One of the biggest issues for me in the Flash/Flex workflow has been bringing graphics created in Flash into Flex. Don't get me wrong...I don't think the workflow is hugely painful. All you need to do is draw in Flash, compile, embed the swf in your Flex app and you're good to go. However, if you need to tweak your graphics, resize a few pixels here, tweak a gradient there, for some reason, it just felt uncomfortable to have to go back to the Flash IDE, tweak, recompile, etc.
However, after reading the FXG spec, I'm excited about what this will add to our arsenal. A markup for graphics is something already implemented in Silverlight and was something we were sorely missing. Degrafa got the ball rolling in that arena, and it showed the capability to do some pretty amazing stuff. That team continues to work with Adobe in the implementation of FXG.
This new feature brings to bear a few questions in my mind:
Will we get additional UI controls in the Flex 4 IDE that allow manipulation of the markup (changing shape properties, applying/editing filters, changing text)? Considering that the Flex IDE initially was created to make developers feel more at home by removing that "extraneous" stuff, it should be interesting to see what happens. Or is Thermo solely the tool that will allow this capability?
For more complex graphics that can be created in the Flash IDE (or even in Illustrator and imported into Flash), will there be an option to export to FXG? I know there are inherent problems with this since the IDE supports things that FXG does not (i.e., timeline animation), but even the ability to select one or more graphics on stage and have it output FXG would be a cool feature.
How will creating/manipulating the graphics via UI controls bloat the markup. In working with Blend and XAML, you could draw a rectangle to the stage and change a few settings and all of a sudden you get something that looks like this:
Then try changing some of that XAML manually and it blows up if you're not careful.
I'm excited about the potential this has for improving workflow.