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Adobe Open Sources Flex SDK Under MPL

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the for-real dept.

Software 134

andy_from_nc writes "Adobe announced that they are open sourcing their Flex SDK under the Mozilla Public License incrementally by December. This move comes on the heels of Microsoft's announcement of their Silverlight and Adobe's CEO's criticism of it. Adobe's action will likely please other open source developers who use Flex, like me, and offers hope that we'll see a full open source version of Flash one day. You can read Adobe's FAQ on the move as well."

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Game UI (4, Insightful)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 7 years ago | (#18884533)

I've seen some talk lately about using Flash to create GUIs for games and other 3D apps. I would think that open-sourcing Flex would get those same people to think about using it instead. I think this is probably a pretty solid move for Adobe and will drive adoption of Flex quite a bit faster.

The ability to improve it yourself definitely doesn't hurt, either.

Re:Game UI (1)

tenchiken (22661) | more than 7 years ago | (#18885965)

I think it's a solid move, but there are some things here that give me pause. Part of the reason HTML and CSS have worked so well for the internet is because View Source is always available. AS a compiled technology, that's not true here. XAML extends the basic principles of HTML, with spiffy graphic tools, but keeps the same basic markup structure and semantics as HTML/CSS.

Now, since Microsoft isn't about to open XAML, that's a quandary, but I would love to see Flex integrated directly into Firefox/XUL to significantly improve user experience on the Internet, without loosing view source.

Re:Game UI (2, Informative)

Beau6183 (899597) | more than 7 years ago | (#18886877)

Viewable source is a compilation option in flex applications (example: http://examples.adobe.com/flex2/inproduct/sdk/flex store/flexstore.html [adobe.com] right click to view source). The beauty of Flex / flash is that it's contained in it's own "cross platform" VM, making it totally independent of the browser. I would think that any tight integration into any browser would be a poor move for adobe/flex/flash.

Re: uSoft goes down!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18890293)

uSoft WAS STUPID!!!

See previous slashdotting [slashdot.org]

want you Tamarin now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18890433)

#!/bin/sh
export CVSROOT=:pserver:anonymous@cvs-mirror.mozilla.org: /cvsroot
cvs login
cvs -z3 co -R mozilla/js/tamarin
tar -jcf tamarin_cvs-$(date +%Y%m%d).tar.bz2 mozilla
rm -fr mozilla

Re:Game UI (1)

godefroi (52421) | more than 7 years ago | (#18886929)

Yeah, then EVERYONE would use it. I hear IE gets XUL in the next version. And Opera too. Oh, and it's great on mobile browsers.

Re:Game UI (1)

jswigart (1004637) | more than 7 years ago | (#18889585)

I haven't had a chance to really read the specifics of this yet, but does this mean that the action script 3 compiler/vm/etc is open sourced as part of this? As in, can it be embedded for example as a scripting language for a game, like lua, squirrel, etc.

Re:Game UI (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18886563)

I used to work for EA, specifically on development of the front-end.

They've been using a Flash implementation called APT for their front-ends for some time now. Originally developed at Tiburon, I believe its now standard across the company. I was never able to find out the details of the licensing agreement between them and Adobe/Macromedia.

In my experience, Flash can be incredibly effective for building game FEs. The best part is that artists can use the (very mature) Flash authoring tools to import and manipulate their own art and animations. ... Just don't let them write any Actionscript. :P

D.

If they are really devoted to open source... (0)

parvenu74 (310712) | more than 7 years ago | (#18884549)

Open sourcing Flex is nice and all, but if Adobe really wants to score points with the F/OSS community they will release Linux-native versions of their development environments for Flex development, including a free or community version like Microsoft's "Express" developer products for dotNET.

Flex Builder 2 *DOES* run under Linux (3, Informative)

WarwickRyan (780794) | more than 7 years ago | (#18884769)

Flex Builder 2 is provided as an Eclipse plugin, so it's platform independant.

Quick google for "flex under linux" returns a blog detailing support: http://blog.davr.org/2007/04/22/flex-builder-201-u nder-linux/ [davr.org] .

Adobe really impress me with Flex..

Re:Flex Builder 2 *DOES* run under Linux (1)

WarwickRyan (780794) | more than 7 years ago | (#18885013)

..and you can always use your own editor and compile with the free compiler.

If you want to complain, then complain about the fact that they've not opened Flash Player 9.

Re:Flex Builder 2 *DOES* run under Linux (1)

laurencetux (841046) | more than 7 years ago | (#18886401)

hey at least there is a Flash 9 for linux at all 1 support "us" {---- we are here 2 Support "us" on our terms 3 we support You

Re:Flex Builder 2 *DOES* run under Linux (1)

Godji (957148) | more than 7 years ago | (#18886751)

Sure, I'm so enjoying Flash 9 on my AMD64 machine.

Sarcasm intended.

