Skip navigation
Currently Being Moderated

Goodbye Flex, Hello Ruby on Rails

Nov 9, 2011 7:09 AM

Tags: #on #flex #goodbye #hello #ruby #rails

Adobe announced it is halting development of Flash Player for mobile in the browser, but it will continue support for AIR on mobile devices.

 

Will Flex survive long term? I have my doubts.

 

I'll still develop my skills in Flex and see what happens with Flex 5, but I'll also start studying Ruby on Rails, which I actually dislike because it seems so obscure, but there are more jobs in RoR and I hear the pay rates are better.

 

Good job Adobe. Glad to see you're able to get the job done! Not.

 
Replies
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 9, 2011 7:25 AM   in reply to Gregory Lafrance

    Kinda curious... Why relate RoR with Flex?

     

    While I'm disapointed in the announcemnent, that statement of yours just feels so... pointless...

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 9, 2011 7:45 AM   in reply to Gregory Lafrance

    I came here this morning expecting a firestorm of a discussion on Adobe's announcement.  I can't believe this is the only post so far.

     

    I don't entirely understand Air.  But my thought is that it was essentially a Flash player that lives outside the browser (i.e. so your Flex app could run stand-alone).  So it seems to me a little contradicatory when they say Air for mobile development will continue but Flash for mobile is dead.  I'm OK if my Flex apps require Air to run on a mobile device in the long-term/future... but I'm not sure if that's what they're saying. 

     

    Thoughts?

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 9, 2011 7:58 AM   in reply to jonesf

    I guess this is an effect of Metro not supporting pluggins.

     

    I guess that the Flash player will move to providing Apps basically, this is where it really shines compared to HTML5.

     

    Funny thing is that all the people who disliked Flash for the Ad banners, will soon learn to hate html5 for the Ad banners.

     

    I understand the focusing, but I do feel that Adobe "focused" a little to early.

     

    Air is more than just Flash Player out of the browser.  Air has less "security" restrictions than the Flash in the browser, and has far more access to the native device (being desktop or browser) than Flash Player in the browser.

     

    I really dislike JavaScript, I do hope that Dart takes off.

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 9, 2011 8:04 AM   in reply to artguate

    OK, I guess I should clarify.  I understand the difference in security on Air.  I guess what I'm trying to figure out is what affect this announcement will have, if any, on me if I don't care whether my Flex app runs in a browser or in Air.

    In other words... let's say I stopped distributing my Flex app in the browser (swf) and simply switched to Air (I assume this is a fairly minimal effort?), then today's announcement should have little impact on me in the long term.  Is that correct (at least in theory)?

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 9, 2011 8:24 AM   in reply to jonesf

    Check on twitter @Adobe sent more messages in the last couple of hours that they sent in the whole year. Damage control @ wrk ??

     

    C

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 9, 2011 8:37 AM   in reply to Claudiu Ursica
     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 9, 2011 10:37 AM   in reply to Gregory Lafrance

    Today has been tough on all of us, first Heavy D dies, then Joepa retires from my alma mater, now this.

     

    I understand your angst, I'm a little worried too.  But I do have this to say, Adobe has shown a sense of urgency in adapting to the changing sands.  For instance, they released Adobe Edge for free which I feel was a feeler for HTML 5. They have stepped up the release cycle going from Flex sdk 4.0->4.5->4.5.1, each step along the way incorporating more items making mobile development easier.  They realize that the landscape is changing, and theat the tech world doesn't have alot of time for people who insist on doing things the old way. 

     

    Does Flash have some "issues", yeah, it does and quite a few even disregarding security issues.  I dodge some websites (I'm looking at you CNN) like the cops because I know that my browser will lock up like a big block chevy at 6000 rpm with no oil.

     

    Now lets look at Adobe as a company, what advantages does it have.  The first is that is has a headlock on the creative side of things.  It doesn't matter whether the software is pirated, borrowed, or stolen, if you want to do design work, you are going to get a CS family piece of software.  This gives them a very firm launching point for other technologies and a market place presence.  So even if Flex/Flash does become a technological ghost, there will still be other technologies and frameworks to avenge it.

     

    My last point is, who on earth is doing well in this new world software or hardware ?  Can we all bow our heads while we do a casualty count:

     

    JavaFX:  Didn't even make it to the battlefield.  They couldn't transition from the Swing/AWT wars of the late 90's. Such a bad taste was left in developers mouths, they swore to never work with any frontend tech from Sun where the designers were replaced with engineers.

     

    Silverlight: Managed to coerce, beat, threaten , extort Netflix into using their tech.  They weren't really able to expand past that and are expected to be put down like Old Yeller.

