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From "luke hubbard" <l...@symbiosys.biz>
Subject [RT] Flash & Cocoon
Date Mon, 05 Apr 2004 19:28:25 GMT
Hi, 

Thanks to Sylvain I have finally got round to writing this RT.

-------------------------------------------------

What makes Cocoon great for Flash developers today.

1) No need to know Java to use Cocoon.
2) FlowScript should be easy to pickup if you already know ActionScript (or vice versa) as
they are both based on JavaScript 1.5
3) Cocoon loves XML, as does Flash. Flash can use databinding to bind UI components (such
as a datagrid) to the xml result of a pipeline. 
4) Cocoon can host web services (Am I right about this ?) Flash can consume web services.
5) Cocoon is mature and open source.

6) Anything I missed ?

-------------------------------------------------

What could we add to Cocoon to make it better for Flash developers.

1) Flash Remoting 

Flash remoting could be used to call flowscript functions, public pipelines, access components,
etc.

The OpenAMF project provides open source Flash remoting for Java. However its licenced under
LGPL and IMHO is not low level enough to be intergrated with cocoon. It has a lot of code
for dealing with EJBs, JINI, etc. OpenAMF uses ASTranslator for converting between AMF (ActionScript
Message Format) and Java. ASTranslator has a BSD style licence so could be used in Cocoon
to implement our own Flash Remoting. 

Q: Why do we need remoting if flash can consume web services?
A: Remoting is faster (binary protocol) and does not use lots of memory in Flash Player. 

2) CForms Flash Styling 

Would it not be totally cool to be able to provide a rich user interface to cforms. I think
it would be legal (need to check) and possible to create a component for use in Flash IDE
and a standalone swf file that could be used to load cforms xml and then render the form using
flash UI components. This would work in a similar way to DENG. http://claus.packts.net/  

3) XML Socket Server

There are a number of xml socket servers for Flash (Comms Server, and Unity 2 come to mind).
However we need an open source server that scales well and can be intergrated with the rest
of the cocoon. I think it would be best to build our own using a SEDA architecture and NIO
for networking.

4) Open Source FLEX 

FLEX is a new technology from MM for creating RIA (Rich Internet Applications).

How the FLEX server (deployed in J2EE container) works:
MXML + MX ActionScript Classes + MX UI Components -> Flash Compiler  -> SWF File

If we wanted to create our own FLEX we would need our own Flash Compiler (with support for
AS 2), our own versions of all the MM ActionScript classes (all the ones starting with mx),
and last but not least our own UI components. This is quite a lot. But that does not mean
I don't think it will happen. I'm on the beta program for the latest version of KineticFusion
(which supports AS 2) and talking to its creator about possible Cocoon intergration. Unfortunatly
its not open source, but im sure that it wont have a crazy $12000 price tag like FLEX when
its released. Who knows maybe there is another Flash compiler out there that could be used
instead.

5) Any more ideas ?

-------------------------------------------------

Right I think thats about it. I'm of for dinner now. :)

Luke

P.S. I would love to help make any of the above a reality. 

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Luke Hubbard | Lead Developer | Symbiotic Business Systems
020 7681 0477 | luke@symbiosys.biz | http://www.symbiosys.biz

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