Flex 2 is out!

As you have probably heard, Flex 2 has been released. Everyone here is tired and excited. We have been working on this for a long time, and it is great to finally have it out there.

For those of you who have been following the public releases of Flex, the final release will not hold much in the way of surprises (although I will point out a few of my favorite changes below). However, if you step back a minute, the differences between Flex 1.5 and Flex 2 are pretty major. Imagine, if you will, that we had not done any public betas, and that all this news was coming at once:

  • Brand new language based on the current draft of the ECMAScript Edition 4 spec that combines strong typing with the dynamic nature of JavaScript
  • Completely rewrote the VM to be a modern, JIT compiled engine that runs 5-10x faster than before
  • Reworked the framework to be more consistent, and thus easier to extend and subclass
  • Added lots of new capabilities to the framework, including state management, transitions, new components, etc.
  • Created a brand new tool based on Eclipse
  • Decided to give the SDK away for free
  • Decided to price the tool at $499 instead of the rumored $999
  • Decided to give an express version of FDS

I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty excited by Flex 2, and I’m very curious to see what people will build with it.

Ok. On to my favorite changes since beta 3.


1) panel borders

As you have probably noticed, the default panel borders and title bars in Flex 2 are transparent. This allows panels to adopt a look that works well with any background you provide… as long as it isn’t white. Here is an old screenshot I had lying around that shows what panels looked like in beta 3 when placed above white backgrounds:

The window titled “Left” is supposed to have a title bar that goes all the way across the top. In the final version, the windows look good no matter what color background you use… even white.

2) code hints for events

In the final version, you can get code hints for event constants. You don’t get them automatically, though. You need to hit ctrl-space.

myObject.addEventListener( <– hit ctrl-space when you get here.

You should see a list of the available constants for you to use. Thanks to Chafic Kazoun who kept pushing for this when I ran into him at Flash Forward in Seattle earlier this year.

3) Smoother animations

For many types of animations (moves, especially), you will notice that the animations are smoother. The best way to see this is to download the trial and play with it yourself.


Of course, my favorite change since beta 3 is that instead of having to answer the question “when is it going to ship?” I can now point people to the website. Whoo!

10 Responses to “Flex 2 is out!”

  1. David Geller

    Is Adobe (or anyone) providing any information related to when OSX will be supported for the IDE? Is it just the Zorn pluggin that’s being ported? Also, any notion of when Flash9 will be supported for all of us buying up the new Intel Macs? Or, did I miss something?

  2. sho

    The mac version is being developed as we speak. No dates announced yet. I’ll try to find out about a native mactel version of the player and get back to you.

  3. Max

    How is it possible to do the equivalent of Flash Studio’s LivePreview for Custom Components in Flex Builder (i.e., how the component looks on Flex Builder’s stage in the IDE as it is being customized)? I am talking about complex custom components here, extended from UIComponent and unrelated to any other component (I see that if the custom component extends another component which already has a live preview, then it seems to inherit that).

    I know this is kinda off-topic, but I am failing to figure this out for a while now and it seems like it definitely should be possible…

  4. sho

    The way to do this is to create a Flex Library project for the components you want compiled separately. Then, in your main project, add the library project as a dependency. Whenever you make a change to your component, it will be compiled, and it should show up correctly in your app. If it doesn’t, hit the refresh button.

    Hope this helps!

  5. Mark

    David, regarding the Intel Mac Player, the Beta version should be out in a few days, possibly even this week.

  6. Max

    Thank you, Sho, it does help. Now if I could only figure out how to separately compile a component with the live preview built-in…

  7. Carlos Rovira

    Hi Sho,

    IMHO,One of the best improvments in the release is FlashType fonts. In beta 3 I test it and the result was text blured and don’t like it. Now recompiling with Flex 2 release it looks great! :)

    I want to congrat for Flex builder 2 is a real good tool, awesome and great the pice reduction.I was think as well 999$ was a huge price for a tool without refactorings, and a lot of things I was expecting, so the new price is very adjusted to the final solution. I think is normal that all that things don’t comes with this release as you worked a lot to get all the funtionality, but I cna’t wait for next releases to see all comes implemented in FB2 :)

    Great work! :)

  8. Mattias


    We have just started a flexforum at http://www.flexforum.org. We will do the best to answer all questions. Please join!

    All the best

  9. Geoffrey Williams

    Wow, I just noticed the code hints for events. That’s awesome.

  10. فروم

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