One year in the making…
As we approach the end of our first year outside of Adobe, it is hard to see all the progress that has been made by the community since it was announced that Adobe was no longer directly supporting the product. If you get a chance, take a quick peek at the Apache Mailinglist stats for the last 30 days — our project has one of the busiest lists hosted at Apache — with an average of 111.6 messages per day. I know personally I have a hard time keeping up with all the cool things that everybody is doing. Make sure to check out the highlights below to get a glimpse of what has been going on in the last month…
Not only is the project moving forward full steam ahead, but we are at the point of graduation. What does graduation mean? Up to this point, Apache recognized the Flex project as a “podling”, which means that we did not quite qualify for the full support of Apache. They assigned us mentors to make sure we understood how the Apache Foundation does things, and they helped us through the tedious process of getting all of our code donated. During the month of December the Apache board will vote to bring on the Flex Podling (also known as Flex in Incubation) as a full TLP (Top Level Project). When that happens, our domain name will change (we will be http://flex.apache.org instead of http://incubator.apache.org/flex), and we will get recognition right on the main site. We will also lose one of our mentors (Bertrand Delacretaz), but we will gain a PMC Chair (who represents us to the rest of Apache during meetings, etc). When this happens, we will send out another email to let you all know that we graduated.
Apache Flex Highlights from November
- The Apache Flex Incubator PPMC (the committers), voted on a resolution for graduation. This will put us on the next Apache board meeting so we can graduate to be a TLP.
- LOTS of work has been put into “mavenizing” the SDK. This will allow you to use the Maven tooling chain to build your projects with the SDK. If you use Maven, this is a big deal, and you should see this in the project very soon.
- Apache Flex 4.9.0 is being readied for release and will be available in the coming weeks. We’ve taken all the community patches from the last few months, mixed them in with a few enhancements and made a great update. Some of the biggest highlights include:
- New localizations for Australian, British, Canadian, Greek, Switzerland (German) and Portuguese
- The SDK natively supports the Flash Player versions 10.2 through 11.5. Previous versions were locked to a single version.
- Better support for Vectors, including new VectorList and VectorCollection classes.
- Inclusion of the new PostalCodeFormatter and PostalCodeValidator components for more consistent internationalization.
- The TLF (Text Frame Framework) was updated to version 3.0.33, and is now baked in the SDK. No need to download it separately.
- Support for Java 7 for compiling the SDK.
- The “Mustella” testing framework has been improved and many tests have been updated.
- Lots of bug fixes, and other small enhancements.
- A number of new components have been donated to the project by Bogdan. Some of these include Spark versions of Alert, ColorPicker, HDividerGroup, VDividerGroup, Menu, MenuBar, and ProgressBar. They probably won’t make it into 4.9.0, but watch for them in an upcoming release.
- There have been some additional discussions about moving the project’s source control from SVN to GIT. We will be moving to GIT, but we are still waiting for Apache’s IT group to get their ducks in a row. We should hopefully see some more on that in the coming months.
- Jeffry Houser has a KickStarter project he started to help him donate some autocomplete components to the project. You could get an Apache Flex T-Shirt if you donate http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/reboog711/help-me-build-anautocomplete-for-apache-flex?ref=live
Community & Adobe Highlights:
- Granite Data Services was updated to 3.0.0.M1. Granite is an alternative to BlazeDS (and LiveCycle DS) and much more. This version introduces changes that make it compatible with Apache Flex 4.8.0 and beyond. You can find out more here : http://granitedataservices.com/blog/2012/11/26/granite-data-services-3-0-0-m1-is-out/
- Flash4j was released. If you do any work combining Flex and Java, this worth a look : http://emitrom.com/flash4j
- Adobe Flash Builder 4.7.0 was released. If you had a serial number for Adobe Flash Builder 4.6.0 or 4.5.0, you can get a free upgrade at : http://www.adobe.com/go/fb47_serialkey/. This version introduces compatibility with Apache Flex 4.8.0, and updates a whole lot of other things. Watch out if you use the Design View, however, as that was removed! http://www.adobe.com/products/flash-builder.html
- Adobe AIR 3.5 was released. If you are using Flex to target Android and iOS, make sure to check it out. http://www.adobe.com/products/air.html (Betas of AIR 3.6 will be posted to Adobe Labs as they are produced if you want to stay on the bleeding edge).
- Adobe made a lot of announcements in regards to their new gaming initiative. While most of them don’t really have a whole lot to do with Flex, one really cool tool that was released is called Adobe Scout (formerly the Adobe Monocle project). This is an updated Flash Player profiler that gives you a much better insight as to what is happening in your project. It is tied to a Creative Cloud Membership, but it is currently available in the free tier. http://gaming.adobe.com/technologies/scout/
- JetBrains released an updated version of IntelliJ, bringing in additional support for mobile workflows and deployment. IntelliJ IDEA 12.0 has excellent support for ActionScript and Flex. http://www.jetbrains.com/idea/
About the Falcon-JS
How can I help?
Find a bug and smash it!
Take a look at the bugs that are currently open at https://issues.apache.org/jira/browse/FLEX. Download the source code, and fix one. Generate a .PATCH file and attach it to the bug. We all benefit from bugs getting closed, and this is the easiest way to do it. We have been marking some bugs in JIRA as “Easy” so community members can get their feet wet. Many of the easy bugs have pretty good description on how to fix the issue.
Tell your friends!
Projects at Apache have no marketing budget. We rely solely on word-of-mouth and social marketing. Drop in on a user-group meeting, if one is near-by. Start telling us if you are using the SDK in production, and how it is working for you.
Join the Apache Flex mailing list!
Have other community members do the same. Participate and lend your expertise where you
can: http://incubator.apache.org/flex/mailing-lists.html. There are two mailing lists — one for people who want to help improve and contribute to the SDK (flex-dev) and one for people who make applications with the SDK (flex-users). At this time most of the discussion is happening in flex-dev, but we expect a lot more to be happening on flex-users soon
About ‘Open Spoon Foundation’
The Open Spoon Foundation was setup by the Adobe community in 2011 to capture the collective experience of those individuals implementing solutions on the Flex framework and to apply that knowledge in a constructive manner through defect patching, feature contribution and addressing aspects of the framework that limit extensibility. Spoon has a membership of several hundred and growing (a number of whom are Apache Flex committers and PMC members).