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Adobe Releases Flex Builder Linux Alpha

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the joining-the-party dept.

Software 118

mikepotter writes "Adobe announced Flex Builder Linux Alpha at the Adobe MAX conference today. This is a native Linux port of the Flex Builder IDE (based on Eclipse) for building rich Internet applications. 'Flex Builder Linux is a plugin-only version of the Flex Builder that you can use to build Flex applications on Linux. We wanted to get an early release out with the base Flex Builder features so you could begin to provide us with your feedback and let us know your priorities for additional features.'"

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I read "TFA" and I don't get it (2, Insightful)

speaker of the truth (1112181) | more than 6 years ago | (#20835287)

I read what passes as an article here and it doesn't explain what Flex Builder is. And the summary didn't help with it trying to get as many flexes in as it possibly could. What is Flex Builder?

Re:I read "TFA" and I don't get it (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20835297)

Used to build Flex applications.

A little more info here... (1)

KDAWSON sucks (1165799) | more than 6 years ago | (#20835681)

If you were wanting to know more about this project, check it out here [wikipedia.org] . After reading this, I really started wondering about Adobe on this one. Anyone else feel the same way?

Mod parent up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20835849)

Informative

Re:I read "TFA" and I don't get it (4, Informative)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 6 years ago | (#20835305)

It's an IDE for building apps with Adobe Flex. It was quite apparently to me, even though I've never even considered using Flex. If you don't know what Adobe Flex is, and don't care enough to look it up, why did you bother with the article?

I'll help anyhow:

http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/flex/ [adobe.com]

"Adobe® Flex 3 is a cross platform, open source framework for creating rich Internet applications that run identically in all major browsers and operating systems."

Re:I read "TFA" and I don't get it (-1, Troll)

darthflo (1095225) | more than 6 years ago | (#20835441)

I call bull on "run identically in all major browsers and operating systems".
Actually they meant "IE, Firefox and Safari on Win and Mac OS". Even on Windows, only one of four Apps really works in Opera (Adobe's own Flex showcase [flex.org] gets caught up in my popup blocker, the VW thingie [vw.co.uk] doesn't work at all, Buzzword [getbuzzword.com] serves up an "unsupported Browser" error. Picnik [picnik.com] works).

Re:I read "TFA" and I don't get it (3, Insightful)

joshv (13017) | more than 6 years ago | (#20835501)

I guess you don't understand the meaning of the word "major".

Re:I read "TFA" and I don't get it (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 6 years ago | (#20835585)

Oddly enough, the showcase and VW thing seem to work perfectly in Opera on Linux. Buzzword shows the error, of course... That's Buzzword's stupidity. Opera 9.23 here, if it makes any difference.

Re:I read "TFA" and I don't get it (3, Informative)

Skuld-Chan (302449) | more than 6 years ago | (#20835949)

Its actually any browser that supports Flash 9 plugin (which exist for Solaris/Linux/Mac/Windows). I've seen Flex apps run on Firefox/Flash 9 on Solaris for example.

I will tell you why. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20835873)

I read the article to try and figure out what Flex is so that I wouldn't be ignorant of its existence, you disgusting douchebag.

Re:I read "TFA" and I don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20837231)

Notwithstanding the snotty reply from the smarmy asshole in the parent, to quote the Wikipedia article for Adobe Flex:

"Adobe Flex is a software development kit and an IDE for a group of technologies initially released in March of 2004 by Macromedia to support the development and deployment of cross platform, rich Internet applications based on their proprietary Macromedia Flash platform."

So that answers the additional question of "an IDE for WHAT???"

Note to smarmy asshole: It's called "personal growth". You explore new things to discover if they might be something you'll be interested in in the future. Unfortunately, yours stopped the day you came to Slashdot, even though you didn't know what it was.

Re:I read "TFA" and I don't get it (2, Informative)

bigpat (158134) | more than 6 years ago | (#20840253)

"Adobe® Flex 3 is a cross platform, open source framework for creating rich Internet applications that run identically in all major browsers and operating systems."
The flex part is just the interactive messaging between the proprietary flash client application and whatever you are running on the server to feed it with data. It is analogous to what you might do with AJAX, except the major browsers still don't support the open source equivalent of flash animations which is SVG animation. There is nothing open source about the actual applications that are running under the proprietary flash player browser plugin. Flash is still as closed and proprietary a format as ever.

Re:I read "TFA" and I don't get it (1)

Wowsers (1151731) | more than 6 years ago | (#20841279)

"Adobe® Flex 3 is a cross platform, open source framework for creating rich Internet applications that run identically in all major browsers and operating systems."
That's typical nonsense marketing speak. Are they promising anyone that uses Flex3 that they will be rich by using these internet applications?

Re:I read "TFA" and I don't get it (1)

darthflo (1095225) | more than 6 years ago | (#20835311)

To quote the ubiquitous 'pedia [wikipedia.org] , Flex is "a software development kit and an IDE for a group of technologies initially released in March of 2004 by Macromedia to support the development and deployment of cross platform, rich Internet applications based on their proprietary Macromedia Flash platform.".

Re:I read "TFA" and I don't get it (2, Funny)

AstronomicUID (929210) | more than 6 years ago | (#20835315)

I read what passes as an article here and ...
You did... WHAT!!???

Don't know, but I'd tag it "flex" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20835381)

It's repeated several times per sentence, it seems.

