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Adobe To Donate Flex SDK To Open Source Community 158

Posted by timothy
from the free-bunnies-and-kittens dept.
New submitter ProbablyJoe writes "InfoQ reports that Adobe is to donate its web application SDK, Flex, to an 'an established open source foundation' — suspected to either be the Open Spoon Foundation (who have been working on an open source fork of Flex), or the more established Apache Foundation. Adobe has stated on its blog that they consider HTML5 to be a better technology for the future than its own Flex platform, causing frustration among developers who have used the platform for enterprise applications. Is this a generous contribution to the open source community, or just Adobe offloading another failing technology?"
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Adobe To Donate Flex SDK To Open Source Community

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  • Thanks? (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @12:02PM (#38060522)
    This is the technological equivalent of donating AIDS infected blood.
    • by 1s44c (552956)

      This is the technological equivalent of donating AIDS infected blood.

      Funny. But very, very sick.

      • "Flex [wikipedia.org]" is a disk operating system for 6800 microprocessors. Flex09 is Flex for the 6809 microprocessor, but was also generally just referred to as "Flex." Both were produced by Technical Systems Consultants (logo: TSC.) Flex initially ran on the SWTPC, GIMIX, SSB and similar SS-50 bus boxes; later versions ran on Radio Shack's "Color Computer", which was based on the 6809 processor. Aside from this, Flex (both versions) was also made available by TSC in a "driverless" version that let you write your own I/O

    • -Open Source Community Donates Flex SDK to Goodwill
      -Goodwill Donates Flex SDK to Salvation Army
      -Salvation Army Donates Flex SDK to Jerry's Kids
      -Jerry's Kids Donates Flex SDK to Haiti
      -Haiti Donates Flex SDK to Somalia
      -Somalian Pirates Use Flex SDK to Attack Passing Ships

  • by Robert Zenz (1680268) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @12:08PM (#38060604) Homepage

    Microsoft dumps stuff in favor of HTML5.

    Adobe dumps stuff in favor of HTML5.

    Can somebody check the temperature in hell, please?

    • by cshark (673578)
      Pretty icy. They also discontinued flash mobile, same week. I think we're going to see a new class of development tool from adobe here in the next few months. All of this is a leadup to that, I think.
      • Adobe Edge (Score:4, Informative)

        by tepples (727027) <tepples@gmaiBLUEl.com minus berry> on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @12:20PM (#38060760) Homepage Journal
        Based on what I've read elsewhere, it's called Adobe Edge, and it's supposed to be an authoring tool for animations to be played back using JavaScript and HTML5's 2D canvas. Tim Langdell will be pissed [wikipedia.org].
      • by DrXym (126579) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @12:36PM (#38060918)

        Pretty icy. They also discontinued flash mobile, same week. I think we're going to see a new class of development tool from adobe here in the next few months. All of this is a leadup to that, I think.

        Not necessarily. I think it's quite feasible for them to repurpose their authoring tools so they crap out HTML 5 instead of flash content, at least in those cases where there is analogous functionality.

        • by cshark (673578) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @12:43PM (#38060984)
          I think it would be awesome to see an html 5/canvas/css3 animation program. Crappy as it might be. I for one welcome our new ridiculous animated logo overlords.
        • by denis-The-menace (471988) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @12:53PM (#38061182)

          Now with HTML5 becoming the the preferred nuisance apparatus, can we create something to block them browser side?

          • by Yvan256 (722131) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @01:04PM (#38061386) Homepage Journal

            Sure. It's called "disable javascript" and it's already built-in all browsers worth using.

          • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

            by icebraining (1313345)

            Sure, go ahead. Or do you mean "can someone else create it for me"?

          • by tlhIngan (30335)

            Now with HTML5 becoming the the preferred nuisance apparatus, can we create something to block them browser side?

            Yes. Block Javascript, or install an ad-blocker. Both of which are very well established technologies in the plugin world of most browsers today.

            Unlike Flash, a browser is not obligated to display or render everything. So if a user purposely blocks ads, there's nothing that can be done. Flash can bypass most plugins, and display ads (e.g., the popup ones on YouTube, or the ones that play before t

            • Block Javascript

              And turn every click into a page load. Good luck trying to use an online drawing program [wikipedia.org] where each click on the image means a full reload of the image and of the page it's on.

              or install an ad-blocker

              If you install an extension specifically to block web sites' revenue source, watch web sites depending on advertisements block you. Web sites have tolerated Flashblock for two reasons: it's "content neutral", not caring whether each SWF object is the requested information or an advertisement on the side, and web sites already have to

          • Now with HTML5 becoming the the preferred nuisance apparatus, can we create something to block them browser side?

            You can effectively block HTML5 by using a sufficiently outdated browser.

    • by hedwards (940851)

      I'm pretty sure there's an app for that.