Re:Flex Builder 2 *DOES* run under Linux (1)

AaronW (33736) | more than 7 years ago | (#18889823)

It works just fine on my 64-bit machine running a 64-bit browser [konqueror.org] that uses a separate 32-bit program to run the plugins. I wish Firefox would take Konqueror's plugin approach so that a runaway plugin does not kill the browser and it's possible to do things like limit memory and CPU usage by plugins, or kill all plugins without shutting down the browser.

Re:Flex Builder 2 *DOES* run under Linux (2, Informative)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 7 years ago | (#18887195)

..and you can always use your own editor and compile with the free compiler.
  1. MTASC doesn't support actionscript 3.
  2. Haxe does support actoinscript 3, but it's a different language, so it isn't source code compatible with Adobe's compilers.
  3. MP3 is the only audio codec that's supported by flash, and the mpegla licensing terms make it illegal to distribute MP3 decoders in large numbers for free, without paying royalties. (I believe ubuntu, for example, pays royalties for the privilege of distributing it for free.)
  4. The Version 2 Components are not freely available. That means that if you're writing a flash app, and want to do it without paying Adobe money, you have to use another gui component library, which won't be source-code compatible with the kind of flash everybody else is writing.
  5. The license of the flash spec, http://www.adobe.com/licensing/developer/fileforma t/license/ [adobe.com] , says "3)a. You may not use the Specification in any way to create or develop a runtime, client, player, executable or other program that reads or renders .swf files."
Summary: flash is a disaster if you want to write OSS using an OSS toolchain.

Re:Flex Builder 2 *DOES* run under Linux (5, Interesting)

Beau6183 (899597) | more than 7 years ago | (#18885203)

Clarification: You can HACK FB2 to run under Linux, but it does not have any native support (no installer, no technical support). We recently had a meeting with the Flex team at my company and their view is that Linux does not represent the majority of their market, and at the time they were here they expressed no immediate interest in moving toward a Linux-supported product. I really wish they'd extend the open-source movement to FB2 as well because quite honestly -- it sucks. It's a severe memory hog, it is lacking several key bits of functionality like automatic code formatting for ActionScript and MXML, no built-in support for refactoring, and is a pain to get working with relatively-pathed library projects.

Re:Flex Builder 2 *DOES* run under Linux (1)

WarwickRyan (780794) | more than 7 years ago | (#18885405)

True, they've a lot of work to do with it. The code-suggest feature really need to tell you method return types / property types.

Re:If they are really devoted to open source... (1)

MrCopilot (871878) | more than 7 years ago | (#18885715)

release Linux-native versions of their development environments for Flex development, including a free or community version like Microsoft's "Express" developer products for dotNET.

FTA:
Developers can use the Flex SDK to freely develop and deploy Flex applications using either Adobe Flex Builder or an IDE of their choice.
dot.net Express runs on linux natively, I had no MS had come around that far./sarcasm

What is available are linux native IDEs that support dotNET (MonoDevelop). And so it shall be for ADOBE's FLEX. Eclipse or Kate or even Kdevelop, though if YOU want to really score points with the FLOSS community YOU should only use emacs. or vi.

Re:If they are really devoted to open source... (1)

eokyere (685783) | more than 7 years ago | (#18885865)

the sdk works on linux; watch james ward create a video player in about 5 mins: http://www.jamesward.org/wordpress/2006/10/19/flas h-flex-free-for-all-even-linux/ [jamesward.org] further, flex is built on eclipse, which is already free so, theoretically, nothing prevents you from taking the sdk and eclipse and creating what they have in flex builder

wtf is flex? (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 7 years ago | (#18887979)

Open sourcing Flex is nice and all

It would be, if we knew what it was. Yes, I RTFA but this was the closest thing to an explanation:

the free Adobe Flex SDK includes the technologies developers need to build effective Flex applications, including the MXML(TM) compiler and the ActionScript(TM) 3.0 libraries that make up the popular Flex framework.

Gee, that clears everything up.

Flex and db access (1)

jshriverWVU (810740) | more than 7 years ago | (#18884569)

Does Flex have db access? If so this might make a fun alternative to using JAVA w/ Swing for creating portable applications for viewing datasets.

Re:Flex and db access (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18884631)

By 'fun' you mean 'totally fucking gay'.

Do you mean OpenLaszlo (2, Interesting)

TheCouchPotatoFamine (628797) | more than 7 years ago | (#18884955)

OpenLaszlo [openlaszlo.org] , a opensource toolkit that takes declaritive XML and compiles it to SWF. What it can do for datasets and backend interactivity is just awesome. Recommended cause it's neat plus it's way saner then HTML (imho), as long you're doing applications and not semantic stuff, this is where it's at. mmm. replication managers.