Re:I read "TFA" and I don't get it (0, Offtopic)

mahmud (254877) | more than 6 years ago | (#20835403)

"When I flex - I feel like I am cumming"
© Arnold Schwarzenegger, in his "Pumping Iron" body-building video

Re:I read "TFA" and I don't get it (3, Informative)

Corporate Troll (537873) | more than 6 years ago | (#20835439)

Look at Flex as a way for programmers to make Flash applications. The Flash Animator thing (or whatever it was called) is good for Designers and Animators, but hard to work in if you're a traditional programmer.

As such this is a plugin for the Eclipse IDE to maek Flash applications.

Re:I read "TFA" and I don't get it (1)

speaker of the truth (1112181) | more than 6 years ago | (#20835749)

Aaah. Thanks, that actually helps clear it up :) Much more so then simply repeating Flex several times funnily enough.

Re:I read "TFA" and I don't get it (1)

Corporate Troll (537873) | more than 6 years ago | (#20835833)

I had a Flex 2 training last year (paid for by my company) and it was quite fun and nifty. That's pretty much how the trainer introduced Flex to us. I've got a pretty associative memory, and if someone mentions Flex, this definition pops up.

The IDE Plugin costs a fuckload amount of money though.

Re:I read "TFA" and I don't get it (0, Offtopic)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#20835449)

I read what passes as an article here
Hi! You must be new here! Welcome to Slashdot!

Re:I read "TFA" and I don't get it (1)

iknownuttin (1099999) | more than 6 years ago | (#20835465)

Some more Flex Stuff [flex.org]

I didn't know what it was either and, to be honest, I'm not even sure if the link I've provided is the same thing.

Re:I read "TFA" and I don't get it (1)

vacorama (770618) | more than 6 years ago | (#20835467)

flex is pretty cool stuff, can use to make widgets like this one from google finance, http://finance.google.com/finance?cid=983582 [google.com] , check out the middle slider.

Re:I read "TFA" and I don't get it (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 6 years ago | (#20838315)

Considering that Flex [compilertools.net] is a fast lexical scanner generator, I'd guess that Flex builder is a fast lexical scanner generator builder.

Dear Dumbass, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20839771)

Let me help you by reading the first two sentences of "TFA" (emphasis mine):

Welcome to the Adobe® Flex(TM) Builder(TM) Linux alpha on Adobe Labs. Flex Builder Linux is a plugin-only version of the Flex Builder that you can use to build Flex applications on Linux.
You may also notice there is additional information on the link. You may also notice there is a link to discussion forums where you might garner more information. You may also notice a link on the righthand navigation for Flex (in general).

Please troll elsewhere. Kthx.

free? (3, Interesting)

wwmedia (950346) | more than 6 years ago | (#20835317)

knowing adobe i have to ask "whats the price?"

Re:free? (1)

Freaky Spook (811861) | more than 6 years ago | (#20835333)


Free with an extra 85mb of bloatware added to it ;)

Re:free? (2, Informative)

alex_ndc (1136709) | more than 6 years ago | (#20836137)

It will probably be the same as for the Windows version:
http://www.adobe.com/products/flex/flexbuilder/ [adobe.com]

For Flex Builder 2 that's more or less 500 USD (depending on the country you live in).

pricing model (2, Informative)

oni (41625) | more than 6 years ago | (#20837375)

Their pricing model is sort of similar to what MS is doing with .NET. You can actually get a command-line compiler and build flex apps for free, just like you can compile to .net bytecode for free. What Adobe charges $500 for is the IDE (there is a standalone that's based on Eclipse and an Eclipse plugin). So what you're really paying for is code introspection, code behind, a debugger, and a design view (it seems that the design view doesn't work in the linux version).

There's also an educational version for around $40 and some kind of subscription service similar to microsoft select. You can also get a 30-day trial, which should be enough to get you up to speed on the language, then you could move to the free stuff if you wanted.

Like other client-side technologies, Flex makes liberal use of web services, and that's cool - Another thing you get if you actually buy Flex is something called ColdFusion remoting. This is a way of integrating with Adobe's coldfusion server. You build a SOAP web service in coldfusion, but if you have CF-Remoting then you can talk to that service with a different protocol that SOAP. Supposedly, it's faster because it's not using XML. But you're not locked into it because the service is still available as a standard web service, complete with WSDL and all that. Sounds intriguing. I haven't really checked it out.

Re:pricing model (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20839095)

Actually, the price for the non-charting version of Flex Builder 3 will be $299. The Charting components version will remain at the present price. This info. is from an email sent to me over the past two days or so from Adobe.

As a somewhat novice programmer, I was able to make an AIR-based mp3 playing application (that links to an mp3 playing engine) within minutes--I am quite impressed with what Adobe is offering-doing this in Visual Studio might have taken me a bit longer to do it and it would likely be limited to use only on Windows-based machines. If this is the future, count me in!! (And no, I do not work for Adobe, etc., nor has Adobe given me any compensation to say this-I got to see this technology in action for the first time about a month ago at a Flex Bootcamp in Bloomington, IN). This seems to be the next logical step after Actionscripting was allowed for Flash projects a few releases ago. Kudos!

Ooh, flex bears! flex calves' heads, flex jaw... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20835319)

Will you two stop saying Flex so much?

