Flex gets lipo, may enter rehab

In case you haven't heard -- Ted did use a lot of boldface, ALL CAPS, BOLDCASE ALLCAPS, and BOLDCASE ITALIC ALLCAPS in his announcement :) -- Flex has succumbed to media pressure about its burgeoning weight problem and has gone under the knife to shed its extra pounds (ooh, this must be what it feels like to write for those trashy magazines!)

In the upcoming Flex 3 release and Flash 9 player update, the Flash Player will begin caching the Flex framework.

What does this mean?

It means that the first time you load a Flex application, the Flex framework will get cached. The next time you load a Flex application, you won't download the framework again.

So what does that mean?

Let's say that your Flex application is made up of 100KB custom code and 500KB Flex Framework code. Let's also say that Joe Impatient, who uses Yahoo Web Messenger (which is a Flex application), decides to give your application a shot. Joe will be pleasantly surprised to see that he only has to download 100KB before your application is ready to go. (He will already have the framework cached from when he ran that other Flex app.)

This is definitely a step in the right direction and I hope that the same thing will be available for Flash too in the future. In fact, although I'm familiar with the reasons why Adobe doesn't want to do it, I still maintain that having the components actually be part of the player would totally rock. This, though, is a very close alternative and does have the advantage that the Flash Player and components can have separate release cycles.

Read more about the new Flex player cache feature on Ted's blog.