A much needed name change

There have been many rumors about an upcoming name change for Flex Builder. Well I’m now finally able to talk about it a little more. As I have hinted before the name will indeed become Flash Builder. So what does this mean for Flex? Nothing really. Remember, Flex is a framework, not a tool. The reality is that many developers were using Flex Builder for pure ActionScript work so removing the word Flex from the tool is very appropriate. Calling yourself a Flex developer still makes total sense and is even more accurate now. It means that you specialize in developing with the Flex framework. This change will take a little getting used to but I firmly believe that it will clear up confusion more than it will create it.



  1. May 15th, 2009 | 8:57 pm

    Cool! And now I can feel less dirty when I use Flash Builder to code my Flash Pro IDE projects. LOL :)

  2. May 15th, 2009 | 9:09 pm

    Does this mean that the now named “Flash Builder” will work along side with Flash, or possibly replace flash in future versions?

  3. May 15th, 2009 | 9:13 pm

    Whats Flex?!

  4. Gil
    May 15th, 2009 | 9:21 pm

    Who cares? We have FlashDevelop. Heh. Sorry, couldn’t resist.

  5. May 15th, 2009 | 9:23 pm

    interesting and ultimately appropriate; it’s all about ‘the flash platform’ right?

  6. Natasha
    May 15th, 2009 | 9:26 pm


  7. May 15th, 2009 | 9:33 pm

    I wonder from a marketing perspective if this will turn off some developers who see “Flex” as a separate platform from Flash. With some developers Flash still means heavy page downloads, graphically intensive animated sites (taking the work out of the developers hands) and no SEO. However, I have seen some of those same developers work with Flex as a data visualization tool without complaint. Just wondering…

  8. Evride
    May 15th, 2009 | 9:39 pm

    Replace Flash? I doubt it will ever do that. Flash Builder and Flash serve two different types of people and have two different functions.

  9. dev
    May 15th, 2009 | 10:10 pm

    not gumbo? why change to flash builder? or u mean flex 3 the flex builder will change to flash builder?

  10. Pedram
    May 15th, 2009 | 10:13 pm

    I’m agree.

  11. lee
    May 15th, 2009 | 10:30 pm

    A few things that I want to point out. Flex is NOT going away. Flex is a framework and we are simply removing the name “Flex” from the tool as it is also used heavily for pure ActionScript work.

    This new name ONLY applies to new version of the tool which will have a public beta coming up soon in the summer.

  12. May 15th, 2009 | 10:51 pm

    It’s a good change, in my opinion. Though I consider myself a Flex developer at least half the time, I think I’ve actually worked on more pure AS3 projects in Flex Builder than Flex projects. It’s clearly not a Flex-only development environment, and the new name is far more accurate. It may cause some initial confusion (as all rebranding does), but I think that any problems will clear up quickly.

    I’ve noticed a few people wonder if explicitly declaring that Flex is a part of the Flash brand in the product name will turn off developers who are considering Flex. We all know that a certain subset of the developer community has a lasting grudge against Flash due to its misuse, so this almost seems possible. However, I suggest thinking critically about that concern for a moment. Don’t you think it’s rather obvious that Flex runs in Flash Player? Is it really conceivable that a developer would never realize that Flex is really Flash-based with even the smallest amount of research?

    Also, can we stop with the irrational fear that Flash Builder will replace the Flash authoring tool? Do you really think Adobe would just start ignoring the massive number of Flash content creators who draw things by hand, work with the timeline, and understand the library much more than code classes? Flex is a framework for building RIAs. Flash has many more use-cases, and sometimes, even Flex isn’t right for an RIA-like project. Flash Builder would need years and years of development time to implement all the features needed to replace the Flash authoring tool. These two tools have their own use-cases, but can also co-exist for the same user. I create art in Flash CS4 and write all my code in the current version of Flex Builder. They’re separate tools, and have such a large variation in focus that both must exist to have any chance of making their target audiences happy.

  13. lee
    May 15th, 2009 | 10:55 pm

    @Josh Thanks so much for the well worded response.

    @Everyone I can guarantee that the Flash IDE is not going away. I don’t know what else to say to convince you. I’m not one to BS my readers so I hope you will trust me on this.

  14. subb
    May 15th, 2009 | 10:57 pm

    Make sense.

