Could Flex replace HTML one day? FXT is a good start

Ted posted FXT, a project he’s been working on and I couldn’t help but feel think when he first shared this.. Wait, Flash/Flex being used for things that usually I see HTML used for. I’m a pragmatists when it comes to Flash usage so I cringe when I see people wanting to go that far (like building a house out of Flash).

In our products we use Flash a good deal, but we also use traditional HTML application and dare I say some AJAX too. I love Flash and Flex, but don’t see it replacing HTML anytime soon. One of the benefits though of Flex over Flash has been its development process is much closer to how traditional development shops work. There are more things I would consider Flex for than I would have considered using Flash just purely based on the economics of rapid development and maintaining code base vs the richness of Flash. So with Flex 2, I am expecting more and more applications that developers only considered HTML as the proper technology to use to give Flex a try.

Back to Ted’s announcement of FXT. This looks like an interesting project towards seeing Flex moving even closed to replacing more places where HTML is better. It allows you to take the power of Flash/Flex and bring it to more traditional web applications. It also should be attractive to some developer who don’t even like the Flex data exchange model, and want it to behave even more like traditional HTML applications. The programming model has built in organization via our favorite pattern MVC. Definitely worth a look, especially the implementation details of how data is provided and how templating works.

Worth mentioning here are things that have progressed in the past over how the Flash Player integrates within the browser. We now have hacks to get bookmarking working, browser history, content scrolling, and some other things I’ve probably forgot.. but it’s still not truly part of the browser like HTML is. I’m sure if it were up to Adobe the player would be a first class citizen in all browsers out there (we would get benefits like being able to open links in a new tab and hitting ctrl+a to select the entire page’s content be it Flash or HTML), until then I bet the will keep try to find ways to improving the integration of Flash and the browser as much as possible with the limitations of the browser plug-in API’s. Which brings me to Apollo:

Apollo is the code name for a cross-operating system runtime being developed by Adobe that allows developers to leverage their existing web development skills (Flash, Flex, HTML, JavaScript, Ajax) to build and deploy Rich Internet Applications (RIAs) to the desktop.

I can’t help but think that Apollo was inspired by the inability to take Flash to the next level without being able to have complete control over the entire runtime. HTML isn’t going away, but all this can only lead to more usage of Flash everywhere..

Enable SWF Files as a Supported File Type in Firefox on OS X

I’m posting this for myself and in case anyone finds it useful. There currently is no stand alone native Flash Intel Mac Player, so I resort to dragging SWF files to Firefox often. One thing that bothered me was the inability to drag a SWF onto the Firefox icon in the Finder or selecting Firefox as the default file handler for SWF files, instead you have to drag the SWF file to an open Firefox window. Turns out it was an easy change. After a look at the contents of and adding swf as a supported file type, it turns out to be a quick change. And rather than having to do this manually each time I upgrade Firefox, I decided to create a patch file that way I can just quickly add back the support after I upgrade Firefox


  1. Download the archive (Firefox Patch)
  2. Expand the archive
  3. Open terminal and navigate to the folder
  4. Assuming Firefox is in your applications folder, execute the command “patch -uN /Applications/ ./firefox.patch”
  5. For the Finder to pick up the change in the support file type you have two options
    1. Restart your mac
    2. Create a copy of Firefox, delete the original, and rename the copy back. Creating a copy causes the Finder to re-evaluate the support files types without needing to restart your mac

I’ve used this with Firefox 1.5.x and 2.0 beta1-rc3 with no problems.


This is the weblog of Chafic Kazoun. Chafic is the Founder and Chief Software Architect of Atellis, a Washington, D.C. based firm that specializes in developing Rich Internet Applications and Products. At Atellis Chafic manages, architects, and develops next generation products and components.

Chafic has been actively involved in the Flash community, has delivered presentations at numerous conferences including FITC, FlashForward, MAX, Spark Europe, and MXDU. He has also contributed to published works and is the author of the book “Programming Flex 2.0” by O’Reilly Publishing. He is also an Adobe Community Expert

New Microsoft Office Integration content in Advanced ColdFusion MX 7 Application Development

I just learned that Advanced ColdFusion MX 7 Application Development is shipping. The sites have not been updated yet, but it is shipping.

This update has a ton of great new content, including a whole chapter on MS Office integration which I was very pleased to contribute. This chapter provides more in depth information and new examples compared to what I’ve discussed in my previous presentations on the topic.

Everyone else is linking to the Amazon page, but it’s much cheaper on Overstock stinks for research–little info and no reviews–but it’s good for the final purchase. You don’t need research for this book anyways, everyone knows it’s wonderful! :-)

Seeking ColdFusion WebMaster / System Administrator

B-Line Express is hiring!

Job Summary: Seeking an experienced Web Systems Administrator with 2 plus years of working knowledge System and Network Administration and some web development experience. The ideal candidate will be proficient in administering ColdFusion MX, IIS, Sun One, MS SQL 2000, Oracle 9i, Windows 2000 and 2003 servers with the ability to create firewall rules, review security policies, and implement back ups all systems. Development skills and experience in ColdFusion MX, HTML, and/or JavaScript would preferred.

Excellent communication skills, ability to work on multiple projects at a given time, and the willingness to travel within the DC area are a must.

So if anyone’s counting, that’s 3 positions we’re hiring for right now: A CF Admin, a VB.NET WinForms developer, and a Project Manager. These are new positions in the company–we’re expanding! Wouldn’t you like to be a part of dynamic expanding company that does development in many technologies with ample opportunity to learn new things and immediately apply that knowledge? Apply now. Send resumes to