Bruzilla
Flex + REST => RestfulX (Client side web app frameworks: Part 1)

The first client-side/rich web application framework I’m tackling in my attempt to explore various frameworks of this sort is RestfulX. While RestfulX is not well known yet, I decided to give it a go since it has an intriguing set of features:

  • Strong support for multiple RESTful backends (e.g. Rails, CouchDB)
  • Built on Flex
  • Uses Ruby for code generation and build tasks
  • Offline capabilities via Adobe AIR
This was my first foray into AS3 and MXML, but thanks to the generators I had a nice scaffold to serve as an example for how to do things. Even the custom timer control that I had to implement wasn’t too tricky. But what really stood out with RestfulX, especially after looking at the other frameworks, was the model layer. It handled all the interaction with my JSON back end (well, after a small patch), and worked great with Rails by default. Here are some other miscellaneous notes:
  • There’s a good set of user interface components (thanks Flex)
  • Model callbacks take a little getting used to coming from a Rails background
  • The compilation step is a little slow, but does catch a lot of mistakes prior to the browser
You can find the source code at http://github.com/bruz/clocky-frontend-restfulx. Most of the code sits in the ProjectBox.mxml view, and would probably be better separated out into the appropriate places, but it’s rather convenient having it all in one place for this simple example.
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