Adobe releases Flash Builder 4 update, and Flex 4.1; reveals the path ahead for Flex

By Kshitij Sobti Published Date
03 - Jul - 2010
| Last Updated
03 - Jul - 2010
Adobe releases Flash Builder 4 update, and Flex 4.1; reveals the...

Just a little over 3 months after the release of Flash Builder 4.0, Adobe has released the first update to it’s IDE Flash Builder 4.0.1.

The latest updates bring with it the latest Flex 4.1 SDK, the open source compiler and SDK which can be used even without the Flash Builder IDE to compile Flash applications. Flex 4.1 brings one major new feature: layout mirroring. With layout mirroring Adobe aims to make it simpler to adapt applications built for a left-to-right locale for use with right-to-left locales.
Since Flash Builder 4 and Flex 4.0 were released before the release of Flash Player 10.1 and AIR 2.0, Flex 4.1 is their first stable release to support the new features provided by there runtimes.

More interesting are their plans for a future release of the Flex SDK code-named “Hero”. The goals for the Hero release are juicy indeed.

First of all, Hero will be based on a version of Flash Player and AIR that has yet to be released, as such Adobe will be a little quiet in releasing updates, releasing only those parts which are independent of the new features to come in those releases.

Earlier Adobe had decided to create a new lighter SDK code-named Slider for creating content targeting mobiles, however with the increasing power of mobile devices, and with sufficient performance thanks to optimizations, Adobe believes that the same SDK could used, with touch-optimized, mobile-centric skins built for the highly skinnable Spark architecture.

Adobe will continue to evolve Flex 4’s new Spark architecture in an effort to bring it to parity with the feature-set of Flex 3’s Halo. The “Hero” build of Flex will bring a Spark Form, Spark DataGrid and Spark Image, three of missing components in the new architecture.

Hero will also be better optimized in terms of compiling performance, memory consumption, load time etc for large scale applications which are spread over multiple modules with multiple skins.

Also it seems future versions of Flex will be more coupled with Flash Player releases. Currently there is lack of synchronization between releases of the runtimes and the SDK, with Flash Player 10.1 support coming in this update. Whatever versions lie ahead for the Flash Player and AIR, the next Flex SDK will support them at the get-go.

For more information about the Hero SDK:
Flex Mobile FAQ