Re:Do you mean OpenLaszlo (5, Interesting)

yossie (93792) | more than 7 years ago | (#18885899)

Openlaszlo does all this, of course, and much like Flex, OpenLaszlo can output a Web2.0 app as a flash file requiring a flash plugin to run BUT it can ALSO output a dhtml file (which will run in all modern browsers) requiring NO plugin. There is a commitment to output Java ME as well, in the near future. You really have to see OpenLaszlo apps in dhtml to understand how powerful dhtml can be - Google apps are boring and dull in comparison (though astonishingly functional, to be sure..) The fact that the same source will be able to compile into any of these (and more, there is even a proof-of-concept SVG output generator..) is not only unique but opens up choices that none of the other players in this field can.

Re:Flex and db access (2, Interesting)

joshv (13017) | more than 7 years ago | (#18885093)

This is exactly what my company does. We write custom front ends in flex to visualize data. Flex has extensive support for accessing server side data via various remoting APIs.

Re:Flex and db access (2, Interesting)

peterarm (95041) | more than 7 years ago | (#18887345)

Flex can talk to anything on the server side by passing XML over HTTPService -- Java, .NET, Rails, etc. You can also use RemoteObject to talk AMF3 to a server.

Shameless plug: see my signature for my book on the Flex + Rails combination :)

Re:Flex and db access (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18887617)

Use JSF instead, it's basically the same idea as Flex.

Not impressed (2, Informative)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 7 years ago | (#18884577)

Adobe is putting small pieces on Linux (and other OSS), just when they feel attacked by MS. If they really wanted to keep doing well, they would move ALL of their work to Linux. Once they do that, they are no longer compete ting directly against MS IN MS's BACKYARD. That is a battle that adobe will lose if they try to take on MS directly.

Re:Not impressed (2, Interesting)

visualight (468005) | more than 7 years ago | (#18884757)

I think that if they supported their CS suite (even if all they did was a winelib conversion) on Linux, Microsoft would be dead in three years.

I would cheerfully pay Adobe for their userland apps that are supported on Linux, opensource or not.

Re:Not impressed (2, Interesting)

stunt_penguin (906223) | more than 7 years ago | (#18884911)

If Adobe's software was on Linux I'd definitely get Ubuntu on here and start using it. I'd still have to dual-boot to get to use 3DS MAX (which doesn't run well in Wine when pushed) but I could quite happily do 99% of my multimedia work.

Re:Not impressed (1)

parvenu74 (310712) | more than 7 years ago | (#18885037)

This will happen as soon as Apple makes it possible to compile Linux-native applications from XCode. The persistent rumor is that this functionality has been there all along, just as being able to run on Intel chips was there all along. The code name for this ability back in NextStep days was "yellowbox." It would be ironic if Apple made yellowbox available for *nix and not Windows!

Re:Not impressed (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18885099)

This will happen as soon as Apple makes it possible to compile Linux-native applications from XCode.

In order to be able to run apps written for OSX on Linux you'd have to have several proprietary Apple APIs ported there. Not going to happen, and even if it did they'd be closed source.

Re:Not impressed (1)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 7 years ago | (#18888219)

Or for GNUstep to be more filled out. Which is what GNUstep does now.

Re:Not impressed (1)

Dystopian Rebel (714995) | more than 7 years ago | (#18886709)

if (they do X on Linux) { Microsoft would be dead in three years;}
I say with no malice that this is the most naive statement I have read all week, and I follow President Bush's press announcements.

Re:Not impressed (2)

visualight (468005) | more than 7 years ago | (#18890469)

The weakest link here is my implied assertion that Adobe porting it's flagship product to Linux would be a catalytic event. And I don't think that's such a naive assertion, and, if it were to happen in the near future it would coincide with Microsoft being at what is arguably a weak point in its history.

Also, 3 years is multiple development cycles for many major applications.

Re:Not impressed (1)

OptimusPaul (940627) | more than 7 years ago | (#18887183)

I think that Linux needs to get it's shit together for this to ever happen. It's too all over the place, and there are too many distributions for anyone to take it seriously as a mainstream desktop environment. I could see Adobe getting behind one or two distributions and providing support if installed on one of those, but there are too many moving parts in the community. It's too easy for them to say "we can't help you, you must have some custom x in your y causing conflicts" Don't get me wrong, Linux is great, I just don't have faith in the fractured FOSS community.

Re:Not impressed (1)

jimstapleton (999106) | more than 7 years ago | (#18885349)

Do you mean move as in 'mv' or move as in 'cp'?

If they no longer had MS products, they would lose a lot of market share.

But adding Linux could gain some market share. Going open source could gain a lot more.

In my oppinion the situation is just like it was with Mozilla/Netscape. The product before Open Source was ok, but bloated and buggy enough that I never felt compelled to use it over the alternatives. Within a year of going open source, they had the best product on the market.

I look at Adobe products - I've yet to find one that I've had to deal with that wasn't slow and/or buggy, where I would use an alternative or nothing at all over the adobe product.

