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Is Flex/AIR a dying technology?

Nov 15, 2011 8:15 AM

I develop Flex/AIR applications and need to know if this is a dying technology and whether there's any point continuing to develop on this platform?

 
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 15, 2011 8:30 AM   in reply to RandomReado

    For the mobile world, sure. That is about 7% of the browser market, according to a seminar I heard at Ga Tech a few weeks ago. But as long as people use PC's, Flex/AIR will be supported. There are some enterprise applications out there that are using Flex, entrenched in it, such as SAP and Flex. So the process of phasing out Flex, if it were to be, would be a couple years to come at minimum.

     

    I remember when Flex started getting big 4-5 years ago, and people were saying JavaScript would be dead in 1-2 years. Look where we are now.

     

    Personally I love coding in Flex. But I am ramping up on HTML5 next year.

     
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    Nov 15, 2011 9:07 AM   in reply to RandomReado

    There are a couple threads recently out that answer most of these questions you pose:

     

    http://forums.adobe.com/thread/923213?tstart=30

     

    The only Flex 5 we will see will be an open source effort. Adobe is going to release the Flex 4.6 sdk and then move it to open source environment.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 15, 2011 9:07 AM   in reply to RandomReado

    I really don't think Flex is going away anytime soon. I have worked with many technologies throughout my career, and the Flex technology stack is the best thing out there right now for deploying rich front-end apps to as many screens as possible.

     

    The main problem I forsee is pushback from the decision makers (clients) because of the bad rep Flash has gotten over the past few days (and longer). When that happens (and it will), my suggestion is that you turn the conversation around so it isn't about "Flash" or "HTML5". Make the conversation about what kind of features you can offer, and what devices you can offer them on. Flex will win hands down in that conversation, because the reality is that HTML5 simply isn't ready to replace it.

     

    That's just one man's opinion at least.

     
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    Nov 15, 2011 10:59 AM   in reply to RandomReado

    ColdFusion has allegedly been a "dying technology" for what, like a decade now?  Way too many people are way too eager to declare things "dead", when they have NO idea what they're talking about.

     

    Why are people so afraid of abandoning the mobile garbage market?  Most of those toy applications don't need an SDK like Flex.  It's about time we stopped wasting resources on Flex mobile, to focus on where it matters.  That market probably should never have been targeted in the first place for Flash/Flex.  If Adobe leadership should be ashamed about anything, it should be getting caught in the "mobile is all that matters" hype and hysteria going around lately.  Flex/FB 4.5 (mobile) was a waste.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 15, 2011 11:23 AM   in reply to RandomReado

    I don't think Flex is dying perse.  But what most people including me are scared of is the perception of Flex's viability and long term support.  For instance, I have a little pet project I am working on that I am hoping to pitch to some companies, now if I go into a room full of MBA's I risk being turned down because they have heard this and that about Flex.  The driving issue is that it becomes harder to advocate Flex based projects because of the perceived lack of support by Adobe discontinuing the allocation of resources to it.

     

    As far as mobile development goes, that most likely came about in the Flex world because of the perception.  No company wants to get left behind with their technology and having a mobile branch of Flex just made it that much more competitive, at least in the beginning.  With the proliferation of tablets and smartphones, I can't say that was such a bad idea.

     

    From my username you can tell I know my way around FOSS, but I have a bad feeling about Flex going FOSS.  Let's start with Java comparisons. Java is a language that generally has its roots in the backend, firmly in the realm of neckbeards.  It is also the backbone of many corporations' backends and technologies, if not for the language itself, then for the VM (JRuby, Scala, Closure,etc).  This leads to the platform having MASSIVE corporate support from tech giants such as IBM, Redhat and others who can see to it themselves that Java survives.  ( On a sidenote, think of the operations coverage Java has, from DBs, Persistence, Networking, Imaging, Fronted("yuck") and even client side("double yuck") ) .

