by Deepa Subramaniam

 Comments (167)


November 12, 2011

This article has been updated as of 11/15/11 – additional questions and answers below.

With the recent announcements this week, we know that the Flex community has many questions regarding Adobe’s plans around the Flex SDK. Let us try to answer the questions we’ve heard.

Is Adobe still committed to Flex?

Yes. We know Flex provides a unique set of benefits for enterprise application developers.  We also know that the technology landscape for application development is rapidly changing and our customers want more direct control over the underlying technologies they use. Given this, we are planning to contribute the Flex SDK to an open source foundation in the same way we contributed PhoneGap to the Apache Foundation when we acquired Nitobi.

This project will be jointly led by some developers from the Flex SDK engineering team along with key developers from the Flex community, including members of the Spoon Project and contributors from enterprise companies currently using Flex. Flex SDK feature development will continue under a new governance model and Adobe will continue to contribute to the Flex SDK.

Does Adobe recommend we use Flex or HTML5 for our enterprise application development?

In the long-term, we believe HTML5 will be the best technology for enterprise application development. We also know that, currently, Flex has clear benefits for large-scale client projects typically associated with desktop application profiles.

Given our experiences innovating on Flex, we are extremely well positioned to positively contribute to the advancement of HTML5 development, starting with mobile applications. In fact, many of the engineers and product managers who worked on Flex SDK will be moving to work on our HTML efforts. We will continue making significant contributions to open web technologies like WebKit & jQuery, advance the development of PhoneGap and create new tools that solve the challenges developers face when building applications with HTML5.

Will previously discussed Flex roadmap features be released?

The Flex roadmap will be determined by the governing board once it’s been established. We plan to contribute framework features previously highlighted as part of Adobe’s Flex roadmap, into this new project.

Is Adobe still committed to Flash Builder?

Yes. Flash Builder will continue to be developed and Adobe will work to ensure Flex developers can use Flash Builder as their development tool with future releases of Flex SDK.

Will Adobe continue to support customers using Flex?

Yes. Adobe will continue to honor existing Flex support contracts.

So, what’s next?

We are close to wrapping up development on Flex 4.6 SDK and it will be released on November 29th 2011. Following this, we will begin the process of moving to the open development model described above.

On a personal note, we recognize we could have handled the communication better and promise to share regular updates over the coming weeks and months.

We believe these changes to the Flex SDK development model will ensure that the broader community can continue to use and directly enhance Flex for many years to come.


************ UPDATE – 11/15/11 ************


Further to the above questions and answers, we received many comments for clarification and additional information on certain topics. We have provided answers to these below:

What specifically is Adobe proposing?

We are preparing two proposals for incubating Flex SDK and BlazeDS at the Apache Software Foundation.

In addition to contributing the core Flex SDK (including automation and advanced data visualization components), Adobe also plans to donate the following:

  • Complete, but yet-to-be-released, Spark components, including ViewStack, Accordion, DateField, DateChooser and an enhanced DataGrid.
  • BlazeDS, the server-based Java remoting and web messaging technology that enables developers to easily connect to back-end distributed data and push data in real-time to Flex applications.
  • Falcon, the next-generation MXML and ActionScript compiler that is currently under development (this will be contributed when complete in 2012)
  • Falcon JS, an experimental cross-compiler from MXML and ActionScript to HTML and JavaScript.
  • Flex testing tools, as used previously by Adobe, so as to ensure successful continued development of Flex with high quality

Adobe will also have a team of Flex SDK engineers contributing to those new Apache projects as their full-time responsibility. Adobe has in-development work already started, including additional Spark-based components.

Isn’t Adobe just abandoning Flex SDK and putting it out to Apache to die? 

Absolutely not – we are incredibly proud of what we’ve achieved with Flex and know that it will continue to provide significant value for many years to come. We expect active and on-going contributions from the Apache community. To be clear, Adobe plans on steadily contributing to the projects and we are working with the Flex community to make them contributors as well.

Flex has been open source since the release of Flex 3 SDK. What’s so different about what you are announcing now?

Since Flex 3, customers have primarily used the Flex source code to debug underlying issues in the Flex framework, rather than to actively develop new features or fix bugs and contribute them back to the SDK.

With Friday’s announcement, Adobe will no longer be the owner of the ongoing roadmap. Instead, the project will be in Apache and governed according to its well-established community rules. In this model, Apache community members will provide project leadership. We expect project management to include both Adobe engineers as well as key community leaders. Together, they will jointly operate in a meritocracy to define new features and enhancements for future versions of the Flex SDK. The Apache model has proven to foster a vibrant community, drive development forward, and allow for continuous commits from active developers.

How will the open source governance work? Where will it be hosted? Who will manage the project? Will Adobe still effectively control the Flex roadmap? How can I contribute?

We are actively working on getting the Flex SDK and BlazeDS projects accepted as incubator podlings at the Apache Software Foundation. We expect to have more information to share on progress in the next few weeks.

We are actively working with members of the Flex community to ensure they are involved in the project management along with Adobe engineers.

What guarantees can Adobe make in relation to Flex applications continuing to run on Flash Player and Adobe AIR?

Adobe will continue to support applications built with Flex, as well as all future versions of the SDK running in PC browsers with Adobe Flash Player and as mobile apps with Adobe AIR indefinitely on Apple iOS, Google Android and RIM BlackBerry Tablet OS.

How will open source Flex development continue against Flash Player and Adobe AIR?

Flex SDK development will continue against released versions of the Flash Player and Adobe AIR runtimes, providing a stable and supported environment for Flex applications.

You said Adobe is committed to Flash Builder – what exactly does that mean in the context of future Flex SDK support?

Future versions of Adobe Flash Builder will continue to provide code editing, compilation, debugging and profiling support for Flex applications. Adobe will undertake the required work to ensure Flash Builder is compatible with future releases of Flex SDK.

Previously communicated road map features, such as enhanced code editing, real-time error highlighting and compile-as-you-type support will be available to both ActionScript and Flex developers.

Is Flex SDK still a viable technology option for existing and new projects?

Absolutely. Flex SDK will continue to be developed, maintained and released as an open source project that Adobe actively contributes to.

You said that you believe HTML is the “long-term solution for enterprise applications” – can you clarify this statement?

HTML5 related technologies (comprising HTML, JavaScript and CSS) are becoming increasingly capable, such that we have every reason to believe that advances in expressiveness (e.g. Canvas), performance (e.g. VM and GPU acceleration in many browsers) and application-related capabilities (e.g. offline storage, web workers) will continue at a rapid pace. In time (and depending upon your application, it could be 3-5 years from now), we believe HTML5 could support the majority of use cases where Flex is used today.

However, Flex has now, and for many years will continue to have, advantages over HTML5 for enterprise application development – in particular:

  • Flex offers complete feature-level consistency across multiple platforms
  • The Flex component set and programming model makes it extremely productive when building complex application user interfaces
  • ActionScript is a mature language, suitable for large application development
  • Supporting tools (both Adobe’s and third-party) offer a productive environment with respect to code editing, debugging and profiling

Our announcements relating to changes in the way Flex SDK is developed do not change the fundamental value-add of Flex or make HTML5 suddenly more capable than it was last week.

We intend to make investments in HTML-related technologies, so that we can help advance HTML5 to make it suitable for enterprise applications.

Will Adobe provide migration tools to enable existing Flex applications to be converted to HTML/JavaScript?

We have undertaken some experimental work in this area, but remain unsure as to the viability of fully translating Flex-based content to HTML.

The Falcon JS cross-compiler, referenced above, represents this early work and we intend to contribute this to the open source project. 

What happens next?

We are actively working on the proposal for incubating Flex SDK and BlazeDS at the Apache Software Foundation. Once the proposals have been accepted, both Adobe and community contributors can begin committing contributions. We will share an update when the incubator proposal has been posted – we expect this to happen over the course of the next few weeks.

We are working on providing you with more detailed information relating to the open source contributions we are making, how you can contribute to Flex SDK and BlazeDS through Apache’s contribution model and our HTML5-related plans.

We’d like an opportunity to talk to as many Flex developers as possible in person about these changes – to that end, members of the Flex product team along with Adobe evangelists will be organizing a multi-city international tour to enable more direct discussions. Stay tuned for more information.

If there are any questions we have not addressed, please post them in the comments. We ask that you keep questions and comments on topic.

Andrew Shorten & Deepa Subramaniam
Group Product Managers, Adobe


  • By Yordan - 10:13 PM on December 1, 2011   Reply

    It is really strange story line overall.
    This all-of-the-sudden blast against mobile platforms, and giving up the flash on mobiles is pretty damn annoing.
    I cant imagine this is a manager descision, else the manager, which conclude it shall be a very blind one. We are reaching the end of the PC era, replacing it with the mobile devices, and Adobe concluding that PC is much more valuable than the mobiles ?

    This is a clear mistake.
    The greed is the issue here.

    Look at the big picture – Adobe tried to make own implementation for each device, instead of giving the flash player licensed sourced to the device producer so he can expand it further as he prefer and like ( at least the compiler to his native code ).
    This thing cost money, and Adobe seems like spended a way too much. ( another bad manager descision ).

    They had to separate the flash player into 2 pieces – the device translator and the core of the player.
    While the device translator is something which can be distributed over the platforms ( it could be kind of VM ). the core of the player shall be Adobe development. This way Adobe will still benefir from the Flash, and every device developer shall be happy to have his perfect implementation worked fine on his device.

    Currently there is about 2 000 000 of Flash/Flex developers which feel like they have been spend their lifes into learning and contributing to something which turn to be a lie – the freedom of distributing an application across each platform out there.

    I am sorry Adobe – but you clearly fail us all.

    I would like Adobe soon make a clear and mature statement with a final and clear conclusion about road map of Flash platform before the market proceed as it does with uncertain into their products companies.

  • By Simone Pascucci - 6:05 AM on November 30, 2011   Reply

    After some weeks from the “dramatic” announcement and having spent some time investigating, i do really believe that also air is going to be left behind.
    Flex is going to became a apache project not directly managed by adobe, that means they will not be the principal actors in future release. Should we believe that you consider developing air app in flash professional a good solution? I do not really believe anyone here will invest in such a option. Also because we will loose one of the main advantages of flex, remoting in blazeds. Adobe recently adquired phonegap which is somehow an air replacement. Reading the prerelease info of the new data services module, i can clearly see the switch of direction toward native app and html5. I think that the flex/air related functionalities of the data service are there just because of a preswitch phase. Also, i was just reading a tutorial about sencha touch and i could see a lot of “references” to phonegap in their web site, should we expect something new also w.r.t. sencha? In our small company the adoption of flex/air for mobile was a panacea and we consider it a great cross platform solution for our needs. On the other side, we must take into account that commercial strategies of adobe are telling us we must dismiss such a products.

  • By Shigeru Nakagaki - 5:01 AM on November 19, 2011   Reply

    What about Japanese documents?
    Will Apache Foundation (or Adobe) make a Japanese site of Spoon project?
    Will Apache Foundation (or Adobe) make locale/ja_JP resource on future release?
    Will Apache Foundation (or Adobe) make Japanese help of Flex on future release?

  • By OneGlassEye - 8:53 PM on November 18, 2011   Reply

    I see a lot of rightful concern in these comments.

    I believe Adobe has violated the trust of many of its supporters. The rapid shift way from mobile not only closes the market, but jeopardize livelihoods.

    Placing ‘apps’ on mobile is only a short term strategy… as network bandwidth improves and the cost drops, apps in browsers will make a comeback.

    The question is, will Adobe abandon the mobile and desktop AIR community as quickly as dropped flash. Can our businesses sustain a dramatic and unplanned shift in technology direction ?

    With flex in apache, what is Adobe’s their long term commitment to the language? Can we trust what they say ?

    All markets change and technologies shift into oblivion. It progress of a sort.

    Adobe made some significant errors with the announcement, they should have left the door open for a migration strategy and statement about road map continuity.

    For me, I’ll be hard pressed to trust anything this management team says outside of resigning.

    I’m just thankful I can recover from this today. I hope others are as fortunate.

  • By David Buhler - 3:27 PM on November 18, 2011   Reply

    Is Abobe going to continue to support AIR for desktop on PC computers?
    Is Abobe going to continue to support AIR for desktop on Macintosh computers?
    Is Adobe going to continue to support Flash Player Desktop for Macintosh computers?

    • By Andrew Shorten - 5:15 PM on November 18, 2011   Reply

      Yes, all those remain supported by Adobe.

      • By David Buhler - 7:44 PM on November 18, 2011   Reply

        Mike Chambers’ message, and your message with Deepa, suggest two different roadmaps, and I believe deserve some clarification in the updates above.

        From Mike Chambers:
        Adobe AIR

        “We are continuing to develop Adobe AIR for both the desktop and mobile devices. Indeed, we have seen wide adoption of Adobe AIR for creating mobile applications and there have been a number of blockbuster mobile applications created using Adobe AIR. Some recent examples of applications created for mobile devices using Adobe AIR are Machinarium, Watch ESPN and my personal favorite, tweet hunt.”

        “What guarantees can Adobe make in relation to Flex applications continuing to run on Flash Player and Adobe AIR?

        Adobe will continue to support applications built with Flex, as well as all future versions of the SDK running in PC browsers with Adobe Flash Player and as mobile apps with Adobe AIR indefinitely on Apple iOS, Google Android and RIM BlackBerry Tablet OS.”

  • By Rob - 2:26 PM on November 18, 2011   Reply

    Here we go again… I posted what I thought was a simple questions “what about AIR for desktop” which would have been quick to answer if the answer was “of course we aren’t abandoning it”. However, the lack of a reply when comments made after mine were replied to is concerning. Especially since my business ( is based around several AIR for desktop applications! Please provide some statement so I can decide when/if I should start porting my apps to different platforms.

