After a long battle with HTML5, Adobe has finally given it up. The company has planned to “donate” the code for its Flash-based Flex framework along with BlazeDS to the Apache Software Foundation (ASF).
We are actively working on the proposal for incubating Flex SDK and BlazeDS at the Apache Software Foundation. Once the proposals have been accepted, both Adobe and community contributors can begin committing contributions. We will share an update when the incubator proposal has been posted we expect this to happen over the course of the next few weeks.
According to Adobe, this move to ASF is not intended to abandon Flex SDK, or let it die. The company says that they will continue to provide significant improvements for many years to come. It also plans to steadily contribute to the projects which are currently working under the Flex community. It is also said that that Adobe is finalizing the development on Flex 4.6 SDK and it will be released on November 29th 2011.
The Flex SDK includes a compiler and a number of library files which are used to build cross-platform Rich Internet Applications (RIA) that run on Adobe Flash. Earlier in 2008, the company announced and place the SDK under an open source license.
Adobe’s announcement of their plans to donate:
- Flex SDK – a framework used to create Flash applications
- BlazeDS, – a component used to push data in real-time to Flex and AIR applications
- Several more minor development components like Falcon, an ActionScript and MXML compiler
Falcon is currently under development, which is supposedly the “next-generation” MXML and ActionScript compiler, and will be contributing it to the ASF when completed in 2012.
Along with these tools, Adobe will also have a team of Flex SDK developers contributing to those new Apache projects as their full-time responsibility.
The ASF now will gather votes on whether to accept Adobe Flex or not. ASF has not provided any statement as of now, but we can expect a quick response from them very shortly. Last year, Apache announced that the foundation adopted Google’s online real-time collaborative editing tool, Google Wave, which is now called as Apache Wave.
Is this an “End of Flex”?
Well, sort of. Adobe states that “HTML5 will be the best technology for enterprise application development.” This clearly indicates that Adobe has not just been forced to concentrate on HTML5, but also shows signs that they are now very much interested in the latest web standards.
Although the company has made it clear that it believes in HTML5 as the future, it still is being very diplomatic about Flex. In a blog post, the company mentions that even though HTML5 is widely accepted, Flex has some advantages over HTML5 for enterprise application development –
- Flex offers complete feature-level consistency across multiple platforms
- The Flex component set and programming model makes it extremely productive when building complex application user interfaces
- ActionScript is a mature language, suitable for large application development
- Supporting tools (both Adobe’s and third-party) offer a productive environment with respect to code editing, debugging and profiling
Earlier this month, the company had to oust 750 full-time employees in North America and Europe as a part of its efforts to focus more on Digital Media and Marketing. Adobe’s President and CEO, Shantanu Narayen stated –
“Our mission is to produce the world’s content and maximize the impact of that content. Adobe is doubling down in the Digital Media and Digital Marketing categories, markets rich with opportunities for innovation and growth.