Adobe Announces Flex is to be open-sourced

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News: Adobe Announces Flex is to be open-sourced

  1. Adobe Announces Flex is to be open-sourced (40 messages)

    Geert Bevin writes that "Adobe just announced that it will open source Flex under the MPL license." The move is scheduled to be complete by the end of 2007. Adobe will continue to offer a commercial form of Flex, to provide "customers and partners flexibility in how they choose to license the Flex SDK." Flex is a rich internet application framework based on Flash, including a component library, an Eclipse-based dev tool, and data services. From Adobe's page on the announcement:
    This includes not only the source to the ActionScript components from the Flex SDK, which have been available in source code form with the SDK since Flex 2 was released, but also includes the Java source code for the ActionScript and MXML compilers, the ActionScript debugger and the core ActionScript libraries from the SDK. The Flex SDK includes all of the components needed to create Flex applications that run in any browser - on Mac OS X, Windows, and Linux and on now on the desktop using "Apollo."
    What do you think of the move? Why do you think Adobe is making Flex open source?

    Threaded Messages (40)

  2. a question: what can you do with what has been open sourced? Is something missing (that you still need to buy) to make the whole thing work?
  3. It looks as if, from reading the FAQ, that this only affects those components which were already 'free'. In other words, the charting component suite and the Data Services, as well as the IDE are still commercial products. Is that correct, or can we expect some of these existing commercial products to become open-source as well? Mike
  4. "Why do you think Adobe is making Flex open source?" Because the competitors (Swing, Ajax) are and, right or wrong, developers today expect it. Frankly speaking, I thought that not going opensource would have been a dead choice for Adobe. Now the point is to understand how genuine is the move - remember Mono and Microsoft?. For instance, quoting the Flex Opensource FAQ by Adobe:
    Will the commercial version be different from the open source version? Our goal is to make the initial open source distribution as close to the >commercial distributions of the Flex SDK as possible. Due to restrictions on >some components that have been licensed from third parties or come from >other Adobe products, some portions of the current free Flex 2 SDK may be >made available in binary form only."
    This is very different from what Sun is doing with Java, where the remaining parts of the JDK not yet open sourced are just temporary until Sun finds a settlement with the code owners. What are these binary-only parts? What impact do they have on programmers?
  5. This smells of red herring[ Go to top ]

    Kudos to Adobe for the announcement. Except... does it go deep enough? It looks like only the development tools are being released under the MPL. The Flex run-time, as far as I can gather from the announcement, is still closed-source, license-only-from-us-at-muchos-$$$ product. This is important because in the recent past, the Flex run-time was priced per processor, not even per box. If the run-time hasn't been released as open-source, then OpenLaszlo still remains a better alternative to Flex because the costs of operation for both products are similar, but the license/support costs can be as dramatic as 10:1 in favour of OpenLaszlo, depending on the number of boxes serving Flex. Does anyone care to clarify that? Cheers, E
  6. The Flex run-time, as far as I can gather from the announcement, is still closed-source, license-only-from-us-at-muchos-$$$ product. This is important because in the recent past, the Flex run-time was priced per processor....
    There is no such thing as Flex runtime: Flex SDK is basically a compiler. Flex gets compiled into Flash and runs on Flash Virtual Machine. Flex Data Services are pricey, but frankly I do not see any reasons to use them because at current state they are half baked - they do not support master detail operations real well, it is kinda sorta support. And Flex is very useable without FDS - it includes slightly less performant remoting technology for free.
  7. Flex SDK Compiler from MXML + Actionscript to flash files. Free Will be Open Sourced Not based on Java. Only MXML (XML language) and ActionScript 3 (ECMAScript) Flex Builder Plugin for Eclipse WYSIWYG editor to develop with MXML and ActionScript 500$ Commercial product (other Open Source plugins can be developped by the community) Flex Data Service Web application you can deploy on a JEE server Offers communication service (connected mode between server and client...) Very expensive (10 000$ per server, or something like that) Not needed to develop Flex applications Commercial product (another Open Source server could be developped by the community) Cyril
  8. Cool - thanks Cyril. This last one is the one I was thinking of. That price tag was what turned the tables for me toward OpenLaszlo in another (recent) life. Cheers, Eugene Presenter, TSS Java Symposium Barcelona http://javasymposium.techtarget.com/europe/ Enterprise Application Mashup: Architecting the Future BOF: ESB HOWTO: From Software Selection to Mission-Critical Application Deployment
  9. OSS Alternative to FDS[ Go to top ]