  15. May 15th, 2009 | 11:07 pm

    that’s why I’m swfgeek and not flexggek or flashgeek or asgeek :P it all ends as a nice and pretty .swf file :)I think it was a good move for the Flash Platform

  16. Kevo Thomson
    May 15th, 2009 | 11:24 pm

    Interesting. I do think this is going to cause more confusion than it’s going to eliminate though: two IDEs with Flash in the title. The word ‘Builder’ implies that you can’t build anything of note using Flash CSx. Perhaps they should have called it ASB for ActionScript Builder. Out of curiosity, will future releases of Flash Builder still be dependent on the Eclipse IDE? or are there plans to steer away from that in future?

  17. May 15th, 2009 | 11:24 pm

    I think this is a smart move. In pitching to clients, there is 2x the education to explain what Flex is and what it is not. Often they don’t realize it’s relationship to Flash IDE or how the two compliment (or conflict) with each other.

    It’s going to make it harder to find people on the job lists, as the term Flash is already overloaded with so many meaning. There is a huge skillset difference between knowing the intimacy of the ever evolving flex framework, pureAS3, and the FlashUI. Plus special hats for desktop apps (not necessarily just AIR, Zinc, Director etc). mobile etc.

    OOoh far out the captcha has the name of my street!

  18. May 16th, 2009 | 12:05 am

    [...] no the flex framework stills and the Flex SDK stills the same but who better to explain it than Lee Brimelow and Duane “Chaos” Nickull check out their posts on the [...]

  19. May 16th, 2009 | 12:05 am

    [...] months of speculation and rumours of Flex Builder being renamed it has finally been confirmed by Lee Brimelow & Duane Nickull. Flex Builder will be re-branded to reflect the fact that it is capable of [...]

  20. May 16th, 2009 | 2:13 am

    [...]  The Flash Blog reports that Adobe will start calling all upcoming versions of the Flex Builder as Flash Builder. Flex Builder is an Eclipse based IDE for creating Flash web applications and Adobe Air applications using a the Flex framework. [...]

  21. May 16th, 2009 | 2:57 am

    I think this change is unfortunate in its narrowing of the conceptual distinction between the two products, even if it does so in a way that reflects their closeness. It’s going to be a little harder now to describe how you develop for the Flash platform, particularly to those not working in the area.

    In an ideal world, I think Flex Builder would have had a unique and balanced name from the start - maybe ‘Flax’ (or ‘Flesh’), or something superficially unrelated. Of course it wouldn’t have been possible to change to something like that now, but at least initially I think we’ll now need more words to describe the same things.

    Maybe for Flash Builder and the Flash Pro IDE we’ll start saying eff-bee and eff-pee-aye (or FlaB and FlaPI). Maybe not.

  22. May 16th, 2009 | 3:17 am

    [...] can read all about it on Serge’s and Lee’s post this [...]

  23. May 16th, 2009 | 3:22 am

    I suppose that, now that Flex won’t even be part of the name of the product, its right about time to give us the option to choose the base class for Embeds. I bet I am not the only one that doesn’t want to compile irrelevant stuff in ActionScript projects.

  24. May 16th, 2009 | 4:05 am

    [...] si? nazwa Builder z Flex na Flash Builder. Jak pisze Lee Brimelow na swoim blogu, Flex to framework j?zyka ActionScript 3, a nie narz?dzie. Lee uspokaja programistów tworz?cych [...]

  25. Swf Builder
    May 16th, 2009 | 4:27 am

    So we’ll have Flash Builder X and Flash CSX. This should make for some interesting job interviews.

    I’ve said it before: why is it necessary to have two completely different applications for creating swf files? Why can’t you combine the advantages of both into a single application?

  26. noj
    May 16th, 2009 | 4:37 am

    but flash builder also builds air apps? we should probably call it flairsh builder. lol!!

  27. May 16th, 2009 | 5:38 am

    [...] out from various blogs (flashblog & Duane’s world) that Flex Builder will now become “Flash Builder”. It is a [...]

  28. Tek
    May 16th, 2009 | 6:10 am

    It’s a good thing. Experienced Flash Developers will finally benefits of their Flash experience in their resume. Actually more and more employers prefer a newbie Flex Developer than an experienced Flash Developer with less Flex experience.

  29. May 16th, 2009 | 6:25 am

    Not sure if the name change is a smart move: Flex Builder is, afer all, about building Flex apps.

    What about Flash Professional then? Will Flash Builder adapt some Flash Pro features? I wouldn’t mind a new Flash tool converging Flex Builder and Flash Professional into Flash Builder, then the new name is definitely appropriate.

