Ugh, even Yakov Fain is talking about the contrast with Silverlight:
Sorry to say it, but Adobe's going to have to make some big changes (like open source LCDS or vastly reduce the price, and create a real WYSIWYG designer) to stay ahead, if Flex still is ahead.
If we were on stack overflow, I'd vote to close your post as it is flame bait.
You realize that Expression brend predates Flash Catalyst by a few years,right? Yes, Microsoft did a lot of things right with it (at least on paper) and that is an area where it seems like Adobe is playing catchup. Specially since Expression Blend supported project sharing between Blend and Visual Studio on day 1. I understand Expression Blend does not meet the marketing expectations, though. ( I've heard the same about Catalyst and Flash Builder too, though)
There is always some give / take with any competing projects, with one offering a slightly different set of features than the other.
Screw Stack Overflow, this isn't there for a reason, it's a silly site. It's not flame bait, Jeffry. I mean to stir up some serious conversation and hopefully even ge the attention of some Adobe folks to hear their thoughts. I've been a (possibly overly) loyal Flex advocate for years, and have been saying Adobe needs to shift their strategy (not as if they'd listen to me) for years if they want to stay ahead of competing technologies. Now I'm afraid we may be more in the position of catching up rather than staying ahead, at least in developer tool quality, just as I was suggesting might happen.
For crying out loud - I can't even for the life of me figure out how to get an embedded font to display correctly in design view (making it completely useless since the differing size of the embedded font effects the size of every non-hardcoded component). In Silverlight/Blend, this (allegedly) works perfectly - WYSIWYG. (Now I'll have to try and see for myself I suppose.)
I'm aware Catalyst is newer, and maybe this is Adobe's (late coming) answer. But Adobe had more time than MS did to address this - Flex is older than Silverlight, and these products are largely meant to support their respective RIA SDKs. Microsoft started late, but (as Yakov Fain has pointed out) is moving much faster than Adobe and it's getting pretty frustrating to see this obvious disparity.
I'd really like for someone from Adobe who has some idea what their long term road map or strategy is to explain what exactly the company's vision for Flex (and Catalyst) is. Where are we supposed to be in 1, 3, 5 years from now? Without at least knowing that, nothing against Adobe at all, but I have no choice but to explore alternative technologies if only to keep my skill set relevant and productive for my line of work. All I can assume in the absence of some semi-official or official vision from Adobe is that they're taking the toolset and SDK in a "designer-focused" direction that isn't well suited to what I need from an RIA.
Competition in this field is heating up, and I don't want to see Flex go the way of PowerBuilder, but this is what I see happening today unless some changes are coming soon.
Screw Stack Overflow, this isn't there for a reason, it's a silly site. It's not flame bait, Jeffry.
I love Stack Overflow. I think it's a great Q&A site. I have a lot of fun answering questions on there.
I haven't the foggiest idea how saying "Adobe progress seems slower than M$, doesn't it?" can be seen as an attempt to start a serious discussion on anything.
I'd really like for someone from Adobe who has some idea what their long term road map or strategy is to explain what exactly the company's vision for Flex (and Catalyst) is. Where are we supposed to be in 1, 3, 5 years from now?
The message from Max is that "AIR is Everywhere." Adobe plans to provide a cross platform development solution, that allows us to deploy anywhere we need to; whether that is mobile devices or tablets or desktops or the web or TVs.
Maybe a fair point, but how could you not notice how fast Microsoft has been moving relative to Adobe in this arena? Maybe it's considered flame bait or whatever, but dancing around what seems to be an obvious fact to me isn't going to raise awareness in the Flex developer realm that there is real competition out there, it's not the same landscape as it was just a few years ago. (And I think the real fight is between "true" RIAs like SL/Flex/JavaFX which use a VM approach, vs. browser scripted RIA-imitation via HTML5/JS, so there's no shortage of competition.)
I understand the cross platform goal, and it's one thing I like about the Flash platform, but what I'd like is to see some more attention given to developer tools and developer productivity, integration within an 'enterprise' environment (for doing actual work, not animated/flashy marketing sites or whatever that Flash has been doing for years).
AIR is great and I use it a lot (except when I really need multi-threading so I can't use Flex, Silverlight and Java both have this), but cross-platform isn't so uncommon anymore (even for SL), and my bottom line is that it's not helping my productivity as a developer. Creating working software fast, at least where I work, is pretty much king. With Flex productivity (due to all the issues with the tools) not getting any better with new releases, as it should be, I'm having a hard time competing with rapid application development alternatives which "get the job done", even if they aren't quite as nice in the end. Management and users don't care about Spark skinning, they just want the stuff to work.
If Adobe really wants Flex to take off more than it has, they have to focus on the business world and business type challenges. Yeah, printing and reporting isn't cool or as fun, but it's what developers do to make living. Adobe is already the master in the entertainment/marketing/etc fancy website realm. Flex isn't really needed to address that stuff--that's what Flash developers do. Flex IMO should have a different goal, but it doesn't seem as if Adobe is focusing on this given that SDK 4 was probably more concerned with graphical appearance than anything else.