GNU/Linux (1, Funny)

dsaklad (162420) | more than 6 years ago | (#20835321)

Would it be better to use the term GNU/Linux

See also
http://www.gnu.org/gnu/why-gnu-linux.html [gnu.org]

Spirit Before Name. Re:GNU/Linux (1)

Erris (531066) | more than 6 years ago | (#20838067)

Adobe has done a nice job of releasing specs and porting software to the GNU/Linux world but they do not believe in software freedom. You can legitimately complain that their releases are late, non free and patent encumbered. The lack of freedom is most evident in their readers, which won't let you cut and paste if the author foolishly wishes to raise themselves above the already insane restrictions of copyright law. Until they liberate their code and repudiate software patents they should not pretend to be friends of free software and people are better off without them.

Re:Spirit Before Name. Re:GNU/Linux (1)

dedazo (737510) | more than 6 years ago | (#20841713)

Hi twitter.

You can legitimately complain that their releases are late, non free and patent encumbered.

I'm sorry, I'm not getting this. Can you explain how you can "legitimately" complain about something Adobe does or doesn't do? Unless someone is forcing you to use their software at gunpoint, that is.

Adobe has no obligation to cater to your "freedom" and release their source code just because you think it would be nice for them to do so.

Will Cost Big $$$ Likely (1)

curmudgeon99 (1040054) | more than 6 years ago | (#20835339)

Just like Flash, this Flex software is likely to cost a ton of money. So, it will have negligible effect on the market.

Re:Will Cost Big $$$ Likely (1)

randuev (1032770) | more than 6 years ago | (#20835401)

actually you are wrong. flex claims to be open source and free unlike Flash.

Re:Will Cost Big $$$ Likely (2, Insightful)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 6 years ago | (#20835435)

Flex may be, but the Flex builder is not. At least, version 2 wasn't.

http://www.adobe.com/products/flex/ [adobe.com]

So yeah, expect to pay for the IDE if you get the official one.

Re:Will Cost Big $$$ Likely (1)

speaker of the truth (1112181) | more than 6 years ago | (#20835767)

If I understand what Flex is, its an alternative to Flash? If so why wouldn't the open source community develop their own app? Many people use and like Flash in the Windows world, it would certainly help Linux if it had an alternative.

Re:Will Cost Big $$$ Likely (1)

shar303 (944843) | more than 6 years ago | (#20836279)

While Flex is an alternative way of creating Flash content, like the Flash ide it still only publishes swf files (Flash 9 movies.)

It is incredibly powerful tho and if you've had anything to do with creating Java then its quite easy to get into.

Anyhow, If you're going to shell out for Flex then my advice is to get the standalone version, as the eclipse plugin caused real problems and almost fouled my existing Eclipse setup - naughty.

Also, set aside a good few hours to get svn working properly with it (subclipse); that part is not much fun at all i'm afraid.

Re:Will Cost Big $$$ Likely (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 6 years ago | (#20836317)

No, I'm afraid it's simply a system to write Flash in a different way.

I'm also afraid that the easy availability of Flash for Linux now makes alternatives even harder for people to justify working on. It's a -ton- of work to create an equivalent system, and to do better is even harder. Even OpenLaszlo compiles to Flash as it's main method, with the DHTML4 'compile' method still not ready for use.

Re:Will Cost Big $$$ Likely (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20837355)

There is. It's called OpenLazslo: http://www.laszlosystems.com/products/openlaszlo [laszlosystems.com] .

And for the record, the Flex SDK framework is free so anyone can download it and build other people's apps Flex apps and their own Flex apps without the IDE, and it is also open-source, so anyone can contribute to make it better.

If you are just learning the framework, though, having a well-planned and thought out workflow already designed for you is only going to speed up your efforts if you already know another language. That's what an IDE is for, and worth a 30-day free trial and then a license if you need to use it to put bread on the table. If you are a masochist, go ahead and learn it without the IDE. If you are a professional, you shouldn't have any problem getting used to it.

Now if Adobe could just find a way to open-source the flash player....still looking for 64-bit on that one guys.

Re:Will Cost Big $$$ Likely (1)

PeterFranks (523503) | more than 6 years ago | (#20836083)

Flex 3 will be open source. Flex 2 was not, but this is version 3, and it will include the SDK and IDE and whatever else falls under the term "Flex". I actually just downloaded it for Eclipse on Windows the other day, and I plan to do so on my Linux box as soon as I get home. Check out this page and the FAQ further down for more answers.

http://labs.adobe.com/wiki/index.php/Flex:Open_Source [adobe.com]

Re:Will Cost Big $$$ Likely (1)

PeterFranks (523503) | more than 6 years ago | (#20836421)

Wow. I just realized from elsewhere on this thread that the Eclipse plugin requires a serial number after 30 days. I tried it and confirmed. It looks like they will charge for the IDE. That's a little disappointing, but I guess they have to make their money somehow.

Eclipse ain't all the Adobe FLOSS lovin'... (4, Informative)

SpzToid (869795) | more than 6 years ago | (#20835343)

Adobe is giving Drupal some serious loving too, and that's also of interest for the FLOSS CMS folks, no doubt.

http://www.adobe.com/devnet/flex/articles/drupal.html [adobe.com]

Re:Eclipse ain't all the Adobe FLOSS lovin'... (2, Informative)

SpzToid (869795) | more than 6 years ago | (#20835671)

Note: This tutorial is based on an example by Alexander Crugnola, in the example, Flex with AMFPHP. Please note that Alexander Crugnola's example is not specific to Drupal.


Okay, maybe that's not serious enough to be called Drupal lovin', but this is [drupal.org] :

Yesterday the Adobe Flex team launched a Drupal powered application that showcases applications built with Adobe Flex. The new Flex Showcase is online now at http://flex.org/showcase_app [flex.org] .