     

    Now lets look at Flex,  I don't think it has the massive corporate support as Java since it can solve every single problem in the software field so that may hurt it.  More importantly, like someone else pointed out, what about the VM it runs on, or the idea that Flex is opensource, but EventDispatcher is not ? 

     

    I don't think Flex is dead perse, but its market value in terms of people wanting to do projects in it has taken a hit since people are unsure of its fate.  I can tell you this though, I think HTML5 isn't quite there yet ( 6 months - 1 year ), it doesn't seem to lend itself to the same workflow type as Flex/AS3.  The whole JS world and language seems to defy any OO rules at first glance, maybe this is where Adobe is going to come in, I don't know.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 15, 2011 11:43 AM   in reply to UbuntuPenguin

    Kind of sucks.  I just got my Flex mobile app working on the IPad.  Pretty cool app.  And it's essentially the same code base as my PC app.  Few optimizations.  But it's hard to hit all these platforms with one code base and have things present in a homogenous way.  I think Flex mobile is worth the effort.  Not sure where I stand with my app now.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 15, 2011 2:07 PM   in reply to rexdtripod

    ...Not sure where I stand with my app now.

    That's easy, you are going to learn to rewrite you app in HTML 5/JS.  Not that your app isn't viable right now, but since you know how the app is supposed to look and behave in Flex, it would be great to begin the journey in replicating similar behavior in HTML5/JS.

     
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    Nov 15, 2011 2:48 PM   in reply to RandomReado

    Flex will die if:

     

    1. mobile (read: tablet) computing continues to replace desktops and laptops AND
    2. tablets remain physically limited in terms of memory and speed AND
    3. certain hardware manufacturers, who shall remain namless insist on controlling/gatekeeping their devices by limiting software access AND
    4. HTML5+JS+CSS can catch up and get even halfway to where flex is in terms of functionality

     

    Flex will not die if

    1. tablet computing is here this christmas but gone before next christmas OR
    2. tablets become physically capable of running relatively large software stacks like flash player without "missing a beat" OR
    3. Android increases its marketshare over iOS and consumers go back to valuing the open-and-accesible over the closed-but-shiny OR
    4. New open standards (HTML5) continue to develop at the rater they have over the past decade

     

    I won't pretend to know what is going on, but from my vantage point, the form factor advantage of tablets is here to stay - I see them becoming ubiqutous. As for Item four, I can only scratch my head and conclude that someone at adobe knows a lot more about this than we do, because I don't see an open standard replacement for flex that has even half of its power coming anytime soon. I'll be happy to be proven wrong, but I think the cost of being in the development business just got WAY more expensive.

     

    The money you might save by using open standard frameworks will be nothing compared to the money you will spend getting the code to work everywhere. I have my doubts that an open standard will ever be implemented consistently enough to rival what we have now with flex and flash player.

     

    I don't think that the sky is falling, but I imagine the cost of staying dry is about to go through the roof.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 15, 2011 5:07 PM   in reply to rolance2

    I just completed my first mobile app in Flex. I'm comfortable with Flex and Java in concert and am in no hurry to move to HTML5. As long as I can write code in Flex quickly and that code compiles to every platform I work with (PC, Android/iOS), and my designer is building things in Flash and, and, and... I'll be using it.

     
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    Nov 15, 2011 5:16 PM   in reply to UbuntuPenguin

    UbuntuPenguin wrote:

     

    ...Not sure where I stand with my app now.

    That's easy, you are going to learn to rewrite you app in HTML 5/JS.  Not that your app isn't viable right now, but since you know how the app is supposed to look and behave in Flex, it would be great to begin the journey in replicating similar behavior in HTML5/JS.

     

    Would like to do that but seems like a longshot at this juncture.  Simple websites can be reproduced.  Not complex OO apps. 

