Adobe Flash Platform – Uncertain Roadmap

“We’re stuck!”, Adobe says in this huge page describing it’s plans. You could also get a sense of confusion while reading that, since the main message is that they changed their minds, as they did several times before, leading into community disapproval and strong reactions. Short answer for that strong reactions would be that while others corporations have communities, Adobe has developed a CULTURE.

Most of the Actionscript developers I’m watching are so passionate and so keen on building exiting new things on top of a great piece of technology. And that piece of technology is slowly crippled by bad decisions took on bad reports regarding what people expect. We – the culture – we’re expecting Actionscript Next, no doubt about that. We’ve embraced the rumors regarding what it would be possible, got excited about it and now it’s gently suggested to rethink our own roadmaps.

They even gave up on their initial plan to changer Premium Features, which says loud to the world that, again, they don’t know what to do with the damn thing. I’m sure that they will present this as “we’ve always have been opened”, or they realized that they market they were addressing to doesn’t exist. In any of the cases, it was a bad decision when introduced this Premium Features or it’s a bad one when dropping it. It seems to me Adobe is drifting around.

I remember about them governing Flex SDK as an open source project and that was a failure because of the manner in which they did it. Adobe kept decision taking outside community, but pretending that community runs it by voting features and bug fixing. The governor had no idea about how open source communities work – allowing the community to contribute. Why? Because the big corporations are not working like communities do, where the responsibility is of each and every member and decision making is common vote. Corporations have always a head of “something” that is responsible for all the decision making for that “something”. I can still sense this corporation behavior from time to time on Apache Flex mailing list.

I recall the voice of community when they donated it to Apache – all the fears that it will die and all the noise describing the unknown future of it. I don’t know why they gave up on such a good SDK, but my sense is that they didn’t had enough data to showcase it’s greatness to the world. Most enterprise applications that I’ve seen or heard about were so private – for instance, used in a bank – that they couldn’t be showcased to noone.  Or maybe they realized they have no idea how to handle it in an open source manner.

I love Actionscript and I consider it more mature OOP language than Javascript, in many ways. I won’t argue with noone that Javascript has it’s recent evolution towards better and it will always have a future. I’m even eager to see the Apache Flex SDK compiler producing Javascript applications that are written in Actionscript…

Adobe, what I’m trying to say is that I fear about your future. You seem to have a disease called instability on your road map. You have forgot that you have created Flash Platform from nothing, against all other concurrent platforms and, most importantly a growing culture – Flash Platform Developers. Since I have to make a living out of applications development, I have to have some degree of  stability on my own roadmap.

Please tell me now if  “cancelled” means “never”, so I can move to Java forever and do C++ for fun…

The sooner you will tell me, the better will be for both of us!