The backend of the application uses Drupal, along with the Services, AMFPHP, Vote up / down and CCK modules. The front end of the application is written in Adobe Flex, with custom components written in Flash.

Drupal was chosen for the application because we needed a PHP framework that supported user registration and management, content management, categorization and tagging, and comments. Drupal was the best choice for these services, and with the work that Scott Nelson had already done with the Services and AMFPHP modules, the choice was easy.

linux support (2, Interesting)

SolusSD (680489) | more than 6 years ago | (#20835347)

good- another company that realizes that linux adoption is inevitable.

Re:linux support (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20835521)

But does anyone even run Linux on Alpha anymore?

Re:linux support (2, Insightful)

Trelane (16124) | more than 6 years ago | (#20836587)

IMHO, it's more that Microsoft has been shoving some rather pointy, sharp objects toward Adobe's infant children (shades of Netscape), and that Adobe doesn't like it much. Solution: help people leave Microsoft.

FlexBuilder is okay but... (1)

DrXym (126579) | more than 6 years ago | (#20835373)

I miss refactoring, reformatting and other functionality that most other eclipse builders offer. The UI designer is excellent though and miles better than anything I've seen for Java. Slightly tangential but the web service support in Flex is HORRIBLE. They need a wizard that generates proper type checked stubs from the wsdl rather than the dynamic binding crap they have at the moment.

Re:FlexBuilder is okay but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20835453)

The r's are coming. It's not feature complete :-)

Re:FlexBuilder is okay but... (2, Informative)

joshv (13017) | more than 6 years ago | (#20835513)

Flex builder 3 (currently in beta) will offer most of the missing code intelligence features such as refactoring, and formatting, and will dramatically improve code hinting.

Re:FlexBuilder is okay but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20839003)

The UI designer is excellent though and miles better than anything I've seen for Java


Somehow I'm guessing you haven't tried out Netbeans' GUI builder.

Re:FlexBuilder is okay but... (1)

buzzn (811479) | more than 6 years ago | (#20841529)

Have you tried FlexBuilder 3 beta 2? it says it has a new feature "Web Services introspection" Although not on the Linux version yet...

Flex versus Open Laszlo (5, Informative)

E1ven (50485) | more than 6 years ago | (#20835405)

Adobe Flex is an compelling platform- As I understand, it's Adobe's attempt to bring desktop programming to Flash, using an Eclipse plugin and compiling either to standalone SWFs, or to files generated on the fly with your data.

It's got a few interesting widgets[1], and it's starting to be adopted in more places such as Yahoo's Maps application.

Also worth looking into is OpenLaszlo (http://www.openlaszlo.org/) which is written in a standardized XML language, and compiles to both SWF or DHTML. I've found that there aren't as many people in the community, and documentation is a bit lacking, but being able to compile to multiple runtimes is nice, as is the understanding that if Adobe changes their mind, you can always compile to Silverlight or some other destination down the road.

Both can call Java backends fairly easily, and both are OSS, although OpenLaszlo is far more open.

Also worth investigating is Haxe (Haxe.org), which generates Flash files, and uses it's own custom programming language for both the client and the server.

[1]
http://www.brightworks.com/technology/adobe_flex/components_widgets_etc.html [brightworks.com]

Re:Flex versus Open Laszlo (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 6 years ago | (#20835519)

I just took a look as OpenLaszlo again (it's been a while) and it looks nice. Maybe a bit shakey, though... Their 'introduction' page/app didn't load properly on linux (Opera) the first time, and UI ended up looking at just a 'wait' clock. Reloading brought it up.

The calendar demo doesn't work well either, as I've been completely unable to add an event (can't type, looks like there are missing controls) under Opera and Firefox, even if I try to reload it.

Also, http://www.openlaszlo.org/lps/laszlo-explorer/index.jsp?navset=nav10.xml&bookmark=Introduction [openlaszlo.org] looks quite slow. I see at the bottom that it's recompiling each time, but that's not immediately obvious.

Other than that, it looks promising. I just recommended we buy an app at work that will let us make video tutorials in flash quite quickly, but if I can learn that fast enough, I may change the recommendation... I'll have to take a closer look.

Re:Flex versus Open Laszlo (1)

Excelsior (164338) | more than 6 years ago | (#20838187)

and both are OSS, although OpenLaszlo is far more open.
Hmm, how so? Flex is open source. Flex Builder IDE is not open source. OpenLazlo doesn't have an IDE (at least nothing like FB). So how is OL far more open?

Ha! Check Out the Balls on this Guy... (1)

Veetox (931340) | more than 6 years ago | (#20835459)

Re:Ha! Check Out the Balls on this Guy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20837939)

I clicked on the link but there were no images at all, much less any of the before mentioned "balls." Perhaps you meant to link to http://goatse.cz/ [goatse.cz] ?

Binary installer for eclipse!? (2)

El_Muerte_TDS (592157) | more than 6 years ago | (#20835461)

If they are using eclipse then why do they ship a binary installer? Why not use the Eclipse feature installation system or even a archive that contains the feature/plugin stuff. It's not that difficult. Nobody cares for flashy installers.

Re:Binary installer for eclipse!? (3, Insightful)

wandazulu (265281) | more than 6 years ago | (#20835525)

The reason is because Flex Builder is not free. You need to enter a serial # to use it after 30 days. The SDK *is* free, and you can do everything using just Vim and the Flex compiler, but as one who has done Flex development, that's like using ImageMagick at the command line instead of Gimp; sure you can do it, but it's not particularly easy.