  30. tasovi
    May 16th, 2009 | 6:26 am

    who sneed flash builder, when there is FDT?

  31. Philippe
    May 16th, 2009 | 6:43 am

    And how about the Flex SDK?

    Many times I have heard the “I don’t want to use Flex” when we are talking about compiling “pure AS3″ using the SDK.

  32. May 16th, 2009 | 7:10 am

    [...] Read an official statement from Lee Brimelow regarding the [...]

  33. May 16th, 2009 | 7:23 am

    It will be difficult to explain to clients that although I posses strong Flex and _Flash_ Builder skills, I have nothing to do with Flash. For AIR developers, this rename makes even less sense.

    I like the name Flex Builder and if you’re not going to merge Flex Builder and Flash CS, I think it would be better to keep the current name(s).

  34. Linhdoha
    May 16th, 2009 | 7:36 am

    I have the same question as him.


    “Ok. What we have now? We have Flash IDE and Flash Builder IDE (looking forward for questions from customers and colleges about what is difference and why Flash Builder IDE has advanced code editor but can’t compile fla-files and Flash IDE can compile them but useless for serious coding?). And we have Flash Catalyst which can use projects imported from Flash Builder IDE but can’t share the same project and can’t edit fla-files. And have one ugly child aka Flex SDK which is what? How to explain colleges and customers why Flash Builder IDE hasn’t timeline and can’t build flas but can use something which called Flex SDK (why Flex? why Flash?). And in other hand Flex SDK can be used to develop only in Flash Builder IDE and Flash Catalyst but not in Flash IDE. And what about beginners? Why Adobe going to drive them mad?”

  35. May 16th, 2009 | 8:07 am

    I just don’t see the point in this other than to try and get more attention on the product. Maybe they can dupe Flash developers into buying Flash Builder as well.

    It just seems more confusing to have two IDEs called Flash (Builder / CSx). Can I make Flex apps with Flash CSx? Can I make Flash timeline/frame/library changes to .fla files with Flash Builder?

    It’s always been easy for me to explain to my developer / designer coworkers the difference. There’s never been any confusion.

    I just find it annoying and unnecessary. Adobe doesn’t have a good history with their perception of “name changes to stop confusion”. Remember the Fx prefix debacle?

  36. May 16th, 2009 | 8:08 am

    I think is a cool idea to change name, because actualy we lost many beginner AS developer.

  37. May 16th, 2009 | 8:58 am

    Flex Builder sounds better to me, the name doesn’t matter but could be Flash Platform Builder. All I expect from FB4 to be a better Flex and Actionscript Development tool. Indeed, I think the time has come for most Flash Platform Developers to leave Flash IDE. Flash Catalyst may be a good sign for this action but it will be a challenge for designers as most of them still could not switch to the new motion panel on CS4.

  38. May 16th, 2009 | 9:01 am

    [...] More about this at Lee Brimelow’s Flash Blog [...]

  39. Paul
    May 16th, 2009 | 9:37 am

    Still sticking with FDT ! ! ! ! ! !

  40. Jon
    May 16th, 2009 | 10:12 am

    Summary: This is going to be really confusing for people.

    Details: Most people who are not making things with Flex for a career still see Flash as a tool for making cute animations on a timeline, similar to what Director does. Although I see benefits of allowing the greater marketplace to see what more can be done using Flash (e.g. YouTube’s video streaming, etc.), changing the name for your flagship programming environment to that of your Flagship animation product will cause pointy-haired bosses’ heads to explode in confusion (and not in a “good confusion” way).

    Solution: (This is not an easy one, by the way) Pull all parts of your platform into one product for sale. Have a “designers view” and a “developer’s view” with one and the other having different options. Position your forthcoming Thermo/Flash Catalyst as a “bridge” between the non-Flash world and the Flash world (like Microsoft seems to be doing with their Expression suite)-Catalyst could be equal to Blend, etc. This way, you will not have people complaining that they cannot open version four .fla’s in FlashBuilder, plus could see a compelling reason to upgrade from version MX/ASv1&2.

  41. May 16th, 2009 | 10:41 am

    I have one thing to add to my previous comment: changing the name of the development environment you use does not mean you must change your job title, the experience you list on your resume (one word only, if you happen to list the tools you know), or what you write in job descriptions when you want to hire a developer. A Senior Flex Developer is still a Senior Flex Developer, regardless of whether he or she uses Flash Builder, FDT, FlashDevelop, or TextMate plus the Flex SDK. A Flash Developer is still a Flash Developer in the same way.