     

    I do presentation software.  My current app does live video, synchronized slides and live chat.  Most importantly, via FMS, I literally reach out during  a live show and remote control operate your screen - resize video, slides, polling components, change screen views - all in full res (no screen sharing) and all wrapped in beautiful animated transitions.  And I can literally single users out and send special commands to only them if need be.  And the kicker?  I do all of this homogenously from one well designed OO code base and hit every browser/OS/device including IPAD via packager.  HTML5/JS is just not even in the ball game for what I do. 

     

    Websites - easy.  Complex remote control FMS apps - not gonna happen.  I don't know how that real time remote control thing is gonna work.

     

    And to boot, with the browser wars well under way each is lining up behind different video codecs.  I have no idea how I'm gonna get at metadata in live streams through web pages on different browsers *in a homogenous way*.

     

    Each manufacturer, browser and device, wants everyone to line up behind them.  When it comes down to it, Flash is one hell of an equalizer.  I think certain monopoly minded manufacturers who made careers out of being anti other monopoly minded manufacturers just can't stand that.  They just hate competition.

     

    I say to them, the Flash haters - my app is outrageously cool.  For all of your bluster about Flash being a hog, and sucking - let me see you build my app in HTML5 and reach everyone with one code base. 

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 15, 2011 6:19 PM   in reply to RandomReado

    Take a look here for a rather more expansive and positive explanation of Adobe's plans:

     

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

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 16, 2011 2:50 AM   in reply to RandomReado

    According to the blog NO. Adobe will still develop the Flash Player. But they said that they will keep up with the speed.

     

    Myself, I like it this way. I did not like them claiming Flex to be open source while they're the whole decision committee. Now, it's an open source for real.

     

    Talking about mobile devices, I don't understand when people say that they just made a cool app. Adobe said they're not going to support anymore(i.e. no flash player upgrade). Your app should still be working unless you upgrade it in the future.

    It blows I know. But most of the mobile device apps are real simple anyway. Some drag-and-drops, some big buttons, some feeds... There are not much of these data presentation and heavy interactive interfaces. At least as of now.

     

    But Adobe should really keep it on desktop. Add more features that HTML5 will never match. Like Pixel Bender, Stage 3D. I would really love too if you accelerate the sound card, that allow us to play with Fruity Loops like but Flash.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 16, 2011 3:15 AM   in reply to mahatana

    Now, the best thing that can happen is for the community to create a roadmap for Flex 5 that builds on top of Flash Player 11 features. If some top Flex developers contribute and the project is well led, this could possibly work.

     

    On the roadmap, I would personally add:

     

    - All Spark (nothing to do with Transformers ;-) which mean migration of all MX components

    - GPU accelerating rendering of all components, leveraging Stage 3D (the old trick of 2D in 3D as in the MacOS X's Quartz API)

    - Video component that leverage Stage Video

    - Time slicing

     

    Eclipse and Firefox, after all, are open source too and they are top software. To survive, Flex needs to become a top open source technology.

     

    The best Flex engineers out there should volunteer.

     
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    Nov 16, 2011 4:13 AM   in reply to Karl_Sigiscar_1971

    Right now perception is playing a crucial role. I reckon Adobe should put a good designer onto building a beautiful page/site for Flex under the Eclipse foundation, assuming they want to encourage success for the project under its new open source foundation. Sometimes a great website design makes a huge difference in how people evaluate the project, this could be a huge help at a small cost.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 16, 2011 7:43 AM   in reply to mahatana

    mahatana wrote:

     

    ...

     

    Talking about mobile devices, I don't understand when people say that they just made a cool app. Adobe said they're not going to support anymore(i.e. no flash player upgrade). Your app should still be working unless you upgrade it in the future.

    It blows I know. But most of the mobile device apps are real simple anyway. Some drag-and-drops, some big buttons, some feeds... There are not much of these data presentation and heavy interactive interfaces. At least as of now.

     

    Nope.  Like I described.  My interface is not simple.  It's highly interactive.  That's the point of the app.  And yes, we do plan to upgrade the app in the future.  Don't know of a software provider that doesn't.

