I just recently picked up a copy of Flex builder and was using ColdFusion developer for a while (until I switched to Railo) and I must say that they are both incredibly powerful, simple technologies. I’m now considering using ColdFusion over my existing PHP projects, no offense to the PHP crowd. With Railo being a nearly complete replacement for CF, missing only one library: CFAjax, which is nine years old anyways, it has become very cost-effective for me to start using ColdFusion on my local servers. Though, don’t doubt that I will be picking up a copy of CF when I get the cash to do so.
As for Flex, it is such a great set to be able to take my current knowledge of design and apply it directly onto the desktop. If you ever want to try using Flex, I highly recommend buying a copy of the Flex Builder, since it easily speeds up development 10-fold. If you have Eclipse or Aptana, just get the plug-in version and install it onto E/A. The full version is just Eclipse + Flex Builder + JRE. What makes me so giddy for Flex is that if I make a website in Flex, every person under the 92% umbrella of Flash users will be able to see the site exactly the way it was designed. I’ve also been experimenting with the Accessible Flash option, and it seems to be doing a good job with screen readers, so this may be a serious option in the future.*
Oh, and the killer feature about Railo and ColdFusion that I want to use more often: Being able to drop down into Java if I couldn’t find ANYTHING else to satisfy my needs. There is also an application called Quercus that can be used to process PHP if it is needed (run under the JVM). Even though it lags behind normal PHP development, that’s still pretty cool.
*Note that using flash may exclude older computers and any other computer not using Flash, such as the iPhone.
Yeah, I downloaded the full versions of both of these for free because I’m a student or whatever. I was going to try messing around with them but didn’t know if it was worth it to try learning it cause it seemed kinda complicated… like, I don’t even know exactly what ColdFusion is yet lol.
I say go get a Lynda subscription for ColdFusion and Flex. I haven’t yet watched the ColdFusion videos yet, but I’ve watched the Essentials/Beyond The Basics for Flex, and I have to say that they put some serious WORK into that series. It’s incredibly easy to understand, which is good, especially for someone like me that has always had trouble programming in any language.
Premium includes the files that they created in the tutorials. I have the annual plan myself. I seem to grasp things better if I can watch people do it versus me reading about theories and whatnot. Lynda just has a better overall learning apparatus to me.
I definitely recommend it. Though, don’t forget that some programs are special enough to save videos that they stream ;) I won’t lie, I do that with my account in the off-chance that Lynda were to, well, crumble some how. They’re too good of a resource to not archive.