    • By Arnoud - 3:24 PM on November 18, 2011   Reply

      you’re on the “flex” blog. I’m concerned too but if youread a bit further:

      “We are continuing to develop Adobe AIR for both the desktop and mobile devices”

      clearly stated on the blog of mike chambers… so stop spreading more confusion please. We had enough of that. so please remove that blog post:


      • By Rob McKeown - 7:53 PM on November 18, 2011   Reply

        At the time I wrote that post, I couldn’t find any information anywhere stating that it wasn’t true. I’m sorry if it sounded a bit scary, but it represents the way many Flex developers working on AIR apps feel. If you go back to that post, you will see that I already updated it with a different title and some additional information.

    • By Dahn Maier - 5:45 PM on November 18, 2011   Reply

      Adobe AIR

      We are continuing to develop Adobe AIR for both the desktop and mobile devices. Indeed, we have seen wide adoption of Adobe AIR for creating mobile applications and there have been a number of blockbuster mobile applications created using Adobe AIR. Some recent examples of applications created for mobile devices using Adobe AIR are Machinarium, Watch ESPN and my personal favorite, tweet hunt.

  • By Harry Garland - 5:27 AM on November 18, 2011   Reply

    OK, Adobe I followed your Flex-for-mobile roadmap for years, (thanks for the mug and other gifts by the way), but here we are, so please listen. Your words are reassuring but I can feel my prospective customers slipping away.

    Flex is the ultimate tool for creating apps on practically ALL the smartphones that folks carry around these days, including those magical Apple devices! You don’t have to hire one developer to do your Android app and another developer to do your iPhone app. Why are my customers hiring 2 developers when 1 will do? Flex can make apps on iOS and Android both at the same time! Let my customers hear it! Louder!

  • By OneGlassEye - 12:28 AM on November 18, 2011   Reply

    @Curtis Fisher seems to have his head screwed on straight.

    There is a huge opportunity for FLEX., One that would out position other language technologies in the near future. FLEX has mix of declarative and procedural constructs makes FLEX unique.

    What is missing is a VM that can also remap low level controls to HTML5 and a native mode compiler. HAXE may be able to eventually act as a native mode compiler and packaging system. Stripping out the guts of Chrome Frame or mozilla can provide a rendering engine as a IE browser plugin and windows engine (an AIR replacement)

  • By Bernie Lapierre - 10:00 PM on November 17, 2011   Reply

    “HTML5 related technologies (comprising HTML, JavaScript and CSS) are becoming increasingly capable, such that we have every reason to believe that advances in expressiveness (e.g. Canvas), performance (e.g. VM and GPU acceleration in many browsers) and application-related capabilities (e.g. offline storage, web workers) will continue at a rapid pace. In time (and depending upon your application, it could be 3-5 years from now), we believe HTML5 could support the majority of use cases where Flex is used today.”

    3-5 Years, you have a self admitted head start on this. Are we to assume that Flash, Flex, et al. will just not progress in the next 3-5 years?

    • By Andrew Shorten - 12:53 AM on November 18, 2011   Reply

      Adobe will continue to invest in Flex, as well as put new investment into HTML5 related tooling – both technologies will advance over the coming years. As stated above though, we expect that in the long term HTML5 will advance to address the majority of application use cases.

  • By AmjadHussain - 7:21 PM on November 17, 2011   Reply

    Will Adobe Edge be built on similar lines as Flex?
    I am assuming HTML5 would substitute MXML and JavaScript would substitute AS3.0
    Where should Flex developers head from here?
    You suggest the developers to stop developing Flex and concentrate on HTML5?

    Can you put up something that could clarify doubts that a that a Flex developer will have for obvious reasons.

    • By Andrew Shorten - 12:58 AM on November 18, 2011   Reply

      Adobe Edge is a web motion and interaction design tool that allows designers to bring animated content to websites, using web standards like HTML5, JavaScript, and CSS3 – it is not currently targeted at application use cases.

      Flex will continue to remain suitable for enterprise application development for the foreseeable future – while you should come to your own conclusions regarding technology choice, we do not think that anyone use Flex today should stop using it.

      • By AmjadHussain - 4:19 PM on November 19, 2011   Reply

        Thanks for the reply.
        I certainly believe that Flex is here to stay for a very long time.
        Flex developers must however also start exploring HTML5 and JavaScript now.
        What would you recommend?
        Should Flex guys directly explore HTML5 and JavaScript or any thing else in particular?

        Looking forward to your reply.

  • By Rob McKeown - 4:50 PM on November 17, 2011   Reply

    What about AIR for the desktop? The lack of statement on this, again, is very concerning as I have been successfully selling a desktop AIR application for years.

  • By vikash agarwal - 12:54 PM on November 17, 2011   Reply

    flex is so flexible when it comes to development. Its so easy to customize things in flex. Its a great tool with great efficiency. It will be missed truly. I know its not going dead but the development will not happen as its happening now. I am not sure if the decision is good or not. But most of the flex developer is going to feel the same.

  • By Raju Bitter - 10:15 AM on November 17, 2011   Reply

    Has the Flex team ever investigated a feature to compile MXML/ActionScript 3 to JavaScript? As an OpenLaszlo committer I’ve always thought that it would make sense to develop such a compiler. Maybe there is enough interest now, and there might be companies with products built on top of Flex interested in funding such an effort.

    It must be tough times for the Flex team, though. Putting so much hard work into Flex, and then seeing that the Adobe management in a way drops Flex in favor of HTML5. Communication could definitely had been better, but that’s not something the engineering team can be blamed for.

    I like the idea to hand Flex over to Apache, makes a lot of sense. Keep up the good work!

    • By Andrew Shorten - 12:59 AM on November 18, 2011   Reply

      As mentioned above, we have undertaken some experimental work in this area, but remain unsure as to the viability of fully translating Flex-based content to HTML. We will be contributing this technology to the Apache project in due course.

  • By Miguel Martín-Forero - 8:43 AM on November 17, 2011   Reply

    I’m glad to read this set on clarifications about the future of Flex evolution as a technology (including SDK, AIR and BlazeDS). In fact, I’m quite excited about this, as I see it, a bright future is ahead of us: being fully open source and managed by Apache Software Foundation is a big step forwards to enhance the technology.

    I believe that in the long term (whatever it takes for every single entity out there) HTML5 (and other technologies that are around it) will be a good option to develop a RIA. But it can even coexist with Flex: Imagine Flex evolutioned by the community, guided by the Apache Software Foundation, both technologies will benefit from each other, which give us, at last, a very good mean to create really powerful enterprise applications.

    Anyways, We have to agree that this announcement and the subsequent situation could had been managed way better than using posts on adobe blogs, that generate a lot of doubts and misunderstanding: you have had to write at least three official posts (without having in mind those written by Adobe professionals or people involved with Adobe any other way), one after another to clarify the previous one. I believe that this is not the way to handle this kind of situation. It must have been prepared precisely, with some kind of communication from Adobe representatives, including Flex PM and team members. A simple keynote or something like that, broadcasted by all available medias: social ones, streaming, etc. If so, We could have save us a lot of headaches and doubts past weeks.

    BTW, thanks for this clarifications.

  • By Konstantin - 7:06 AM on November 17, 2011   Reply

    Javascript language in 2012 – Its our future ?!?!? No OOP, No debugger, No profiler ! Adobe why html 5 is our future ? Its your own view ? or may be not ? may be Steve told it ?
    Ok may be Steve wants to write code in XCODE on Objective C (1980′ Language), But in 2012 i want to get Automatic Garbace Collector !!!
    You kill your authority by these steps !
    (Sorry for my bad english)

  • By Sean - 10:31 PM on November 16, 2011   Reply


    What this article explains is an up to date survey by market research firm Gartner that is an undeniable proof that Android is killing Apple.

    Android took over in less < 1 year which is a remarkable achievement. What this means is that in 2-3 years with Amazon fire and other tablets the iOS is going to have less < 5% of the entire market. iOS will become irrelevant.

    So Adobe, do the math. Stick to Flash on mobile and in the long run it will run in 95% of the smartphone and tablets (i.e.: Android) and you will get the same consistent device / PC penetration that you and us want. So please stop letting iOS govern your marketing calls. And while I know how Adobe loves Apple products, Apple is going to be an insignificant market share in 2-3 years, the numbers speak for themselves.

    Apple simply cannot compete with dozens of manufacturers like Samsung and Google, HTC and LG, Sony and Motorola all coming out with new products, all lowering prices and adding more features to compete against themselves and the one who will end up loosing and not being able to compete is, you guessed it, Apple.

    I know it's hard to see it now since Apple was so strong just a year ago, but math doesn't lie, look at the numbers. iPad and iPhone are going to loose all momentum in 2-3 years. In 2-3 years you will ask a 15 year old about an iPad and he will say i What? It's history repeating it'self all over with PC vs Mac; simple as that!!!

    So sure, Steve Jobs was right, we are in the post PC era, and sure maybe Apple kicked it off… but they had their time to shine… it's over because there is no room for pricey, nitch products which is what the iOS will become in 1 year; and will be insignificant in 2-3 years.

    So Adobe, please reconsider your moves on mobile as you can have the ambiguity of Flash everywhere, just run through it for another year and iOS is out.

    Guaranteed !!!.

  • By Sean - 4:07 PM on November 16, 2011   Reply

    So now we now know the direction of Flex SDK and I think we can all agree it’s a good one. I am also very happy to hear that Falcon is still on the road map.
    Here are my questions /concerns.
    Since we don’t have any control over the runtime, notably Flash and AIR, what can we expect from future releases and work efforts? Is Adobe still going to push and optimize AIR on the mobile? Can we expect new releases of Flash and AIR for the Desktop? Will Adobe release future Flash Editor CS builds? So again, I am not concerned with the SDK as it was always open source and we had the option to make our own fixes and changes.
    I am concerned about the runtimes as they are closed source and we are at the mercy of Adobe when it comes to things like concurrency, new 3D enhancements. Mobile and other features that are all pure runtime code. So please help us understand the future of Flash and AIR at the runtime level?
    Also will Adobe release the super fast compilation and memory advantages of Flash builder in Falcon as was road mapped in MAX?
    Thanks again,

  • By Sean - 4:06 PM on November 16, 2011   Reply

    So now we now know the direction of Flex SDK and I think we can all agree it’s a good one. I am also very happy to hear that Falcon is still on the road map.
    Here are my questions /concerns.

    Since we don’t have any control over the runtime, notably Flash and AIR, what can we expect from future releases and work efforts? Is Adobe still going to push and optimize AIR on the mobile? Can we expect new releases of Flash and AIR for the Desktop? Will Adobe release future Flash Editor CS builds? So again, I am not concerned with the SDK as it was always open source and we had the option to make our own fixes and changes.
    I am concerned about the runtimes as they are closed source and we are at the mercy of Adobe when it comes to things like concurrency, new 3D enhancements. Mobile and other features that are all pure runtime code. So please help us understand the future of Flash and AIR at the runtime level?

    Also will Adobe release the super fast compilation and memory advantages of Flash builder in Falcon as was road mapped in MAX?

    Thanks again,


  • By Thomas Burleson - 2:57 PM on November 16, 2011   Reply

    @Deepa, @Andrew, @Adobe
    Thank you for the 11/15/11 update; which I consider a vital enhancement to previous-failed community messages. In fact, this detail should have been the `opening` content to the disruptive Flex/Flash announcements.

    Open-sourcing Flex to the Apache Foundation sounds very interesting and promising. Please not that while I am an admitted Flex evangelist, I completely agree with the Adobe perception of HTML5 versatility and power (in 3-5 years).

    My hope is that Flex/Flash can serve as an evolving bridge platform while the HTML5 matures to levels currently available [and expected] in Flash applications and tools.

    Thanks again for responding.

    - ThomasB

    • By Andrew Shorten - 1:06 AM on November 18, 2011   Reply

      Thanks for the comment Thomas.

  • By Curtis Fisher - 1:21 PM on November 16, 2011   Reply

    Every person I talk to who has only looked at ActionScript and never coded in it, is convinced of the direction of HTML5 mainly because of Google and other folks who “say” it will do this or that just as well as FLEX. After spending a weekend deep in Adobe Edge and HTM5 Boilerplate, I am less than convinced.

    I think a history lesson is whats missing here, but I won’t waste more time preaching to the choir. I still believe Adobe is missing THE opportunity to take the Tech Press to the woodshed for their sycophantic portrayal of Apple and one mans vision to “rule them all”.

    Andrew and Deepa, your leadership is going to run you down the path to irrelevancy in the enterprise programming community. If you keep swallowing what they are feeding you, before long you will be wondering what happened as marketing proves once again it it better at what it does, than the difference your products make in peoples lives. That is, marketing will replace you and a large segment of highly trained and loyal people who feed their families from your products.

    One only has to look at the Adobe stock ticker for the last year and read the Nov 8th Analyst meeting to get a sense of deja vu. I was at Sybase when this crap was going on in the late 90′s and I’m sure Christophe and many others within the bowels of Adobe evangelism are wondering how they keep getting hooked up with companies that cede their technology.

    FLEX will live on, but I believe that in spite of Adobe’s reinsurance, the growth period is over. Andrew and Deepa, you have taken a great deal from us over the last few days, but I think time will show that these decisions your leadership have made will not result in them dominating a new market. HTML markup and JavaScript are not new markets.

    I thank you for your contributions and wish you well in your next career move. There will be a next one. History will not be denied.