    Flex Data Service

    Web application you can deploy on a JEE server
    Offers communication service (connected mode between server and client...)
    Very expensive (10 000$ per server, or something like that)
    Not needed to develop Flex applications
    Commercial product
    (another Open Source server could be developped by the community)

    Cyril
    There is an open source alternative being developed. http://www.graniteds.org/confluence/display/INTRO/Granite+Data+Services+Overview
  10. Re: This smells of red herring[ Go to top ]

    Adobe will release the AMF protocol spec to the public as well so a gap between the java services and laszlo from one side and flex from the other can be bridged, and donot forget to google for an opensource version of the flex data objects,it is at 0.1 release but progressing ,and even without the runtime you still can use the opensource components with the http services and webservices(u can use them without the adobe server components)
  11. Kudos to Adobe for the announcement. Except... does it go deep enough?

    It looks like only the development tools are being released under the MPL. The Flex run-time, as far as I can gather from the announcement, is still closed-source, license-only-from-us-at-muchos-$$$ product.
    You are referring to Flex 1.5. Flex 2 has no runtime costs associated with it. Except for the data connection framework, which you do not strictly need but is very convenient for high performance serverside communications. AFAIN this part of Flex has not been open sourced, nor is it distributed freely in binary form. Marc
  12. I attended the Web 2.0 Expo last week and the pressure on Adobe to move towards open source was pretty intense. Adobe was at that conference to release Apollo and they must have been bombarded by waves of negative sentiment. Besides the call to open-source Flex, a lot of attendees did not feel too kindly towards Apollo. From the people I spoke with and the conversations I overheard, Apollo was perceived as a Microsoft-like move - i.e., a vendor-locked solution based on a proprietary technology. The most common statement that I heard was "I will never move to Apollo unless Adobe opens up that technology". I guess they got the message loud and clear.
  13. Evolutionary Process[ Go to top ]

    It's more about continual evolution and doing what's right for our customers. This was the next natural step for Flex. Flex 2 moved from a high price tag to free and also shipped the framework source code. This is just the next logical step in an evolutionary process. More about how this benefits developers on my blog: http://www.jamesward.org/wordpress/2007/04/25/open-source-flex-top-10-reasons-to-rejoice/ -James (Adobe)
  14. I attended the Web 2.0 Expo last week and the pressure on Adobe to move towards open source was pretty intense. Adobe was at that conference to release Apollo and they must have been bombarded by waves of negative sentiment. Besides the call to open-source Flex, a lot of attendees did not feel too kindly towards Apollo. From the people I spoke with and the conversations I overheard, Apollo was perceived as a Microsoft-like move - i.e., a vendor-locked solution based on a proprietary technology. The most common statement that I heard was "I will never move to Apollo unless Adobe opens up that technology".

    I guess they got the message loud and clear.
    Remember that Apollo isn't 1.0 yet so there is still plenty of time for Adobe to decide how to market/release it. I'm glad they are getting real feedback from developers. My guess is that eventually it will resemble Java JVM, or Flash - that the "player" will be closed-source and controlled by Adobe. I'm also predicting that an Apollo devlopment API and compiler will be free (like Flex) and that Adobe will try to make its money by providing slick tools for building Apollo apps. Apollo is pretty cool stuff. It is what Sun should have let Java Web Start grow into if Sun actually cared about portable desktop applications.
  15. .. It is what Sun should have let Java Web Start grow into if Sun actually cared about portable desktop applications.
    If Sun was just smart enough and make JRE modular rather then grow the behemoth we would not have to deal with Flash Virtual Machine. FVM just does not make sense to me - JVM can do all that and more - JVM simply need to be modular.
  16. .. It is what Sun should have let Java Web Start grow into if Sun actually cared about portable desktop applications.

