Last week I had the pleasure of speaking at the 360Flex conference at EBay’s North Campus in San Jose. My presentation was titled “Flex Loves Flash? Embed and Beyond.”, where I explored the different methods available to Flex developers to work with rich assets. I started by covering existing approaches like asset embed, and Flash symbol embed, and discussed strategies for organizing those assets. From there I looked at more advanced techniques for using Flash content, like “shake and bake SWFs” (embedding a SWF as a bytearray, then extracting full classes from it), and using classes/symbols from SWFs that are loaded at runtime. I finished off by looking at new integration techniques that will work with Flash CS3, and some of the approaches I am working with Adobe to develop that will help simplify this integration. I also touched on some related topics like font / svg embed issues, data embedding, and how to use bitmap fonts in Flex.
You can check out the session notes at gskinner.com/talks/.
Over the next few days I will release some of the code I showed, and blog about a couple of the more important topics, like Shake and Bake swfs. You’ll have to wait for some of the more advanced pieces until after Flash CS3 ships though.
Above all, I want to get people thinking about this topic. Flex applications are so much cooler when Flash is involved in the workflow. If you have any tips or ideas on enhancing this workflow, please feel free to leave them in the comments.