Re:Not impressed (2, Insightful)

kripkenstein (913150) | more than 7 years ago | (#18885693)

Adobe is putting small pieces on Linux (and other OSS), just when they feel attacked by MS.
Reality isn't headlines on Slashdot (there goes my karma). Yes, we recently had a story about Microsoft's new supposed "Adobe-killer" technology. But it is extremely doubtful that this is related to Adobe's actions as mentioned in the current story. For one, actions such as this are planned far in advance. Also, ActionScript was already in the process of being open-sourced; Adobe simply see OSS as part of their overall strategy. So open-sourcing the Flex SDK is in all likelihood not a knee-jerk reaction to very recent actions of Microsoft.

Re:Not impressed (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 7 years ago | (#18886097)

And MS's actions are recent? I do not think so. They have been developing it for over a year. Adobe is simply reacting to MS. The fact that they have ported very little to any none (apple|windows) platforms says it all.

Test (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18884581)

Tesdt

Partial fail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18885119)

Throughput=1
Speeling=0

Correct FAQ link (1)

zmotula (663798) | more than 7 years ago | (#18884645)

The FAQ is actually here [adobe.com] .

That would be nice. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18884661)

An open-source Flash would be wonderful. Especially for *BSD users. But it's too early to say whether or not this is just wishful thinking. After all, Flex is only a start.

This is actually a big reason for me to use Ubuntu on my laptop. A fully-working, up-to-date Flash, with proper sound, support, etc. for the big, useful sites which deploy Flash (YouTube, GVid, etc.) on FreeBSD would be a God-send. That's my perspective at least; I really like FreeBSD.

Re:That would be nice. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18887521)

So the only reason you're not using FreeBSD is because you can't watch emo kids complain about their trivialities on YouTube? Put a gun in your mouth and pull the trigger, please.

You fell for it, huh? (4, Insightful)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | more than 7 years ago | (#18884663)

Adobe's action will likely please other open source developers who use Flex, like me, and offers hope that we'll see a full open source version of Flash one day.


There's a sucker born every minute, isn't there.

What Adobe has done by throwing an "open source" SDK bone is made it appear like they're leaning toward open-source Flash without actually giving away any of the crown jewels. Adobe's move is very much like the gigabyes of "open source" code samples Microsoft makes available in its extensive MSDN library: you can use and modify them for free, but you still need Microsoft's core (and proprietary) software to make them work.

Re:You fell for it, huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18884825)

Oh my god. You've completely missed the importance of this for Flex developers.

Are you a Flex developer? If not, shut up and stop complaining.

Re:You fell for it, huh? (1)

tolan-b (230077) | more than 7 years ago | (#18885015)

Maybe you should enlighten us as you seem to be the only one who thinks this is important.

Re:You fell for it, huh? (3, Insightful)

EricTheGreen (223110) | more than 7 years ago | (#18885167)

Well, actually the GP has a point...Adobe isn't open-sourcing any of the server/data access/interop components. So while you might be able to freely assemble a great-looking webpage-embeddable UI, what use will it be without the ability to access/manipulate data stores and services? And if you can't do that...what's the point of using Flex in the first place? Wasn't it targeted at corp developer types? If all you want are pretty apps, wouldn't you be using the web designed-focused Flash tools in the first place?

Sure it's great the SDK code will be freely available and inspectable; I'm all for transparency in software and its licensing. But Adobe has still locked up the middleware and will continue to charge an astronomical amount of money for it. And the tool won't be terribly useful without it, unless you're one of the wildman-types who rolls his own data access remoting. So the GP isn't that far off, at least in my opinion.

What would be helpful for the dev community would be an FOSS interop gateway/platform where the remoting headaches have already been solved. Maybe it exists somewhere; if so, now would be a great publicity opportunity for it.

(And yes, I've done Flex development before, so spare me the snarkiness...)

Re:You fell for it, huh? (2, Informative)

uss_valiant (760602) | more than 7 years ago | (#18886313)

Adobe isn't open-sourcing any of the server/data access/interop components.
HTTPService is included in the SDK. It's primitive and slower compared to Flash remoting using RemoteObject but it gets you started. That having said, it would be really nice if RemoteObject was included in the SDK since there are already some FLOSS components for the server-side part of the remoting.

Re:You fell for it, huh? (1)

EricTheGreen (223110) | more than 7 years ago | (#18886513)

Good to know and actually this isn't bad, since it would make REST and XML-RPC-style interactions do-able at least....but you're absolutely right; where is the love for RemoteObject? SOAP service calls are screwed as well w/out the gateway.

Re:You fell for it, huh? (3, Informative)

md17 (68506) | more than 7 years ago | (#18887819)

RemoteObject is also available with the Open Source Granite Data Services project. So for free you get:
- HTTPService (connect to any backend using any serialization you want)
- WebService (connect to SOAP)
- RemoteObject (Java remoting)

Re:You fell for it, huh? (1)

EricTheGreen (223110) | more than 7 years ago | (#18888317)

Most excellent, and hopefully its maintainers recognize a publicity opportunity when it's presented to them. Sorry I can't mod this up...someone else, please do.

