Flash/Flex vs. AJAX May 15th, 2007
Dan Webb wrote a nice article comparing the Flash and Flex called Flash vs AJAX it's time to expand your toolbox.
I also like where Flash is headed (or more appropriately, Flex) and agree with Dan (and lots of others - read the comments) that the transformation of ActionScript into a more Java like language (primitive types, static typing etc.) is not necessarily a good thing - sigh. Look into the ActionScript3 overview if you want the details.
I can see Flex/Appollo front-ends in combination with RESTfull backends making a big splash in the future, but I'm not sure I would want to use it for e.g. an online shop. I like to wrap important data like that in nice semantic markup that's more accessible and more important: searchable! The Flexstore example looks nice, but can't quite convince me for such applications. download the sdk, extract it and run the build-samples script in the samples directory and open the index.html in the example to check it out for yourself. Here's a nice whitepaper overview on Flex in PDF
I recently saw a presentation on the new Adobe CS3 suite, and the presenter showed a demo of a rotatable 3D X-Wing running in Flash. The difference in performance between the old and new VM (AS2 vs. AS3) was stellar. I'm not sure if the difference in typing is responsible for this though.
So maybe we need to ban our dynamic languages if we want to rotate our X-Wings at 25fps instead of 10fps...