UI end, similarities to SWING
So, given the similarities in the coding patterns and the componentization features. There is a definite possibility that java developers could choose Flex as the presentation layer for their application. But, I really doubt whether they would move into full time from ejb development to gui development. That’s my honest opinion.
Shashank, interesting blog post, but this is also preposterous. Flex has very limited market penetration, and almost every Java developer (and some Flash programmers) that I’ve spoken to, don’t consider Flex to be anything more than a very limited use proprietary framework.
Flash is king when it comes to rich clients on the web, it can certainly trump AJAX, but Flex. I’d say it is more like 1 in 100 Java developers is learning Flex today.
I kind of disagree with this reply. Flex has more than a limited market penetration. I think its just a matter of time, before flex has a 100% market coverage. With adobe acquiring macromedia, more than 80% of digital content delivery on the net is Adobe’s domain. Adobe already had PDF, Photoshop, Framemaker etc. Adding Flash, Flex and the other macromedia suite of products definitely gives it a clear headstart to many of the wannabes in the industry. I can clearly see how Flex can be used as the front-end for most java or .net thin client and thick client applications out there.
Flex, along with other Flash-based solutions like Laszlo, sucks because Flash is not an integrated part of any OS or browser. A Flash app running in a browser window is an even more ridiculous thing than a crippled 32-bit application running on Windows3.1 through win32s thunk. The splotches of Flash UI, which appear here and there in increasing numbers, do not react properly to keyboard, have fixed size, have fixed-sized fonts, have non-standard widgets, cannot be nicely printed (though I’ve heard that ActionScript supports CSS, so targeting print media should not be a problem in theory), are not integrated with other elements of a page or even with another Flash splotches on the same page, the UI itself is painstakingly slow and juddery, Flash objects are reloaded every time you go forward and back (even Google Finance does that, when you return to a page the stock value graph does not recover the parameters you set before leaving the page)
Leave Flash to what it does best — annoying ads and video clips.
I have only one thing to say here – Wait till Apollo is out! 😉
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