RESTful Flash

In response to my question -- Can rich Internet apps be web-friendly? -- Macromedia's Kevin Lynch has put together an example showing how to achieve RESTful Flash:

This weekend I created an example showing how rich internet applications can display their current state in the URL as the user interacts locally. This enables a user to bookmark a particular state in the local application, and also enables rich internet applications to be composed with others through REST.

I've also posted the source code for the example, so you can see how it works. If you're developing applications in Flash or Flex I encourage you to display useful state information in this way so others can easily integrate and leverage your application with theirs across the internet. [Kevin Lynch]

Excellent! Thanks for putting this example together, Kevin. Although I'm not a Flash developer, I've looked at the code for your example and it seems quite straightforward.

This could have a huge impact on the accessibility, and the composability, of Flash apps. The reasons why are at once mundane and profound. Example: last week I was taken to dinner in Los Angeles. My host tried to coordinate with another guest using email, but the only URL he could send was a generic Flash wrapper. The recipient got lost in the application, and so was late to the dinner. His comment on arriving -- I swear to god -- was: "That's what we get for choosing a Flash-based restaurant."

I'd be interested to know what you (and other Flash developers) think of the feasibility and/or desirability of making this capability automatic (optionally) for certain core widgets. So a tree control, for example, could be made reveal its expansion state on the URL-line, or a data-bound widget made to expose its query, just by flipping a switch.

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