It looks like Flex is going to be a standart for rich internet applications. The Flex source code (.mxml and .as files) is compiled to Flash bytecode (.swf) which is interrupted by ActionScriptVirtual Machine. As you already know, this will be independent on the client-side from the hardware, operating system or the browser. If you wonder how does Flex applications look like check here.
Do not worry, Flex in not built for animators like a Flash (where your artistic skills are more important), but for programmers whom I expect reading this blog :).
In order to develop RIAs with Flex you need to learn:
- MXML - an XML-based language (mostly used for developing user interfaces and this is based in Action-Script)
- And you will need to be familiar with libraries of this technology (documentation is available)
You can use Flex Builder (commerical) in order to fasten your developments or you can just use the SDK which is free.
With Flex you can already make use of Web services or ajax like HTTP Services. However with BlazeDS you can also:
- Call methods of Java objects in your web application directly
- Make cross-domain service requests
- Publish or Subscribe events to/with your application in server