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The Flex Show - Episode 47: Interview with Laura Arguello, creator of the Mate framework.

In this episode we were able to chat with Laura about the tag based, Mate Flex Framework. Be sure to check out our demographic survey for some new prizes. And check in with Effective UI, our contest sponsor.

Update: Laura's audio file was cut off, so we originally pulled the last 3rd of the podcast off the backup. Laura was able to restore the rest of her audio file, so we re-edited the episode. If you downloaded before 10pm (Eastern), you probably have the old copy. Re-downloading will give you an improved version.

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John laPlante's Gravatar This was a fantastic interview with Laura Arguello. I had never heard of her but would like to hear her speak again and I hope the Flex show will bring her back. She explained with clarity some very complex topics. She should consider teaching computer science. I've listened to hundreds of podcasts and this one was definitely in the top 5. One reason this was so impressive was that the topic provided instruction on how to use Mate. So many talks and especially technical podcasts boil down to folks dropping names and extolling the virtue of some site, technology etc. without actually explaining how the technology works or how to implement it. Given the lack of visuals, that tact only works with a clear speaker.

A few things I would have liked to know from the interview:
* More examples of decoupling and the value it brings. Learning to apply advanced techniques requires a fair amount of effort and it helps to have clear reasons to pursue them.
* Why build a new framework when there are existing frameworks? In fact, given the skill of these folks, I'm surprised they haven't become dependent on other frameworks.
# Posted By John laPlante | 8/22/08 11:46 AM
John Wilker's Gravatar @John

Thanks for the kind words, we'll make sure Laura sees them!
# Posted By John Wilker | 8/22/08 2:01 PM
Jeffry Houser's Gravatar Hi John,

As John (W) said, thanks for the kind words. Laura was awesome; and Mate is definitely gaining some ground in the community. We do our best to focus on the "how" and avoid name dropping; although I'm never quite sure how successful we are.

As far as having her back on, it's not out of the question, but we have no current plans. We try to "mix it up" and talk to a lot of different people about a lot of different things. We may devote a screen cast episode to the "Whys" of encapsulation and decoupling.

If you like this one, I think you'll also like Episode 41 where Thomas Burleson talks about Cairngorm and the Universal Mind Cairngorm extensions.
# Posted By Jeffry Houser | 8/23/08 7:31 PM
John laPlante's Gravatar I listened to Thomas Burleson today and enjoyed his talk. I didn't think he was quite as compelling but useful. It wold be valuable to hear more about Cairngorm. You stated that you had never done a show on that topic and it seems worthwhile.

One thing that Thomas talked about was having the controller call back the view. I kind of wonder if the software engineering crowd wold object due to this due to adding a coupling. I have mostly done AS2 but I've used events a lot. I came up with a scheme where I would dispatch an event like follows:
dispatchEvent({target:this, type:'click', source:ThisMoveClipInstanceName });

and then on the listener, I could back referernce the class that dispatched the event with something like this
_root[ThisMoveClipInstanceName]
This worked very well for me but it seems to tightly couple the class that is dispathcing and the one that is listening. But, it points to the problem that it's pretty hard to keep things decoupled and often convenient to couple things even if it makes your code less general purpose.
# Posted By John laPlante | 9/10/08 11:07 AM
Jeffry Houser's Gravatar John,

This could be a huge can of worms.
Yes, tying the controller to the view causes coupling. Tying the controller to the model causes coupling. I view the controller as a messenger; just shuffling data back between the model and view. The reason the controller exists in MVC is that the model and view are not coupled to each other.

At some point in any application things need to tightly coupled. Figuring out what should be 'tight' and what should be 'loose' is the balance that software engineers try to decide when balancing the 'ideal' approach with real world limitations such as time frames, budgets, and technology.

I feel like I'm preaching so it is time to stop.
# Posted By Jeffry Houser | 9/10/08 12:58 PM
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