    If you build Flex applications, then market your technical knowledge by talking about Flex, Flex, Flex(!). You don’t need to tell your clients what IDE you use, if you’re worried that the word “Flash” will cause them undue stress.

  42. May 16th, 2009 | 10:46 am

    [...] A much needed name change by Lee Brimelow [...]

  43. May 16th, 2009 | 11:17 am

    Flex is beautiful name and I like it :D

  44. Isaac
    May 16th, 2009 | 1:12 pm

    @Josh, sorry I dont agree! how confusing will it be telling a boss, “I need Flash Builder IDE” and then the designer dude approaches him that following month that “I need Flash IDE”, you know what he’ll ask back? Doesn’t Flash IDE also build?

    The “Builder” is a very lame and inappropriate word to use to differentiate the 2 IDEs. Agreed they both render to Flash Player, why not employ another word that beams their differences rather than a base word that’s copied from the ancient Flex Builder? If it’s about name, they both build using different compilers.

    I think Flex Builder should have been renamed Flex CSx and integrated into the CS suit. i.e Flex IDE is for building apps on the Flex Framework and Flash IDE is for building apps on the Flash Framework; fine Flex is a subset of Flash.

    This move will complicate things and discourage newbies and the arrogant Java guys who wouldnt want to be associated with the word Flash.

    Adobe, this is not a good move at all.

  45. May 16th, 2009 | 1:25 pm

    “many developers were using Flex Builder for pure ActionScript”

    I hope Adobe improves on the workflow for linking interface-designs to actionscript classes.

  46. May 16th, 2009 | 1:49 pm

    [...] The next version of Flex Builder (V4, code named Gumbo) has been renamed Flash Builder. [...]

  47. May 16th, 2009 | 4:31 pm

    [...] you still have your reservations, Josh Tynjala posted some very insightful comments on Lee Brimelow’s blog post that I can highly recommend [...]

  48. Pat
    May 16th, 2009 | 4:50 pm

    Terrible idea. Marketing spoof. Nothing against Flash, but when I tell a client I’m going to develop their site in Flash - they turn their nose up and I lose the contract. Tell them I’m developing it in a nifty technology called Flex and they are all over it. Too many companies have an issue with developing in Flash - and yes I know it’s pulling the wool over their eyes because Flex is still a Flash app - but it’s going to be terribly confusing.

    Another point - when I hire people to work on my projects I DON’T want a Flash developer - I want a Flex developer. They think differently. Flash people are generally very graphically inclined, where Flex developers understand forms, and workflow, and business apps better in my opinion. I have 1 Flash pro I work with and 3 Flex pros. I wouldn’t want them doing each others job.

    I know it’s too late and Adobe is already printing up the new Flash Builder artwork, but I wanted to get my 2 cents in. Terrible terrible idea. What next - renaming ColdFusion to HTML Builder because “we’re really not creating limitless energy with our code”.

    While you are at it Adobe, rename Acrobat to something more like what you use it for. Document Viewer CS.

    Enough said.

  49. May 16th, 2009 | 6:38 pm

    [...] ilgili daha detayl? bilgiyi buradan ve buradan [...]

  50. May 16th, 2009 | 7:00 pm

    [...] of the Flash/Flex technorati have weighed in on the change and thrown in their support for the [...]

  51. May 16th, 2009 | 9:22 pm

    Hey Lee, this is kind of a random question but do you think we could get a 16×16 ico? The eclipse icon is so ugly =p

  52. lee
    May 16th, 2009 | 10:25 pm

    @Pat You’re just not getting it. You can STILL talk about Flex with your clients and can still look for Flex developers. That hasn’t changed at all. You don’t need to start saying “Flash” to people who won’t understand it. And it is not a marketing spoof whatsoever.

  53. May 16th, 2009 | 11:05 pm

    [...] got used and to this day I don’t know why. So my first reaction to the changing of the name from Flex Builder to Flash Builder is that it’s about damn [...]

  54. May 17th, 2009 | 12:00 am

    [...] Lee Brimelow - ???, ?????? A much needed name change [...]

  55. May 17th, 2009 | 10:42 am

    Flex is a brand that makes the enterprise feel good about using Flash. I think we can all agree on that statement.