Re:You fell for it, huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18886451)

Wait... if you've done Flex development before, you know that your Flex/Flash SWF files interact with whatever 'server/data access/interop components' you want via HTTP. Use PHP on the server side and you're golden according to your above criticism, right?

Flex Data Services (now called LiveCycle Data Services) is free as well. No 'astronomical amount of money' there.

The IDE, Flex Builder, is not free, but the SDK is. You can develop using Notepad and the SDK and not spend a dime or even sign up for a license.

Re:You fell for it, huh? (1)

EricTheGreen (223110) | more than 7 years ago | (#18886757)

As I said, if you're one of those people who doesn't mind rolling a service call/result parser/object creator by hand, sure, call whatever you want on the backend. I don't think that's a real attractive option for bigger shops trying to search/update/manipulate large data sets thought.

Another reply to my post mentioned that HTTPService apparently is available as part of the SDK, so that might work fine for shops with a REST-ful or XML-RPC-focused interop approach.

Regarding data services...if you're talking about LCDS 2.5...the current beta is being offered for free download and it is time-limited, so that doesn't strike me as a "free" solution by any stretch. We'll see what happens when it goes GA--my bet is that Adobe is still going to want serious coin for it.

Re:You fell for it, huh? (1)

Wesley Felter (138342) | more than 7 years ago | (#18886315)

Sure, this is great for Flex developers. But there are many more users than developers, and this announcement doesn't help them.

Re:You fell for it, huh? (2, Insightful)

uss_valiant (760602) | more than 7 years ago | (#18885427)

I think you underestimate the significance of this announcement. True, Adobe isn't open-sourcing Flash. But open-sourcing the Flex (MXML) compiler and SDK is still very important.

MXML compiles into .swf (which runs in the normal Flash runtime). You won't get open-source Flash runtimes, but the compiled .swf files will be 100% open-source whereas right now, .swf files compiled from MXML still contain statically linked, non-FLOSS components in the same binary as your own (FLOSS) code.

Also, you'll be able to extend MXML since you get the sources and the rights to change the compiler.

I guess I still won't be able to release any MXML+.swf code under the GPL though.
  • Right now, I picked the LGPL since our main project (some web application) is licensed under the GPL.
  • You can't release any MXML/.swf under the GPL if you depend on any of its built-in features that it needs to compile into the .swf binary.
  • Sidenote: If the compiled .swf only includes normal Flash features that are part of the runtime, your .swf/source can still be released under the GPL.
Since there's the incompatibility between the GPL and the MPL, I will still have to use the LGPL for my own MXML code. If the Flex SDK was released under the GPL, this problem would have gone away as well.

Re:You fell for it, huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18886669)

Everytime someone says "FLOSS", I want to punch them in the dick. Just call it OS.

Re:You fell for it, huh? (1)

mhall119 (1035984) | more than 7 years ago | (#18887375)

MXML compiles into .swf (which runs in the normal Flash runtime). You won't get open-source Flash runtimes, but the compiled .swf files will be 100% open-source whereas right now, .swf files compiled from MXML still contain statically linked, non-FLOSS components in the same binary as your own (FLOSS) code.

Now that Sun has finally decided to open-source Java, we suddenly have the "Flash Trap". Cue RMS.

Re:You fell for it, huh? (2, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#18885721)

This *is* slightly better than you make it sound, as Adobe is effectively giving away a free development environment. However, this mostly just replaces the open source stuff like MTASC, so it's like it's earth shattering. But it is a step in the right direction. Especially since having a free SDK could save experienced developers thousands of dollars on purchasing Adobe's cruddy IDEs.

Minor correction to text (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18887079)

...so it's not like it's earth shattering.

Re:You fell for it, huh? (1)

Double_Dark (856371) | more than 7 years ago | (#18887443)

The SDK for Flex was free. You just had to sign up with Adobe to be able to download it. The IDE for Flex, built on top of Eclipse, is not free and they have no plans to make it so. From what I understand from my coworker, it is nice to work with.

Now More Free (1)

nova_ostrich (774466) | more than 7 years ago | (#18887525)

Now the SDK is even more Free, being under the MPL. Note, however, that its more than just the Flex framework ActionScript code. This open source project will include the Java source code for the compilers.

Re:You fell for it, huh? (1)

gaspyy (514539) | more than 7 years ago | (#18887703)

but you still need Microsoft's core (and proprietary) software to make them work

Ummm, no.
It's not just the SDK they are giving away. It's the compiler and debugger too. The only thing that's missing is the IDE, which is Eclipse-based anyway. These guys [powerflasher.com] have made a pretty good Eclipse plugin for editing actionscript classes, so I don't think replicating Flex Builder should be that hard.
I'm not very fond of Adobe, but this is a very good move. If you haven't tried Flex, you should.

