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Sat, 1 Dec 2007 17:40:59 +0000
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Have to agree with Mitch - Flex is the most robust way to go at this point...

It provides the most feature-rich UI capabilities out of the box and a large amount of flexibility in terms of customization. If you have action script developers at your disposal (and your client doesn't mind relying on Flash) you'll be able to build almost anything you can dream up. If you develop using Flex you'll also be able to take advantage of Adobe's AIR technology (http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/air/ - now in beta and due for release in Q1/Q2 2008) that will let you re-purpose the same code from your web application for use as a desktop application if you so choose.

While ColdFusion is still a viable technology, it is certainly not as slick or as well integrated as Flex/Flash and Action Script 3. While it's possible to create a dynamic, robust, and engaging experience using ColdFusion or pure DHTML the development time will be increased, testing expense will increase (due to more complex browser support issues), and ongoing support (future upgrades, changes, subsequent releases) will also be far more cumbersome. 

Not to make things more complex, (but just as a future note) you might also want to keep an eye on Microsoft's Silverlight technology (http://www.microsoft.com/silverlight). Silverlight is still in alpha/beta and won't be amazingly practical as a solution until mid 2008. Silverlight is basically Microsoft's answer to Flash and Flex, and depending on your future client's deployment environments or user requirements, Silverlight might become a viable solution. Just like Adobe's Flex, it will be completely cross-platform and cross-browser compliant.

Given all of that and speaking as the graphic designer that I am... The only issue I'd take with anything Mitch said is that it's not  Flex that "makes beautiful GUIs" - it's the designers.  ;-) 
(sorry, couldn't help myself.)

/ frank germano



 -------------- Original message ----------------------
From: "Gart, Mitchell" <[log in to unmask]>
> In a word:  Flex.  Adobe Flex makes beautiful GUIs and it is a wonderful
> technology to use for development.  Your end users and also your
> developers will love you for choosing Flex.
> 
> If your marketing department gets involved and says you have to deliver
> a pure HTML solution then you won't be able to use Flex.  Probably you
> will want to use some development platform that delivers Dynamic HTML
> and Ajax.  There are lots to choose from.
> 
> Yes ColdFusion is very old and shouldn't be used for new projects at
> this point.
> 
> - Mitch Gart
>  
> 
> -----Original Message-----
> From: ACM SIGCHI WWW Human Factors (Open Discussion)
> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Deb Brown
> Sent: Thursday, November 29, 2007 11:09 PM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: [CHI-WEB] Current thinking on Best GUI development platforms
> 
> Hi all-
> 
> Question regarding GUI dev platforms - what is the current thinking as 
> to best in class platforms for presentation layer development ?
> 
> I have a client who has recently suggested that they might build their 
> UI on ColdFusion.  My understanding is that is a very old platform, am I
> 
> correct?
> 
> Thanks for your input.
> 
> -deb
> 
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