    Curtis Fisher

  • By Ged - 9:04 AM on November 16, 2011   Reply

    Andrew, Deepa,
    Thanks for the clarification and for all your work on flex. The important guarantees Adobe has made regarding Flash Builder are very welcome. However:

    I guess it’s a simple mistake – but there’s no mention of Air Apps for the PC desktop?

  • By Alexey Protasov - 6:13 AM on November 16, 2011   Reply

    Thanks for the clarification. Many things have become much clearer now.
    What about Cairngorm Project? Will it be moved to Apache Foundation as well?

    • By Andrew Shorten - 1:09 AM on November 18, 2011   Reply

      Cairngorm is already open source – we have no plans to move it to Apache at this time.

  • By Guest - 5:20 AM on November 16, 2011   Reply

    Thank you for answering a lot of questions and alleviating most of my concerns Andrew and Deepa. This can’t have been an easy week for you guys. One quick ?- Will the sneak peek Monocle, reverse debugging and (my personal favorite) “Why” variable debugging continue to be worked on? I know it was a sneak peek but you can’t just tease us with stuff that cool and incredibly useful and then cut it. It’s too cruel… :-)

    BTW, definitely put they “Why” feature into whatever HTML5 tooling Adobe creates if it’s possible. You’ll make a fortune.

    Last, I still think you should rename Flash Builder to App Builder and promote the heck out of being able to publish to desktop and multiple mobile platforms. I don’t think Adobe realizes how few developers really know about it or how excited they get when they find out.

    • By Andrew Shorten - 1:11 AM on November 18, 2011   Reply

      Both Monocle and new features in Flash Builder continue to be developed. As with all sneaks at MAX, there is no commitment to include in future versions of our products – but the positive reaction to reverse debugging certainly helped us with prioritization :)

  • By Prakasam Venkatachalam - 5:03 AM on November 16, 2011   Reply

    Hi Shorten & Deepa,
    Any idea to open source Flash player. It’ll make more sence to furture Flex development.


    • By Andrew Shorten - 1:12 AM on November 18, 2011   Reply

      Parts of the Flash Player are already open source (such as the Tamarin virtual machine). We aren’t making any further announcements about open source and Flash Player at this time.

  • By S P Gupta - 3:20 AM on November 16, 2011   Reply

    Many of the Flex SDK components like HTMLControl rely on internals of the Flash/AIR Player which are not open to the community. How would community development at Apache handle the same? People would only be able to build new controls and wrappers over what is available, right?

    Will Adobe accept the Flex@Apache proposals to add more features to Flash/AIR runtimes which they would need to develop more advanced features?

    • By Andrew Shorten - 1:12 AM on November 18, 2011   Reply

      Development of Flex SDK will need to take place against publicly available versions of the Flash Player and Adobe AIR runtimes.

      • By S P Gupta - 4:34 AM on November 18, 2011   Reply

        Which means that Flex SDK would only be developed against released features on Flash player. Thus, either there would be no way for the SDK to grow or influence the Flash/AIR players for its growth.

        Is this the reason you guys brought in Native Extensions so that you can leave developer community in the middle of nowhere and say, hey you always have a way to write that in C/C++.

        Adobe kills many a dreams. Sigh!

  • By Robert Cesaric - 2:41 AM on November 16, 2011   Reply

    You wrote:

    “Adobe will continue to support applications built with Flex, as well as all future versions of the SDK running in PC browsers with Adobe Flash Player… ”

    Were Mac browsers excluded from this statement purposefully?

    • By Andrew Shorten - 1:13 AM on November 18, 2011   Reply

      PC was a generic term used to mean desktop/laptop computers.

  • By Ron L - 2:33 AM on November 16, 2011   Reply

    Some follow up questions that were not answered. (Sure I will have more but thought it would be good to throw these on the heap)

    is Monocle Dead and the work around instrumentation in the player to support it?

    What percentage of the previous Flex team will be assigned to work on the open source project from the current team?

    Still confused about how not open sourcing the player will work given Flex is open sourced. Don’t these two need to work hand in hand?

    Is there any estimates of the impact this move has in terms of road-map delays. can we expect adding 1 yr in terms of delivery as the transition occurs or more?

    there was mention of VM and actionscript improvements that were being worked on at AdobeMax. Were do those lie now?

    • By Andrew Shorten - 1:19 AM on November 18, 2011   Reply

      Development on “Monocle” continues and is unaffected by recent announcements.

      We don’t openly discuss product team sizes – the team of engineers working on the open source contributions to Flex SDK is a subset of the existing Flex team.

      Open source Flex SDK development can continue against released versions of the Flash Player and Adobe AIR runtimes.

      In terms of roadmap – we didn’t previously communicate a timeframe for future enhancements to Flex. With significant contributions from the community, it is entirely possible that development will continue at an accelerated pace.

  • By Gary - 2:15 AM on November 16, 2011   Reply

    The update is encouraging. The most important thing for us Flex developers is that our development toolchain (FB->Flex SDK->Compiler->AIR) be protected, and that seems to be the case.

    AIR must continue, as I guess Adobe’s more favoured magazine publishing software would depend on it, of not on Flex and the compiler as well.

    I’m not so keen on FC and its suggested workflows – see my blog post “Whats wrong with Flex 4 skinning, and how to fix it”

    Lastly, I have been using JetBrains IDEA as well as Flex Builder, and find it far superior in many areas eg. refactoring really works, unused variables appear grey, “find usages” really works, safe delete of classes checks for references and removes from version control etc. Could you set up a formal agreement with them and move FB-unique features into IDEA ? We would get a superior IDE and you would save further resources.

    • By Andrew Shorten - 1:23 AM on November 18, 2011   Reply

      One of the great things about the Flash Platform is the range of third-party tools and technologies that support Flash and Flex – if IntelliJ IDEA is working for you that’s great!

  • By Merv - 1:40 AM on November 16, 2011   Reply

    Thank you for the clarifications.

    Although I’m still not enthused about these developments, I’m at least no longer cringing in anticipation of what might be coming next.

    I look forward to further progress reports.

  • By anon - 1:29 AM on November 16, 2011   Reply

    Thank you for the updated clarifications.
    Information about Falcon, expressly stated commitment to supporting Flex & AIR, puts to rest my concerns.
    Hope you both remain personally involved with the Flex SDK efforts once it moves to Apache, so we can hold you to your words!

  • By Mark Fuqua - 1:17 AM on November 16, 2011   Reply


    Thanks for the clarification…I would suggest you reverse the order of the comments or at least put in a comment that says “comments below this one are from after the blog content added after 11/15/11″.

    I feel better. Maybe even a little excited about the future of Flex and Air…maybe…

    • By Andrew Shorten - 1:24 AM on November 18, 2011   Reply

      Thanks for your feedback – we did as you suggested and reversed the comments. Thanks :)

  • By David - 1:14 AM on November 16, 2011   Reply

    At first glance, this is all great news. There is one thing I am not clear on.

    Will active development on AIR and Flash Player continue in support of Flex applications?

    The last announcements I saw was that future Flash Player work will focus on gaming and video. What about features needed to support Flex applications? For example, performance and staged text support in AIR for mobile apps. Will Adobe people be still actively working on AIR and Flash Player for Flex specific issues (fixing bugs, etc)?

  • By Joseph - 1:13 AM on November 16, 2011   Reply

    I am very interested in Falcon JS.

    You mentioned it is not 100% sure if it is a viable converter MXML/AS to HTML+JS for “existing projects”. How about new projects.

    If there is a learning curve to be able to export Flex (MXML+AS3) to HTML+JS+CSS. That would place Flex as the most sought after framework, once again.

    • By Andrew Shorten - 1:27 AM on November 18, 2011   Reply

      It is highly experimental – as and when we contribute it as an open source project further work will be required before it is suitable for use with Flex projects.

  • By Irving - 1:05 AM on November 16, 2011   Reply

    I’m excited!!! =>) Thank you for addressing our concerns. Now back to my ANE project.


  • By Erich Cervantez - 1:02 AM on November 16, 2011   Reply

    I see references to both Spoon and Apache Foundations. Is there a difference?

    • By Mark Fuqua - 1:22 AM on November 16, 2011   Reply

      Yes…spoon was set up to influence Adobe’s Flex development a good bit before this announcement concerning Flex SDK going to Apache. I think Spoon was essentially a group of Flex developers who were dissatisfied with Adobe’s speed and/or responsiveness. So in theory, they should be happy with the outcome and be interested in fully participating once the Flex SDK has been accepted by The Apache Foundation.

      Apache is a large open source software foundation that hosts tons of large open source projects. At least that is how I understand the difference.

      • By Michael Labriola - 2:31 AM on November 16, 2011   Reply


        Spoon has been working with Adobe to help make this move to Apache. Immediately after Adobe’s contributions to the project, we will be contributing changes made by Spoon.


  • By Craig Randall - 12:42 AM on November 16, 2011   Reply

    Just to be clear, Apache is not where code goes to die; in a true open community, code *thrives*.

    • By Andrew Shorten - 1:28 AM on November 18, 2011   Reply

      Yes, we are excited to see how Flex continues to develop as an Apache project.

  • By Sean - 11:47 PM on November 15, 2011   Reply

    What we need now is to stop speculating and for Adobe to come out with a LONG official announcement that the board came up with for a solid road map. A road map that includes Flex and Flash and Mobile and so we can all sleep good @ night.

    We need a solid path so we can all follow and continue and invest and upgrade to Flex 5 and all new products Adobe comes out with for our AS3 release builds.


  • By Jason the Saj - 6:10 PM on November 15, 2011   Reply

    Seriously, Adobe joins the ranks of HP & Yahoo.

    Yahoo – No Microsoft, we refuse your offer of several times our stock price. After further decline….”Let’s put ourselves up for sale!”

    HP – Let’s sell our PC biz. Let’s not sell it. Let’s sell it. Let’s not sell it.

    Adobe – Let’s outsource ourselves, jump on the HTML5 bandwagon. Give up every advantage we had (ie: better script than JS, run advanced programs in older browsers) in exchange for an technology in it’s infancy, only available on the newest browser, with a glamut of stupid glaring design flaws (seriously, new inputs for specific types, that was pure !genius.)

    Hey, what the heck do we develop in for the .gov market. They’re only approved to use IE7 on most sites. Now we can’t use Flash or HTML5. Sucky websites for everyone.


    I confess that I was excited about HTML5. But then I took a glance at it. And realized it was developed by morons. Seriously, why did they introduce tons of new input types. That was stupid. They should have gone the opposite route. Reduced the input types to the following:

    bool, numeric, string, and list.

    Rather than adding new types like address, zip code, or other silliness. They should have added formats. And IMHO, they should have been akin to CSS styles – DMS (data modeling sheet). Base one inherent, plus the ability to create your own CSS defined “format”. As soon as I saw all these new data types I realized that HTML5 went down the path of “stupid”. What happens when something new comes out. Say suddenly we have “eaddress”, as opposed to email. Say the post office decides to scan mail and let you read it via an eaddress. Or any other new type of input. HTML5 immediately becomes out-of-date and non-definable.

    I didn’t see it as really competitive with Flash today but did feel that down the road it might. But I see JS being a major weakness. Even with things like JQuery, you’re forced to write very convoluted code. And that’s not going to change unless a new Scripting language is brought in. (Which Google is already working towards with Dart.)

    Adobe has just pretty much taken the proverbial shotgun, and pointed it at it’s head. Sadly, it pointed it at all it’s loyal developer base.


    Guess I drop all my plans of become an Adobe Certified Expert.

  • By Harry Garland - 5:42 PM on November 15, 2011   Reply

    You answered this question in your post: “Is Adobe still committed to Flash Builder?”, you said “yes”.

    I have a follow-up question:

    For how long?

    • By Andrew Shorten - 1:31 AM on November 18, 2011   Reply

      Adobe will continue to make contributions to Flex SDK for the foreseeable future.

  • By William - 1:28 PM on November 15, 2011   Reply

    This is truly unbelievable.

    “we recognize we could have handled the communication better”

    Said in an extremely delayed, vaguely written blog. Then you leave us hanging with a million questions yet again. Why aren’t you going through and answering every single comment? All the other Adobe employees/evangelists seems to be handling this, not to mention there are two of you. Careers and entire companies are depending on you and I can’t imagine what the remaining Flex team are doing right now. NOTHING is more important than communication. Work some overtime like the rest of the world when something important needs to be done and get us some answers.

  • By Ron L - 10:04 PM on November 14, 2011   Reply

    WOW. This announcement and the one around Flash really have our team and company confused and asking a lot of questions. We are an enterprise company that had seven of our developers at Max that came back with what we felt was a solid road made that included the following.

    1) A Strong mobile vision with regards to native application development that we felt can be leveraged when creating mobile applications across multiple devices and Oss.
    2) A Strong road map for desktop that includes both the 4.6 release and what was termed ultimate in 2012.
    3) A new compiler that will provide increased productivity.
    4) New profiling tool that will help in better performing applications.
    5) A desire to bring Spark components in parity with their Halo counter parts.
    6) Multi-threading in the Player
    7) For the first time in my Flex career I heard that native HTML support in the player which is a highly desired feature.

    The list goes on…..

    So now I sit here confused and unsure what, if any of these, features I can expect and plan on. Does Adobe really think at this stage HTML5 is the best solution for Enterprise development going forward? Always thought that Adobe felt both had their strong arguments and for us Flex was the clear winner 18 months ago and would still feel it was until I read the above statement. Sorry a page based development environment whose biggest weakness is in its inability to provide a strong software development backbone should not be considered the best solution for Enterprise development going forward. Not saying HTML5 does not have its merits. It should always be considered, but in the Enterprise space there are so many use cases that need more and that Flex/Flash provide a much better ROI.