ColdFusion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18884671)

Hey, that makes two Cold-Fusion-related articles in a row!

Why do Adobe even care about Silverlight? (3, Insightful)

stunt_penguin (906223) | more than 7 years ago | (#18884729)

Microsoft's only market for Silverlight is some universities and eLearning facilities that are too short sighted to use Flash for multimedia delivery; the only way MS could possibly even put a dent in Flash's ubiquity is if they traveled back in time and made sure that Silverlight something that was installed on every windows machine from Windows 98 onwards.

Adobe have a massive user base for the Flash plugin (perhaps one of the highest user bases for any software in the world? (barring MS paint).. interesting question) and the application itself, and I don't see Microsoft making a dent in it in any meaningful way- why should Adobe even bother looking over their shoulder when you can ask most users what Flash is and they'll say 'oh it's that thing you need on the interwebs that does ______'.

Anyway, I've been wanting to make the move to Flex (from hand-coding my XML requests etc) and this is a great chance to do so. Spry integration into Dreamweaver CS3, then open-sourcing Flex? Some moves in the right direction, Adobe :)

Now, about that XML into After Effects idea I had :p

*runs off to buy master suite*

Re:Why do Adobe even care about Silverlight? (2, Insightful)

btSeaPig (701895) | more than 7 years ago | (#18885017)

the only way MS could possibly even put a dent in Flash's ubiquity is if they traveled back in time and made sure that Silverlight something that was installed on every windows machine from Windows 98 onwards

- or release it as a critical update

Re:Why do Adobe even care about Silverlight? (3, Interesting)

blueZhift (652272) | more than 7 years ago | (#18885115)

I think Adobe cares about Silverlight in part because Flash development is still perceived to have a high barrier to entry because of the cost of Flash MX. I myself only became aware of the possibility of using the free Flex SDK to develop Flash apps recently. So in light of Microsoft's announcement, I think Adobe doesn't want those who might be swayed to forget about Flex. Open sourcing Flex is definitely a good move. It should result in some good free tools for Flash development which should help fend off the threat presented by Silverlight. I'm still planning to take a look at Silverlight, but I'll definitely be giving Flex a look too. And I'm sure that Adobe remembers that Netscape thought they had an insurmountable lead back in the day too, and look where they are now... Never underestimate the power of the dark side!

Re:Why do Adobe even care about Silverlight? (1)

stunt_penguin (906223) | more than 7 years ago | (#18885305)

*cowers*

Re:Why do Adobe even care about Silverlight? (1)

MrCopilot (871878) | more than 7 years ago | (#18885773)

Adobe have a massive user base for the Flash plugin (perhaps one of the highest user bases for any software in the world? (barring MS paint).. interesting question)

Umm, my linux boxes don't have MSPaint installed but they all have a Flash Plugin, So I guess the edge goes to Flash Plugin.

Re:Why do Adobe even care about Silverlight? (1)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 7 years ago | (#18888175)

Gossip from inside Microsoft is that the Silverlight project is a death march and people are transferring out of the doomed project team as fast as they can. The same process which led to Vista's vast successes.

And? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18884787)

What the fuck is Flex and why should we care?

Adobe will quit flash development (0, Troll)

tulcod (1056476) | more than 7 years ago | (#18885031)

I have the strong feeling that adobe wants to stop developing flash. A few days ago, they said they might add ads to the player. Now, they're open sourcing major parts of flash technology. I think these steps lean towards quitting development of flash.

SilverLight Rocks (-1, Offtopic)

WED Fan (911325) | more than 7 years ago | (#18885063)

Man, I've been playing with this and it is a developers dream. I love it, well, except for the name.

Easy to use, easy to implement, and it is hot looking.

Adobe does Flash too? (1)

JMZero (449047) | more than 7 years ago | (#18885101)

Free development in Flash has been around for a while. I particularly like working in Haxe [haxe.org] .

To me, I had never been interested in Flash development because the dev environments I saw always seemed semi-hostile to something other than timeline-based animation. With haxe, it's just you and your text editor - the way programming should be.

Re:Adobe does Flash too? (1)

N8F8 (4562) | more than 7 years ago | (#18885151)

They bought Macromedia (Flash, Dreamweaver, etc.)

Re:Adobe does Flash too? (1)

stunt_penguin (906223) | more than 7 years ago | (#18887227)

Well, the thing is that you could potentially create a Flash movie almost from scratch using Actionscript saved in a text (.as) file and loaded into a near-blank .swf file; you've got the power to create objects, control time and load in content. It's just a lot handier when you've got the library sitting there so you can arrange your objects in the GUI and then code their individual behaviours by clicking on them and tapping in the on(release){} events etc. Oh, well, each to their own :)

What about Flex Builder? (1)

nova_ostrich (774466) | more than 7 years ago | (#18887471)

Flex Builder [adobe.com] , the main development environment for the Flex SDK we're talking about here, is built on Eclipse [eclipse.org] . Not a timeline in sight. I highly recommend checking it out.