     

    The point is that Flash is doing things for me that nothing else can at this point.  There's a power to it - a power that doesn't exist in HTML5.  And building and maintaining individual strains of the app for each platform is simply not manageable.  Simply put, this is a regression.

     

    Maybe something comparable will come along down the road some day, but those who say "just convert your app to HTML5" don't see or use Flash's power. 

     

    Still hoping for the best.  Just have to keep trudging along and hoping for a positive development.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 16, 2011 8:25 AM   in reply to rexdtripod
     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 16, 2011 8:53 AM   in reply to rexdtripod

    That sounds very cool. Even a control-any-device subset of your flex app is pretty impressive.

    rexdtripod wrote:

     

    Would like to do that but seems like a longshot at this juncture.  Simple websites can be reproduced.  Not complex OO apps. 

     

    I do presentation software.  My current app does live video, synchronized slides and live chat.  Most importantly, via FMS, I literally reach out during  a live show and remote control operate your screen - resize video, slides, polling components, change screen views - all in full res (no screen sharing) and all wrapped in beautiful animated transitions.  And I can literally single users out and send special commands to only them if need be.  And the kicker?  I do all of this homogenously from one well designed OO code base and hit every browser/OS/device including IPAD via packager.  HTML5/JS is just not even in the ball game for what I do. 

     

    Websites - easy.  Complex remote control FMS apps - not gonna happen.  I don't know how that real time remote control thing is gonna work.

     

    And to boot, with the browser wars well under way each is lining up behind different video codecs.  I have no idea how I'm gonna get at metadata in live streams through web pages on different browsers *in a homogenous way*.

     

    Each manufacturer, browser and device, wants everyone to line up behind them.  When it comes down to it, Flash is one hell of an equalizer.  I think certain monopoly minded manufacturers who made careers out of being anti other monopoly minded manufacturers just can't stand that.  They just hate competition.

     

    I say to them, the Flash haters - my app is outrageously cool.  For all of your bluster about Flash being a hog, and sucking - let me see you build my app in HTML5 and reach everyone with one code base. 

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 16, 2011 9:19 AM   in reply to rexdtripod

    My app is also not simple. And, I agree that it's a regression if the Flex mobile ability to write once, compile to any platform goes away. However, from what I read, it seems this is now going to be opensource. If it's opensource, won't it continue to be developed and the support just shifts from Adobe to the community? I wrote in Java before it was opensource and I still write in it today now that it is opensource. Also, it would seem that Adobe does have plans to provide cross compile tools (the PR says to compile to HTML and JS). Is it sangine to believe that whatever the future holds, those of us who have already developed complicated cross platform mobile apps (in my case that do not run in the browser) will have a solution that does not require an entire re-write of existing code?

     

    Given that Adobe says the following, it would seem that all is fine in the mobile app development world or am I wrong?

     

    "Adobe will continue to support applications built with Flex, as well as all future versions of the SDK running in PC browsers with Adobe Flash Player and as mobile apps with Adobe AIR indefinitely on Apple iOS, Google Android and RIM BlackBerry Tablet OS."

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 16, 2011 9:49 AM   in reply to alinator11

    For Crying out Loud!  Flex is Alive and Kicking! Stop Worrying - Jeez.  You'll need to learn HTML5 just to see how the Flex framework is superior - In Every Way!  AIR? You're kidding me right? It's on every Mobile & Desktop. Stop Nagging and Create Cool Apps!

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 16, 2011 3:09 PM   in reply to Yozef0

    So the customer that just pulled a 25K event about two hours ago because I couldn't deliver it reliably to the IPAD browser is just nagging right? 

     

    I described the app earlier in the thread.  Sounds like we have a volunteer.  Let's see you do it in HTML5.  I'll expect a post on it soon

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 16, 2011 3:28 PM   in reply to rexdtripod

    If you are using FMS, you should be able to target the iPAD browser.  Just not with the same level of interactivity, but that's expected.  You do ofer a full solution to the iPAD.  It would sound like you didn't get the gig because the customer didn't care about all your perks.

