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Adobe’s Flash Focus Change Followup – The Flex SDK

Following this week’s announcement by Adobe to halt development of Flash for mobile browsers, the Adobe Flex product managers have just announced that they will be making significant changes in the Flex SDK –

“…we are planning to contribute the Flex SDK to an open source foundation…”
“… Flex SDK feature development will continue under a new governance model…”

The Flex SDK was Open Source for a few years now, why then this sudden need to re-structure its governance model, why now?

“In the long-term, we believe HTML5 will be the best technology for enterprise application development. We also know that, currently, Flex has clear benefits for large-scale client projects typically associated with desktop application profiles.”
“…In fact, many of the engineers and product managers who worked on Flex SDK will be moving to work on our HTML efforts. We will continue making significant contributions to open web technologies like WebKit & jQuery…”

It is clear from above, and considering the adoption rate of HTML5 and the pace in which HTML5 features are being added and optimized that the role of the Flex SDK as the enterprise RIA framework of choice is only for the interim. In fact, Adobe is being direct; “we believe HTML5 will be the best…”
Contributing the project as a whole, changing governance model and loosening control will allow Adobe to keep the project alive while shifting resources and engineers towards what they believe will rule next. HTML.
Who can continue support and evolve the Flex SDK after Adobe? – Watch this video about Project Spoon.
Innovation and Evolution
Adobe (and Macromedia before) created great creative tools to both Flash (Flash IDE, Flash Builder) and HTML (Dreamweaver).
For the past decade Flash has been paving the way, stretching the limits of the web. It is what set HTML to be re-invented. Now that many of the great core Flash features (Bitmap, Video, Audio, etc.) were adopted in HTML5 and that it’s clearly on the browsers roadmap to implement the rest (Fullscreen, Devices, etc.), it is time for Flash to continue doing what it did so well, innovate (next up? – 3D, Gaming and native apps).
While these decisions may have badly impacted many in the Flash community, this may prove to be very smart in the long term. It takes true leadership to recognize a trend in time, adapt and shift focus towards greater potential revenue.

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