Re:Binary installer for eclipse!? (1)

El_Muerte_TDS (592157) | more than 6 years ago | (#20835927)

Irrelevant. You can still handle registrations codes the eclipse way. If Omondo [eclipsedownload.com] can do it, then so can Adobe.

Re:Binary installer for eclipse!? (1)

DrXym (126579) | more than 6 years ago | (#20837223)

The reason is because Flex Builder is not free.

This wouldn't stop them. The Flex Builder installer doesn't ask for your serial #. I think more it is more likely because the installer asks if you want to install the plugin into an existing Eclipse / WebSphere / whatever install, or install the standalone FlexBuilder IDE (also based on Eclipse). The standalone version appears to be more stable and is installed with its own JVM. You don't get asked for your serial # until you create a Flex project.

Not open source, though. (4, Informative)

TuringTest (533084) | more than 6 years ago | (#20835471)

For those of you with memories, this is related (but not equal) to previous announcement by Adobe to open source the Flex engine [slashdot.org] . As explicitly stated then [adobe.com] , though:

Adobe Flex Builder, the Eclipse-based IDE, is not part of the open source announcement.
Adobe Flex Builder for Linux is published under a standard restrictive license [adobe.com] .

Re:Not open source, though. (0)

speaker of the truth (1112181) | more than 6 years ago | (#20835805)

This is great. As more and more companies move to Linux with non-free licenses it will prove that the Linux platform can support non-free commercial software. I imagine many buy into Microsoft's FUD that everything on Linux has to be free, so this will help dissuade that. Hopefully.

Re:Not open source, though. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20838857)

It maybe great if you are running a standard kernel from a well known distributor (RedHat, Ubuntu, Fedora, etc) on an Intel based machine. But it is not that great (not to say terrible, in my opinion) on all those 'unknown' machines like handhelds, phones, refridgerators, or cars.
Using non-standard proprietary solutions hinders acceptance and evolution of computing.

Great - BUT: Flash Player *still* not open-source (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20835481)

I am always curious about developing flash content but could never afford the tools. I have been a software developer for quite a few years and used many systems.

But....the player is not open-source - thinking about it, for me it would have made more sense to open-source the flash player rather than the tools and relax the distribution licence.
It would make more sense for Linux distributions to be allowed to include the flash player as part of the install.
From a business perspective they can make money from the development environment and have the flash player installed everywhere!

It's bad enough that I have to install proprietary ATI drivers (now changing-thankfully).

An alternative technology would be Moonlight/Mono - at least the source-code is available.
(I know..I know..Microsoft is 'evil'...patent concerns..blah..blah - at least the source code to the important bit - 'the platform' is available)

But well done - a step in the right direction!

Re:Great - BUT: Flash Player *still* not open-sour (1)

kurtb149 (578487) | more than 6 years ago | (#20836911)

A complete open-source alternate is the mozilla xul and xbl.

SDK EULA Terms (1)

mmurphy000 (556983) | more than 6 years ago | (#20835509)

IANAL, but the end user license agreements for the Adobe AIR SDK and Flex 3 SDK contain clauses that are rather frightening, which puts a serious crimp on how useful an IDE for those SDKs are.

From the Adobe AIR SDK EULA:

4. Development Restrictions. You will not use the SDK Components to create, develop or use any program, software or service that (a) contains any viruses, Trojan horses, worms, time bombs, cancelbots or other computer programming routines that are intended to damage, detrimentally interfere with, surreptitiously intercept or expropriate any system, data or personal information, (b) when used in the manner in which it is intended or marketed, violates any law, statute, ordinance, regulation or rights (including without limitation any laws, regulations or rights respecting intellectual property, computer spyware, privacy, export control, unfair competition, antidiscrimination or advertising), or (c) interferes with the operability of Adobe or third-party programs or software.

and from the Flex 3 SDK EULA:

(b) Development Restrictions. Licensee agrees that Licensee will not use the SDK Components to create, develop or use any program, software or service which (1) contains any viruses, Trojan horses, worms, time bombs, cancelbots or other computer programming routines that are intended to damage, detrimentally interfere with, surreptitiously intercept or expropriate any system, data or personal information; (2) when used in the manner in which it is intended, violates any material law, statute, ordinance or regulation (including without limitation the laws and regulations governing export control, unfair competition, antidiscrimination or false advertising); or (3) interferes with the operability of other Adobe or third-party programs or software.

These are very similar, differing mostly in the second set of restrictions.

While the whole clause is disconcerting (e.g., how the #$#@@#@$ can I warrant that my application and its AIR/Flex dependency doesn't interfere with the operability of arbitrary third-party programs?), what really scares me is the second set of restrictions:

when used in the manner in which it is intended or marketed, violates any law, statute, ordinance, regulation or rights (including without limitation any laws, regulations or rights respecting intellectual property, computer spyware, privacy, export control, unfair competition, antidiscrimination or advertising)

Suppose a small village in Upper Mongolia enacts a statute that says push-buttons in GUIs are illegal. Why they would do that, I have no idea. But, once they do, if I have a AIR/Flex program that uses a push-button (say, an [OK] button), I'm in violation of the Adobe EULA, even if my program isn't used in that village. The Adobe EULA clause has no restrictions on relevant jurisdictions, or even timeframe (maybe you can't use the program on Sundays due to long-since-abandoned "blue laws", because the EULA doesn't constrain matters to only being laws, etc. currently in force).