    Maybe they are just simply sold on something specific.

    It sounds more like an excuse and not a reason.

     

    Anyways, if you read the updated post: http://blogs.adobe.com/flex/2011/11/your-questions-about-flex.html

     

    You might be able to target the iOS browser in the not so distant future with your existing code base.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 16, 2011 4:44 PM   in reply to RandomReado

    Of course Flex is dying. Anyone who says otherwise is just engaged in wishful thinking.

     

    Look at it this way. Flash Pro is being kept in-house, while Flex is being sent to live with the neighbors. But, "really, we're just as dedicated to Flex as ever." Yeah, right. This fact alone should tell you everything you need to know.

     

    Most of us work for companies, and we know that companies are primarily interested in the bottom line. We also know that Adobe just laid off a boat load of developers and other employees. So, let's say you have a limited number of developers, are you going to spend your resources on:

     

    a) projects that promote your profitable product lines?, OR

     

    b) projects that support an open source community?

     

    Next, consider that the open source Flex community relies on a proprietary runtime. You can only develop new SDK functionally that either:

     

    a) is supported by the existing Flashplayer, or

     

    b) that requires new Flashplayer features and Adobe is willling to expend resources (e.g., developers working on profitable projects).

     

    Bottom line is this. Open source projects that depend on a proprietary product are doomed to fail - especially when the company owning the proprietary product gets nothing out of diverting resource from profitable product development to open source charitable contributions.

     

    Once Adobe has let a couple years go by, and they are well past the current blow back from their Reed Hastings-like decision, their support of open source Flex will be less and less. There is simply no bottom line reason to continue to support Flex. Let's face it. By supporting Flex via their Flashplayer, they increase the likelihood of it being more buggy than necessary. Flex is an albatrose around the neck of Adobe and their Flashplayer.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 17, 2011 1:43 AM   in reply to rdgrimes

    There is truth in what you say, but you forget to mention that the Flash Player (on desktop) and AIR (on desktop, mobile and tablets)  runtimes will keep being developped because Adobe has revenues from them regardless of Flex. Adobe sells expensive licenses of the Flash Media Server family (as well as Flash Professional which is not discontinued as you point out) and they need to keep the runtimes to carry on with their development. Killing the runtimes would kill that revenue stream. So, Flash Player and AIR will keep being developped. That they are proprietary is immaterial. Flex is just a framework on top of that technology. If the community is willing to further develop Flex, it's not doomed to failure. As a matter of fact, Adobe might even put back some resources into Flex in a few years if HTML 5 dramatically fails (as AJAX did a few years ago, it went boom then bust).

     

    I started studying HTML 5, just for kicks, and we are back to square one with the browser capabilities detection shenanigans.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 17, 2011 1:47 AM   in reply to Karl_Sigiscar_1971

    Karl:

    1. Do you have a breakdown - maybe a link or something - of how Adobe currently makes money through developing Flash, Flex and associated tools? That would be really interesting, because as you point out looking at current and predicted revenue streams is the best way to anticipate their upcoming tactics.
    2. What do you mean that AJAX failed? Ajax is one of the lynchpins of dynamic content and HTML5 (except most use JSON not XML).
     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 17, 2011 2:19 AM   in reply to Karl_Sigiscar_1971

    It is simple.  The day that something finally shows up that can do what Flex can do... then Flex may have it's day's numbered.  But until that day happens, Flex will still be king.

     

    See, even if Flex would suffer absolutely no further development, I still haven't found a single substitute.  Nothing comes even close.  So yeah, it currently depends on propietary pluggin, but that does not have to be the case.  It can be compiled to native code, and there is work being donated that shows that it also can be "translated" to js.

