Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Flex vs HTML5 Canvas

Looking back at this nearly abandoned blog, I can see that I have talked off and on about sitting down to learn Flex. In my defense, I actually have learned bits and pieces of it so it has not been all talk at least ^_^

The point of this post though... which is better to learn? When I ask people this, I tend to get two basic answers.. "Learn Flash" or "Learn Canvas". No one ever seems to recommend Flex, which oddly enough kinda endears it to me.

Flex/Flash seem to have the current mindshare... lots of people using them, lots of tools built around them, lots of help advice out there. On the other hand the are closed source, and Flex suffers from not just duplicate APIs, but finding Flex specific help (as opposed to Flash), esp outside a specific IDE, is hard. Flex also has AIR and a standard player on every machine.

Canvas is new, it is not really standardized (and each browser has its own implementation), a lot of stuff is still missing, help is infrequent, and the APIs are not very mature.

Now, I am not learning this for a job or any particular project.. and I have no time scale... so why not learn both?

For this experiment I have choosen two online tutorials, one for each language..

Matthew Casperson's FlexFighters and.. well... Matthew Casperson's jsplatformer. Hrm, only while typing this did I notice they were by the same person. That should make this more interesting.

Anyway, the idea will be to attempt both tutorials in both languages and get a feel for how the two languages solve the same problems. I guess we will see how far I get.

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