Welcome!

Adobe Flex Authors: Matthew Lobas, PR.com Newswire, Shelly Palmer, Kevin Benedict

Related Topics: Adobe Flex, SYS-CON MEDIA

Adobe Flex: Article

Adobe Has Inherited Web History from Macromedia...

...and will be making more web history in 2006, with Flash

One of the "inflexion points" of the development of the Web, when commentators and analysts draw breath for long enough to chronicle its history, is certain to be the day that Google, through first Gmail and then Google Maps, opened the eyes of millions to the fact that the Web can be smarter, more responsive, and interactive...above all, that it doesn't have to involve "click, wait, and refresh."

 Google happened to use AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript + XML) for those two bellwether apps. But those of us who have followed the Macromedia, now Adobe, story know of course that AJAX is very much a Johnny-come-lately to the Rich Internet Applications party.

Whereas "AJAX" is barely a year old (Jesse James Garrett having coined it Feb 18, 2005), "Rich Internet Applications" as a term was in circulation many years before. Already at the beginning of the new century, Macromedia's developer-innovators were using the term, so that by 2003 for example "Flash-enabled RIAs" was really quite a common term in developer mailing lists and Macromedia user groups.

Macromedia anticipated AJAX in every way, pioneering the RIA approach of which AJAX is merely a subset, and in 2006 its prescient approach is productized in Flash and Flex and FlexBuilder and Flash Player, products which over time Adobe is likely to help turn into the best-known suite of software on the planet.

From a personal perspective I shall never forget a session that Christophe Coenraets gave at one of the SYS-CON Events conferences I was fortunate enough to Chair, namely Web Services Edge Conference & Expo (East) 2004, in Boston. The session was called "Code-Based Rich Internet Applications with Macromedia Flex" and covered using components, layouts, and managers to build user interfaces as well as using Flex's XML-based language, MXML, to create and manipulate client-side data models. What I remember above all was that the delegates in the completely packed room were spellbound, literally spellbound, by Christophe's agile demonstration of how much could be done with the Web vs. how little anyone was (then) doing. It was as if we'd lost our collective critical judgement, his presentation seemed to imply - as users, and therefore as developers, we'd begun to accept latency that ought never to have been tolerated, and had almost been self-brainwashed into thinking of the Web as "pages" when that in many circumstance was far from the best metaphor. For many in the room, it was an epiphany, you could sense it.

So in reality the inflexion point came long before AJAX, and even longer before Gmail and Google Maps. And it came from Macromedia as much as anyone.

SYS-CON Events - a wholly owned subsidiary of SYS-CON Media which brings you MXDJ each month)has been working with Adobe behind the scenes just recently to bring you the RIA story in a major educational event so that you don't fall into the trap of failing to see the wood for the trees. After all, Flash also interacts with JavaScript on a web page, and it's a highly suitable, lightweight tool for highly responsive web apps. Google Maps could just as easily have been done in Flash several years before it was done in AJAX. Why it wasn't, who knows? Perhaps this will be one of the enigmas discussed at our upcoming Rich Internet Apps Conference in August 2006 (www.RIAConference.com).

So, will Adobe try and crush AJAX, Microsoft-style? And/or openLaszlo? Most definitely not. Under Kevin Lynch's technologically nuanced and developer-centric leadership, it seems much more likely that Adobe's Platform Business Unit will concentrate on inspiring developers to use Flash and HTML "with an AJAX approach" to build Web 2.0-style applications. Especially since it is Kevin himself who oversees Adobe's developer relations program.

As he wrote just recently, in the last issue of MXDJ - in the article based on his industry-respected blog:

"There is clearly a resurgence in how HTML can be used to deliver application user interfaces and terrific progress has been made on that. In addition, Flash brings capabilities that HTML doesn't currently have, and they can be used together to great benefit -- in fact, Flash has already been architected to fit perfectly in the Web 2.0 model.

For example, Adaptive Path has been working on a great new application called MeasureMap that helps people track traffic on their blogs and is being built with a combination of HTML and Flash on the client. Another is how Flickr is using both HTML and Flash, for example implementing the organizer and slideshow with Flash and the photo index with HTML. The language in Flash is ActionScript which is the same as JavaScript, both ECMA standard languages, and it's very simple to call between code in HTML and Flash, enabling smooth integration with a free open-source integration kit."

