7 Replies Latest reply on Aug 1, 2011 2:13 PM by JeffryHouser

    Future of Flex

    jimmy5805

      I think Edge looks promising, but it leaves Flex developers with a lot of questions. I just got a call from a client who was preparing to begin a multi-year Flex project telling me he wants postpone the start of the project until he finds out what the future of Flex is.  His exact quote was "it looks like Adobe is moving away from Flash" and he obviously doesn't want to be stuck with hundreds of thousands of dollars in an obsolete technology. When/where is Adobe going to provide a technology roadmap for Flex developers?

        • 1. Re: Future of Flex
          saisri2k2 Level 4

          I dont think adobe will be moving out of flash development, it is just giving out options, there is no way for the other technologies to create Desktop or mobile applications from the existing web applicatoin. Only flex 4.5 can do it. So, HTML 5 is just an option for RIA development. It is not as powerfull as silverlight or Flex.

          • 2. Re: Future of Flex
            kokorito Level 4

            If Adobe are moving away from Flash then its towards Flex and Flash Builder, rather than the Flash IDE.

            That guy that rang you, doesnt work for Apple does he?

             

             

            But I guess you need an employee to answer this

            • 3. Re: Future of Flex
              jimmy5805 Level 1

              Yes, a reply from an Adobe employee would be nice.

               

              If you surf for news articles about Adobe Edge, you'll see several articles from major media outlets referring to a post-Flash future for Adobe. So it's hard to blame Flex clients for being a little spooked. It's great for Adobe to hedge their bets, but there's got to be some coherent strategy articulated explaining to the community how Adobe's HTML5 and Flash technologies will either transition or co-exist. And they can't just say they have a commitment to Flash - that sounds like Nokia when said they had a commitment to Symbian. If Adobe doesn't provide clarification, the media are going to do it for them, and that's not going to help Adobe.

              • 4. Re: Future of Flex
                JeffryHouser Level 4

                It's a shame a lot of the articles about Edge decry the death of Flash.  As a Flex Developer, I am not currently question Adobe's commitment to the Flash Platform.

                 

                 

                I have a few thoughts:

                 

                 

                First Thought:

                Does your client already have existing Flex / Flash Platform projects?  If so, he chose to do them in spite of the fact that Adobe Dreamweaver is the best HTML Editor around; and despite the fact that Photoshop is industry standard for photographers, and Adobe Premiere is used by many professional movie makers.  Adobe has "faces" in multiple places.  Their unifying focus is on providing tools to enable content producers.

                 

                Creating Flex did not mean Adobe abandoned Photoshop anymore than creating Edge means Adobe will abandon Flash.

                 

                 

                Second Thought:

                People have bee screaming for the death of Flash for years, and most prominently Steve Jobs editorial regarding Flash on the iPhone.  Why did your client choose Flex in the face of these conflicts?  I suspect because he thought it was going to fill a need within the current business.  What about today's announcement has changed that?  Why is Flash/Flex less suitable for solvig his businesses needs today than it was yesterday?

                • 5. Re: Future of Flex
                  pauland Level 4

                  Just ask your client where the evidence is for his statement and ask him if he's going to sit on the fence watching others make great RIA software while he dithers.

                   

                  Nothing is forever. Flash has evolved into Flex and HTML is still evolving and Microsoft is trying hard to evolve, but it's not as if any company is about to abandon it's most wildly successful product just because alternative technologies are creeping into some of it's old ground.

                   

                  Adobe will be happy to take your clients $ to make HTML based applications but that doesn't mean it would think of ditching flash, flex or any other product to do so while they are so popular.

                   

                  Roadmap? Your client is lazy and wants the future laid out before him and that just isn't going to happen.

                  • 6. Re: Future of Flex
                    jimmy5805 Level 1

                    Jeff,

                     

                    Thanks for taking time to respond. I'm meeting with the client today and I think/hope I'll get my client to move forward on at least a short term basis based on my relationship with them.

                     

                    The technology sell to this client was based on the multi-platform nature of the Flex/AIR technologies. That's still valid and unique and it probably will be for at least a couple years. It wasn't hard to distinguish between the appropiate use cases for HTML4/Dreamweaver and Flash, but the HTML5 spec addresses several of the previously-unique capabilities of the Flash platform and it will become harder to distinguish between the appropriate HTML5 and Flash use cases. I think Adobe is doing a great disservice to itself and to its developer community by not clearly articulating a roadmap for how these will co-exist and what their objectives are for each platform.

                    • 7. Re: Future of Flex
                      JeffryHouser Level 4

                      jimmy5805 wrote:

                      The technology sell to this client was based on the multi-platform nature of the Flex/AIR technologies. That's still valid and unique and it probably will be for at least a couple years.

                       

                      I suspect it will be longer than you suspect.  HTML was never consistent across multiple browsers because every one was building their HTML rendering engies in isolation.  The only way I see that being solved w/ regards to HTML5 is if all browsers standardize on one engine.  Safari and Chrome both use WebKit; but I do not percieve that IE or Firefox will use it anytime soon.

                       

                      jimmy5805 wrote:


                      It wasn't hard to distinguish between the appropiate use cases for HTML4/Dreamweaver and Flash, but the HTML5 spec addresses several of the previously-unique capabilities of the Flash platform and it will become harder to distinguish between the appropriate HTML5 and Flash use cases.

                       

                      Yes, HTML5 will definitely kill Flash of yesterday; and possibly Flash of today.  It will not kill Flash of tomorrow.  Things like Native 3D is not something that exists in the current HTML spec.  I'm unclear if HTML video will ever be able to match the performance or "cross browser compatibility" of Stage Video.  Firefox won't implement H.264 because it isn't open source, as an example.

                       

                      jimmy5805 wrote:

                       

                      I think Adobe is doing a great disservice to itself and to its developer community by not clearly articulating a roadmap for how these will co-exist and what their objectives are for each platform.

                       

                      Adobe is a public company in the US and has to be careful about anything they speak about publicly because of various regulations.  Many things could be viewed as acts designed to trigger stock market manipulation.  We are unlikely to get anything specific in terms of a long-term roadmap for these exact reasons.  However, short term, take a look at Adobe AIR 3 and Flash Player 11 on Labs and keep an eye on the Incubator Program .

                       

                      In terms of Flex Future; well we know that they hope to get Spark parity in Flex Next (I assume Flex5).  They are working on re-writing the compiler for effeciency and to make it more reusable by the IDE.  Deepa had a presentation at last year's max regarding this stuff; I bet it's on-line somewhere.  I also bet she'll have another presentation at this year's max..

                       

                      I can also guess that they will support more platforms with their tooling in the next release.  ( Sony Tablets and AIR for TV are two obvious guesses.  I'd love to see Blackberrys and Windows Phones as options too )

                      1 person found this helpful