    Over the last year I was shocked at the speed and progress Adobe was making in cross platform mobile development a reality and improving the Flex technologies for the enterprise space. I fully understood that Enterprise does not offer the flash one expects at a conference like MAX, but I always have felt that they did still support Enterprise. But after last week I am not sure this still is the case (Actually believe it is not). Adobe basically took in my opinion was a very strong story with a lot of momentum and stuff it in the toilet.

    So Deepa and Andrew, Please come back with solid answers that address what was said in August matched up with what was said at MAX and what the Enterprise development community can expect. The shame of all this is that history has shown when you make a move like this that the momentum you currently have goes down to almost zero as you transition and revamp up and given the speed you guys were going and market conditions the timing could not be any worse. Looking forward to some solid details around the announcement, how much effort is going to be put into Flex/Flash. Are all bets off on what was said at MAX? For teams that just spent 18 months developing a product and a whole infrastructure using Flex technologies and are continuing to enhance our products, what advice does Adobe offer? These decisions are never done lightly so why did your management team wait until after MAX and paint the picture they did at MAX.

    Looking forward to more details so I can plan and advise my company what to do both short and long term.

  • By Alain Ekambi - 9:49 PM on November 14, 2011   Reply

    Considering that most parts of the Flex SDK are already open source, outsourcing it into an open source foundation seems to be a logical step and the right one too. It rather increases chances that Flex becomes an open standard.

    As long as the Flex SDK and Flash Builder remain supported – the latter being strongly confirmed I don’t see anything scary in Adobe’s announcement.

    In the last 10+ years I have developed in BASIC, Lisp, Elan, Fortran, C, C++, Pascal, Lotus Script, Java and Java Script, Action Script, HTML and PHP – wonder if I missed one or two.

    Matter of fact i exported the entire Flex API to Java using GWT (

    And if one day in future I have to develop in HTML 5, so what?

    I wished that not every adaption to market and technology changes would be accompanied by all these doomsday prophecies and feelings. Just be prepared and adapt if need be.

    There is a good tip: Since you guyz are going all in with HTML5 maybe you should aquire Sencha ? :) ( You would be right at the top of the market. And dont forget who gave you the idea. loool

    Good luck with the new direction in your history.

    • By Danny - 2:28 PM on November 15, 2011   Reply


      If you interpret developers speculating that this announcement means flash will disappear in a couple of years as “doomsday prophecies” then perhaps that’s what you’re reading here.

      I don’t think that a developer community wanting clear and consistent information from their partner is unreasonable and I don’t think you should expect clear sailing when they violate that expectation.

      Your business is based on GWT and you probably would have some concerns if Google came out with an equally vague announcement about GWT being put on the back burner. Yes, we all adapt, but this is about Adobe leveraging the skillset of their partners by treating their partners as such.

      Adobe knows much more about the challenges they’ve experienced trying to promote Flash, so ultimately they have the expertise to make the best strategic decision – clearly the one they made doesn’t work well for Flex developers but why not turn the Flex developer community in to allies rather than leaving them in limbo, not to mention the effect on customers of their products and visions.

      Your company is a good example of trying to captialize on Flex expertise and a healthy push by Google in the web application space. Sencha is a good example of a company betting on html5 and javascript and there are dozens more bets.

      If Adobe wants their free workforce to run off to make their own bets then this is maybe a good way to go about it but there is probably good reason for them to clearly communicate their plans and if we, the flex developer community, can jointly benefit by being part of the plans, we need to know. Right now we are all trying to read between the lines which doesn’t help Adobe one bit.

  • By Shigeru Nakagaki - 9:49 PM on November 14, 2011   Reply
    • By S P Gupta - 4:41 AM on November 18, 2011   Reply

      I just did.

  • By Russ - 8:48 PM on November 14, 2011   Reply

    “we’re actively reviewing the comments here, on Twitter and via other channels – we absolutely intend to respond to questions. Stay tuned for responses.”

    Great… thank you!

    In your responses, can you please include some details on how the RSL situation will be handled with the Spoon handoff? Will all the Flex libraries be kicked out of the framework RSL group? ie: will they be signed?

  • By Nige - 8:45 PM on November 14, 2011   Reply

    I’ve been a .net developer of 10 years and moved to flex 4 months ago. I’ve done more stuff in that 4 months than in the 4 years previous and it all looks fantastic and works brilliantly and is approx 10 times less code.

    I am a big fan of flex. I think with concurrency it will be a killer platform, all my clients personal and business think I’m a genius but its not be thats a genius its Adobe. HTML5 is better than flash – give me a break!

    If you are bothered about Apple snubbing flash then build your own tablet (with full AIR why not?) ! – I’ll buy it!

    I’ve heard countless ipad owners saying they wish Apple would allow flash, I’ve never heard anyone moaning about Adobe. I don’t see Miscrosoft ditching Silverlight.

    For god sake don’t make me go back to .Net!!

  • By Tomas Sancio - 6:16 PM on November 14, 2011   Reply

    AIR should be promoted more as a means to create mobile and desktop apps. The lack of clarity around AIR doesn’t help developers and allows third-parties to create FUD.

  • By Vic - 5:30 PM on November 14, 2011   Reply

    .js can do Flex type development fine, including classes, interfaces, etc.
    Also wink has nice components.

  • By marks - 4:09 PM on November 14, 2011   Reply

    I need to know if Adobe continue to develop next version Flash Builder (like version 5) etc when Flex become open source. I like use Flex.


  • By Rob McKeown - 2:19 PM on November 14, 2011   Reply

    I think the lack of response to any of our questions says so much more than any actual response would.

    • By Andrew Shorten - 4:07 PM on November 14, 2011   Reply

      @Rob we’re actively reviewing the comments here, on Twitter and via other channels – we absolutely intend to respond to questions. Stay tuned for responses.

      • By Danny - 7:32 PM on November 14, 2011   Reply

        As Judge Judy says “if you tell the truth, you won’t have to think so hard or have a great memory…or take so long to respond”.

        Okay, so I tweaked her saying a little bit. But what you have to realize is, you have an audience here of (what was) principaly Flex/Flash zealots who have dedicated a good part of their career and livelihood to helping Adobe realize this vision. We are not just misinterpreting the tone of the lawyer-speak. From what I read, I must find a new career right away. Will it be IE11 or IE12 that drops support for Flash? I don’t know Will the next realease of the RIM or Asus tablet have Flash? I don’t know.

        I’m thinking maybe a career in Flash Application migration might be lucrative for a year or two. I honestly can’t image a senior architect getting concensus on going Flex on a major project. Maybe one that is totally isolated to desktop clients? I doubt even that because senior management will quote the vague, confusing, contradictory announcements from Adobe as a reason not to. In lieu of clear statements from Adobe, they are left to the interpretation of the Apple lemmings which frankly don’t paint a good picture.

        If that is what you want, so be it but that is no way to treat your partners (that would be all the people on this blog feeling jilted). All good Mr. Chirverton? Maybe you could explain why?

      • By Jorge Servin - 12:57 AM on November 15, 2011   Reply

        Its not Adobe Flex reputation that you must be concerned. it`s Adobe reputation that you must be concerned!!!

      • By anon - 2:34 AM on November 15, 2011   Reply

        Its been 3 days since your last post. Your customers are freaking out, your reputation is at stake, trust is at an all time low, Flex projects are being cancelled or postponed…and you guys still think its a good idea to be still reviewing comments in here….rather then put out a message ASAP.addressing the concerns…..unbelievable!!

        • By Andrew Shorten - 1:34 AM on November 18, 2011   Reply

          We were working on an update to the blog post which was posted shortly after your comment – please let us know if you have additional questions.

  • By Matthias Wille - 12:40 PM on November 14, 2011   Reply

    Considering that most parts of the Flex SDK are already open source, outsourcing it into an open source foundation seems to be a logical step and the right one too. It rather increases chances that Flex becomes an open standard.

    And with their long term assessment of HTML5 Adobe is also absolute correct. The question here is simply what “long term” really means. IMHO long term means here really “looooong term”.

    As long as the Flex SDK and Flash Builder remain supported – the latter being strongly confirmed in the link provided by Alain -, I don’t see anything scary in Adobe’s announcement.

    In the last 30+ years I have developed in BASIC, Lisp, Elan, Fortran, C, C++, Pascal, Lotus Script, Java and Java Script, Action Script, HTML and PHP – wonder if I missed one or two. And if one day in future I have to develop in HTML 5, so what? I probably will still use Adobe tools.

    I wished that not every adaption to market and technology changes would be accompanied by all these doomsday prophecies and feelings. Just be prepared and adapt if need be.

  • By Donald MacCormick - 9:46 AM on November 14, 2011   Reply

    I appreciate your efforts at clarifying the situation, unfortunately I fear you have confused things further. There are key topics here are :-

    1) In the main Flash mobile announcement it was said “Our future work with Flash on mobile devices will be focused on enabling Flash developers to package native apps with Adobe AIR for all the major app stores” – does this extend to Flex applications ?

    2) What is your level of commitment to Flash Builder (current, albeit smaller, on-shore team like Flash Pro, or different off-shore team) ?

    3) How long do you think it will take for HTML5 to be “the best technology for enterprise app development”. months, a year, many years … ? Any vision for the end-point (anything at all) ?

    I really do appreciate that this is probably not a message you are entirely comfortable conveying, that you will be under pressure to stay on the corporate message and you may not have a lot of the answers to these questions, but please keep communicating with the community in the most detail you possibly can, it will have a dramatic impact on the number of people you keep with you through the transition.

  • By Conrad Winchester - 8:46 AM on November 14, 2011   Reply

    August –

    “We firmly believe that Flex is already the best technology for building complex, high-fidelity enterprise applications such as business dashboards, line of business tools, real-time trading applications and desktop replacement applications, and see leading companies in healthcare, financial services, communications and other industries standardizing on it.”

    November – this article

    “In the long-term, we believe HTML5 will be the best technology for enterprise application development.”

    • By Rob McKeown - 8:21 PM on November 14, 2011   Reply

      Its amazing how quickly things change. I wonder what direction they will be heading in another 3 months.

    • By Carlos Rovira - 9:13 PM on November 14, 2011   Reply

      Those snippets from both articles so close in time says why we can’t trust in Adobe anymore… as hours and day pass and the silent still remains, an army of anti-adobeans are emerging, social networks are burning with anger about the bad direction taken and the bad PR announcements…and I think this will bring a solid feeling that will make too much damage to Adobe in the future.

    • By S P Gupta - 4:43 AM on November 18, 2011   Reply

      @Andrew Shorten

      Would you please help explaining what changed in these three months?

  • By Russ - 8:46 AM on November 14, 2011   Reply

    What a roller coaster… I need to join the chorus here.

    After the announcement about the Flash plug-in being dropped for mobile platforms I received the same flurry of emails everyone else seems to have, entitled “Flash is Dead” and “Steve’s last laugh”, etc.

    I was initially *very* concerned, but after some heavy investigation I came to the conclusion that it was a just a horribly executed announcement, and the impact on my company would be minimal. In fact, it seemed (vaguely) like the already excellent “write once, deploy anywhere” capability was simply being expanded to, at least eventually, include the ability to have the compilation target be HTML5+JS. This being in addition to be able to compile to effectively native iOS, Android, and BB apps. This was actually a very exciting thought.

    In fact, after much effort and back and forth, I managed to convince several different developers (at different companies) to seriously look into Flex for application deployment. This went very well and I got them pumped up about trying Flash/Flex for their projects. I did this by citing many features that everyone here is well aware of, such as “write once deploy anywhere”, true OOP, raw sockets that are here *now* (relying on WebSockets is a Bad idea at the moment), an integrated development environment/platform versus the horrible mishmash of JS libraries that are out there, the overall performance comparisons (even with the massive JS improvements these days… check out for some scary numbers, especially on 2D canvases), rumoured NaCl integration, etc. etc. Also, browsing through Tour de Flex caused some eyes to widen, on top of the other feature sets.

    After all of this convincing effort, I was feeling quite positive and was pleased to have evangelized a bit and gained a few more Flash/Flex converts. In fact, I had put the horrific announcement out of mind and was feeling stronger than ever about the choice of using Flash/Flex as the platform on which to build our (gigantic) RIA.

    Then I read this blog bomb about Flex.

    Wow. I’m not sure what to think anymore. I can say that I’m back to being seriously distressed. I will obviously need to take some deep breaths and wait a few days to see what settles out.

    Unfortunately, in the mean time I’ll also inevitably be sinking a lot of time (again) into looking at the other technology platforms out there that can be used instead of Flash/Flex. Unfortunately, I already know that nothing comes close. We invested a lot of time looking at the beefier JS-based RIA toolkits, like Ext JS, but when it comes down to it they just can’t compare to the (former?) Adobe offerings.

    As others have said, *please* provide some further clarification!

    I’m crossing my fingers that:

    A) It is true that AS3 will eventually compile to an HTML+JS output (like Haxe, OpenLaszlo, and others do)
    – although with the HTML5 turmoil usefulness here will be years out. Especially for things like Websockets and WebGL. And the already mentioned prehistoric browser (and OS) deployments that are prevalent in the business world.

    B) Flex4 will be neatly finished before behind handed off to another owner
    - scary, but at least the current state of Flex is quite good… if it will continue to work


  • By Dan - 7:57 AM on November 14, 2011   Reply

    Why not see this as a chance?
    We’ve been in the middle of deciding witch way to go: Flex Mobile or HTML5. Only two weeks ago I’ve tried to do some stuff I had already done with Flex now with the Sencha Touch Framework (v2 beta) (HTML5+JS), and guess what: It worked well, needed less lines of code (yes, really!) and was a well better implementation at all.