     

    Blackberry Playbook:  They didn't stock their first tablet offering with email and calendar. For their insolence, they were rewarded with 3.3% market share.  It doesn't help that as of late, their products have been met with the same excitement one would find at a wake.

     

    HP Touchpad:  No one really knows what is going on with HP, not even the Board of Directors.  I got a Touchpad, threw Cyanogenmod on it and went to work, was a great deal for the price.  An also ran in the big scheme of things, especially since they are playing musical chairs with their CEO position and business plans.

     

    So when we compare the techs that left the gate, it appears that getting to today and still having a pulse puts you in elite company.

     

    Message was edited by: UbuntuPenguin

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 10, 2011 11:52 PM   in reply to Gregory Lafrance

    Ruby on Rails is a great framework for web development and it will continue to grow. Adobe Flex for browser like Microsoft own silverlight isn't best option after plugin free mobile enviroment became hot platform. Adobe AIR on other hand is for developing applications which is best option for those who are planning to develop application for iOS, Android and Blackberry (all), which requires Flex skills (your skills are still very much useful). But on browser side HTML5 stack is better option due to its availability across all devices(windows phone, 8 metro..).  App development market for iOS , Android ect. is much hotter than Ruby on Rails, you can even learn rails and use it as AIR app's backend with RubyAMF I guess.

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 11, 2011 12:24 AM   in reply to Gregory Lafrance

    Seems as if Adobe isn't worried about scaring the crap out of the Flex dev community.  Hopefully, after the huge stock fall today, a little PR will kick in tomorrow.

     

    I wish they had said something to the effect: "we are commited to improving flex on the desktop" or "focusing on improving the AIR runtime for mobile".  Instead they are just letting us assume the worst, which leads me to think...

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 14, 2011 2:44 AM   in reply to Gregory Lafrance

    Developers are scared that their skills will become irrelevant but it's not an excuse for continuing a product (Flash for mobile browsers) that doesn't make sense.

    Moobile browsers just don't need Flash because there is no space to display animated banners and if you want to watch a video or play a game just launch an Air app.

    The annoucemet means that Adobe is not afraid to discontinue a product that has no future.

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 14, 2011 3:00 AM   in reply to hidarikani

    @hidarikani    You seem to have absolutely have no clue as to what Flash is, or what it can do if you honestly think that.

     

    My skills will never become irrelevant, regardless of the language I use.  If you are a good developer, you will stand out regardless of the language or tool.

     

    However, if Flash/Flex would suddenly no longer exist, a lot of actual work (existing codebase) would have to be refactored manually, increasing massivly the cost of any project.

     

    More importantly Flash and Flex combined provides an enviroment that simply does not have a current substitute.  You can trully code once and deliver in multiple targets easily, quickly no extra hardware needed, and that includes browsers.

     

    If you think of Flash as a tool only to deliver Video and Banners, why are you in a Flex Forum?

     

    By the way, you are limiting Mobile to phones, tablets (which are considered part of the Mobile group) on the other hand, have plenty of space to deliver video and banners.  You have a very narrow vision.

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 14, 2011 8:36 AM   in reply to artguate

    RoR is Backend Development.  Flex is front end.   I'm not too worried. Not that I would abandon the wagon just yet (nor do I see why Flex isn't a good viable solution still) but If I'd like to learn something new, would be Javascript. (Sencha's EXT JS not too thrilled)  And If you've been doing Actionscript... you'll realize it's very, very similar to Javascript.  The problem is the HTML5+JS frameworks out there are clearly inferior and cheap (as opposed to rich) solutions.  On another note - I don't care what anyone says, Flash Catalyst is amazing. I was able to finish a Full Fledged Complex Design Game (from AI -> Flex) in one week!

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 14, 2011 9:05 AM   in reply to Yozef0

    My skills will never become irrelevant, regardless of the language I use.  If you are a good developer, you will stand out regardless of the language or tool.

    Totally agree, and I would say to those out there thinking they are screwed if Flex/Flash dies that you should be focusing on enhancing your OO skills.  The better you understand OO principles, the easier it'll be to transition to other languages, which protects your skills from becomming irrelevant.

     

    Seems as if Adobe isn't worried about scaring the crap out of the Flex dev community.

    I'm jumping ship.  A year ago I talked my boss into developing our app in flex using the google maps for flash api.  Now both have been discontinued and left me looking like an idiot.  I'm going the safest route possible from here on out, though I can't stand the thought of writing a complex web front-end in html5/js.

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 14, 2011 9:17 AM   in reply to NateWeb

    Have you looked at getters & setters in JS?  Have you seen how you would create Classes even in JS?  No matter how twist it, JS is an immature, and ugly language to develop in.