     

    Also the Open Screen Project http://www.openscreenproject.org/ might be key to keep it alive.

     

    Say what you say, it simply has no substitute.  Fact is that developing enterprise apps in javascript just plain sucks.  Like you said, the monetary bottom line is what is key.  Right now, I can deliver great enterprise apps at reasonable low costs that can run basically anywhere with one codebase.  Can you do that with anything else?  

     

    So even if Adobe would complete abandon it, it still your current best tool.  So jump ship all you want... it's your choice... hope you find a good lifeboat, cause this ship is not sinking any time soon.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 17, 2011 2:48 AM   in reply to Fletchgqc

    1. As I said, they make money out of the Flash Media Server licenses and Flash Professional licenses. Flex did not turn out to be profitable, requiring a lot of staff and not making enough money. In Flex 1 and 1.5, Flex Data Services was necessary to build the SWF. Since Flex 2, you can build the SWF with Flex Builder (aka Flash Builder). Adobe should never have done this and should never have released BlazeDS and open sourced AMF (allowing competing Flex server solutions to exist). A better strategy would have been to lower the price of Flex Data Services (aka LiveCycle Data Services) to be affordable. That would also have allowed more advanced RIAs, leveraging the Data Manage Services with the RTMP protocol. That's my view.

     

    2. AJAX was all the hype long before HTML 5. Everybody in the enterprise was talking about it and using it. Then the projects hit the wall with many problems (performance, security...),  the hype deflated and Flex use soared to replace it. Now AJAX is back in the enterprise of course, with HTML 5, for how long this time ?

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 17, 2011 6:05 AM   in reply to Karl_Sigiscar_1971
    A better strategy would have been to lower the price of Flex Data Services (aka LiveCycle Data Services) to be affordable.

    I was wondering about what would happen with LCDS since they were kind of sidelining Flex.  I know for a fact it has a range of uses outside of Flex from the documentation. However, it just felt like there was a "wall" you could hit with parent-child relations and database synchronicity(?) in complex applications.  While there are OSS solutions designed to solve this parent-child problem , they can still be kind of akward to use and intrusive on the code base.  I would gladly pay for many of the functionality facets here (http://www.adobe.com/products/livecycle/dataservices/compare.html) but at 30K a processor, that puts it well out of the range of any non-corporate developer.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 17, 2011 7:45 AM   in reply to artguate

    @artguate:

     

    "Say what you say, it simply has no substitute."

     

    I wouldn't be so sure about that. I 'think' I may have found one with great community support and used by huge companies, such as IBM, Oracle, Sun, Toyota, etc. It's called ZKoss. Take a look at their demo page. Their component set is even more extensive than what Flex offers.

     

    So, why am I looking at ZK? In analyzing our technology stack over the past decade+, we have gone through an evolving architecture (from DHTML using server side XSLT, to Flash 2004, to Flex). During the early days, we generated our J2EE web services with a product, Novell Composer. We thought we could trust Novell, but no! They end-of-lifed their product. So, we looked to go open source, as well as get out of the cross-browser hell of coding in JS. So, we moved to Spring/CXF web services and sought a solution that uses a VM plugin where we could truly write-once and run anywhere. Flash, and then Flex, seemed to fit that bill. Worked wonderfully well why the ride lasted. But, that's coming to an end (if not now, then in a few years when Adobe loses interest in supporting Flex in a Flashplayer that is clearly going to be focused on media and animation). In looking back, what has been the one constant that we could rely upon to not screw us over by abandoning us? The answer is Java. So, why not go with a Java based solution for the client? But, I didn't want a Java based solution that would require the client to have Java. This can be solved by server side transformation - something like JSP, but much better and with a rich component set. ZK is a satisfactory substitute for Flex, and it's easy to learn - especially if you already know Java.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 17, 2011 8:07 AM   in reply to Karl_Sigiscar_1971

    @Karl_Sigiscar_1971:

     

    " That they are proprietary is immaterial."

