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Flex vs. Ajax? Like Comparing Apples to Oranges.


You might remember this nay-sayer from my earlier post.  To sum it up, this guy was claiming that Flex was a failure due to its lack of built in controls such as an expandable button layout for mx:Panel among others.  Well a colleague pointed me to another posting by our nay-sayer and found some other related links.

What I don’t understand is the continual debate about Flex vs. Ajax.  Common complaints are that Flex doesn’t sync well with HTML type content.   What truly baffles me is that these folks don’t seem to truly understand the purposes of the technologies.  To complain that Flex doesn’t render HTML-ish content well is to complain that a wrench doesn’t work well when hammering nails.  Flex as a technology is not intended to do HTML as is HTML is not intended to do big RIA-type content.  Ajax can do some pretty nifty tricks, but to develop a huge RIA in Ajax seems very masochistic.   Again, with another analogy: A wrench doesn’t work well as a hammer, nor does a hammer work well in tightening bolts.  So not to be cliche but we are really comparing apples to oranges.

To end this debate, clients and developers alike need to embrace Flex for what it is: A RIA development tool.  If a requirement calls for heavy HTML based content and you are stuck scratching your head thinking, “why is this so hard”, maybe you should question the technology you are using or question the design.  Because it seems that one or the other is not the right fit for the end game.


3 thoughts on “Flex vs. Ajax? Like Comparing Apples to Oranges.

  1. Part of what makes an application “Rich” is it’s ability to display formatted text and images, being able to manipulate media and display it in whatever manner you see fit for your application. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a Flex developer through and through. I rarely use AJAX. However, one of the things that can be quite irritating is not being able to display well formatted text in Flex applications.

    I’m certain this will come with time, as I am sure Adobe considers it important as well.

  2. I agree with you that Flash and Flex have a long way to go in improving their means of displaying text.

    I guess my main point is that if you are making a text-heavy application and the styling of that text within the app is of such great importance (i.e. some sort of News RIA) then I would question if Flash/Flex is the best medium to use. For a News-based RIA I would use AJAX or regular HTML over Flex.

  3. Pingback: Flex vs. Ajax — both have their pros and cons - Ntt.cc

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