Before this evening, this post was going to read as another grueling defense of Flash technologies… Here’s an except from my earlier draft:
I have always used Flash when appropriate, to do things which were either impossible with HTML or at least would be a major pain. I’ve developed many applications which use Flash technology – they do so in a modular way. Will this change in the near future? Not at all. For functionality that requires technology beyond what HTML can provide, I am going to use Flash. Build a website? Use HTML. Will HTML continue to improve? Sure it will… and if Adobe can provide some killer tools and frameworks around HTML in the future – that would be pretty cool too.
So what changed? This evening, the Flex team updated their article from last week with a slew of excellent new details on exactly what is going on. I suggest anyone who is even remotely interested in Flex have a look over at Your Questions About Flex. Some of the hi-lights that caught my eye include the following bits and pieces…
Not only the Flex SDK is being open sourced, but also BlazeDS(!), the new Falcon compiler, testing tools, new Spark components, and…
Whoa! Write AS3 and compile to HTML/JS – getting around the need for Flash Player for certain applications? Sure!
Adobe will also have a team of Flex SDK engineers contributing to those new Apache projects as their full-time responsibility.
Similar to their commitments to jQuery – this is really good news as Adobe ought to keep contributing to Flex. They have a lot to contribute!
The Apache model has proven to foster a vibrant community, drive development forward, and allow for continuous commits from active developers.
Having all of these projects (including PhoneGap) under Apache is a good move. The Apache Foundation is respected and established. Flex will not shrivel and die there – Adobe has now made some truly AWESOME contributions to the open source community!
The previous statement of HTML being the “long-term solution for enterprise applications” was also clarified:
Flex has now, and for many years will continue to have, advantages over HTML5 for enterprise application development
What about the roadmap shown at Adobe MAX this year?
Previously communicated road map features, such as enhanced code editing, real-time error highlighting and compile-as-you-type support will be available to both ActionScript and Flex developers.
So there we have it! Flash Builder also gets some mention with Adobe remaining committed to the tool – also a deep commitment for Flash Player on the desktop and the AIR runtime for desktop and mobile. There is a bunch of more info in the article, so be sure to give it a read.
I’d also recommend reading over Brian Rinaldi’s post, as it provides some additional perspective: Moving Forward with Flex and Flash.
And honestly, if you haven’t read Mike Chambers post yet… you really should.
In happy addition: I’ve gotten some rather heartening news from the Adobe Community and Education teams which will wait until another day ;)