     

    Not at all. It is quite material that the open source community's roadmap for Flex is subject to cooperation by Adobe to add support to their Flashplayer for any new functionality required to satisfy Flex's evolution. Were it not proprietary, and were instead open source, that would not be an issue. So, it is precisely material. 

     

    Shantanu Narayen has clearly stated his vision for Adobe (see http://blogs.adobe.com/conversations/2011/11/adobe%E2%80%99s-transform ation.html ):

     

    "On Tuesday, we made some big announcements about our business moving forward:  Our strategy to double-down on the two growth markets of Digital Media and Digital Marketing"

     

    Hmmmm... I didn't see enterprise application support listed anywhere in there.

     

    If digital media and marketing is their (Adobe) strategic aim, but enterprise application support is the goal of the Apache community, do you not see there being a conflict at being able to get Adobe to cooperate in the long term? Their simply is no reason for a company focused on content to screw up their Flashplayer with support for applications - especially if by removing that support they can streamline even further the FP for rendering media.

     

    I have no doubt that Adobe will support Flex for 2, 3, maybe 4-5 years. But, at some point, it WILL be dropped as "not in the strategic interest of Adobe."

     
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    Nov 17, 2011 9:22 AM   in reply to artguate

    artguate wrote:

     

    If you are using FMS, you should be able to target the iPAD browser.  Just not with the same level of interactivity, but that's expected.  You do ofer a full solution to the iPAD.  It would sound like you didn't get the gig because the customer didn't care about all your perks.

    Maybe they are just simply sold on something specific.

    It sounds more like an excuse and not a reason.

     

    Nope.  Customer bought 400 IPads for their sales associates around the world.  They love our perks.  They've been using our desktop app for about 18 months.   During rehearsal for this particular gig we overheard someone on camera say something about the new IPads.  They never mentioned it.  Just expected it would work the same as it would anywhere else.  Why not?  They were stunned.  They're computing devices right?  We who write apps think the outside world understands all of the limitations.  They don't.  They just think it all should work.

     

    We scrambled to put together a dumbed down version of the app - just video.  Had to.  Had production staff onsite - cameras, lighting, sound, etc.  Was like a ******* Apollo 13 mission in here as we scrambled.  In the end, no slides, polls, chat, screen movements, animated interactivity, etc.  Just video of their event.  It worked.  We got the feed to their IPad using HTTP streaming and an HTML5 video tag in a browser.  They hated it.  Cancelled.  They wanted our desktop app in their IPads.  They want to portray to their sales force and customers that they are high tech.  A video window in a browser didn't get it.

     

    That said, they've given us three weeks to try again.  I have an IPad version of our desktop app almost ready via the mobile packager which is really cool.  Won't be ready and approved in three weeks.  They've also indicated that they don't want 400 reps installing an app to watch.  They want just a URL.

     

    Had they given their reps Galaxies or Xooms I'd have been golden (at least for awhile).  App looks awesome on them and runs in browser.  Just the luck of the draw.

     

    The reason I lay this out is to chronicle a real world example of how important Flex technology became and how messed up it is that it's being forced out of even some places.  There are people out here providing real world apps to business who need it's OO power.  My client really wants the "perks".  They are thrilled to death with them.  They think they portray them as cutting edge.

     

    Targeting the IPad with via FMS with less interactivity may be able to be done, but "less interactivity" is a regression.  My customer yesterday certainly thinks so. 

     

    I hope you are right and Adobe and others will find ways to fill the void.

     
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    Nov 17, 2011 9:43 AM   in reply to rexdtripod

    There's no difference at all. Your app is written in AIR. AIR is not touched by this change of direction. It's only the Flash animations that run on BROWSERS in the mobile space that are affected. In other words, the dancing penguins that advertise mortgage refinancing on the Yahoo pages, or what have you, will be gone from the browsers on mobile devices. Your AIR mobile apps don't run in browsers to start with.