    Adobe is taking the tool that the enterprise associates with good feelings, and renaming it to a technology that the enterprise associates with bad feelings. The difference matters to them, even if it doesn’t matter to us.

    Pulling a Folgers Crystals swticheroo on your customers is a questionable tactic. I’m sure Adobe has done its homework. We’ll see how it all shakes out.

    The golden rule is to listen to your customers. Are your customers clamoring for this? I’m interested to know if the enterprise has been asking Adobe “Hey, this whole Flex thing…isn’t it just Flash? We’re confused by the name, will you rename it Flash Builder?”

    Something tells me that didn’t happen.

    For the record, I prefer the name Flex Builder. Maybe SWF Builder would be more appropriate, because it’s not a Flash Builder, it’s a SWF Builder. Flash has frames (and frames aren’t necessarily a bad thing - they’re extremely useful in the hands of a skilled developer)

    I’m a developer, and I use Flash. I use FlashDevelop to write code on Windows, and I use Flex Builder to write code on Mac (until FlashDevelop comes to Mac, then it’s bye bye FB).

  56. May 17th, 2009 | 11:49 am

    @lee (52) You want people to keep using the brand Flex, I understand. BUT, does this move help at all to differentiate Flex vs Flash (I think Adobe is still trying to differentiate Flash/Flex no?). I say this creates more confusion than clarity between the brands.

    More likely to happen is that beginners in the flash platform space will start using the brand “Flash” for everything because they are oblivious to the brand Flex. Picture this. Someone brand new to the flash platform space downloads Flash Builder and starts developing content. To him/her, the content developed is “Flash” because it is never mentioned what is Flex vs what is Flash. The fact that the tool he/she downloads is named “Flash” Builder implies that he/she is building Flash.

    Is this what Adobe intended?

  57. May 17th, 2009 | 4:02 pm

    [...] the announcement is now official: Flex Builder “Gumbo” is being renamed Flash Builder! As a Flex developer, when I first heard [...]

  58. May 17th, 2009 | 9:00 pm

    I use the Flex Buinder on Eclipse only to code my actionscripts applications. And i fell pretty good. I am waiting for a version of FlashDevelop to Mac, so FB is good for this moment and help me so much.

    It’s correct to separate Flex of tool name, because Flex is a framework made for Adobe, not realy a tool. Flash Developer is more apropriate.

  59. May 18th, 2009 | 6:32 am

    “many developers were using Flex Builder for pure ActionScript”. I wonder why? Oh yeah, because they probably got entirely fed up with the Flash Coding IDE.

    I don’t like the name change. After reading several comments on this page I really started to agree that a product called Flash CSx Professional is just too similar to the name Flash Builder X. That is kind of ridiculous. Flash Builder is a horrible name! The name Flex is way cooler and carries much more prestige. Flash Builder is as bad as the name Flash Maker, or Flash Creator, or Flash Doer, or Me Make Flash Me Likey YAY!.

    Think of something else, or at least let us in on your longer term plans so we can see if your logic is sound.

  60. Adi
    May 18th, 2009 | 10:18 am

    FB? What the F***? Adobe is going to buy FaceBook? And then change Adobe Flex Builder into Adobe FaceBook? What the F***? :LOL:

  61. May 18th, 2009 | 1:49 pm

    [...] caliber Flash guys like Serge Jespers, Lee Brimelow, Duane Nickull, Mark Doherty, Tim Buntel or Ryan Stewart sing odes to the coolness of new name, but [...]

  62. May 19th, 2009 | 12:06 am

    [...] Lee Brimelow ?ã kh?ng ??nh cái tên m?i cho Flex Builder t?i theFlashBlog.com http://theflashblog.com/?p=993 V?y t?i sao ph?i ??i tên? Nh? ta ?ã bi?t, ?? t?o ra m?t s?n ph?m Flash [...]

  63. Chris
    May 19th, 2009 | 5:13 am

    Flash Builder: Why not mix our idioms too — How about a carrot in sheep’s clothing? You never know: the long-term soft-core Flash fumblers might yield to the bait that was once dangled in-front of the Java hard-core, and return. A home-coming boys and girls! A home-coming! :)

  64. May 19th, 2009 | 7:46 am

    [...] the last couple of weeks there were some rumors, but now it is official: Adobe renames Flex Builder Flash Builder. And of course also the abbreviation from Fx to [...]

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