    • by Kjella (173770)

      Well, I think it has something to do with Android/Apple dominating the smartphone/tablet market, better for MS and Adobe to push for a HTML5 standard than letting the Android/iOS SDK become the new standard and they left out in the cold. Don't they've had a change of heart or anything.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by datavirtue (1104259)
        As a developer I don't like the thought of developing for any specific mobile platform. When I think mobile, I think web-based; as-in accessible from any device. Still though, apps will be built because of device specific functionality like sensors and cameras. Hopefully this stuff can be addressed from a web app in the future. Java Applets anyone? I guess Java was to far ahead of its time, and no one wants to play well with it (Apple) because they lose control over the user that way.
        • Java for mobile (J2ME) didn't work out because Sun stopped all real development of it and focused on desktop (J2SE) and server (J2EE) versions. The only real player was IBM and their J9 project and even they stopped working on the mobile version. It was stuck on JRE 1.3 forever. And it doesn't look like Oracle will do anything different.
  • by Xest (935314) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @12:10PM (#38060632)

    Right, so when a company end of lines a product they're criticised for not open sourcing it.

    Now when a company open sources an end of lined product, they're "offloading another failing technology".

    This is why companies don't give a fuck what the FOSS community thinks, because with the FOSS community you can never do anything right. See all the whinging about Android's open source initiatives for another fine example.

    • by bjourne (1034822) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @12:19PM (#38060754) Homepage Journal
      Sorry, but that is not the attitude of the FOSS community - just some random commentator setting up a false dilemma. He does not represent the view of "the community". Neither does I ofcourse, but I think it is awesome that Adobe will finally open source Flex.
      • by Xest (935314)

        I agree it's not the view of the whole community but it's also not a lone comment on the topic, I see that sort of setiment expressed all the time from the FOSS community and it makes them their own worst enemy.

        You see it in other areas as well, more than once I've seen people bitch in one thread about Linux not being taken up on the desktop because companies are "dumb" and that sort of sentiment, then in another thread go on to show a complete lack of understanding as to why end users need a decent user in

      • Flex has been open source for years.

        They change here is that project leadership will now be shared between Adobe and an Open Source foundation.

    • by Bogtha (906264)
      Since when did a single Slashdot submitter speak for the whole of the FOSS community?
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Tim C (15259)
        When his comments are posted on the front page of arguably the single biggest, most-influential FOSS website, that's when.

        If you post something as-is, expect people to associate you with whatever it is that you posted.
      • Since when did a single Slashdot submitter speak for the whole of the FOSS community?

        Its worse that that: the submitter didn't even say what is being attributed to the whole community. TFS ends with the question -- an invitation to comment in the attached comment thread -- "Is this a generous contribution to the open source community, or just Adobe offloading another failing technology?"

        Some people have interpreted this as if it were a statement that "Adobe [is just] offloading another failing technology",

    • No, companies don't care what the "FOSS Community" says. They're donating it. That means that they say that this incredible thingy is worth $100 billion, and write it off as a charitable donation. It's a smart way to end a software product. Sure, maybe they're glad they get a bit of "geek cred", but that isn't worth nearly the amount that they can write off of their books because of their "donation". Also, they get to dump all of the ongoing support costs for the software much quicker than if they were
    • by iluvcapra (782887)

      Open Source doesn't need more code, it needs more coders and users. If they were going to run the thing, champion it and market it, sell support for it and guide its development, that'd be one thing. When Google bought Android they went to the trouble of setting up the OHA, starting a business, doing big deals and making sure the project would actually work for real-world users and developers. They continue to shepherd its development and its now probably the most widely-installed open-source OS on earth

      Ad

      • by jbolden (176878)

        Why is it of academic interest? Flash still exists on the desktop, there is a need for an SDK for it. Flex is the best SDK around. It has been open source since 2008, so nothing really has changed but Flex is not a bad project.

      • by Xest (935314)

        "Open Source doesn't need more code, it needs more coders and users."

        Right, and we all know the best way to get them is to insult people who aren't yet sold on the FOSS philosophy and attack firms who believe they're doing the right thing when they hand source to the FOSS community, then mod people troll or flamebait if they dare point out how counter-productive this is?

        The problem is the community is full of introverts with the social competence of a rock, but not only that, they're the worst kind of those

    • by pebs (654334) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @01:38PM (#38061906) Homepage

      Flex was already open source.. They are just pushing the responsibility of maintaining it to the community. Now if they were open sourcing the Flash Player, I would commend them for that as it could ease the pain a little of those stuck relying on this legacy technology.

    • by lkcl (517947)

      Right, so when a company end of lines a product they're criticised for not open sourcing it.

      Now when a company open sources an end of lined product, they're "offloading another failing technology".

