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Understanding The Flex 3 Life Cycle Article

May 21st, 2009 Posted in General Media / Stuff

For the last few projects, we have found ourselves at DevelopmentArc creating more custom ActionScript based Flex components then MXML based components. One of the challenges with this kind of development in the Flex Framework is understanding where and when to handle component configuration. When should we set styles? How do we update children components? How can I improve performance and scalability of my application? Trying to define the best answers for these questions have been rolling around in our heads for a while, and we are not the only people asking them.

We felt that the best way to approach solving this issue was to first understand the Flex Framework lifecycle. The lifecyle provides four main stages: creation, growth, maturity and destruction. Adobe has talked about this since the launch Flex but not all developers are familiar with the actual process. Even if you are familiar with the lifecycle, understanding the intricacies and what is available to you as a developer is not well documented or easily digestible. We are seeing a movement of Flex experts researching the topic and trying to provide better insight into the overall process. At Flex|360, RJ Owen and Brad Umbaugh did entire presentation on the subject. At Adobe MAX, there were multiple sessions that covered these concepts.

Yet, even with this kind of coverage, the topic is so broad and deep that many of these sessions have to skim over some of the more minuet details for brevity’s sake. Our own curiosity had been peaked and we decided to pull back the covers of the Flex SDK and take a look for ourselves. Over the last two months we have spent hundreds of hours working on a white-paper (research, discussion, writing and editing) that explores the Flex Component and Application lifecycle. We are proud to announce the release of new DevelopmentArcâ„¢ Article section and the white-paper “Understanding the Adobe Flex® 3 Component and Framework Lifecycle“.

This article is a living document, one that we hope to grow and expand over time. We are always looking for feedback and questions about the content of the article. As you read the document and you find yourself with a question or idea to improve upon let us know! We hope that reading this article is as enlightening to you as it was to us…

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