I wrote a random name generator in Java some time ago. Lately I have been learning Flex, and decided to port the application as an exercise. Most of it works, but I ran into a couple of problems.
(Note: for an overview of the name generator application, including the algorithm used, see the original article—this page focuses on problems specific to Flex.)
First, Flash doesn't have an API for local file access, so I couldn't allow user-specified name sources—I assume that's a security consideration. If you want to access the local filesystem in Java with an applet or with Web Start, the user has to agree to grant such privileges. It seems there's no way to do that in Flex. I did find the API to upload files to a server, but that seems like overkill to solve this problem.
The other big problem I had was embedding the names data into the application. I figured it would be easy to add them as plain text assets, but apparently assets are limited to a few types, none of which are simple text. So I had to wrap each dataset in a gigantic array, and include them in the main ActionScript file so they would be accessible. I also ran into problems with the surnames dataset (which has more than 88,000 entries). Attempting to create a SWF with an 88,000 element array resulted in spectacular failure. I cut down the dataset to the top 15,000 names and it compiled and ran, but I still had problems with Firefox crashing when attempting to initialize the application, even though the SWF was less than 400 KB in size. After trimming the dataset further to 10,000 names, things seem to work properly.
Anyway, click "Launch" above to see what I ended up with. You'd better have Flash Player 9 or later if you expect it to work.