My first impressions from ELIPS
Several weeks ago I was thrilled to hear about ELIPS – a plug-in for Adobe Flex Builder, which allows Flex to go mobile.
Or at least that's what they promise...
Sefi and I played with ELIPS, and these are my first impressions:
1. Forget about 100% reuse of your flex code – first, ELIPS is a subset of Flex components, many properties and styles are missing . Second , as a mobile app, user interaction with your components is different : goodbye Click, hello TouchTap.
However, a non-GUI code (calculations mainly) went smoothly.
2. Size of output – We had a Flex app which produced a 133KB swf. The CAB (output of ELIPS) generated by ELIPS SDK was 2.6MB. Quite scary. Talking to the guys in ELIPS , they claim that the difference between a very simple application and a more complex application is quite small, because the runtime will be there in both cases.
3. Simulator – We were sure that anything run on the simulator provided in ELIPS is 100% guaranteed to work on the device, as they use the same engine. Not so. The simulator is an AIR app which simulates the actual executable being run on your device. It's not the same engine and is prone to differences.
4. Fluid interface – Flex apps support fluid interface, so that when the user resized the browser or change screen resolution they adapt themselves (constraint based layout). ELIPS currently support only percent or absolute based layout (no bottom, right etc.)
5. Flash player rendering model – This needs some investigation which I didn't do yet, but I do wonder how does Flex, which relies on the Flash rendering model of invalidation/validation can be properly ported to other rendering engines. What happen with my invalidation calls? In Flash they are accumulated and being rendered only at the rendering phase. How will it work on a different rendering model? Stay tuned for further investigation..