Again, IANAL, and it may be that IAPBROTSI (I Am Paranoid Beyond Rationality On This Specific Issue). It's eminently possible that I could take these EULAs to a qualified attorney and be told that either I'm misunderstanding them or, while my interpretation is conceivable, they are unenforceable due to such-and-so restrictions on what you can have in a EULA. Let alone the whole question of the enforceability of EULAs and whatnot.

But I can't risk going to trial to defend my use of Adobe AIR or Flex, if I happen to do something that pisses Adobe off. Given sufficiently high-priced attorneys, Adobe could quite possibly convince a judge or jury that my paranoid interpretation is correct, and I'm stuck hoping that sanity would prevail on appeal or something.

Flex and AIR are really slick, but they ain't worth the headache to figure out my odds of prevailing should Adobe sue.

Re:SDK EULA Terms (1)

joshv (13017) | more than 6 years ago | (#20835543)

Yes, I am sure those terms are entirely and completely enforceable in every jurisdiction. Besides, you don't get taken to court for EULA violations, you lose your license to use the product.

Re:SDK EULA Terms (1)

mmurphy000 (556983) | more than 6 years ago | (#20835827)

Besides, you don't get taken to court for EULA violations, you lose your license to use the product.

If I were to continue to use the product in violation of the EULA, Adobe would have to take me to court to force an injunction against such use.

Re:SDK EULA Terms (1)

Trelane (16124) | more than 6 years ago | (#20836629)

What other programming system EULAs have you read? What ones do you recommend? IMHO, all non-Free ones are restrictive.

Re:SDK EULA Terms (1)

mmurphy000 (556983) | more than 6 years ago | (#20837143)

Yes, but most I've read tend to have restrictions that are solely there to protect the intellectual property of the software maker. So you get terms that prevent reverse engineering and whatnot. Those typically don't bother me, as I have no intention of violating their intellectual property rights. Once you get to the level where clauses creep in that, say, prevent publishing performance test results, I try to avoid using that technology. Adobe's clauses I quoted above are just plain brazen.

All that being said, I try to go open source wherever possible, to avoid these sorts of legal shenanigans...

My 'rich' internet experience... (0, Troll)

korbin_dallas (783372) | more than 6 years ago | (#20835557)

mostly consists of annoying as hell boxes that say "You don't have the latest Flash, click here to download."

To which I usually back up to TEXT ONLY, er Non-Rich Google and choose another site. Now thats 'rich'.

I HAVE 2 versions of Flash installed already.
Besides the worst websites use flash, I mean even after I get flash, the site is still busy, ugly, and usually contains less info than a text cache at google anyway.

So now I guess we get another annoying download box.

Re:My 'rich' internet experience... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20835819)

Besides the worst websites use flash, I mean even after I get flash, the site is still busy, ugly, and usually contains less info than a text cache at google anyway.
seriously? you may as well just say that you still believe it's 1999. oh, and the earth is round too...

Re:My 'rich' internet experience... (1)

l0cust (992700) | more than 6 years ago | (#20836389)

Too bad you are just coming out as a troll saying "X sucks because I saw it here and here and it was annoying blah blah". Flash is not suited for all types of websites but luckily that thing was understood years ago by anyone working on the "web thingy".

If you actually pull your head out of the sand then you will see that people have actually started making good content using flash and the fugly era of shiny flash intros for websites is dead for the most part. Maybe you may want to take a look at Yahoo! Maps [yahoo.com] , Harley website [harley-davidson.com] , Picnik [picnik.com] or the rest of the bunch where the flex framework is actually being put to good use. But I suppose its easier to just bitch about how the things were a decade back without even checking if anything has changed now.

Disclaimer: I have worked on the flash projects in the past and currently getting into flex for a new project so I maybe a bit biased.

Re:My 'rich' internet experience... (1)

Kangburra (911213) | more than 6 years ago | (#20836941)

All three examples fail to load properly.

I'm not sure what I am waiting for but http://www.picnik.com/ [picnik.com] doesn't do anything, http://maps.yahoo.com/ [yahoo.com] offers a few links at the top and nothing else. http://www.harley-davidson.com/wcm/Content/Pages/home.jsp?locale=en_US [harley-davidson.com] does load, but there's a big hole where I guess the flash should be.

This is not a troll, I just wanted to see how good your good sites are, pretty bad is the answer.

Re:My 'rich' internet experience... (1)

l0cust (992700) | more than 6 years ago | (#20838363)

Hmm I guess you don't have the flash plugin installed (or atleast not the flash player 9, which is needed to display flex and the new flash content). It should be easily installed on visiting the page if you are on the windows platform (can't say what is the state of compatibility of the newer flash players with Linux as I have been away from it for a while). If flash player 9 has no support for linux yet then I agree that there is a problem with those websites in the sense that those features can not be done using an older version of flash framework which are available to a larger set of people (but in that case also I am sure that the new player will soon be available for linux considering how Adobe is pushing flex for Linux)

No, I don't think you are a troll but if the reason turns out to be that a plugin was not(/can't be) installed then I don't think its fair to criticize those websites just because they did not work on your system.

Re:My 'rich' internet experience... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20838705)

When there is no Flash plug-in for your platform many websites turn into unusable black holes.
The web should be based on open standards, Flash is not open. Yes, I know that 99.9999% of web browsers are windows/intel based and a free flash player is available. But free is not open. Add it to the standard.