    Why is HTML5 the better way?
    Because there is not one company trying to make it’s Platform run everywhere, but the Operating Systems all have and want to be able to run HTML5 based Apps themselves. It’s future proof – every new upcomming OS/Platform will be sure to run HTML5 Apps. Then, Javascript is pushed by Google and theyr V8 Engine, by the fantastic Node.js framework to only mention a few, so of course developement is going on there, too.

    The one thing I’m missing when developing Apps with HTML5+JS, is a FlashBuilder like IDE, with wizzards, a intuitive designer, multiple platform/screen sizes preview, all Eclipse goodies (integrated SVN/Git Clients) and all of that. Here I sure hope that Adobe brings us the same good tools like always before.

    I’m also thankful that with this post Adobe pointed out that they also believe in the future of HTML5, which makes our decision to go this way even clearer now.
    I wish that Adobe puts it’s rich know how and tool developement and efforts all in this direction, so that in a short time, we all can say: It was good to let go, and there are (almost) no more things we miss from Flex anymore, as they are available/possible with HTML5 now too..

  • By Mike Delucchi - 2:18 AM on November 14, 2011   Reply

    Why doesn’t everyone stop wasting time, crying and moaning… and instead get back on the tools and build new and amazing creations? I mean, if you really want to kill flash/flex, causing this huge uproar doesn’t help. What will save flash/flex? Build new and amazing apps, games and sites that simply can’t be built in html5. Come on guys, we’ve got Stage3D, Captive Runtime, Native Extensions, Catalyst skinning awesomeness, AIR3 awesomeness, and the upcoming Flex 4.6 update. Everyone talks about the power of the community, well maybe it’s time to stop whining and start building. How else do you expect to convince the future clients, big companies and big bosses that the Flash Platform is worth using?

    • By Anber - 8:42 AM on December 2, 2011   Reply

      As with many developers, I’m thinking that I have put all my eggs into the wrong basket. However, you are right, the only way we can prevent the demise of Flash/Flex is to make awesome applications with it and play towards the strengths of the platform rather than competing with other technologies.

      Flash only became universally accepted because of the cool things developers and artists were doing with it. Pick your technology of choice and make it work for you.

  • By Shigeru Nakagaki - 12:14 AM on November 14, 2011   Reply

    How many people in Flex / FlashBuilder team remain also in 2012?
    # I mean … how many people are fired at each team of Flex SDK and Flash Builder in this year?

    If Adobe is actually going to continue improving Flex SDK, Adobe can answer this question.


  • By Pablo - 10:47 PM on November 13, 2011   Reply

    I don’t know what think about the reasons why the authors have posted such information and in that way.

    I would like thinking this a viral campaign to save Flex, promoted by a group of employees trying to provoke a World reaction against some Adobe managers’ decisions.

  • By Jari Kemppinen - 10:42 PM on November 13, 2011   Reply

    I have just completed and released a game built with Flash Builder 4.5 using Flex. This game works on Android, Blackberry and iOS devices and has only one source code base. It scales appropriately for every screen size and resolution so it looks and plays the same on all phones and tablets. It is now available in the Apple App Store and the Blackberry App Store and will be released in the Amazon App Store soon. Please check it out, the game is called ‘Letter Bomb’ by Crazy Cat Studios. I have invested a lot of time into Flex technology to make this happen and then Adobe drops this bomb (how ironic considering the name of my game). I need to know if all this is going to be possible to do in the future. Or do I have to resort to coding a game in 3 or 4 different languages to achieve the same result! Please be clear on your intentions Adobe as I need to know where to focus my future efforts.

  • By Ged McBreen - 8:07 PM on November 13, 2011   Reply

    I can live with Flash departing from mobile browsers – simply because you can’t build a business around this when ios excludes it.

    Mike Chambers says:
    We are focusing work around the Flash Platform on:
    Mobile Applications created (??) with Adobe AIR.

    And the flex team say:
    Is Adobe still committed to Flash Builder?
    Yes. Flash Builder will continue to be developed and Adobe will work to ensure Flex developers can use Flash Builder as their development tool with future releases of Flex SDK.

    Here’s a simple question that deserves a clear and honest answer:

    Will Adobe continue to support Flash Builder ( Actionscript and Flex Mobile projects) for creating Mobile apps for Android and IOS using AIR ?

    Clarity please.

  • By Michael Harper - 3:34 PM on November 13, 2011   Reply

    My initial understanding (from other sources) was that this it related to the Flex SDK for mobile web browsers and I can see the sense in that. But what I’m reading here seems to be Flex in general which really annoyed me because regardless of Adobe’s ‘viewpoint’ on what the best way to do enterprise application development some will disagree, notably those that have evangelised and invested heavily in it. I remember the boom in the late 90′s of putting everything in the browser at enormous cost for very little benefit so I’m not convinced.

    If it’s not case that adobe is in the process of archiving flex/air then I think they should be up front with it. If they have veiled questions they would like us to answer for them then lets that that up front – ask us.

    I like many others have been reviewing my technical strategy this weekend and give Oracle is on the move now I’m going to be looking at their ‘Avatar’ project.

    Please can we get a clear statement of policy on a) mobile b) flex in the browser and c) air?

  • By Danny - 3:01 PM on November 13, 2011   Reply

    First, imagine you are a mobile phone manufacturer, say Samsung. If you read this announcement you will immediately stop efforts to integrate flash into your product whether through browser or AIR.

    Second, imagine you are an enterprise wanting to develop a web application, any web application. You will not choose Flex, Flash or AIR becaue you will need to develop a second version for any mobile clients, and you will be wary of reduced advancement of the “desktop” offering since html5 is now the preferred platform.

    Third, imagine you are a flex developer and you think through the first and second points from above. You would be crazy to invest time and money into developing anything in Flex. As a consultant you will be thrown out of the room if suggesting a flex solution to an enterprise for anything other than a quick hit.

    Am I missing something or does this mean Flash is DEAD? Yes, HTML5 is a long way from being able to supply the rich application development tools that Flex has but who in their right mind would invest time and money in a flash now? And what value is open source that compiles stuff for a runtime that is not on devices?

    Andrew, Deepa, you apologize for Adobe’s poor communication and then publish this? I can only imagine the team of Adobe lawyers looking over your shoulder as your write. Adobe, please try publishing something that has specific guidance for:
    1. the device community (imagine how RIM feels spending millions and delaying their product launches for months all while your executives planned the platform demise)
    2. the enterprise community – those that have a huge investment in flash already and those looking for the right toolset to develop their next big application
    3. the developer community – some specifics and timetables on browser support for Flash, (don’t bother with migration discussion, it is not going to happen), timetable for your html5 tools and when they will start to replace the various flex functionalties.

    Nobody challenges your company’s right to choose your future but unless you want to alienate your user community and developer community you have to do better than this.

    Uncertainty is certain death.

  • By Blue - 7:16 AM on November 13, 2011   Reply

    A few simple questions:

    -> Do you have any established timelines for Spark Parity with MX? Spark has no Charts, No ADG, No DatePicker, No PoupButton, No Tree. Anything concrete except “We’re working on Spark Maturation”?

    -> You had a nice list of feature specifications, specifically for the Spark DataGrid and Spark Form. however, since 4.5 release, no updated feature specifications have been posted. Does this mean no additional features are being added? If they are, what are the features being added? What are the planned features?

    -> Past the upcoming 4.6 release, what are your plans and timelines for adding new mobile components? Are we ever going to see mobile optimized datagrid?

  • By Sean - 7:01 AM on November 13, 2011   Reply

    We made business decisions and invested significant money again into Flex based on your update in August.

    What is the reason for the recent change in direction?

    In my entire career I’ve never seen anything like this.

  • By Shigeru Nakagaki - 6:55 AM on November 13, 2011   Reply

    I have to mention about Data Visualization Components. You guys know what happened to it.
    The Spoon project? That means abandoning responsibility about Flex.
    How about Flash Catalyst? It’s useless, but Flex 4.x skin model is based on Flash Catalyst.
    If Adobe stops development of Flash Catalyst, it means that Adobe stops the Flex SDK improvement too.

  • By simone pascucci - 3:35 AM on November 13, 2011   Reply

    just a small comment. I read that mobile development will be focused on native apps, but at the same time I understand that flex is going toward an end. does that mean development will be taken on with flash professional? what about other adobe products like blazeds providing services accessible only with flex remote objects?

  • By Carlos Rovira - 1:57 AM on November 13, 2011   Reply

    The phrase that kill all is: “In the long-term, we believe HTML5 will be the best technology for enterprise application development”. All the rest “yes” are cancelled by this phrase.

    But we all know is impossible for us, application developers rely in a technology/languaje that does not have the following:

    * OOP
    * AOP
    * Dependency Injection
    * Debugger
    * Profiler
    * Bytearray
    * Advanced Protocols: AMF, RTMP, …
    * Advanced Video

    and so much more to list here.

    More over 2 question:

    * Adobe has many apps build with Flex…and Adobe AIR relys heavily in Flex ¿how Adobe can manage this? all his apps will end without support or evolutioned a HTML5?

    * Adobe wants to all of us continue following when fail in manage the Flash FUD problem, and they break its long term commitment with all of us (his community)?Adobe thinks we will continue following its technology when we all know they can shift from one day to another?

    I could understand the Flash mobile movement and accept mobile ecosystem is about apps that we could target with adobe AIR. And HTML5 is the solution in mobile for traditional informative web sites, but this announcement means that towards all expectatives Flex is droped in the cold as well….

    Sorry, but don’t count with me in the future, and expect that many people ends looking for other company that know defend itself against attacks (like the one started all this problem by steve jobs)

    Bad Adobe, Bad….very very bad….

    Very bad adobe, very bad…

  • By Joris Timmerman - 1:44 AM on November 13, 2011   Reply

    From day one I learned about the Flex framework, I was sold. I loved it!
    Almost 4 years have passed since that day.
    I’m sad now to learn that Adobe will be downgrading the project to an open-source contribution project, like Phonegap and a dozen others.
    For me, this means, in the long run, Adobe is dumping it, hoping for a community to take over.

    I’m a Flex developer, I love my job, but the recent announcements scared the crap out of me. The technology and developer community I thought was my solid rock to build on, just shattered.
    I am questioning, like a lot of people around me, the fact wether or not I should continue to develop with Adobe technology, since the base foundation, named Adobe, has seemed to be very instable.
    I’ll be using the time I have left with this platform to focus learning another technology.

    Like a lot of community members, there is no way whatsoever, I’ll go back to developing apps based on a mark-up language where every browser has a different spec on how it should work and be rendered. A mark-up language that requires 5 CSS-lines, one for every browser, to render a gradient.

    Dear Deepa, Dear Andrew, Dear SDK team,
    Thanks for all the great work you’ve put in this technology and sdk!
    I had a great time spending spend time developing with your products and your technology!

    Thanks for this blog post, it answered some of my questions.
    But I’m afraid that this post rose more questions that it gave us answers.

    All because of one quote:

    “In the long-term, we believe HTML5 will be the best technology for enterprise application development.”

    Questions like:
    – Does this mean our (enterprise) application will have to be remade in 5 years in another technology?
    – Does this mean that no one in 10 years will be able to maintain the applications build in Flex, as the technology will not have been maintained (which happens in the end to open-source contribution projects) and thus be rendered deprecated.

    And especially:
    – Does that mean the Flash Player will no longer be around in 10 years time, forcing us to rebuild our applications?

  • By Glenn Williams - 12:42 AM on November 13, 2011   Reply

    the amount of time ive spent getting my current client to go with Flex|AIR solution against all the flash bad press and html5 over hype for an enterprise app we’ve had in development for over a year has been hard enough.

    i knew i was offering them the correct tech, but i have already had the emails and phone call from this client asking for an emergency meeting on Monday morning.Oh what joy.

    and what do I say?


    glenn (half asleep)

  • By George - 10:45 PM on November 12, 2011   Reply

    Sorry to say, but it’s another bad blow to the Flash/Flex developer community. The way Adobe promoting HTML5, will push more developers into cold water.

    HTML5 ‘is’ the future, that means many developers will no longer stable in career as some business will abandon Flex, also no alternative solution developers can work on, as there’re no real HTML5 solution Adobe could offer.

    Then finally, Adobe, will lose customers in large.

  • By Anatole - 10:23 PM on November 12, 2011   Reply

    Check this out
    This represent small fraction of confusion and opinions caused by announcement. I hope Adobe react in a way that would be intelligent and beneficial to the community and the company.

  • By Joe Rinehart - 10:20 PM on November 12, 2011   Reply

    While I don’t feel quite as strongly as Cliff, I do wonder what I’m going to say at my 25,000-employee company on Monday. I’ve been evangelizing the Flex/AIr platform for mobile development – keynoting an internal conference last Friday! – and now I’m supposed to say “All this stuff is now going to have better engineering but be governed by committee and targeted at a runtime owned by a company that doesn’t think it’s a good long-term investment?”

    Thanks for the egg I’m about to wear.

  • By Tufik - 10:14 PM on November 12, 2011   Reply

    Adobe is killing to Flash, how AOL killed to Winamp, the best music player but AOL failed to adapt to changes. Now Adobe is on the same position.

    I think that flash is a web without limitless. The correct alternative to the old and limited HTML, the old and limited JavaScript, and the end of fight of all Browsers for see a correct web.