An unexpected smart move - Adobe deserves credit (3, Insightful)

Qbertino (265505) | more than 7 years ago | (#18885147)

This is a suprising move indeed, and changes the game for RIAs big time. As of now Flex is right up there with Laszlo and Co. when technical decision-makers talk about RIA generators and compilers. This dimishes the corporate media hype about Silverthingie from MS to a minor sidenote.

Kudos also to the Laszlo guys and the Motion Twin ActionScript Compiler and all the other projects listed at osflash.org for putting the presure on Adobemedia for the last few years. And Kudos to Sun for leading the way in open sourcing key technologies - I suspect that played a major role in this decision. And thanks to Adobe for scaring the living wee-wee out of Microsoft's Web Division. I can just imagine the look on their faces. Hehe.

Oh, and last but not least, to all the idiots here on slashdot allready ranting about Flash, Flex, Laszlo, RIAs and whatnot: Shut the f*ck up, you don't know squat what you're talking about.

Re:An unexpected smart move - Adobe deserves credi (1)

tolan-b (230077) | more than 7 years ago | (#18885365)

Er who was ranting about those things exactly? Or are you just trying to reinforce the impression that you're very knowledgable on the subject?

Re:An unexpected smart move - Adobe deserves credi (1)

TheCouchPotatoFamine (628797) | more than 7 years ago | (#18885573)

Uh.. buddy? This is where you find people who do know what they are talking about.
well, at least, you can tell when there is actual information in the post. What pressure? Why? "wee-wee"?
C'mon, first cup of coffee? :) Cheers,
TCPF

Re:An unexpected smart move - Adobe deserves credi (1)

ceroklis (1083863) | more than 7 years ago | (#18886377)

Kudos also to the Laszlo guys and the Motion Twin ActionScript Compiler and all the other projects listed at osflash.org for putting the presure on Adobemedia for the last few years.

It's not Adobemedia, it's Macrobe. Funnier that way.

Duh... flex is already open source (2, Funny)

Timbo (75953) | more than 7 years ago | (#18885297)

http://flex.sourceforge.net/ [sourceforge.net]

Adobe should concentrate on opening sourcing something of worth instead of reinventing the wheel. ;)

Re:Duh... flex is already open source (1)

davemc (16393) | more than 7 years ago | (#18886829)

The flex project at sourceforge has nothing to do with Adobe. It's just a coincidence of name.

Try http://www.adobe.com/go/opensourceflex [adobe.com]

Re:Duh... flex is already open source (1)

Timbo (75953) | more than 7 years ago | (#18887435)

Dear davemc,

Our records show that you're lacking a sense of humour. We suggest you remedy this situation as soon as possible, or our lawyers will be dispatched.

Sincerely, Timbo.

lawyers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18887909)

I can't believe that you would sue that guy because of a simple comment on slashdot.

Re:Duh... flex is already open source (1)

syphax (189065) | more than 7 years ago | (#18888769)


I think GP was a joke...

Nifty but confusing. (1)

jshriverWVU (810740) | more than 7 years ago | (#18885763)

I checked the website, and Flex seems to be a bundle of different packages. The retail is over $700. Is that what they are open sourcing or just the SDK? Bottom line, can you use it without the 700 package? Kinda like how you can download the .Net framework and write apps without needing Visual Studio

Re:Nifty but confusing. (3, Informative)

colanut (541823) | more than 7 years ago | (#18885935)

Yes, you can hand write the ActionScrpt/Flex in a text editor and use the free SDK to command line compile the .swf file to be included in your web page. As long as you know the language and syntax.

The $700 package is a ide that has the compiler, debugger and a graphical design window to help you out.

Slow Death? (1)

asphaltjesus (978804) | more than 7 years ago | (#18886463)

Right now their new product is not taking off fast enough and they are trying to head Microsoft off. They've got a more profitable product in Flash and it's their product as opposed to this project they inherited from Macromedia.

This is the last step before they abandon it. Which they won't do right away. First some exec that came over from Macromedia and forcing the project through will resign. Then a couple of months later the updates will stop.

As someone who has witnessed their business people in action at a very high level, the riskiest thing they've done lately is to try a new restaurant for lunch.

Re:Slow Death? (1)

nova_ostrich (774466) | more than 7 years ago | (#18887767)

Actually, adoption has been very strong, and Adobe is using Flex for many, many projects internally (according to company insiders ;)). Once Adobe acquired Macromedia, Flex moved high up on the priority list, and its a big part of the company roadmap.

