Tom Ortega II

HTML 5: Is this how Flex 4 will be made?

In Ajax, Flash*Flex*AS, Programming, Technology and Software on May 29, 2007 at 4:00 am

Ajaxian has started this monthly Ajax roundup. It’s a pretty good read, even if you’re not an Ajax developer. I’m a Flexer, so most of the news items aren’t relevant to my daily life, but I think it’s important to keep tabs on tech in general.

Kevin Yank, over at SitePoint, has an interesting post on the HTML 5 working group. HTML 5!? You ask/say in disbelief. Yeah, I was surprised to see it too. With Ajax and browser apps becoming more and more prevalent, this has got to be the toughest “release” of HTML to date. As Kevin notes, anyone can join the working group so if HTML gets you buzzing, head on over and join the HTML working group.

The part that I found most interesting in the post was the section entitled “HTML 5 Issues on the Table”. It talks about various different things that make me glad I don’t spend most of my days in HTML anymore. However, when I came across the “Extending HTML Semantics” item, I got a bit sad for being a straight Flex developer. Flex, while being incredibly powerful and easy to use, does have some major drawbacks: not easily searched and not being able to contribute to the semantic web.

Alas though, Flex 3+ will be open-sourced. Now we, who care about semantics and crazy items like that, will be able to help make them a reality in future Flex releases. Right? I don’t know, but I’m hoping so.

Will we have working groups for Flex 3.x and Flex 4? Will these working groups be open to the public? Or will they be “invite only”? Will we have committees on topics like Logging, Unit Testing, Charting, Semantics, Styles, Component Library, etc? Or will there just be two committees: ActionScript and MXML. I don’t know. I sure hope we find out soon though.

I think that’s why the Open-Source announcement hasn’t whet my appetite yet. Yeah, an open Bug Base is nice…but I need a little more meat before I can take a bite.

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  1. “Flex, while being incredibly powerful and easy to use, does have some major drawbacks: not easily searched and not being able to contribute to the semantic web.”

    What type of text are you hoping that the search engines will find within your piece?

    If it’s dynamic text, from an external data source, then that’s hard regardless of how it is displayed within the WWW browser.

    If it’s static text, within the SWF itself, then search engines have been locating this for years, as a Google search on term “‘contrary evidence’ filetype:swf” will reveal.

    (In all search, you’re not going to place highly on incidental text… you’ve got to figure how the right people will be trying to find you, and which search terms you can be competitive on, and then optimize in the normal way for those terms.)

    jd/adobe

  2. @John Dowdell: I suppose I should clarify. Having the ability to search for something and have the appropriate frame that contains the text pull up is woefully not present. And if that is available, please show me the light! =)

    Also, with Flex for instance, adding semantics to say Labels is not possible. Nor does it seem that will be changing anytime soon.

  3. It’s possible to include within an URL an instruction for application state. Not all projects do so, however. Whether a search spider will return that address (and query terms) accurately depends largely on the quality of inbound anchor text you receive.

    (What’s “inbound anchor text”? It’s the visible text within links pointing to you from other sites. For analyses of why this is one of the key ingredients for most search engines, try search term “googlebomb”.)

    jd/adobe

  4. […] HTML 5: Is this how Flex 4 will be made? Ajaxian has started this monthly Ajax roundup. It’s a pretty good read, even if you’re not an Ajax […] […]

  5. We’re still working out the governance model and how planning will work, but we definitely want to see everyone contribute in a way that makes sense. If you’ve got suggestions for how things should be broken up, what kind of committees we should have, etc., please share them on the flex-open-source@googlegroups.com list.

    Matt
    Adobe

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