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 14, 2011 10:52 AM   in reply to Yozef0

    I don't want to rain on your parade Gregory, but the last official version of the Flex SDK officially developped by the Adobe Flex team will be 4.6:

    http://blogs.adobe.com/flex/2011/11/your-questions-about-flex.html

     

    After that, it will be developped by the community. That leads us to no Flex 5.

     

    Too bad, I was expecting Flex 5 to leverage Flash Player 11 hardware  acceleration (GPU) to renderer components (just like Apple Quartz does: using the 3D GPU to render 2D fast), yielding a high framerate, ultra smooth transitions and freeing up the CPU for more processing power. Plus of course, multithreading. We were nearly there.

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 14, 2011 5:38 PM   in reply to Gregory Lafrance

    Community driven does not mean "no Flex 5".  This kind of pessimism is just taking a dump (excuse terminology) on the entire OSS community.  Who here has used Tomcat?  Eclipse?  (Same thing happened to Eclipse btw, now look at it.)  Flash Builder? (Built on Eclipse!)  Glassfish?

     

    MOST of the major tools and SDKs are "regular" open source projects.  Adobe will continue to support Flex in the same way other major vendors support various OSS projects.  (If they discontinue Flash Builder, I'd be much more concerned, but there's already alternatives to even that.)

     

    We've all known that something like this was coming after Steve Jobs drilled his misinformed opinions into his zealots brains.  Please don't engage in knee-jerk overreactions like it's 9-11.  Any developer with a brain can become expert in a new technology in 6-12 months anyway.  If you're a 50 or 60 year old Flex dev unable to learn new things, you can worry.

     

    Flex still leads desktop RIA.  I've looked for better - it ain't out there yet.  Just a lot of hype and misinformation.  Let things settle down and support the OSS efforts.  FB is not discontinued, the possibility of a Flash Builder compiler target for HTML5 is still there (payoff could be big), to address the long term concerns.

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 14, 2011 5:45 PM   in reply to Gregory Lafrance

    Gregory Lafrance wrote:

     

    Flex is hot, RoR is hot. Flex may be waning, RoR is going gang busters. I guess I'm venting that Adobe has disappointed.

    Oh, and Greg - RoR has supposedly been "going gang busters" for years now.  (Right down there at the bottom of the usage charts.)   RoR is technically up against Java itself - good luck to Ruby overcoming that leviathan.  OTOH, Flex is Java's friend.

     

    Ruby has a long way to go to be mainstream (also keep in mind this is new postings, not factoring already employed devs):

    http://www.indeed.com/jobtrends/ruby%2C+java.html

     

    I'll admit it's growing fast, but so is a lot of things that aren't mainstream.  Give it 5-10 years?

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 15, 2011 9:37 AM   in reply to Gregory Lafrance

    RoR is not a competitor to Flex. RoR is worth learning but that has nothing to do with the decline or otherwise of Flex. You can use RoR with Flex. See for example http://flexonrails.com/. If you're trying to replace your Flex skills learn another front-end technology like HTML5 or Java Swing.

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 15, 2011 10:45 AM   in reply to Fletchgqc

    You got it.

    Java v RoR

    Flex v Silverlight v Other Crap

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 15, 2011 2:25 PM   in reply to NateWeb

    You may be jumping ship, but I bet you continue to use Adobe technologies. Also, you can bring in google maps anywhere. Flex, or Flash Builder now, is a very powerfull tool. They fantastic thing now is you can basically code one app and deploy it on different mobile devices.

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 15, 2011 5:27 PM   in reply to jonesf

    I speak from experience... it's no big deal to convert your flash resources to flex resources and deploy them in Air and run them on any mobile platform you like (just not in the mobile browser). If you don't care about running your app in the browser and like the fact that you can run outside of the browser, then having no mobile browser support is of absolutely no consequence. Tomorrow I will wake up and continue writing software in Flex.

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 16, 2011 6:04 AM   in reply to Gregory Lafrance

    Also, you can bring in google maps anywhere.

    The Flash/Flex api has been deprecated.  You can still use it for the next 3 years, but Google warns that they could flip the switch at any time.

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 16, 2011 7:40 AM   in reply to NateWeb

    The Flex teams blog has been updated.

     

    http://blogs.adobe.com/flex/2011/11/your-questions-about-flex.html

     

    Scroll down a bit for the updated.

     
    |
    Mark as:

More Like This

  • Retrieving data ...

Bookmarked By (0)

Answers + Points = Status

  • 10 points awarded for Correct Answers
  • 5 points awarded for Helpful Answers
  • 10,000+ points
  • 1,001-10,000 points
  • 501-1,000 points
  • 5-500 points