Re: [laflex] Big changes in Flash/Flex/AIR land.

From: Bruce A.
Sent on: Sunday, November 13, 2011 10:59 AM
Well, for what its worth I'd like to see the group live on a bit longer.  If nothing else, its going to take some of us some time to rewrite all those apps we created with Flex.  It would also give us some time to see if openspoon actually does something with the platform.

The folks at FlexMidlands in the UK are having the openspoon people out for their next meeting.


Perhaps we could see if they would be interested in oming out and talking to us as well.

Sent from my 3G iPad

On Nov 12, 2011, at 1:49 PM, Tom Bray <[address removed]> wrote:

Mims,

I hear you. I understand how the decision might look hasty, but here's my reasoning:

Outside of the Flash community, the perception is that Flash is dead and that even Adobe thinks so.  Unfortunately, perception is reality. No CTO wants to choose a dead technology. No customer wants their content or app built in a dead technology. That means that finding Flash/Flex/AIR work is going to become next to impossible.

I got into Flash eleven years ago because of the promise of ubiquity -- being able to write once, run anywhere. Although Apple poked a hole in Flash's ubiquity story, I held out hope that one day, Apple would be forced to give in. When Adobe announced that they gave up on Flash for mobile devices, that ended the possibility of having a ubiquitous platform.

For games, Flash still has a compelling story. For enterprise apps, the biggest opportunity is in mobile apps, and if Flex can't play there, I don't see a future in it.

If someone in the meetup would like to pick up the torch and run with it, I would be happy to transfer ownership.

Cheers,

Tom

On Sat, Nov 12, 2011 at 12:52 PM, Mims Wright <[address removed]> wrote:
Tom,

I must say, I'm sad to read this. I think it's a very hasty decision to close the group. The news from Adobe seems like a big deal now but I'm not sure that it's soon enough to judge what it's long term impact will be. 

If you read closely, not that much has really changed. I don't know the numbers of people building Flash content for Android but I suspect it's not incredibly high. I would also wager that even Air on Android/iOS isn't a big revenue generator, but Adobe say they will continue to support this. Flex will stay around but as open source (it was already). It may never get better than it is already, which up until now has been good enough for all of us Flex developers, but it may also get better after being untethered from Adobe. The desktop Flash Player will stay the same and for the foreseeable future continue to surpass HTML5 in power and cross-platform functionality.

Another way of saying this is that the Flash Platform is still the best choice for the tasks that it was already the best choice for (and Mobile was never one of those). Flex is not going to get any worse than version 4.6, which we were probably looking forward to until today. 

The only real issue is that Adobe seem to be taking on a very defeatist attitude and have failed at explaining themselves clearly. This has sapped the confidence of a lot of people in one fell swoop. In my opinion, this is not the time to panic. It is a time to, for now, try to help our clients and companies make sense of the news and to focus on the platform's strengths. Flash's popularity, due to largely political reasons, has been on the decline for a while now; However, it will certainly be dead if the Flash users themselves don't believe in it. I just don't feel like I'm there yet. 
 
That being said, I am always an advocate of looking at other technologies and keeping those abstract coding skills honed. I would suggest instead of shutting down the group, why not at least have a meeting or two to talk about how this will impact our jobs and what skills we can port to other platforms! If there really are people out there who are going to lose their jobs over this, and I think it's too soon to say, we should still be able to support each other as a community. 

Those are my thoughts. I hope they grant some reassurance during a time where everyone's feeling very emotional. 

Thanks,
Mims


On Nov 12, 2011, at 8:20 PM, Tom Bray wrote:

Hello everyone,

You've probably all heard that Adobe is ending their commitment to Flash Player in mobile browsers. Even worse, they're ending their commitment to Flex and dumping it off as an open-source project. Details here:

"In the long-term, we believe HTML5 will be the best technology for enterprise application development."
http://blogs.adobe.com/flex/2011/11/your-questions-about-flex.html

If you're interested in the open-source project, go here: www.spoon.as

Unfortunately, I believe that new opportunities for Flex development will vanish, so their's not much point in an open source Flex project.  I don't think AIR is a viable strategy long term either.

Personally, I'm going to be looking at Sencha extjs and Sencha Touch (www.sencha.com), PhoneGap, and native Android development.

I'm going to shutdown L.A. Flex in the coming weeks. You can follow me on twitter @tombray if you'd like to hear my thoughts on what non-Flex technologies suck the least ;)

Cheers,

Tom






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