    If Sun was just smart enough and make JRE modular rather then grow the behemoth we would not have to deal with Flash Virtual Machine. FVM just does not make sense to me - JVM can do all that and more - JVM simply need to be modular.
    Well, FVM have been around for around the same time as JVMs right? If Sun wanted to support easy and flashy graphics they could have done so long ago. The way I see history is: Sun rushed out Applets. They stunk and got a bad reputaton. Sun more or less abandoned them (yes they improved but the marketing was gone). Macromedia steped in to fill the void and did a much better job. They understood the user experience side of the web better than Sun (or Microsoft for that matter) and had web 2.0 experiences available long before AJAX was coined. Flash technology also understands that you need non-techy designers to be able to be part of the process and do some of the animations themseleves. What's interesting is now Microsoft is playing catch-up. I read an article where they are trying to come up with their own Apollo-like technology. Of course it'll only run on Windows so I'm not sure what the point will be.
  17. The way I see history is: Sun rushed out Applets. They stunk and got a bad reputaton. Sun more or less abandoned them (yes they improved but the marketing was gone).
    That way I see history is: Applets didn't stunk at all (as they don't stink today, they are perfectly fine for some areas (*)), but Microsoft ruined them by not supporting fully Java 1.1 in the Explorer (for instance by removing completely RMI that was the easier and most viable technology for having Applets talking to the server). At the time Explorer got the 90+% of the market and it's clear that this move prevented Applet from being successful. In the following years Sun failed to deliver a modular JRE (as others said) and to provide a smooth way to install it. I don't think they didn't wanted, it's that they concentrated on the rise of the EE and didn't pay the Desktop the right attention. However I see a big change in Sun's attitude in the latest two years: there's still some chance to fill the gap. This opened a huge space for Adobe, whose main good point is the capability of providing a light and easy to install Flash runtime. For webapps whose client is not too complex and must be pervasive, Flex is probably good. Sure I like it more than Ajax. For webapps whose clients are under some admin control, JWS could work and frankly I won't give up on using a much better language and richer framework. For Rich Client Applications franlky I don't see any reason for not using Java. Going back on the original topic, if the full stack is not open sourced I see still potential problems.
  18. What's interesting is now Microsoft is playing catch-up. I read an article where they are trying to come up with their own Apollo-like technology. Of course it'll only run on Windows so I'm not sure what the point will be.
    Once again mis-information spread on this forum about Microsoft. Microsoft already has their Apollo-like technology and Flex-like technology. ie. WPF and Silverlight. And SilverLight runs in any browser and OS.
  19. And SilverLight runs in any browser and OS.
    Where can I get the Linux version? -James (Adobe)
  20. And SilverLight runs in any browser and OS.


    Where can I get the Linux version?

    -James (Adobe)
    Where can I get the FreeBSD version of Flash?
  21. Where can I get the FreeBSD version of Flash?
    Good question. Sign the petition here: http://www.petitiononline.com/flash4me/petition.html We do at least provide Windows, Mac, Linux and Solaris versions of Flash 9. For other platforms I hear that Gnash is coming along nicely. -James (Adobe)
  22. Once again mis-information spread on this forum about Microsoft. Microsoft already has their Apollo-like technology and Flex-like technology. ie. WPF and Silverlight. And SilverLight runs in any browser and OS.
    I believe that Silverlight will only be available for Windows and Mac OS X initially. There is a small .NET runtime installation involved in using this technology. And the initial version of Silverlight will be modest at best. http://www.microsoft.com/silverlight/asp/faq.aspx WPF is very cool and Java and Flex could learn a bit from this newcomer, but Microsoft has to do a better job with its tooling. VS 2005 with WPF and WCF "Orcas" extensions (available currently as a CTP) just don't cut it for development. Perhaps VS 2008 (aka "Orcas") will remedy this. Time will tell.
  23. WPF is very cool and Java and Flex could learn a bit from this newcomer
    I agree with you on this, but I'm curious what you think WPF does better than Flex. This would be helpful information for us since we are currently building Flex 3. Thanks. -James (Adobe)
  24. The way I see history is: Sun rushed out Applets. They stunk and got a bad reputaton. Sun more or less abandoned them (yes they improved but the marketing was gone). Macromedia steped in to fill the void and did a much better job.
    What if I rephrase it like this: "Sun rushed out EJB. It stunk and got a bad reputation. Sun improved it but the marketing was gone. Spring and Hibernate stepped in to fill the void and did a much better job." or: "Sun rushed out JSP. It stunk and got a bad reputation. Sun more or less abandoned it in favor of JSF." Do I see a system here?
    Macromedia had ... web 2.0 experiences available long before AJAX was coined.
    Stop web 2.0 nonsense. Web 2.0 does not exist. It's a marketing term which describes collaboration and aggregating, and Flash has nothing to do with that. In any case, Flash is not a standard component of web, like HTTP or HTML, so the accessible and standards-compliant sites need to have two versions: with Flash and without.
  25. I'm sure listening to lunatic open source zealots is going to help Adobe's bottom line.
  26. Flex Builder for Linux?!?![ Go to top ]

