I've got a good foundation in Silverlight 2. But I wanted to know the differences and similarities between Silverlight 2 and Adobe AIR and the advantages and short comings of both technologies. Looking on the web for comparisons resulted in a mixture of comparisons with various levels of objectiveness, some of which looked rather dubios, and some seemed to selectivly exclude certain information. I finally concluded the best way to ensure that I'm not missing information is to start to learn the technology myself.
Flash 10 Features
- 3d Rendering / Texture mapped Video rendering
Rich Text Support
- UDP/ P2P support
- Local File IO
The primary development environment for Flex is an Eclipsed based IDE called Flex Builder (http://www.adobe.com/products/flex/) . If you prefer to use Visual Studio as your IDE you can do so with the addition of third party plug-ins such as Amethyst from SapphireSteel (http://www.sapphiresteel.com/Adobe-Flex-Development-in-Visual in both free and commercial versions) or Tofino from Esamble (http://www.ensemble.com/products/tofino.html for free).
The features of the control toolset available in Flex Builder include Buttons, Checkboxes, DataGrid, List, DatePickers, Color Choosers, Layout Management Containers and Charting. FLEX has a history framework (pressing back button can take you to the previous page in your app instead of out of the application) and supports deep linking (currently some search engines support indexing Flash content and deep linking to the content inside of it).
Blaze DS is a Java based open source server. It supports a technology called "Flash Remoting" for binary transfer of data objects (reference needed) (as opposed to text/xml which would consume more space ).