Curly bracket strikes back

1 02 2007

With decent web frameworks for Python and Ruby writing web applications is a real pleasure. You no longer have to clutter your screen with ugly Java/PHP/whatever mess, you can even write AJAX stuff directly in your language of choice (which is a hack on its own, but we can’t argue with so called de facto standard), so your UI needs can be mostly satisfied.

Flex demo

But there comes another threat – it’s called Flex (no, not the GNU lexer). On the surface it may look really nice, but under the hood some serious code bloat is going on. I’m not saying this particular code is bad (it is quite nice actually), but the general pattern is clear – lots, LOTS of typing. Effect – big amounts of code to read with intentions of the implementor hidden inside. I believe code can be kept clean. I wonder how in earth Bruce Eckel, proponent of Python, man who not so long ago wrote that this kind of code bloat costs time and money could support this technology. We can write (and maintain) code with text editors. With emerge of dynamic languages this trend was finally going upstream. Today, Flex compared to Ruby or Python just seems backwards. So please don’t use Flex. Otherwise we will again have to come up with pieces of middleware for automatic ActionScript generation and that’s no fun. We don’t need another hack for the web. And no excuses.

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One response

2 02 2007
Kumar McMillan

ahh, Macromedia, the masters of code bloat. Myself, having written one app entirely in actionscript (literally, no timelines – http://gintas.com/ ) I vowed never to do it again but realized it was still better than pointing, clicking, and waiting in that horrible Flash authoring tool. If I were to do it again, say god forbid have to right a “real” web app in Flash (like https://www.beatport.com/ ) I would go insane without having regression tests. So it’s cool that flex at least has a test runner now : http://code.google.com/p/as3flexunitlib/

Then again, “It mimics the functionality of JUnit”, arrrgh, please don’t make me use it, please ;)

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