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Reading Another Funny Document by Adobe

They’ve chosen investors over developers. This is understandable, but why keep lying to developers?

Today Adobe released another document that brought tears to my eyes. Why do they think that people are dumb? Why not just say, “We couldn’t figure out how to monetize Flex and we’re getting rid of the ballast”? Adobe is a public company, and beside developers they have investors and their stock went up by more than 10%  since last (infamous) November. They’ve chosen investors over developers. This is understandable, but why keep lying to developers?

Today’s doc contains lots of words, but the most important section is this:

Adobe runtime support of Flex

Flash Player 11.2 and Adobe AIR 3.2, which are anticipated to ship in the first quarter of 2012, will be tested
with applications built using Adobe Flex 4.6. Adobe will test future releases of Flash Player and AIR against the
Adobe Flex 4.6 SDK and maintain backwards compatibility for five years.

While Adobe will ensure that the Adobe Flex SDK 4.6 and prior will be supported in future versions of Flash
Player and AIR, it will be the responsibility of the Apache Flex Project to test future versions of the Apache Flex
SDK against released Adobe runtimes to ensure compatibility and proper functioning.

In the past, features were added to Flash Player and AIR specifically to support the needs of Flex applications.
Going forward, features will be added to the runtimes to support Adobe’s vision for the Flash Platform. The
Apache Flex Project may choose to take advantage of those features; however, new features will not be added
to the runtimes specifically to support the Apache project’s efforts.

Let me rewrite it in plain English:”We’ll release the new version of Flash Player, and we ‘ll test our past versions of Flex against it. We love (kinda) Apache Flex, but we don’t give a shit about what these guys will come up with. Flash Player is OUR runtime, and you’d better make sure that your smart-ass next generation Flex works with it, or else… In the past, every release of Flash Player would accommodate for the new features of Flex. From now on, "We are not adding new features to Flash Player to support whatever you come up with.” Or as we say in New York City, “Fuggeddaboudit.”

Keep reading Adobe’s doc. Their version states, “Flash Catalyst CS5.5 is the last release of Flash® Catalyst®“. BTW, why do they even add these ® signs to Catalyst? Anyone wants to reuse this lousy brand?  Okay, maybe. Let me translate it into simplified Chinese: “It was stupid in the first place to work on such a tool, and we wasted two years of our Flex team rewriting the Flex Halo components into Spark architecture just to accommodate the need of this stillborn baby – Flash Catalyst” .

Keep reading – it’ll get even funnier: “Development of Flash Builder continues. Adobe plans to maintain support for Flex projects in updates to Flash Builder 4.x, including additional work to ensure Apache Flex based SDKs can work within Flash Builder“. This is what it means in Bengali language, “In six years we couldn’t create a stable and performant version of Flash Builder for our own Flex SDK. So why would we do this for an Apache? Just use IntelliJ Idea, will you? “

The only product that was not mentioned in this doc was LiveCycle Data Services. What’s the fate of this highly overpriced monster? Is it dead in the water? I don’t really care about this one. During the last six years I ran into one client who bought its licenses. On multiple occasions I was trying to convey to Adobe that they should lower LCDS price, but they didn’t give a damn.

Adobe has inspired these T-shirts, really.  Still, it’s sad. I’m going to miss Adobe Max conferences. They knew how to put up great events, really.

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More Stories By Yakov Fain

Yakov Fain is a co-founder of two software companies: Farata Systems and SuranceBay. He authored several technical books and lots of articles on software development. Yakov is Java Champion (https://java-champions.java.net). He leads leads Princeton Java Users Group. Two of Yakov's books will go in print this year: "Enterprise Web Development" (O'Reilly) and "Java For Kids" (No Starch Press).