    What going happen whit the OOP for the web, without Flash? – (js is a kidding)
    What happen with the powerfull tool of video in the web (streaming, live, dynamic stream, videochat, etc)?
    What happen with the powerfull apps, similars to,, etc. (i want use these apps in my tablet, or get a videoChat conference with my T.V. with Android)

    The good of flash was the liberty that we had for do every thing and see the same result in all browsers, pcs, tvs, etc. Also the alternative to HTML and HTML5 “the same thing but with a copy/paste of some Flash features”. I think that the new HTML5 want to be Flash.

    In my opinion, i don’t like the decision. The real reaction of the people going to be, search and found new tools, for do the things that HTML5 can’t do.

  • By Francis Potter - 9:54 PM on November 12, 2011   Reply


    The phasing out of Flash Player in mobile browsers and the Flex SDK are unfortunate developments, but both were inevitable and predictable (see e.g.

    The execution of the past week’s announcements, however, was horrible.

    Today’s blogosphere is full of “Flash is dead” and “Steve won” headlines. But there’s a different story we could be reading. I don’t blame you two, of course, but someone high up at Adobe (Kevin? Shantanu?) is missing a big opportunity to reposition Adobe in the public eye and exploit a big opportunity.

    The AIR runtime is, by far, the best technology for building downloadable applications that run on every major digital operating system in the world. With one code base, development teams can build applications that run on Windows, OSX, Android, and iOS. There is no technology that even comes close in terms of its robustness, feature set, language and toolset quality, flexibility, and developer community.

    And nobody knows about it.

    I’ve talked to software engineers from around the world. The opinion is almost universal: “Flash sucks”, “it slows down my browser”, “it won’t run on iOS so why bother?” They’re all learning Android Java and Objective-C. I’ve talked to Silicon Valley executives, many of whom have no clue that they can use Adobe’s platform to build apps for Apple’s iOS app store. They are busy hiring multiple teams, targeting one platform at a time.

    People have the wrong information. The reason is that Adobe’s marketing has been off target.

    All of Adobe’s online marketing in the past year (that I have seen) has been focused on JQuery and HTML5 tools. AIR is never mentioned (it should be). Adobe rolled out some cool tablet apps at Max, but only for one platform (Android). It suggests that it’s harder to build for iOS than for Android (it’s not).

    The key to getting Adobe’s developer strategy back on track is to tout the AIR runtime with every bit as much fervor as it’s touting HTML5 tools. Change the dialog entirely away from “Flash is dying” toward “Adobe is focusing on AIR” and all the benefits that AIR brings. Buy a billboard on the 101: “AIR: Best technology for cross-platform applications”. Run a highly-publicized hackathon or startup weekend where teams have to release an app across all 4 OS’s at the end of the weekend. Give a big prize. Rename “Flash Builder” — in fact, get rid of the name “Flash” entirely. Stage a big event at Yerba Buena Center all about AIR. Buy lots of online ads.

    Adobe is sounding like a loser this week. If the higher-ups change the tone to one of a winner, then there’s a chance that all the work on the “Flash Platform” will live on as commercial products at Adobe. They do anything less, and it will all die out before long, I’m sure.

    Just my two cents, of course. I’m a big fan of the platform and of both of you, as you know.

    BTW, I posted “6 Steps to Turn around Adobe” a few days ago with some similar ideas, but on a broader scale.

  • By Harry Garland - 9:12 PM on November 12, 2011   Reply

    I didn’t think Flex was in trouble until I read this post. This reads like an obituary. You paint a picture of a bright future in a post-Flex world. You talk about Flex like it has already been downgraded from a product to an inspirational concept.

    HTML has always been 2 steps behind Flash. ALWAYS. Web animations, AJAX, 2-way data streams, video, teleconferencing, 3D. In every major advancement on the web, Flash was the first, the only, and the best.

    I’m not going to buy your HTML products. You will not migrate this customer; you will lose this customer.

    • By Jorge Servin - 11:14 PM on November 12, 2011   Reply

      “I’m not going to buy your HTML products. You will not migrate this customer; you will lose this customer.” Me too

    • By Shigeru Nakagaki - 9:57 PM on November 13, 2011   Reply

      You are definitely right.
      If Adobe abandons Flex because Adobe believes that HTML5 will be the best technology, I don’t need to buy Adobe products.

  • By Huge Balls - 8:30 PM on November 12, 2011   Reply

    HTML is kindof weak in a lot of respects.

    You should open source the Flash Player. Then we could make some progress.

    Otherwise we will just have to see if they ever actually open source and cross platform JavaFX.

  • By Robert Reinhardt - 7:43 PM on November 12, 2011   Reply

    I’m confused with the overall messaging here. If Adobe is really behind AIR for both mobile and desktop, why would Adobe assert:

    “In the long-term, we believe HTML5 will be the best technology for enterprise application development.”

    Is that for ANY enterprise application development? I for one agree with proponents of moving apps out of the browser, but I thought Flex would still be a viable model for any application development out of the browser.

  • By Cliff Meyers - 7:34 PM on November 12, 2011   Reply

    It’s impossible for me to get excited about Flex or Spoon for the following two reasons:

    1. Adobe has already said they see HTML5 as the future of enterprise development, which means that any support Adobe will give to Spoon is likely to be short-lived and half-hearted, and
    2. Even if Spoon takes off, targeting the Flash Player seems like a bad decision given Adobe’s recent announcements on FP for mobile and the shift in focus toward 3D and gaming.

    I consider it nothing short of a betrayal that Flex was ignored during MAX only to have this bomb dropped a month later. You owe it to your customers and the development community to be honest about the direction of the products they pay for.

    This series of events has totally destroyed my faith in Adobe.

    • By John - 8:15 PM on November 12, 2011   Reply

      I do agree that Adobe has done a bone-ass of a job with the open-ended announcements. Even still.

      However, it seems like they are committed to AIR and Flex given their usage in mobile, desktop, and home devices. Application deployment with AIR has been far better than Java was.

      For what it’s worth, the Flash Player for the desktop is highly likely to be continued in development considering the known creative limitations and issues with HTML5/CSS/JS in comparison.

      I do agree with their decision to remove the Flash Player for Mobile browsers.
      The Flash Player was never designed to work well with the hardware limitations of mobile devices.
      Most websites with Flash components were also built originally for the desktop therefore it was not optimized for mobile.
      Despite Adobe’s efforts to develop the player plugin that would work well in the mobile, it didn’t and I think they saw that it was beginning to really damage the credibility.
      I think it was a smart move to acknowledge it’s limitations towards mobile, disconinute it and embrace the given trends mobile development enjoy today:

      Mobile designed sites free from plugins
      Appropriate native app-like design for easy navigation
      Fast loading

      Anything more involved would be developed as a native app. If your company is developing business applications, I’m not sure why AIR using Flex would not be your choice
      of deployment in contrast to the unstable nature of the mobile Flash Player.

      All in all, I completely agree with you that their communication could’ve been WAY WAY better. I had to really re-read their statements to be sure and it left me more questions than answers.
      But given that they recently released AIR 3.1 and announced Nov 29 as the release
      date for Flex 4.6, I will continue to put faith in Flex/AIR and the desktop FP and watch further developments.


    • By Michael - 9:45 PM on November 12, 2011   Reply

      Completely agree

      Its bizarre that this action by adobe can be interpreted as acceptable in any way! It feels like I’ve been transported back to the 90′s where making fun of your customers was the norm!

  • By Michael A - 7:23 PM on November 12, 2011   Reply

    I’m very confused by all of this. Can someone please post a follow up blog answering many of the questions raised in the comments clearly (without the obvious corporate spin that just makes it all worse)

    I mean, the messaging coming out of Adobe is horrible. The decisions themselves are one thing…but I can’t get a good picture of what the company is trying to tell the community.

    The one thing I get is Flash player for mobile web browsers is dead. Ok, that’s fine, I can understand that – basically – no one should continue using Flex and Flash for sites they expect people to use with a mobile device. For that use case, HTML is the answer.

    What about using Flex and AIR to make apps? Will work still continue on that? Is that a viable thing to keep using? Will we reach parity in Flex 4 compared to Flex 3?

    The biggest thing I need is increased performance for Flex AIR apps. I took the “write once-deploy everywhere” bait, and I want to keep writing Flex mobile apps, but the technology is not yet complete.

    Will Adobe be committing to features from their end?

    Is AIR for mobile apps something the company will commit to supporting?

    After hearing Adobe tout the “you need the full web” one year, then hear that they are done with that, I personally need to see some commitment from the company for how long they will support these technologies for me to keep using them. Otherwise, what’s to stop Adobe from dropping AIR next year when they change their minds again and decide native is the way to go?

    The community deserves some answers Adobe. You guys have great engineers but the management is getting suspect. You can’t just hype products up for a year, then a year later drop them. Who does that? Catalyst, Mobile Flash player, now Flex…What’s next?

  • By Jorge Servin - 7:07 PM on November 12, 2011   Reply

    “In the long-term, we believe HTML5 will be the best technology for enterprise application development.” Oh come on, don’t be sarcastic!!!

    “Flex has clear benefits for large-scale client projects typically associated with desktop application profiles.” and what about mobile applications for iOS, Android, and BlackBerry Tablet OS devices???

    “many of the engineers and product managers who worked on Flex SDK will be moving to work on our HTML efforts” Good luck with that, but I don’t believe you anymore!!!

    “we recognize we could have handled the communication better and promise to share regular updates over the coming weeks and months.” I totally agree with you!!!

    “We believe these changes to the Flex SDK development model will ensure that the broader community can continue to use and directly enhance Flex for many years to come.” Oh yeah, we will continue without your help, Thank you anyway!!!

  • By Tom Chiverton - 6:19 PM on November 12, 2011   Reply

    This is only good news.
    If you care about the future of Flex get over to and help out !

    • By Danny - 2:16 PM on November 14, 2011   Reply


      As an employee of Adobe, you are being paid to build the next Adobe vision, and your response is highly jaded given your perspective (not the perspective of flex developers commenting here).

      The SDK, whether funded and developed by Adobe or by some free work in the spoon project, will be used to build applications that run in flash runtimes.

      If manufacturers of browsers, mobile phones, tablets etc are not integrating Flash with their platforms, Flex SDK could the finest SDK in the land but on what platforms will my applications run?

      I’m sure Adobe “hopes” that the open source community will, at their own expense, create the perfect SDK for web applications and if so, perhaps the device and browser community will take notice and keep supporting flash runtimes to get the competitive advantage, but clearly Adobe is betting against it by withdrawing or diminishing their commitment to it.

      I’m not sure if you are personally an SDK developer, but those who are likely understand best the challenges in creating an SDK and a development toolset that can do what flex does. If I think of the life of Flex through 2, 3, 4, 4.5 with a dedicated effort under authority of a single company, I would expect HTML5 would take at least the same lifecycle of 5+ years to get to where Flex is now.

      Can someone at Adobe please do the responsible thing and give the developer community some specifics about exactly how fast flex will go down the toilet, what timelines are in place for dropping support for flash in browsers in general, and existing implementations in mobile/tablets.

      Also, as it seems Adobe is taking a leadership role in HTML5 development, please share with us Adobe’s targets for replacement of Flex equivalent functionality with standards based HTML5.

      Just spitting out rhetoric like “this is only good news”? Don’t you think this is a fairly knowledgeable and intelligent group you’re talking to that will just be offended by statements like that?

  • By Nuno João Andrade - 6:07 PM on November 12, 2011   Reply


    I have made more than 150 projects, more than 100 were made with HTML, and I can say for sure that HTML is 10 times the work than Flex and not near the quality, performance and in my opinion Flex is by far the best technology.

    I am very very very sad about the latest announcements Adobe made.

    Deepa and Andrew I’m sorry but I simply don’t hope HTML5 will be the future because if it is, I’ll stop working in the software industry and I will open cart to sell hot dogs, because it simple doesn’t make any sense.



    best of luck to you all

  • By Matt - 5:10 PM on November 12, 2011   Reply

    I’m more confused than ever. Is AIR just for games? If Adobe doesn’t think Flex is worth investing in anymore why should I?

  • By Bruno Fonzi - 4:59 PM on November 12, 2011   Reply

    Any news on Adobe Catalyst future? I did not read any mention in this post.

  • By Brandon Hall - 4:58 PM on November 12, 2011   Reply

    I want to hear more about desktop apps. There’s one quick mention about it in the post above. As far as we’re concerned, Flex and Flash Builder are the best way to develop cross-platform desktop apps. Will that still be the case? The language in the post isn’t very reassuring. If not, I’ll have to get out Visual Studio and start learning Cocoa pretty quick.

  • By William - 4:00 PM on November 12, 2011   Reply

    “We also know that, currently, Flex has clear benefits for large-scale client projects typically associated with desktop application profiles.”

    Thanks for telling us what we already know and then giving no advice as to what we should do.

    We are in the middle of huge enterprise projects with several more projects on the horizon. Of course we will start all new projects in HTML5 when better tools arrive and some nicer frameworks get hammered out. But what about right NOW as in TODAY. Would starting a huge new project in Flex be stupid?

    Please give us some more details guys. This is our entire careers on the line and this little breadcrumb of info is all we get?

