Betrayed by adobe

In the last few days I tried to find as much information as possible on the Adobe Flash decision to stop developing flash on mobile platforms. Some called it “the death of flash” even if the statement issued by Adobe is much unclear to me. After reading and reading posts and comments all over the net I got increasingly frustrated and decided to write down some of my thoughts on the subject.

The news I heard first was: “Adobe has ditched flash”. “It must be something wrong”, I said and looked for the original statement. This one seemed written more by a tech guy than a PR person. What is Adobe thinking?

I’ve been using Flex for a few years and I know it’s a mature and robust technology, a nice language and we could never have done this huge application in JS. Everyone, and Adobe, is saying HTML5 but the standard is not even here, implementation is partial and there is no framework which can rival flex. Can you run a HTML5 application on a corporate client site which is still using XP and IE6,7 ? Migrate you might say but that is not that easy. And even if everyone would update their browser, who is going to test in all variations? And we are not talking IE and FF as it was the case a few years ago but IE, FF, Chrome and all the mobile variations. Are we just going backwards?
I’m not saying HTML5 might not be the future for web sites, small applications, games and apps but there are still people working who require desktop like applications and not apps. The right tool for the right job. And flex was the right tool for this.

And Adobe is not even saying either Flash or Flex is dead but instead has just launched a wave of bad marketing nobody can combat.

Why did Adobe had to betray its user base? When a client asks: “is this a flash application? what’s your position regarding Adobe ditching flash?” Then the client will probably go buy one of the old, gray, MFC based interfaces. The client has read the headline and no argument will convince him otherwise.
And what about the good developers working on Flex? Will they be willing to spend time working on a “dead” technology?

I can understand the reasoning that there is no revenue to Adobe from flash and maybe they want to sell more their Air tools for mobile, but I guess nobody will try Air anymore since it’s as “dead” as flash. Not to say that from a technical perspective how much more complicated can it be to maintain a player for a platform when you are maintaining a runtime for the same platform anyway.

So in conclusion I think that Adobe has done a lot of harm to its user base, to its developer base and mostly to the ones selling products based on its technology with 0 gain. If it wanted to stop investing in flash on mobile it could have presented the this quite differently.

As for HTML5 I’ve read somewhere a comment which says it all: HTML 5 it’s the electric car of the web. It’s the future, perfect, but do you know someone actually driving it?

To be less extreme I think it may be perfect for some things but building rich desktop like applications filled with functionalities it’s not.


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