[From BFlex site]
What is BFusion/BFlex?
BFusion/BFlex is no normal conference. It is a no-nonsense, learn-to-code* and learn-it-from-the-best event. Each day there are six full hours of hands-on training with the various technologies and techniques. You bring your computer and desire to learn and our excellent instructors challenge you to take your mind to new places. http://bflex.indiana.edu/
This past weekend I went out to Indiana University with Adam Flater for BFlex. We did two sessions on Flex 4; Skinning in Flex 4, and Flex 4 for Flex 3 developer. The purpose of the latter session was to try and get Flex 3 developers up to speed on the changes inside of Flex 4. One of the main details is the new Spark component architecture, and how it differs from the old MX architecture, mainly there’s just a new package nomenclature, as well as slight changes to the old component names (i.e. HBox is now HGroup) ; There are major changes to the States classes as well as the addition of new Layout class that decouples layout logic from individual component definitions. In this session we went into how to use layouts efficiently, as well as how to create custom layout classes, the process of extending the basic layout class and applying it to components, and also how to change layouts at run-time. We went into detail about how to use the new DataGroup component, which is similar to the old Flex 3 repeater, and also using virtualization for dealing with larger data sets.
The skinning session dealt more with how to style the new components inside of Flex 4. The new major change is Flex 4′s ability to use FXG, which make drawing graphic primitives inside of Flex 4 that can be used very easily to apply skins. Using the basic example of a button, we showed how adding states and extending the basic button class is now alot easier than in Flex 3. Using the new dot(.) notation in the Spark architecture simplifies the process of creating skins, as well at how it decouples the visual implementation of a skin, from the data logic of a component, making skins extremely re-useable. The new skinning framework now allows for skins that can be state based, and even change layouts dynamically. We also showed how to extend the base SkinnableContainer class to apply styling and skinning to components that have none (i.e. Group), and even extending the Panel container to create a custom skin. We lightly touched on Flex4′s CSS capabilities, but Flex4 CSS will be a post all on its own.
We promised our code examples to the attendees, and we haven’t forgotten, but we are polishing them up, as well as we will be creating screen casts, so anyone can better follow along. (it’s about 3 hours worth of information, so please be patient
For more resources the Adobe Developer Connection is a great place to get up to speed with the newest features of Flex 4.
Thanks to all of the organizers, staff, attendees, and speakers that attended, it was great to meet all of you. Next up I’ll speak at Rocky Mountain Flash Camp, Oct 12.