Question: tools for business apps development

Daniel Ellison daniel at
Thu Sep 9 15:10:28 CEST 2004

Carlos Ribeiro wrote:

> On Thu, 09 Sep 2004 08:17:52 -0400, Daniel Ellison <daniel at> wrote:
>>[talking about the risks regarding Flash changes]
>>A risk, yes, but not much of one.
> I have to agree, and I admit that my problems with Flash come down to
> two small issues:
> -- It's too glitzy :-) Yes, it may be a problem for people used to
> design apps the old way. It's funny to note that Windows apps are not
> much different from old text apps, as far as the structure of the
> dialogs and windows is concerned. Everything is a rectangle. Flash
> frees you of this kind of limitation. This kind of freedom can be
> frightening for old timers (such as me).

:) By any measure, I'm an old-timer as well. Maybe it helps that I have 
a graphics background, but then Peter doesn't and he seems open to the 
idea (see his "Flython" thread). But for those frightened by the 
non-rectangular nature of Flash :), there are many drag-and drop 
component libraries available which let you create what look like, for 
all intents and purposes, Windoze applications. The latest version of 
the Flash authoring environment supports this explicitly, with extensive 
libraries of powerful UI components, many of which incorporate automatic 
data validation. Macromedia's big push right now is what they call rich 
Internet applications. They (finally) see the potential of Flash as a 
very effective cross-platform client.

> -- Philosophically thinking, it's not free so it should not be used.
> This a Stalmanish position, but it does have some power in the context
> of a decision to use only free tools.

Well, I'm not here to argue philosophical or moral issues, but I do 
believe in using the right tool for the right job. I do *not* believe 
that CSS+HTML+JavaScript is the right tool for /any/ job, actually. 
Currently, Flash is one of the only viable alternatives if one is 
writing a web-based application.

Btw, "it's not free so it should not be used" wouldn't get you very far 
outside the IT world... :)

> BTW, if the Flash format is already open, and if Shockwave can't just
> change it, why do they don't just dedicate it to the public domain as
> proof of their good intentions? The fact is that there are a lot of
> stuff that they want to keep for themselves -- the power to steer the
> development of the Flash standard, and possibly a few patented
> processes to generate or render some of its features.

Of /course/ they want control over their own format. They are a 
business, after all. (No... step away... from the controversy... must... 

Anyway, I do not work for, nor have I ever worked for Macromedia. I just 
see the potential in a technology that to date has been vastly mis-used 
and misunderstood. I think the combination of Python on the back-end and 
Flash on the client is an excellent approach for web applications.


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