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From Michael Montoya <>
Subject Flex PDF support
Date Wed, 09 May 2012 02:08:03 GMT
Hello community,

I'm a fellow JavaEE / Flex developer in NYC excited by the possibility of having a hand in
shaping the future of Flex.

After looking through Vaadin's documentation in preparation to port my company's current portfolio
of Flex web apps, I got this sinking feeling as I fessed up to myself - despite all the clamoring
around me to the contrary - that no amount of HTML5 can ever hope to replace the breadth,
depth and richness currently possible with Flex.

I don't want Flex to go the way of the Dodo. So I have resolved to help keep it relevant and
help innovate any way I can. As a total noob to open source collaboration, however, I'm still
trying to get my footing and figure out how best to contribute.

One very general thought is that it would be wonderful if we could develop a native means
for viewing PDF documents in Flex. In my experience this has been the Achille's heel of our
Flex apps and has led to very kludgy work-arounds using server-side Image Magick to convert
the document to images (lately we've been exploring swftools). This is less than ideal for
all the obvious reasons... I'm surprised Adobe never addressed this, but it would be wonderful
if we could.

My other question/concern is this - while Adobe has ceded Flex to the community, isn't Flex
virtually useless without the Flash Player to run the compiled bitecode?

Am I the only troubled by the fact that Adobe has given us the keys to a Ferrari with no engine.
While I applaud their latest features as of Molehill - particularly access to the GPU through
AGAL, what's to stop them from pulling the plug on Flash Player development altogether thereby
rendering the fruits of our labor utterly useless? 

While I can certainly envision new and exciting capabilities for Apache Flex, doesn't true
innovation require coordination with the Flash VM and hence, player development - not to mention

What little time is left over between work and family is very precious to me and I hate to
think that my efforts may be in vain. The current dependency to Adobe makes me feel rather
exposed. Anyone feel the same or can someone allay my concerns?


On May 8, 2012, at 9:25 PM, Alex Harui <> wrote:

> On 5/8/12 5:21 PM, "Justin Mclean" <> wrote:
>> Hi,
>>> I'm not familiar with any of these technologies.  They don't allow for
>>> manual configuration?
>> Yes the environment variables can be set up so that's not a big issue.
>> Downloading the required extra bits would require an extra script (or target
>> in extra ant script) to do so.
> Is that because you think the CI server will need to download the
> prerequisites more than once?
> -- 
> Alex Harui
> Flex SDK Team
> Adobe Systems, Inc.

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