Standard Corporate Pablum (1)

asphaltjesus (978804) | more than 7 years ago | (#18888367)

Actually, adoption has been very strong, and Adobe is using Flex for many, many projects internally (according to company insiders ;))

This statement is standard corporate pablum used to make something sound like it's the latest and greatest when there's nothing else to say about it. They will probably announce a number of well-known corporate brands "adopting" it to try to build some influence too.

This is all very typical media build-up based on half-truths to get something going. Blindly adopting Adobe's heresay as truth is the topic of another conversation.

1. Other posts in this discussion mention some serious problems with the framework.

2. The fact that a staunchly non-free software company has resorted to the Mozilla Public License tells me that trying to drive adoption through their standard practices (non-free license) has failed.

The future doesn't look too bright.

AdSense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18886507)

Is there any way to put ad sense ( or another "main stream" ad system) into a flex-flash application?

The last mile of software (2, Interesting)

rodentia (102779) | more than 7 years ago | (#18886943)


There are eight ways to Sunday for solving the last mile problem for software (the presentation tier) in a robust fashion. For all but the most trivial of applications, this solution is more trouble than it's worth. Unlike the last mile of the network, the target is not a fixed location.

The shrewd architect knows that there is always a rewrite. A dependency like this at the presentation layer is a liability. Whether interpreter is proprietary or not has little impact on these costs.

Pay Attention (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18886999)

Flex 2.01 SDK = includes the compiler
Flash 9.0.45 IS the runtime

That's all you need to know, but also note that Adobe has a Apache and IIS server module that allows for server side parsing of of the mxml files, and that there is an additional runtime component for Apollo.

ActionScript 3 (Flash 9 only and later, Flex 2 and later) is the core programming part of it. If you do not have flash, good luck drawing anything. You can still code with any text editor that supports XML and Javascript/Actionscript syntax.

The compiler is written in JAVA.

Unlike .NET, the flash runtime is available on Mac, Win, Linux and Solaris. Flash 9 is NOT available on any PowerPC, Wii, PS3 or PSP (these devices are flash 6 or 7) So untill Adobe releases a flash 9 SDK, and the consoles update to support all the input device buttons (instead emulating the mouse and left click only) This flex SDK is only going to be useful for developing flash from a 'pure code' point of view. You will still need flash to export MXML for vector sprites that aren't primatives.

It is a step up from what was available, but Flash still has these limitations:
a) No 3D/OpenGL access, which limits performance to CPU-bound operations
b) It's still interpretated as a virtual machine, so it's not native system performance
c) There is still no support for analog joysticks (See console issues), Flash needs a HID driver

Flash can pretty much replace SDL with a 'web developer friendly' set of tools, which is more than what the average web developer understands about DHTML already. If you want to build something with Flex, and you were considering doing it in SDL (or any other 2D API) now you can, it throws away all the download, ./configure, make process that your average newbie doesn't get , and also throws away the 'install' process that makes a mess on peoples machines.

But this is still a technology looking for a use. It can be used for games or applications, but it is likely to be used for net-centric platform independant tools (like those used with several big name internet store fronts) to give users a common interface, instead of being subject to the whims of the platform.

Look on the bright side, If this makes it easier for people to use linux, fine by me. Click on the webapp, use webapp, save to net/local disk, close app. No install, no compiler hell, no dll hell, no dependancy hell, LESS CUSTOMER SUPPORT CALLS, because... duh, everyone will be using the same (with Apollo more likely) and less able to lay blame on their system. "So sorry, the problem is not with our software, contact your computer manufacturer, *click*"

Re:Pay Attention (1)

mad.frog (525085) | more than 7 years ago | (#18887681)

b) It's still interpretated as a virtual machine, so it's not native system performance

Actually, ActionScript 3 (introduced in Flash Player 9) is a JIT with excellent performance... not interpreted.

Your other points are valid, but you can still get impressive performance, e.g.,

http://www.papervision3d.org/ [papervision3d.org]
http://www.unitzeroone.com/blog/papervision3d/pape rvision3d_demos_cellshadin.html [unitzeroone.com]

It's no good alone (2, Funny)

jdavidb (449077) | more than 7 years ago | (#18888493)

The only way to really utilize open source flex is if we could get an open source bison.

Flex has always been open source. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18888623)

Flex has always been open source.

http://flex.sourceforge.net/ [sourceforge.net]

I don't know what Adobe's product is, but it is not Flex.

Why MPL? (1)

ksd1337 (1029386) | more than 7 years ago | (#18889289)

The reason they licensed it under the MPL is so that it could be used in proprietary software. It is OK to call it "open source", but it is not "free software"

Re:Why MPL? (1)

FromellaSlob (813394) | more than 7 years ago | (#18890369)

The reason they licensed it under the MPL is so that it could be used in proprietary software. It is OK to call it "open source", but it is not "free software"

The FSF recognize the MPL as a free software license.

http://www.fsf.org/licensing/licenses/index_html [fsf.org]
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