      This is why companies don't give a fuck what the FOSS community thinks, because with the FOSS community you can never do anything right. See all the whinging about Android's open source initiatives for another fine example.

      right. what, the ones where, just like trolltech and oracle doing qt4 and mysql doing a one-way push where you cannot truly contribute except as a paid-up slave^H^H^H^H^Hemployee, the product cannot truly be considered to be either "Open" or "Free"? have you actually looked at the number of lines of code involved? do you even understand that "Libre" is not just about the "Releasing Of Some Code" it is about developing and fostering an open, exciting and above-all *inclusive* community attitude?

      do you und

      • by jbolden (176878)

        Time to die? Adobe sells just over $4b a year and does well over a $1b profit on that. Cut the losses, shut up shop?

        I think Adobe has made some mistakes and is letting their products decay but lets get a grip about where they actually stand.

  • Player? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by lavaforge (245529) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @12:11PM (#38060652)

    Will this include player components? As it stands, the span of usefulness for the SDK is going to be limited if there isn't a player to run the output.

  • Is this a generous contribution to the open source community, or just Adobe offloading another failing technology?"

    Both, obviously!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @12:20PM (#38060764)

    I've used the Flex SDK and FlexBuilder IDE. While the underlying Flash runtime is notoriously bad, the declarative XML structure, ActionScript language and matching IDE are actually quite pleasant to work with. I'd love to see someone replace the dreadful Flash runtime with a native HTML5 runtime but keep the decent bits.

    Anybody know what this means for Adobe's AIR platform?

    • by wonkavader (605434) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @12:44PM (#38061000)

      Agreed. Flex really isn't bad.

      I did a real business app in it. It was not my choice, but once the choice was made, Flex turned out to be not terrible.

      Not a bad language. Not too bad a development environment. But it needed some growing up, needed some changes to the event model, needed a little more coherency. But it worked, and it was pleasant to write in.

    • by PCM2 (4486)

      Anybody know what this means for Adobe's AIR platform?

      Adobe says AIR will continue to be supported, both on the desktop and mobile platforms. AIR apps on smartphones really aren't that bad; it was Flash in mobile browsers that always sucked. The question is whether it's really worth doing cross-platform development in Flash vs. either porting a native app or going with something else (such as Unity).

  • by bigsexyjoe (581721) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @12:49PM (#38061106)

    While I agree that HTML5 is better than Flash, it is pretty surprising that they are going down without a fight, and doing so early in the process. I would think they would drum it up as long as possible so they could sell off their stocks. After all plenty of businesses use Flex, and they aren't going to re-factor anytime soon. Likewise, old browsers with bad HTML5 support are not going away soon?

    Do they perhaps think that Flash/Flex can out compete HTML5 if they open source it? Do they think Flex development will be a good gateway to AIR development? I guess I just don't get the strategy.

    • by jbolden (176878)

      Here is the strategy:

      1) Flash-lite which centered on video playback for mobile is being killed by video in hardware.
      2) Flash as a cross platform standard for mobile is failing. Both Apple and Microsoft aren't including it.
      3) Mobile Flash costs a fortune to develop since to get it to work they have to deal with every (GPU / OS / Hardware) combination.

      Conclusion: Flash is not going to be successful in the next 3 years on mobile.
      Thus Adobe developers need to be doing something else for cross platform and

  • Flex was getting recognized as a way to deliver enterprise level solutions across businesses that were unable/unwilling to change, particularly financial institutions (where IE 7 can be the defacto standard). Technologies like this need a corporate sponsor to get buy in and when the Adobe makes this type of statement: "In the long-term, we believe HTML5 will be the best technology for enterprise application development." [adobe.com] you really really really have to get very concerned. The whole reason people used Flex

  • Now that everybody seems to be targeting HTML5 and javascript in the back-end, perhaps finally W3C will make HTML and js more developer friendly.

    Right now, the HTML and js combo seems to be targeted at novice users, who don't use it anyway, in any direct form.

    With a more developer-friendly environment, we could start making our own scripting languages and run them on the web. Heck, we could even write our own rendering systems and send them along with our code. Doing something like that with the current W3C

    • by Bucky24 (1943328)

      we could even write our own rendering systems and send them along with our code.

      I think to do that they would either have to have an API for communicating with the browser (which we already have, it's called HTML5/css), or the browser would have to trust code coming from a potentially unknown server that tells it how to draw. That opens the possibility of malicious rendering code. Same deal with our own scripting languages (though technically you can ALREADY do this, just write a daemon that runs port 80 and can read your specific code, or loads as an apache module) Personally I find H

  • I guess the crew in India making Flex can't/won't figure out the iOS problem, not their fault. Adobe's optimizing themselves into oblivion is yet another business that listened to Wall Street, not Main Street. Adobe's radical change with Flex plainly states what the future is for folks and it's iOS/Android. If one looks at Flex coding, one will notice that *.ps, and *.ai files cannot be embedded, maybe this was an omen that no one saw? With Firebug, Eclipse, GIMP, and InkScape fully capable; I need Adob

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