13 Comments


  1. Thanks for sharing! Nice to hear a balanced reflection on MAX. I admit I’m one of the people that probably think that CC is a bad move for me personally – though I don’t feel attacked like everyone else out there seems to. It really just comes down to the fact that my work is locked away after the cloud expires. I actually think there are a number of things Adobe could do to fix this. Perhaps make a free version of CC where all the editing features are locked away and you can do 2 things…open and export. If they did this, or something like this, I’d be 100% behind the cloud as you are.

    That’s also an interesting take on Flash – I just don’t think I agree with that perspective. Flash has always been branded as the tool to be one step ahead of the web – and if we feel the platform is “mature”, well the web is just going to catch up. I think there are always ways to improve whatever platform you have – however, at this point, we may be at kind of a plateau where the public has hit an imagination wall that tops out as 3D being the last frontier. I think this is where we need someone else to step in and say “Nah, 3D is just where the fun begins…lets push this farther”. Historically that role has been filled by Macromedia/Adobe. That’s why I’ve personally loved Flash all these years – because with every release, there’s a new feature like a xmas present waiting for you under the tree to open up, break down, and tear apart. But if Flash is “mature”, well I guess santa isn’t coming anymore!


    1. Balanced? Did it really come across that way? :)

      I hear you about CC subscriptions. People will definitely have greater or lesser degrees of difficulty with this – and I’m sure Adobe is listening to all of the points being made. It would be nice to have a version “unlocked” for perpetual licence after it is a year or two old or something along those lines. That sort of thing may just keep everyone happy. Who knows – we are still in the beginning stages of all this.

      Good points about Flash. I personally think it can ALWAYS be improved… maybe this didn’t come across as well as I intended in my write-up, but I would love to see Adobe keep innovating and pushing things forward with Flash. As you mention – it has fulfilled this special role all these years… no need to hold it back now. Sadly, I don’t think that the resources or commitment are there to make this happen. So we are left with “maturity”. At least for now.

  2. Zill

    C|Net interviewed someone from Adobe last week (news.cnet.com/8301-1001_3-57582735-92/adobe-kills-creative-suite-goes-subscription-only/), and there were some unintentionally funny quotes:

    “Obviously we would not be making a decision this big if the percentage of people in that category was so big it was the wrong thing for us to do.”

    “If we did that, we would completely lose everyone’s trust and fail in what we’re doing.”

    Yeah, that would suck.


  3. Great article, I was also at MAX this year and although I had a great time and got in some fantastic networking……. it was fairly depressing. My favorite part about MAX and other conferences is leaving feeling re energized for months and months. This year I left feeling a bit deflated and confused and re considering the current path of my career. The key notes and general sessions made me feel like an outsider that wasn’t suppose to be there. The biggest impression i got is how much Adobe has changed and is now re focusing their efforts into being a creative design and web(html/css/js) “programming” company. At least they are going to continue to make some really cool new stuff for web programmers.

    You are totally right there were some amazing sessions on flash/game development. But regardless they are all irrelevant if Adobe is moving to a new TypeScript html world. I was quoted from several evangelists that the future is writing your games/apps in TypeScript and letting starling/feathers/Away3d present your game to the world in html5/js and have flash be a fall back when webgl wasn’t available. This sounds pretty nifty, but I no longer trust Adobe and do not buy into this new paradigm that is their current new “long” term plan.

    Why should I trust and buy into another tech/tools from Adobe when they keep letting me down. There was a time when I left MAX stoked on writing awesome Flex/Air apps for mobile with hints of gpu accelerated gaming….. There was also a time when I left MAX with my heart burning for making amazing games !!!! This time I left with an empty feeling and now question where I should go next.

    I have always made fun of fan boys and people that don’t question their political party just to stay “loyal”…. After being a flash dev for almost 15 years and a “former” flex dev of 6 years… ADOBE WTF is going on AND why should I TRUST in your NEW vision for true devs?

    I know that I’m kind of rambling and beating the dead horse, I don’t know what else to say???? This how MAX left me feeling….. empty, confused… despair.

    wow that was actually a nice writing exercise i feel a little bit better already :)

    Anyways thanks for the write up Joseph :)


    1. Yeah, it isn’t so much that I no longer trust Adobe as a whole – but rather I believe the engineers, product managers, and community team all have their hearts in the right place and desire to do what is right. From what I know – they are often just as blind-sided as the rest of us when this sort of thing (November 11) occurs. I had talks with a bunch of people around AVMNext and they were incredibly excited about what was coming! They are now, of course, working on different things altogether.

      As for the CC – that isn’t so much a matter of trust for me. I see it as a more convenient distribution mechanism for the software I use every day. Because I’m in a position where I use so much of their software all-the-time… it just makes sense for me. I know it doesn’t make sense for everyone and this is where people start getting angry.


  4. Somewhat contradictorary?

    “when a platform reaches that sort of maturity level, excitement around it has to plateau.”

    “Adobe has abandoned Flash Player “Next” and ActionScript “Next””

    I also have to massively disagree with your opinion on the cloud. Renting is a mugs game, is always the more expensive option and you end up with nothing. Doesn’t matter what the cloud has or will offer.

    For the last year or so Adobe have buggered so many of use about, I’m surprised anyone has any trust in them. What they say means nothing.


    1. Contradictory, yes. My thoughts are conflicted. See the title of the post.

      Opinions are split in regard to CC – I know this. It works well for me and I can only go with that.