Half-Hearted Decision (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20835721)

Oh great just what we need another binary-blob in our Linux systems!

A binary-only Flash player and binary-only development system (at least open source the Player). If they want to charge money for the development system that's fine. But they are extremely naive to think this will be a successful venture into Linux.
There are alternatives; e.g.( Open Lazlo, Java, Moonlight) and are complete with source-code and no restricted licensing.

At least open-source the flash player and then it becomes a more appealing proposition.

I for one will not be downloading this as much as I love writing software the 'barrier-to-entry' is too high and will not participate spreading it's usage.

Linux gives me freedom to use my computer.
O.K. this is very hyperthetical - what if the 'flash system' became so widespread on the internet that *every* website needed it to function - You would have a virtual monopoly sitting right inside your system with no alternative!!??

No thank-you

A major software company is beginning to take Linux seriously and this is a 'Good Thing' but Adobe do not understand the Linuux 'marketplace'.

If I was 'web professional' I would buy their developer tools BUT at least open-source the Flash Player!

Re:Half-Hearted Decision (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 6 years ago | (#20838685)

O.K. this is very hyperthetical - what if the 'flash system' became so widespread on the internet that *every* website needed it to function - You would have a virtual monopoly sitting right inside your system with no alternative!!??

That pretty much already exists for YouTube, unless someone's found a way to make it go into iPhone mode on a PC browser. But that only worked because Apple basically strongarmed them into providing mp4 files, instead of Flash.

Flex (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20836463)

"<stdin>:1: premature EOF"? What the fuck does that mean?

So Adobe now works with "standard" web? (3, Insightful)

hacker (14635) | more than 6 years ago | (#20836659)

So I can assume that this application generates 100% valid HTML and XHTML constructs, with their own proprietary Flash being an additional extension to that baseline, riiiiiight?

Flash is:

  1. Nonstandard, proprietary
  2. Not easily indexed by search engines
  3. Does not work consistently in all browsers
  4. Does not work in text-mode browsers
  5. Does not work with text-to-speech browsers for the blind/disabled
  6. Does not have cross-version compatibility with its own plugins
  7. Buggy and inconsistent

And this message goes to all of those "web developers" who use Flash in their websites.. please use HTML to deliver the Flash, not the reverse.

Plus they forgot... (1)

Mister Liberty (769145) | more than 6 years ago | (#20837329)


to mention one other 'Release issue':
that it's 32bit only.

Typical. Just avoid them.


Re:So Adobe now works with "standard" web? (1)

oni (41625) | more than 6 years ago | (#20837659)

I agree with your point, and just want to say that Flex is an alternative to a client-server app written in Java or .Net or whatever. It isn't an alternative to a website.

If you want a website and some basic interaction with the user, then use HTML and a server-side language.

But if for some reason you need to let a user do a lot of very complex data manipulation, then doing it client-side makes more sense, and in that situation, HTML and javascript has *always* been the *wrong* answer. It has always been better to solve that problem with java, or something similar. Now you have one more tool to solve that problem.

But you're right, there will always be people who will see every problem as a nail (because all they have is a hammer). That doesn't mean that hammers aren't useful.

Re:So Adobe now works with "standard" web? (2, Insightful)

blurryrunner (524305) | more than 6 years ago | (#20839097)

1. Nonstandard, proprietary
Available on 99% of machines, 93% on flash 9. (http://www.adobe.com/products/player_census/flashplayer/version_penetration.html). It's not a standard, but in all practicality is. Sure something open source and standards based would be preferred. However, I feel better about developing for flash than I do for ActiveX

2. Not easily indexed by search engines
True, but indexing may not be important to you, based on what kind of internet application you are developing.

3. Does not work consistently in all browsers
It's seems more consistent than HTML... and it's a vendor that is at least seeking consistency.

4. Does not work in text-mode browsers
Well, images don't work there either. And how many people use a text based browser.

5. Does not work with text-to-speech browsers for the blind/disabled
Things are getting better...

6. Does not have cross-version compatibility with its own plugins
So you are complaining that they are making features and that you can't use those features with older versions of the plug in?

7. Buggy and inconsistent

Granted.

While it's not perfect, Flash does provide a very viable, cost effective solution. While it's great to try to bolster philosophical values, we still have to make a living. I'll stick with the convenience that Flash provides me and my users, thanks.

br/

Re:So Adobe now works with "standard" web? (1)

buzzn (811479) | more than 6 years ago | (#20839367)

That list is like saying "motorcycles aren't standard cars." Can you write animated games or play movies in only HTML? Are browsers bug free and consistent? Flash has its uses, such as delivering a consistent experience. Flex is not intended to replace HTML, but is intended for doing things that are impractical or inefficient in HTML. I could do with less ads.

The best Flex alternative no one's heard of... (3, Interesting)

kimanaw (795600) | more than 6 years ago | (#20837537)

TIBCO GI [tibco.com] .

  • Open source (BSD license)
  • Free as in beer.
  • Free as in liberty.
  • Great UI composer
  • Built for web service integration
  • Lots of nifty online tutorial videos
  • Eats its own dogfood: It runs in the browser! (No Java, no activeX, no flying pig aka Eclipse, just DHTML)
  • And.. (drumroll, please) NO FLASH!
I've only been kicking it around for a few weeks, but its a fantastic tool. The learning curve is a bit steep, but now that I got my head around it, I'm not looking anywhere else.

