When the Metaliq components were first released, I quickly encouraged my company at the time to fork over the $400 so that we could FINALLY have some solid, light-weight Flash components. While, yes, they were light-weight and even pretty solid, I was extremely disappointed to find out that the source code was not included. What quickly became even more frustrating was that Metaliq, at the time, was not actively supporting the components. The documentation was sparse and, more importantly, Metaliq was not responding to any support questions or comments that quickly came up around the Flash community. Oh well… the purchase was already made and we needed to use the components so I made the best of it.
Close to a year later, I suddenly got an email in my inbox from someone at Metaliq. I quickly looked it over and found out that they were updating the documentation and asked if I wanted to review it. Nice…, a year late, but none-the-less nice. What’s more, I could send questions and comments and he was responding… wow actual customer service… unbelievable.
This at least renewed my interest in the Metaliq components. So, when I got to my new company and we needed to work on a Flash 8 project (how it hurts to move backwards), I again encouraged the purchase of the set since the project called for several existing components and there’s no need to use the bloated v2 set. And if nothing else, at least they’re simple to skin. Once the purchase was approved and the components were delivered, I quickly opened them up and noticed something different… a folder labeled source. Could it be? Yes, It was! The latest release of the components comes with all of the classes and all of the flash source files! How nice!
Once I started looking through the source, I wondered something…. could we now compile the mCOM set with MTASC? I quickly set a project up in my editor of choice, FlashDevelop, hit compile and, unfortunately, MTASC complained. I looked at the error, decided to make a fix to the source, and tried again… another error. Damn. Oh well.
A couple of days later, I was talking with my friend Mark Llobrera and lo and behold, he was having the same problem. We quickly started tearing through the code, passing tips back and forth over IM, and within a few minutes had Button compiling with MTASC. Once we realized the MTASC-related problems in the code, they were simple to fix.
This post will not go into the details of how to fix the code, I’ll cover that in my next post. I just wanted to let people know if they already own the component set, and have not done so yet, to request the latest from Metaliq. And, if you’ve been scared off in the past on purchasing the components and still have a lot of pre-Flash 9 work to do, I suggest giving them another try.
We bought it this year and we had bad experience for the reasons mentioned in your post.
Even though Metaliq is light weight I would not call it more than bunch of components. To me it’s not really a good framework where you can write other components on top of it…Specially, it was impossible without source-code. Since we bought it and were serious to use it I was forced to learn it’s architecture using ASV (www.buraks.com/asv/ is a great tool and worth mentioning here).
Anyways, we dropped it just after evaluating it. That means, Metaliq components missed a chance to be used in one of the complex application we have been building. We came up with our own framework and all of our components are (would be) based on our own home grown framework…
It’s good to know that Metaliq learnt from their mistake and now shipping source-code and good documentation. Had they done it earlier, they would have larger customer base…
Thanks for your post, it’s indeed useful review. Otherwise I would have not known about this
I never purchased mCom because of the problems people described with Metaliq. The component set looks decent, although without source code I’d rather use the V2 components. Why? I can make modifications when I need to. No component set is going to be perfect for all of your projects. Plus I’d rather not get involved with a company that treats their customers the way they have.
When I heard Metaliq was going to be responsible for the components going into Flash 9 I nearly cried. I’m all for Grant and his team taking it on, but involving Metaliq seems like such a dumb move. Why would Adobe involve themselves with a company that neglects their user base? Luckily for Metaliq they won’t be the ones supporting Flash 9 or we’d all be in trouble.
You think Metaliq’s sudden interest in their customers is a coincidence?
I’m still a little baffled by Adobe’s choice here. But I’m not running a multi-million(billion?) dollar company either.
I definitely don’t think that Metaliq’s sudden interest is a coincidence… I’m just letting people know about this interest. It doesn’t seem like they are going out of their way to notify their current user base.
And it’s great that you’ve done that. It’s one of the reasons I like the Flash/Flex community so much: people give.
I’m sure there are quite a few mCom users that are thanking you right now.
mCom should be thanking you as well 😉
if you have any questions or comments about the metaliq components you can contact me directly.
colin [at] metaliq [dot] com
We are providing the source now upon purchase of the mCOM components or if you have already bought the components we will give you the source etc. Should you have any concerns please let me know directly.
Whatever you think of their business plan, the Metaliq folks do some very good development. I don’t think there is any need for concern regarding Flash 9 components. Metaliq is there to code, not head up customer service.
Actually Grant Skinner did all of the original code for the component set (originally called GLIC) and used Metaliq to handle marketing and support. So that is EXACTLY what they were there for originally.
Quote from Grant:
“I did not want to turn gskinner.com into a full-time marketing/support engine for glic, so I had to identify and establish a deal with a partner I felt would do justice to the component set, and I think we have one in Metaliq.”