In the February issue of MXDJ, I'm delighted to give you a heads-up that Adobe's Christian Cantrell - the author of numerous tutorials and white papers as well as being coauthor of Flash Enabled: Flash Design & Development for Devices and of the JavaScript/Flash Integration Kit‹will be writing for us about AJAX to Flash integration, on which he's probably leading expert in the world.

The Adobe product roadmap, mark my words, will continue to keep you as developers far ahead of Microsofties and Ajaxians and all the rest. As it emerges later in the year, you'll be blown away. Meantime, enjoy this issue. And do please keep your 2006 feedback and suggestions coming, by e-mailing [email protected]. "None of us is as smart as all of us," as they say!

More Stories By Jeremy Geelan

Jeremy Geelan is Chairman & CEO of the 21st Century Internet Group, Inc. and an Executive Academy Member of the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences. Formerly he was President & COO at Cloud Expo, Inc. and Conference Chair of the worldwide Cloud Expo series. He appears regularly at conferences and trade shows, speaking to technology audiences across six continents. You can follow him on twitter: @jg21.

Comments (2)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


IoT & Smart Cities Stories
Nicolas Fierro is CEO of MIMIR Blockchain Solutions. He is a programmer, technologist, and operations dev who has worked with Ethereum and blockchain since 2014. His knowledge in blockchain dates to when he performed dev ops services to the Ethereum Foundation as one the privileged few developers to work with the original core team in Switzerland.
René Bostic is the Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America. Enjoying her career with IBM during the modern millennial technological era, she is an expert in cloud computing, DevOps and emerging cloud technologies such as Blockchain. Her strengths and core competencies include a proven record of accomplishments in consensus building at all levels to assess, plan, and implement enterprise and cloud computing solutions. René is a member of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and a m...
Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settlement products to hedge funds and investment banks. After, he co-founded a revenue cycle management company where he learned about Bitcoin and eventually Ethereal. Andrew's role at ConsenSys Enterprise is a mul...
Whenever a new technology hits the high points of hype, everyone starts talking about it like it will solve all their business problems. Blockchain is one of those technologies. According to Gartner's latest report on the hype cycle of emerging technologies, blockchain has just passed the peak of their hype cycle curve. If you read the news articles about it, one would think it has taken over the technology world. No disruptive technology is without its challenges and potential impediments t...
If a machine can invent, does this mean the end of the patent system as we know it? The patent system, both in the US and Europe, allows companies to protect their inventions and helps foster innovation. However, Artificial Intelligence (AI) could be set to disrupt the patent system as we know it. This talk will examine how AI may change the patent landscape in the years to come. Furthermore, ways in which companies can best protect their AI related inventions will be examined from both a US and...
In his general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, discussed how Dice leverages data insights and tools to help both tech professionals and recruiters better understand how skills relate to each other and which skills are in high demand using interactive visualizations and salary indicator tools to maximize earning potential. Manish Dixit is VP of Product and Engineering at Dice. As the leader of the Product, Engineering and Data Sciences team at D...
Bill Schmarzo, Tech Chair of "Big Data | Analytics" of upcoming CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO New York (November 12-13, 2018, New York City) today announced the outline and schedule of the track. "The track has been designed in experience/degree order," said Schmarzo. "So, that folks who attend the entire track can leave the conference with some of the skills necessary to get their work done when they get back to their offices. It actually ties back to some work that I'm doing at the University of San...
When talking IoT we often focus on the devices, the sensors, the hardware itself. The new smart appliances, the new smart or self-driving cars (which are amalgamations of many ‘things'). When we are looking at the world of IoT, we should take a step back, look at the big picture. What value are these devices providing. IoT is not about the devices, its about the data consumed and generated. The devices are tools, mechanisms, conduits. This paper discusses the considerations when dealing with the...
Bill Schmarzo, author of "Big Data: Understanding How Data Powers Big Business" and "Big Data MBA: Driving Business Strategies with Data Science," is responsible for setting the strategy and defining the Big Data service offerings and capabilities for EMC Global Services Big Data Practice. As the CTO for the Big Data Practice, he is responsible for working with organizations to help them identify where and how to start their big data journeys. He's written several white papers, is an avid blogge...
Dynatrace is an application performance management software company with products for the information technology departments and digital business owners of medium and large businesses. Building the Future of Monitoring with Artificial Intelligence. Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more busine...