     
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    Nov 17, 2011 9:57 AM   in reply to UbuntuPenguin

    that puts it well out of the range of any non-corporate developer.

     

    Actually, most investment banks use BlazeDS as opposed to LCDS. Each IT Team has a limited budget to run on.

     
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    Nov 17, 2011 10:01 AM   in reply to rdgrimes

    Not at all. It is quite material that the open source community's roadmap for Flex is subject to cooperation by Adobe to add support to their Flashplayer for any new functionality required to satisfy Flex's evolution. Were it not proprietary, and were instead open source, that would not be an issue. So, it is precisely material. 

     

    What I mean to say is that the Flash Player and AIR specs will continue to evolve. The specs will be driven by what's needed by both Flash Professional and Flash Media Server.

     

    The Flex community will be able to build upon those new specs.

     
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    Nov 17, 2011 10:04 AM   in reply to rdgrimes

    There are many AJAX frameworks out there, like jQuery. The AJAX frameworks are built on top of the browsers' capabilities, just as the Flex framework is built to top of the Flash Player / AIR runtimes.

     

    Flex will die only if the community drops Flex, does not volunteer, does not further develop it.

     
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    Nov 17, 2011 10:24 AM   in reply to rdgrimes

    @rdgrimes

    "ZK is a satisfactory substitute for Flex". The keyword there is satisfactory.

    ZK doesn't generate downloadable apps, no offline operation, etc...  While ZK is cool, it is not a satisfactory subtitute for me.  It also forces you to use Java on backend, that's not the case with Flex. 

     

    And on a funny side note, the ZK site uses Flash.

     
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    Nov 17, 2011 3:55 PM   in reply to artguate

    artguate> well, adobe site is not using Flex.

     

    All in all,

    1 - no Flash support for mobile browsers.

    2 - no Flash support on Apple products even RIA

    3 - Adobe not developing Flex anymore

    4 - No substitute for Flex

     

    1 - not a big deal, develop apps for your websites

    2 - bad, very bad. Cause I'm thinking that iPad will be everywhere next year. Although it's not new, it should not be underestimated. As stated above, money is the whole thing. It's not just "I made a cool app", if nobody is using it, what's the point.

    3 - ok. But it's still at their mercy (Flash Player)

    Well, if we look at the history, Flash was the only multiplatform for decades. Javascript too, but with the platform war, you ended up developing Javascript for alwost every of them. That was the reason that I switched to Flex in the first place.

    But now, a new multiplatform is being defined, HTML5, CSS3. Ok, but until when? Isn't it a rerun of Javascript story? My answer is YES. That is, sooner, developers (time is money) will find themselves developing the same app for each of every platform again, and will head back to Flash application. And Flash Player will survive.

    How about Flex?

    How many of you really care about where and how Javascript is being maintained? Seems like every browser maker adopts it own interpretation of your code. It's weird right? But look at the fact: JQuery, Mootools, YUI... there are tons of them that really shaped the web. So Flash Player being proprietary is not drastically bad. Myself, I wish it wasn't either. But let us face it, they cannot let Flash Pro, and these other AS3 frameworks, go for the sake of Flex SDK.

    4 - Don't count on that. We're people, we'll find a way around.

     

    So to answer the question, is it dying, it's no. It's just slowing down due to the fast move of the technology. But it will rise up again as soon as HTML5 proves its inability.

     
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    Nov 18, 2011 2:39 AM   in reply to rdgrimes

    @rdgrimes Yes ZK is very interesting. We went with Flex on a project 1-2 years ago and we seriously considered ZK at the time, however we weren't sure about its longetivity, active development and the documentation was written in what seemed to be "Chinese [i.e. bad] English" which we all know is painful to read and gave us real hesitation.

     

    Now things seem to be advancing along for them and their website now definitely promotes how broadly their software is being used in the enterprise. It's certainly an interesting alternative to Flex.

     
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