Tuesday, November 15, 2011

More news from Adobe on Flex

The Adobe Flex team has finally come out from hiding long enough to post an edit to their original blog post that sent the community screaming. While this does not address all of my concerns, it makes me feel a bit better about the direction of Flex, as long as Adobe is still committing resources. Some key pieces of information are quoted below.

This is about all I needed to hear, although I do think it might turn into the CFML Advisory board debacle. This would just mean that Adobe brings it back in-house I guess:
Adobe will also have a team of Flex SDK engineers contributing to those new Apache projects as their full-time responsibility.

FINALLY, the statement that they don't hate Flex right now, just that it is a stopgap until HTML5 gets cool:
[W]e are incredibly proud of what we’ve achieved with Flex and know that it will continue to provide significant value for many years to come. We expect active and on-going contributions from the Apache community. To be clear, Adobe plans on steadily contributing to the projects and we are working with the Flex community to make them contributors as well.

Ok, I think this could work, but again, inklings of the last committee stuff they tried before:
We expect project management to include both Adobe engineers as well as key community leaders.

Adobe will continue to support applications built with Flex, as well as all future versions of the SDK

I don't buy this one. The first time there is a divergence in the committee, this will spell trouble for this initiative:
Adobe will undertake the required work to ensure Flash Builder is compatible with future releases of Flex SDK.

Well, while I still continue to learn HTML5 (the not-even-a-spec-or-supported-by-my-browser language), I will still happily create Flex applications for mobile. The complete post can be seen here, just scroll down past the stuff you read last time.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Making Sense of the Madness (Adobe)

So, I'm trying to write a quick and non FUD post about the recent Adobe news on Flex and Flash. I'm going to say a few things here, and everyone knows I'm an Adobe fanboy, but this stuff hit pretty hard and Adobe is not taking steps behind the scenes to clear up the confusion so the rumor mill is flying. Many peers and friends are now stuck in the lurch trying to figure out what is happening to their careers and the platform they spent years building. Primarily, what do we tell our clients that we worked hard selling these technologies as recently as last week. Here is what Adobe needs to address:
  1. Adobe did a terrible job working with and through the community that serves them well. They have abandoned the roadmap and have made us look inept. This needs to be addressed. A new roadmap needs to be released ASAP. Let everyone know you have a plan for the next few years and GET THE COMMUNITY BEHIND IT.
  2. Adobe needs to address our concerns with HTML5. They abandoned a great technology (Flex) for a technology that doesn't even have a spec defined yet. They may not have abandoned Flex at all, but man are they doing a shitty job saying that. Just let us know the plan for transition and what timeframe it happens in.
  3. What is happening with ColdFusion? We need to hear that the budget and plan has not been changed. SHOW THE ROADMAP!
  4. What's going on with AIR and mobile? Flex was the 'go to' for us to build cross platform apps. HTML5 makes great web sites. How about native apps. Don't tell me I HAVE to use PhoneGap. My hope is that I will still be using ActionScript to write AIR apps, but who knows! Adobe needs to let us know.
Mainly, Adobe needs to stand up and work on some succinct messaging and we need to see the 1, 2, and 5 year plans. Adobe can do whatever they want. That's fine, they need to do what they need to do to make $$. What is unacceptable is the poor messaging, divergence from their community focus and lack of response to the current mess they have made with their poor release of information. Hopefully when the dust settles, we will see this:
  1. Spoon takes care of Flex, and it doesn't turn into the mess that was the CFML Advisory Board debacle.
  2. Clients embrace Flex post Adobe, just like they embrace jQuery, Drupal and other OSS projects.
  3. Adobe continues to support AIR mobile apps written in ActionScript.
  4. Adobe continues to support Flash Builder with Flex, or opensources what exists.
  5. ColdFusion doesn't disappear into the darkness next week ;)
  6. LiveCycle goes through a 4th retooling and minimizes it reach and focus to core concepts. Adobe also retools the pricing structure to reflect this change.
  7. DRM and DAM becomes a focus with easy tools (outside of LiveCycle) that allow us to work them right into our production workflow.