  • By Bob Telfer - 2:37 PM on November 12, 2011   Reply

    I appreciate you getting out the blog post out knowing that communication is key here but i sort of feel like there is an awful lot NOT being said. In this post, you say: “In the long-term, we believe HTML5 will be the best technology for enterprise application development”. Yet in other blog posts released by Adobe there is strong indication of viewing Air as a distribution platform for applications. So you are seeing Air as a distribution platform for native applications. We can and should continue to design and develope brilliantly creative apps with innovative UI’s, rapid development off the amazing AS3 library…compiled out to run complicated, data-driven applications and games across every mobile, tablet, television, vehicle, consumer electronics device…continue to benefit from this massive cross-platform deployment……until HTML 5 inevitably takes it over? Is that what you think? I really don’t understand what Adobe’s vision is here at all and i think you guys are continuing to promote a lot of confusion. Personally, i think you need to be much, much clearer on these points as it very much feels like you are “softening the blow” to Flex developers for reasons completely unknown to any of us – other than perhaps political pressure by industry and / or and largely ignorant Adobe executive. Why is it that you feel HTML 5 will be the long term play for enterprise applications over..say…Java…Silverlight….or Flex. What kinds of enterprise applications are you talking about here? What do you see are the positive things that could happen by releasing the Flex SDK open source?

  • By Gareth Shapiro - 1:48 PM on November 12, 2011   Reply

    For those of us who use Flex everyday and were drawn to it by the promise of a fantastic framework to build complex non trivial applications using Actionscript, a language we admire, this post is shocking.

    What you have told us here has much wider implications than the Flash player being dropped in mobile browsers and TV news released earlier this week. With all due respect to the Flex team, I love your work very much after all, presenting the serious Actionscript development community and heavily invested in Flex business community with this news on this blog feels like sneaking it out a side door.

    There are now more questions than ever. Those of us who have been standing tall in front of clients and colleagues, and in my case a university degree course content committee, are already feeling a little foolish for being so passionate about a house built, it seems, on sand. How can we possible go to work on Monday continuing to champion Flex/Air in the way that we have been in the past, especially over the past year?

    This week I have been asking myself what does Actionscript, Flex and Air bring to Adobe;

    - the ability to make money selling tooling, eg. Flash Pro, Flash Builder?

    - the ability to make money from enterprise level content delivery, eg. Flash Media Server?

    - a technology to build other product lines?

    The new Touch Apps are based on Air but they also leverage native extensions. Would Adobe’s goal going forward to be to improve Air where they themselves recognise it can be improved for very serious application development or is Air to be treated as a thin Company wrapper around native Java and C in these products? To me the fact that Air is not championed at all on the front Touch Apps page ( is very telling. If you are really 100% behind the Air runtime why miss this amazing bit of press. That’s the type of thing that we can point our clients, colleagues and nay sayers everywhere to?

    What happens when activities like these three prove to not be profitable, everything changes eventually after all? Would Adobe continue to show love to the Air runtime if all it does is cost the company money? There may a certain kudos by owning the real estate that this fantastic run time provides but Adobe is a public company and is driven by the priorities that all public companies are.

    Adobe is not a technology company in the same way that Sun is. I feel Sun is more similar to say IBM who would more inclined to recognise the broader benefit to technology at large by being the custodian of a run time that other people can make a living off. Adobe feels like a company that enjoys glamour and the font stage spotlights, more than it identifies with geeks getting kicks out of shaving milliseconds off of compile times. Take a look at the video of Anirudh Sasikumar presenting some amazing tech at Adobe Max 2011 and pay attention to the comments of the hosts for clear evidence of this.

    The roadmap for Air in my head seems to be. HTML5 replaces MXML. In some way this isn’t the end of the world. Why have two mark ups that do similar things? The downside being that HTML5 is not there yet (which in itself points to questions about the timing of all of this) and it’s also designed to be a markup for web pages served over HTTP. Would all view components need to be a WebView instance or the Display List replaced with a WebView DOM? This is starting to sound crazy. As pointed out by a community member on Twitter loads of things have been sounding crazy this week;

    “How stupid can Adobe be – Flash for application development on mobile phones, but HTML5 for ‘Enterprise Applications’ on the desktop – WTF?”

    His heart’s in it, all of ours are. You guys are not coming out with anything specific and we are feeling pretty frustrated that the great technology we love is being treated this way.

    Going forward do we then get Air for people wanting to build view components with HTML5 using AS3 and PhoneGap for those wanting to do the same but using JS? That only ends in one thing PhoneGap and Air get merged which leaves the biggest question for me.

    What is going to happen to Actionscript?

    I am probably not thinking about that roadmap in quite the same way that an Adobe engineer might but that’s the point. We need to know what the thinking is. We need to be convinced that this has actually been thought through and you know what the thinking is.

    I agree 100% with Curtis Fisher (above) when he says :

    “I am a believer in Open Source, but the FLEX SDK is already Open Source, so I see this as more an act of dumping a product line rather than contributing to a community.”

    With that attitude in mind for me the best case scenario, and probably only saving move, now is open source the whole Flash eco system. Everything. Make it an open standard. Flash Player, Air Runtime the whole family of technologies without exception. Work very hard to push for the long term survival of the platform.

    Adobe continues to make money out of tooling and other services around the Flash platform, after all they are best placed to do it, but as their interest in this technology wanes at least there is a chance of life from somewhere else.

    If you don’t do this all it seems to me Adobe is doing is strangling the Flash platform for every ounce of breath that it can before turning it’s back sometime in the future when it is done.

    • By Curtis Fisher - 8:51 PM on November 13, 2011   Reply

      I know this has been said by more folks than Gareth, but unfortunately I believe he may have an excellent point here. In spite of what the leadership at Adobe believes, I think the executives are searching for the same path to irrelevancy that Novell found in the mid nineties. They now must do something dramatic and repair the damage they have done with deeds, not words.

      Adobe can’t have it both ways, especially after the terrible manner in which they have handled Steve Jobs, the market, and finally, their own community and customer base. Clean house. Get rid of the current leadership, find a fire breathing evangelist from within that can lead with a clear vision, and release every damn thing under the Adobe proprietary agreements having to do with ActionScript and the Players. Including AIR.

      Then as others have suggested, go to work on creating tools that will take any SWF or ActionScript/FLEX project written to a specific standard of coding practices and render it as HTML5 output.

      Sell this as toolkits and server technology so that we could deliver THE BEST solution according to the client’s needs. I could sell a strategy like that because it makes sense.

      So start to look for what will work Adobe, it took about 5-8 years for Novell to cede it’s market domination to Microsoft. Things move faster now, and though you may think you are catching the next wave, why do you want to run the ship up on a false reef and then abandon it?

  • By Franklin - 1:44 PM on November 12, 2011   Reply

    1.- After SDK 4.6 Adobe will be delivery a major version 5?
    2.- Adobe will provide a software like Flash Builder in order to build excited pages with HMTL5?
    3.- Adobe will provide any software or tool kit to migrate gradually actual Flash apps to HTML5?

    Thanks for this few questions.

    Road-Track / ChevyStar Development Team

  • By Automator - 10:53 AM on November 12, 2011   Reply

    Will you also open-source Flex Automation framework?


  • By Conrad Winchester - 10:48 AM on November 12, 2011   Reply

    Andrew and Deepa,

    you recently visited several financial institutions in London and met with groups of flex developers there. You showed some excellent demos of fantastic ‘enterprise level’ development systems for flex and actionscript 3. Everybody was very exceited and fired up about AS3 and Flex being truly ‘enterprise level’ solutions.

    Now you are saying the

    ‘ In the long-term, we believe HTML5 will be the best technology for enterprise application development.’

    What???? Are you serious? A mish-mash of javascript (essentially AS1) and a complete non-cross browser compatible technical stack being ‘enterprise level’. And furthermore better than flex? You can not possibly justify that – although I know, given your track record you will not respond to these criticisms, anyway.

    How can you possibly justify that statement. I’d love to see you try.

    Do you know what browser they use at HSBC – IE 7 – yes thats right – IE 7 – Where does your HTML5 enterprise solution fit in there?

    Gutted, sickened and totally disheartened

    Essentially you have just taken all the hard working flex devs, who have supported you and promotecd your products (especially flash and AS3)

  • By Ivan Ilijasic - 10:43 AM on November 12, 2011   Reply

    Sorry, my browser crashed :)

    I were saying, you cannot compare HTML enterprise development with Flex. If you want to build HTML 5 enterprise tools then do it but beware, there are Java EE tools that need less time to adapt HTML 5, there are .NET tools that need less time to adapt HTML5.

    In the end take a look at your your last post and take a look your previous post:

    This post:

    “In the long-term, we believe HTML5 will be the best technology for enterprise application development. ”

    Previous post:

    “Adobe is continuing to make significant investments in Flex, Flash Builder, Flash Player and AIR – we have hundreds of engineers who are actively working on exciting new tooling, framework and runtime features and enhancements to be included in upcoming releases.”

    “That doesn’t mean, however, that HTML5 is the right choice for all use cases – the performance, framework maturity and robust tooling provided by Adobe are cited as critical factors by enterprise customers as to why they continue to select Flex.

    We firmly believe that Flex is already the best technology for building complex, high-fidelity enterprise applications such as business dashboards, line of business tools, real-time trading applications and desktop replacement applications, and see leading companies in healthcare, financial services, communications and other industries standardizing on it.”

    “…build system integration, performance analysis tooling and integration of a next-generation compiler, making Flex the #1 choice for building enterprise-grade RIAs.”

    Can you see why are we so confused :)

    Andrew, Deepa, thank you for your effort to give us proper info but we need more :)

  • By Dimitri_k - 9:07 AM on November 12, 2011   Reply

    “In the long-term, we believe HTML5 will be the best technology for enterprise application development. ”

    Was this comment really necessary? Now?
    You give the Flex SDK to the community, and at the same time you say “Flex is the past”.
    And furthermore, you’ve just broken the business of so many of your customers who rely on Flex’s reputation, by saying it out-loud to the public.

    I know some will say “at least they are not hiding it”.
    But the message could have been sent to the community in more subtle ways, delaying this public’s acknowledgement of Flex’s demise, and, thus, avoiding to break our current business without any chance to have the time to adapt.

    Also, this is part of Andrew S. post in August of this year (I know, another era now):
    “We’re continuing to focus on runtime performance, native extensions, new components, declarative skinning, adding more platforms and improving tooling workflows, such that in our next major release timeframe we expect that the need to build a fully-native application will be reserved for a small number of use cases.”

    I am amazed by the fact that in this November post, you don’t deem it necessary to invoke Flex as a device! It’s as it never existed.
    Don’t you think we also have questions about that?

    Honestly, I’ve publicly congratulated both Andrew and Deepa in numerous occasions for all they’ve provided to the Flex community.
    But I really feel the way you’ve just handled this moment is nearly as bad as the way the whole Adobe PR/execs handle the stab they’ve inflicted to us.
    And I know that it’s not what both of you had in minds.

    This week have been a nightmare for all of us.
    And Adobe keeps on making every morning a new meeting with Freddy Krueger.

    Even the saddest panda can’t be as sad as I am right now.

  • By Miles - 8:45 AM on November 12, 2011   Reply

    This was too be expected. Make no mistake about it, Moving the flex code base to an “open source” community model means that they are indeed abandoning flex. Let’s just remember that flex uses the display list and that has been deprecated in favor of the newly minted stage3D gpu layer. I wouldn’t be surprised if a gpu accelerated framework appeared in the next few weeks! Flex type applications on a gpu layer would be wicked cool!

  • By Munsie - 8:37 AM on November 12, 2011   Reply

    As long as I can code in AS3 and export to html5 I’ll be happy. Will I be able to do this?

  • By Eduardo - 8:32 AM on November 12, 2011   Reply

    Deepa and Andrew,
    First of all, thanks for the wonderful tools you and your teams have delivered to us over these years. FB and Flex are by far the most amazing technology I have worked with (and I’ve worked with quite a few).
    These news are really sad. I am sure that, being the creators, you must feel many times more disappointed than we are. But I’m sure the genius at the top must know what he is doing.
    It is really frustrating that Adobe is throwing away such a great product, such a rich community, so many customers. I hope the decision maker really analyzed all of its implications. Like many others who are let down by this announcement, I was making long-term plans on this platform. MAX, literally weeks ago, painted an exciting future. This destroys all credibility.
    To you, Deepa and Andrew, your teams, and the evangelists: thank you, and all the best wishes for the future; you deserve it. To Adobe: I better not write the words that are coming to my mind, out of respect for the readers.

  • By Rob - 7:48 AM on November 12, 2011   Reply

    All the Adobe folks keep apologizing for the terrible communication of the original message but then don’t do any better of a job communicating themselves. There is a whole community of Flex/AS developers creating enterprise applications today that have been left with zero answers. This is a pretty simple question: “Is there a plan to release some tool/process to enable any kind of reuse of existing Flex/AS code?” If not, then we are left to either wait for something like this to be delivered or start rewriting everything now in Javascript. If this is really true, then I guess all the nay-sayers were right all along about how getting locked into Adobe’s proprietary technology was a horrible mistake. After years of standing up for Flex and Adobe, I have to say I feel a bit foolish.

  • By Guest - 6:34 AM on November 12, 2011   Reply

    Are you kidding me? I’m a recent convert to Flex from the HTML/Ajax world. We just started to rebuild a huge enterprise app (currently ajax/web) and chose Flex over HTML5 for streaming data/performance reasons among many others. When we compared it to all the alternatives (.net/silverlight,Java,etc) it was easily the best choice for many reasons. And the new features that were shown in Adobe Max previews (reverse debugging, the ‘Why’ on a variable) blew everyone away. This lack of clarity on the future path for Flex really throws a wrench into the works.

    And I’m sorry but HTML5 is going to be a long-time coming good and coding in javascript compared to flex/AS is like having one hand tied behind your back all the time. Hint to Adobe: people in enterprises STILL run IE6, in fact over 1/3 of our users, but they all have at least Flash 9 and many have 10+.