Re:The best Flex alternative no one's heard of... (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 6 years ago | (#20838083)

Yeah, that's -great- stuff. I'm sure it'll replace flash, just take a look at the 2 minute explainer.

http://media.tibco.com/flash/gi/tibco_gi_preso.html [tibco.com]

Wait... It's in flash. Guess it's not really a competitor.

Re:The best Flex alternative no one's heard of... (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 6 years ago | (#20838737)

How is that different/better than, say, Dojo? Or Google Web Toolkit, or Yahoo UI Library?

Re:The best Flex alternative no one's heard of... (1)

kimanaw (795600) | more than 6 years ago | (#20839189)

How is that different/better than, say, Dojo? Or Google Web Toolkit, or Yahoo UI Library?

The IDE. And the set of widgets is (imnsho) more consistent and more complete. Accordians, fades, and round corners are swell and all, but grids, trees, text, and forms is where the work gets done. I've tried the kits you mentioned, plus a couple others (jQuery, Ext), and then tried Aptana (ugh, an Eclipse based tool for building browser apps ?) but once I started using GI, I was hooked. Just run it in a browser, and start dragging and dropping widgets, then wire them up to the model or web service. But if you prefer handcrafting your GUIs in a text editor, you probably won't like GI.

Re:The best Flex alternative no one's heard of... (1)

mikelieman (35628) | more than 6 years ago | (#20839371)

I d/l'd it and ran it, and the fonts/dialogs/fields don't format up right on my browser, making it hard to read, fill in dialogs, etc...

FF2 on Fedora 7, so I dunno...

Boycott (0, Troll)

mi (197448) | more than 6 years ago | (#20838071)

Boycott the tools creating files in proprietary formats, until Adobe either releases the source code for the player(s), or begins producing binary players for all platforms. Win/i386, MacOS/i386 and Linux/i386 is not enough...

It is one thing for them to want to make money off the authoring tools. But keeping the player closed serves no good purpose to anyone (not even Adobe) and inconveniences many thousands.

open source, to a point (3, Insightful)

EjectButton (618561) | more than 6 years ago | (#20838127)

Lately Adobe has been labeling many of their products, especially frameworks related to web development as "open source" when in reality they open source a small part of it and leave the critical portions under an extremely restrictive proprietary license.

As I understand it they have claimed they will open source parts of the flex sdk, but the flex ide, and the flash runtime plugins will still remain under the same old proprietary license, this is not acceptable. It would be a step backwards if in a few years a significant portion of content on the internet was trapped in proprietary binaries that are difficult to index and likely impossible for many to use a few years down the road. Adobe releases some specs for flash but they are released under terms saying that if you read the specs you are forbidden from writing anything capable of working with flash files. This is almost worse than nothing because even if you create a flash plugin completely independently or with the use of clean room techniques Adobe has the option of claiming that you must have looked at their specs and take you to court in an attempt to kill your project. Also there are many restrictions on the use of the plugin itself, for example you can't use it in many commercial applications such as a flash driven kiosk without first paying Adobe again.

How many years did Linux languish with outdated and extremely buggy versions of the flash plugins? We may have a more or less up to date version of the plugin now but there is no guarantee it will stay that way, a great deal of internet content is trapped in a format that we can only view as long as Adobe feels like letting us, and the architecture support is still pathetic, how is it there is still no native x86-64 support? This should have been done two years ago, to make no mention of the lack of flash9 support on the smaller architectures such as powerpc which effectively locks ps3 users out of browsing most modern flash based websites.

Adobe seems like a big heavy software company that still operates primarily in a 1980's mentality, trying to make the transition to something more modern and web-centric , and they are trying to get some of the glow of open standards and open source to rub off on them, the problem is that they seem to be faking much of it. They talk about openness to get you interested, then you dig into it and find out that there are always critical components they are still keeping under lock and key. I am no fan of flash but it does have its uses, I keep hoping that pressure from Microsoft's silverlight will cause Adobe to really open up the flash spec and allow 3rd parties to create their own implementations of the flash ide and flash runtimes, as pressure from Microsoft's half-assed pdf alternative caused Adobe to release pdf as an iso standard. Though I see no sign of this happening as Adobe still seems to believe they can have their cake and eat it too.

IDE price doesn't matter (1)

JavaArtisan (1017106) | more than 6 years ago | (#20839671)

To all those asking what this will cost... the real cost of working with Flex comes from purchasing licenses for FDS - the Flash Data Services backend. The IDE cost for me (in the few hundreds for Windows) was almost negligible compared to the FDS cost (in the several thousands). OpenLaszlo is a good alternative, but the major piece is lacks is support for messaging. That's what drove me to shell out major bucks for Flex - my requirements just couldn't do without messaging.

Re:IDE price doesn't matter (1)

curmudgeon99 (1040054) | more than 6 years ago | (#20840861)

"Shell out major bucks for Flex". My point precisely.

Pfffft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20842699)

wake me up when they release Photoshop for linux... anything short or that and Adobe can bite me!

The captcha for this post was "impede".. coincidence?.. I think not!

This is bullsh*t... (1)

TheDarkener (198348) | more than 6 years ago | (#20842713)

Look at Adobe, releasing something that people don't even really know what it is, while Shockwave, a massively used browser plugin, continues to be untouched [petitiononline.com] .

I'm not going to give Adobe any slack until they release Shockwave for Linux. It's hurting many people, including the education sector, which is continuously switching to OSS platforms.
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