  5. I’m pretty sure every one of the guest speakers in the day 2 keynote were, in fact, recycling a TED talk. I don’t follow TED all that closely, but I watch a couple videos here and there, and I realized that I had already seen two of the speakers talk about the same topics before. David Wadhwani even mentioned that he met one of them at TED. I didn’t really mind this format, though. I thought it was an interesting change that might be worth exploring again. Maybe as long as the speakers use new material, though. On the other hand, Rainn Wilson’s little self-promotion thing before Sneaks was just plain weird and out of place. With all the talk of spiritual stuff, I felt like he was trying to convert me to his new religion or something.

    I’ve seen that a few people in the Flash community are treating this MAX as a major let-down, as if it’s a repeat of 2011 (or maybe they missed 2011?). I’m sad that Adobe is still causing people to feel that way, but kind of happy that some folks were still so gung-ho about Flash. I didn’t have high expectations for MAX, and I was kind of impressed by the new direction. Especially the hardware. I wish there were some more web development stuff, though, because it felt almost as second-class as Flash, in my opinion. As for people being disappointed, I think I assumed that most of the remaining community had taken a pragmatic approach, like I have: I may not be working with Flash at all in a couple of years, but I’m quite willing to continue using it while it’s still better than alternatives. I think a number of people worry that a transition away from Flash will totally sneak past them, and that they’ll be left behind. I think it’s best to just ride it out, and the transition will be easier than most expect. Things aren’t ready yet for many people, but we’re on the verge of very interesting things on the web and mobile, and I think that traditional Flash developers will soon feel right at home.


    1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I was pretty impressed by most of it – including the new direction. It’s a determined move, for sure – shows confidence in their strategy.

      As for Flash: I don’t understand the either/or attitude some people have toward it in response to developments in web standards. Use whatever makes sense for various tasks – like always. All learning and doing is transitory from my experience.

  6. Robert Ricci

    Hello Joseph, excellent info about max. Thank you so much. Since i know you love flash, I would like to share with you some crazy (maybe) thoughts.

    Played with dart and i think it’s the best thing happened to javascript. No drawbacks, no legacy stuff, clear and fresh start. Dart on the server side could also replace a lot of java. But, in the end Dart will fail because of the open nature of the project, slow adoption, js libraries and developers fragmentation and lack of momentum. It’s the same reason why standards , in my opinion , will fail in gaming industry

    What google should do is just… buy flash (or unity) and ..
    1] Dedicate the best developers to advance the platform to the maximum,
    2] Take advantage of the bytecode, and improve performance.
    3] Make faster tools like what they proved with dart editor
    4] Gather all the legacy developers and give them a dream.
    5] Make this new Flash (or unity) available to android 5 + browsers and voila …

    google won the heart of all serious game developers, the heart of serious app developers ( i think that love is missing in google) and in time (through games and web apps) google won the web for the next 30 years. Web is going nowhere.

    Thank you for the nice read.


    1. Dart looks neat – I’ve been keeping an eye on that as well.

      Ultimately though, I do believe that Flash Player and AIR still have a lot of life left in them. Adobe has a rather large team dedicated to improving the runtimes and while the current point releases are not as monumental as a Flash Player “Next” would be – they are still quite significant and the team shows no signs of slowing down.

      At the same time though – I want the general web to improve as well! So things like TypeSCript and Dart are also very interesting.

  7. Robert Ricci

    Yes, i think that has a lot of life too. I was the first to switch:

    1] From Php to Java for backend (good desicion)
    2] From sql and sharding to Hadoop stack , HBase – MapReduce even for a 10 server cluster (best decision on my carreer, i wish i made a similar desicion with my wife lol)
    3] From Memcache to Hazelcast, because these transitions solved problems.

    Replacing Flash in the browser does not not solve problems, HTML5 is a worse platform and has some serious fundemental problems, but overall this is a very big discussion.

    I am sorry, but the future is now, i can’t wait for 5 -10 years if this will happen. Maybe Adobe is switching business model, that is something we should all respect. So please sell it Adobe and for god sake do not open source it.

    I like to think that Flash (and Unity) are the bad boys, that girls (developers) fall in love. JS is the good boy that eventually girls marry. But the question is, who gets the most and best of the girl, and who is more exciting :) Lol.

    This blog is going to my bookmarks. Thanks.


  8. Joseph, Thanks for the thoughtful summary on Adobe Max 2013.

    I have been a Flash developer since 1999, and like my colleagues where I work I was looking forward to the bright new future for Flash and AIR that somehow we believed hoping against hope, would be announced at this newly styled Creativity Conference (aka, from what I can gather, a technology cop-out clap-trap fest).

    This coincides with my trying out the otherwise fabulous Feathers UI library in conjunction with StageVideo and Stage3D. Adobe continues to deeply disappoint after using these fundamentally incompatible APIs. We wanted to use Adobe AIR for iOS, and Android devices but this clearly will not work given that Stage3D does not support transparency over a StageVideo instance you cannot even de-allocate properly. See this bugbase report from Adobe. Background processes for GPU accelerated apps using openGL are alsoa no-no. Both these reports are damning evidence of negligence on behalf of Adobe. They may well release updates to Flash and AIR regularly but they have known about these two fundamental flaws since last November and have still not even begun to address them.

    However, given Adobe’s abandonment of Actionscript 4, Windows 8 support and embracing HTML5 alternatives to its besieged Flash platform via Creative JS exports from within Flash and now Edge Animate, the evidence is already in. Key executives have also left the sinking ship and I am afraid that finally after having supported and nurtured me down the interactive years, it is time I now walk the plank too.

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