    Don’t run out on Flex now, with the ability to put the same code onto phones, tablets and desktops, you have the BEST tool available for high-performance enterprise apps. You just need to get that message out there. Flex is really close to turning the corner and becoming very popular for enterprise apps. We are hearing more and more positive buzz about it from other corporates in our space who are starting down a similar path. Give it time and don’t lose focus on it…

    • By John - 1:31 PM on November 13, 2011   Reply

      You hit the nail on the head. I couldn’t agree more! Flash Builder is a great tool for app development. IE6 is still being used not only by enterprises but a large portion of the consumer PC market. Remember, PC users general do not “buy” their own software. It’s usually cracked or pirated from a colleague or friend. Whatever came with their original PC purchase is what they use. Adobe should simply change the name to App Builder and add an export for HTML5.

  • By Mark2 - 6:17 AM on November 12, 2011   Reply

    oh and i forgot, a question:

    What are your long term plans about Adobe AIR? Will you continue working on releasing new AIR versions with new features? Will AIR work on future devices? How long are you planning to develop AIR?

  • By HTML5 Still Sucks - 6:16 AM on November 12, 2011   Reply

    One more thing: “In the long-term, we believe HTML5 will be the best technology for enterprise application development.”

    Why would anyone believe that, when HTML5 doesn’t solve the cross browser compatibility problem? Who wants to develop, test, and debug for what essentially amounts to different deployment platforms? And CSS still sucks too.

  • By HTML5 Still Sucks - 6:08 AM on November 12, 2011   Reply

    All this talk is premature. A Flex to HTML5 compiler (even though it’d be vastly inferior since HTML5 isn’t nearly ready for prime time) would make Flex (thus Flash Builder) the most powerful SDK ever written. Target Flash, AIR *or* HTML5 means your skill set can tackle almost any challenge a client can throw at you.

    Come on Adobe, shut these HTML5 goons up and give us a Flex SDK HTML5 compiler! So what if it’s missing features that Flash has? Maybe then these idiots will finally understand that HTML5 is a step backwards.

  • By Erich Cervantez - 5:14 AM on November 12, 2011   Reply

    I’m struggling to come to terms with all of these announcements. At first, I agreed that re-focusing efforts and resources away from Flash on mobile was a good idea. I still do, but then this blog post comes out about Flex. It seems Adobe is taking communication tips from Netflix.

    It feels as though Adobe is completely abandoning Flex, and ultimately Flash (except for Farmville-type games). My company has invested millions into committing to Flex for our enterprise applications and now I don’t know what to tell them. I touted Flex and AS3 for AIR on mobile, but I’m seeing little promise in this area when you say “it’s all riding on you now”. Well jeez thanks. I thought we were part of a community of engineers. Adobe != HTML5, Adobe = Flash…now matter how you try to spin it.

    What is going to convince me to buy tickets for MAX next year? To join in on an HTML5 discussion I can get from any programming book at Barnes & Noble? The community I grew to know and love is evaporating before my very eyes :(

  • By Shigeru Nakagaki - 5:03 AM on November 12, 2011   Reply

    You said

    “In the long-term, we believe HTML5 will be the best technology for enterprise application development.”

    So, the Spoon project is just a relief for the user who uses Flex now, and is not a project which creates new innovative framework with Concurrency of FP12, right?

    And also you said

    “Is Adobe still committed to Flash Builder? Yes. ”

    This confused me. Who will be the charge of FlashBuilder? Does you mean “maintenance phase” or “New Flash Builder”?

    This Q&A sounds like “Flex will be gone after several years”.

  • By Sean - 5:03 AM on November 12, 2011   Reply

    You guys are really scarring me with your comments { Tom:”Are you going to keep releasing new Air versions?” } … better be… we invested sooooo much time and money and expect AIR for years to come until HTML5 is strong enough so Adobe can begin providing migration tools… that’s what I expect and understand from this post…. right Adobe?

  • By Anatole - 4:41 AM on November 12, 2011   Reply

    Every time the technologies go to the next circle/level there are opportunities. This year mobile UI will be showing on desktops, people will get more adopted to sandboxed app deployment, especially for enterprise applications. Without announcements that would be natural thing, Pulling the plug in such abrupt manner caused panic in the field and allows inadequate technologies fill the void – I do not see HTML5 projects at the client, but rather homegrown antiquated HTML frameworks trying to get in. The more concise statement (like letter explaining that HTML has it’s limitation as well) explaining the current state of technology and how Adobe position itself for the next 2-3 years might salvage situation a bit. Without forward looking statement the announcement produced nothing but gloom.

  • By tom - 4:32 AM on November 12, 2011   Reply

    Are you going to keep releasing new Air versions?

  • By Ralph - 4:06 AM on November 12, 2011   Reply

    One has to wonder why you guys wouldn’t have made this decision and announcement originally. Can you imagine how much better of a message that could have been? I would have totally change the entire feeling of this and saved Adobe a lot of customers. The way you guys did this, while maybe well intentioned, feels amateurish and not what I’ve come to expect from this team. Someone dropped the ball.

    That being said…this is a positive development.

    Can you comment on where the Adobe Flex team will be (is this the same team from Sf or are you replacing them with new people off shore?)

  • By Jon - 4:00 AM on November 12, 2011   Reply

    Oh dear.

    By issuing the statement earlier this week (in such an awkward manner) Adobe have caused a lot of confusion. This statement, and specifically the part about HTML5, has only worsened the situation.

    It is true that there are not may sites being built specifically for Flash Mobile, but that is precisely the point: it may not be quite the same experience as a desktop browser, but at least the site works.

    By killing Flash on mobile browsers, Adobe have made it harder for us to promote Air, Flex and Flash as a viable technology on the desktop. And now with this statement about Flex and HTML5, you have made it worse.

    Users don’t expect their smartphones to offer the same performance as their desktops. They accept that the experience will be different. But as mobile technology advances, so will (or rather: would) Flash on mobile. As a developer/designer, I want my work to be usable on as many platforms as possible.

    HTML5/JS/CSS has years to go before it can rival what Flash/Flex/Air/AS3 can do right now. Desktop or mobile. And by the time it has caught up, Flash will have (or rather: would have) moved ahead too.

    By dropping Flash in Mobile Browsers, and now issuing this statement about Flex, the entire AS3 community is wondering what to do. The HTML5 combo has WAY too far to go before it can become a viable alternative, and with the future of Adobe solutions in question, the viability of Air/Flex/Flash has taken two steps back too.

    I’ m disappointed in Adobe. Besides killing a perfectly viable ecosystem on which many of us depend, you have lost credibility by promoting something one day and killing it the next. Reminds me of HP WebOS…

  • By Brendan - 3:29 AM on November 12, 2011   Reply


    Nothing but the utmost respect for both you and the rest of the Flex team at Adobe.

    I really hope that you and others on the team are able to add more information in the coming days and weeks re: what this means to the masses of Flex developers out there. This post, while appreciated, is pretty brief. Something similar to Mike Chambers’ follow up post yesterday would be appreciated.

    Do we continue to sell clients on the viability of Flex?

    The content of your explanation above says, sure, Flex will live on in one form or another. But after the actions from Adobe this week, you can’t blame us for questioning every detail of information coming out now. Recent posts from the Flex team state the continued development and commitment to the SDK, which made the announcements this week that much more shocking.

    Reassure us… or at the very least, get over with it and rip off the bandaid already.


  • By Jan Halfar - 3:25 AM on November 12, 2011   Reply

    In the first place, thank you for a great framework and the topics you have addresses in your post!

    We use Flex, because it is a great framework and we use FlashBuilder, because it is a great tool for a great framework. I want Flex to work in the browser. If it needs to be augmented by the flash player, that is totally alright with me, as it is for the “html5″ community. As a matter of fact who would not prefer an open standard over a closed runtime …

    Thus here are my questions:

    - Are we going to see html5 as a build target for Flex (at least for browsers that do not totally … ;) ) so that it will be on par with frameworks like GWT, sproutcore, cappuccino, sencha, openlaszlo, …?

    - Is Falcon going to see the day of light?

    Very best regards to the whole flash, air and flex team – working with the results of your work is a blast!

    P.S.: Flex always claimed to be a framework for the enterprise, thus a company like Adobe has to provide a viable migration path for its paying customers, when the time has come to switch runtimes.

  • By Sean - 3:14 AM on November 12, 2011   Reply

    And come on,,,, Flex has been Open Source since day one. The real code is the Flash Player. And that is closed source… so what are supposed to do is development slows down on the Flash Player (AIR is just a wrapper for Flash anyways). Adobe, do you even realize how many companies are built around Flash… HTML5 is still junk!!!

  • By Tyler Egeto - 3:03 AM on November 12, 2011   Reply

    Woah, big news, no matter how you try to word this its a massive, massive blow to a lot of developers / businesses. I don’t disagree that in the long run this is where the industry is headed, but wow. Very sudden, and perhaps a little too soon for flex. Unlike the mobile Flash player, people heavily use Flex.

    I think its time Adobe started talking about its plans for the future in concrete terms. Its been a pretty heavy handed week.

  • By Mark - 2:58 AM on November 12, 2011   Reply

    Considered this for a while now. I think it is the right choice for Adobe and as a long time Flex developer, I should also consider learning HTML 5. Technology is a fast moving field and we have to accept changes for progress.

    So long, and thanks for all the flex.

  • By Sean - 2:48 AM on November 12, 2011   Reply

    Let me just add one more thing, if Adobe is to survive this phase of HTML5, IT MUST leverage the one thing it has that’s worth everything… AS3 developers. All the guys that I speak to that know AS3 wouldn’t touch JS with a stick… it’s a horrible, spaghetti, not true OOP language.

    So Adobe, if you want to make money and have people buy your products for years to come, stick with AS3 and stick with Flex… but just give the MILLIONS of developers the proper tools to export to HTML5 the massive MXML / AS3 / Flash projects we developed.

    Otherwise, if you loose these AS3 developers since you move to HTML5, they are gone forever and they are not coming back… and they are your bread and butter.

    It’s not an easy task, and it can’t be done overnight, since JS doesn’t yet support modules, enhanced text libs or even powerful themed CSS as flex does… In fact, HTML5 is nothing fancy, just old JS + Ajax libs and a “fancy” new Canvas to draw on.

    But to keep being #1 which you are in my book today, keep enhancing flex, add multi threading and add mobile widgets… let us develop once in AS3 and run these with superb quality across devices, across desktop and mobiles and tablets. And slowly start introducing tools to convert certain things to JS / HTML5 as the language matures. This way you keep your existing customer base… and you can sell us more products…. Everybody wins!!!


  • By ed - 2:41 AM on November 12, 2011   Reply

    @curtis. Adobe is walking away from flex. I get the point to invest in new technologies, but leaving other customers behind may have a bigger impact then they expect. I know I will never buy another Adobe product. Adobe has accerlated the demise of Flash

    On another note, thanks for all you have done flex team.

  • By Curtis Fisher - 2:32 AM on November 12, 2011   Reply

    This answers some questions about Flex, but muddies the waters concerning AIR and Mobile Application development. I appreciate what the Adobe folks have done over the past years concerning FLEX, AIR and mobile application development. But it’s communications like these that leave the door wide open for speculation.

    Stating that HTML 5 is the future of “… technology for enterprise application development” by saying you believe it’s the best solution moving forward ignores the cost and effort it takes to build for multiple browsers and deployments. You forget that we have to “dumb down” our applications while learning a half dozen technologies to replace one with.

    I know it’s said with the best of intentions, but you are not doing anyone any good with this speculation. I want to know if AIR is still the mobile technology I should be dedicating my company to now that Adobe has blinked at the Job’s challenge to superior technology. I understand what’s happening, in essence Adobe is throwing in the towel.

    Does this mean all of ActionScript based products are destined for the Open Source Heap? Is this another way of answering the open standards crowd? HTML5 can’t do 3D or any number of things with the connectivity that FLEX and AS3 offers. Are enterprise apps just super text readers in the next generation?

    I’m frustrated with Adobe, I have built a company around your promises and you are now leaving us with inferior solutions to real problems. I am a believer in Open Source, but the FLEX SDK is already Open Source, so I see this as more an act of dumping a product line rather than contributing to a community.

    Curtis Fisher

  • By Taylor - 2:19 AM on November 12, 2011   Reply

    First: thanks to the Flex SDK team for all you’ve accomplished and for how greatly your work has enriched my career.

    Second: under other circumstances (say, a month ago), I would have welcomed Flex becoming open source. Instead, given this week’s many surprises, this somehow has the feeling of a Viking funeral.

    Best of luck to the whole Flex SDK team. Now go and build us something just as powerful and easy to use with HTML/JavaScript/CSS. I have a felling we’re going to need it sooner than we ever thought.

  • By Sean - 2:12 AM on November 12, 2011   Reply

    Do you plan to eventually have a migration or tools so we can utilize the enormous amounts of code developed in Flex and AS3 into the newly created HTML5 development tools?

    I sure hope so, as we invested millions of dollars in Flex development!

  • By Aaron Pedersen - 2:12 AM on November 12, 2011   Reply

    Andrew and Deepa, you two and the entire Flex team have busted your butts for a very long period of time. Thank you for all your efforts.

  • By TJ Downes - 1:51 AM on November 12, 2011   Reply

    Thank you, Deepa, Andrew and the entire Flex SDK team, for all the hard effort you’ve put into the SDK over the last few years.

  • By Phantom - 1:44 AM on November 12, 2011   Reply

    Are you going to add support for another platforms like Windows Phone and keep improving the performance?


  • By Bruno Pacola - 1:44 AM on November 12, 2011   Reply

    Need to understand better:

    The long-term (3-5 years ?)… Adobe believes that business applications that currently run on the browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome) are best built on HTML5, right?