Transparencies in RIAs - Flex and Avalon, side by side

Summary:With computers getting more powerful, we can finally use transparencies in our Rich Internet Applications. Microsoft's Avalaon has a very cool Aero Glass effect that Tim Sneath talks about in one of his posts. Flex 2 also allows transparencies, although in a different way than Avalon, and this is a screenshot comparison of two similar applications side by side. The url for this post is

I think that when transparencies are used correctly, they make a very nice effect.  It looks pleasing to the user, gives a much greater sense of depth and a feeling of being in a 3D space.  There are definitely times when transparencies can be overkill, but all in all, I think they will have a significant place in Rich Internet Applications.  Tim Sneath talks here about adding the Aero Glass effect to Vista forms.  It's a very good read, and he included a sample screenshot.  Well Kevin Hoyt at Adobe sent me a Flex 2 example which mimics Tim's.  To be clear, it's not the same effect as the Aero Glass that will ship with high end versions of Vista, that is a bit more advanced, but it's a good implementation of transparencies. I think looking at them side by side shows that we'll be able to do some very cool things with the technologies that are coming.

Aero Glass Effect in Vista (click for full photo)


Transparencies in Flex 2 (click for full photo)


Topics: Windows


Ryan Stewart holds an economics degree from the University of Pennsylvania and is now a Rich Internet Application developer and industry analyst. After graduating from Penn, he spent two years developing applications for the Wharton School and pushing the idea of the web as a platform for learning. Ryan now lives in Seattle with his wife... Full Bio

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