    So does this mean we can finally get a version of Flex Builder for Linux?
  27. It's already been explained that not everything related to Flex will be Open Source. The Flex Builder plugin for Eclipse and Flex Data Services are not being Open Sourced. But let me make sure everyone understands this very clearly... You do NOT need those pieces to build Flex applications. They are optional. I personally use vim and Ant for most of my Flex development on Linux. Everything you need to build Flex applications is going to be open source with the exception of libraries that we license and libraries that are part of Flash Player or Apollo (these will distributed as binaries). We are still figuring out which pieces fall under this, but they are going to be insignificant. As I pointed out in response to Ed Burnette's article, the whole stack isn't open source, but the two most important pieces in the stack are. The Mozilla Tamarin VM which is used in both Flash Player & Apollo and the Flex compiler, debugger, & framework classes are now open source. As I said in another comment here, this is an evolutionary process based heavily on what our customers want. If you want to be part of directing that evolutionary process, come join the flex-open-source Google Group and let us know your thoughts. -James (Adobe)
  28. Another IDE you might want to consider is: http://www.flashdevelop.org/ There's a Dutch article on how to configure it for Flex development here: http://www.naarvoren.nl/artikel/flex/. If you just sort of download and install everything you see referenced there you should be ok ;-) Marc
  29. So much FUD here[ Go to top ]

    Adobe was already giving away the FLEX SDK. Now they are open sourcing the SDK portion. I think the marketing plan is this: 1) Give away the SDK and make money on the high-end tools 2) This is no different than what they've done with Flash and PDF 3) By giving away the run-time engine (flash player), compiler, and open sourcing MXML language they gain market penetration. (A version of the flash player is already estimated to be on 90% of internet-connected computers) 4) With greater market penetration, more people will be inclined to buy their tools. This isn't bad and, if you develop in Flash/Flex, it is a good thing.
  30. I won't care until Flex Data Services are free. When that happens, I will be VERY excited! The price tag is the ONLY reason we don't use FDS. If it were free, we would most likely abandon our Java Swing client and move to a Flex client.
  31. I won't care until Flex Data Services are free. When that happens, I will be VERY excited! The price tag is the ONLY reason we don't use FDS. If it were free, we would most likely abandon our Java Swing client and move to a Flex client.
    Have you looked at the Open Source Granite Data Services project? http://www.graniteds.org/ Let me know if you have any questions as you begin porting your Swing client. ;) -James (Adobe)
  32. I won't care until Flex Data Services are free. When that happens, I will be VERY excited! The price tag is the ONLY reason we don't use FDS. If it were free, we would most likely abandon our Java Swing client and move to a Flex client.
    I'm with you. Or at least, open source the documentation for it. ;) I have so many questions about the internal workings of FDS (Assembler Scoping, How to send paging info for large queries to the DB, not just pushing a huge result set to the client in pages, etc..) I was thrilled about this announcement until realizing that my primary reason for wanting this open-sourced, FDS, was not included. This shouldn't detract from the great news. Kudos to Adobe and its contributions to the Development Community. S, ALR
  33. Thats really good news, unless otherwise they are going to opensource Flex Data Services and other Flex commerciallised components/plugins, i doubt how long it will be a successful story. This scenorio remembers me the Eclipse Development Framework. Even though IBM announced some part of Eclipse-plugins as opensource, we all know what happened to them. Most of us using Eclipse only as an IDE. Small size/(Few medium size also?) vendors are only doing business with Eclipse plugins, but they are restricted in term of providing functionalities. I suspect same story might be repeated to Flex also. Regards, Saravanan.
  34. Flex = MPL license[ Go to top ]

    Robert Scoble has an interview with Adobe's Flex engineering management at: http://scobleizer.com/2007/04/25/adobe-opensources-flex/ The Adobe VP of engineering said they are doing this to get broader adoption so they can sell more tools and servers. They are releasing the Flex SDK (which includes the framework, command line debugger, and builder code) under the Mozilla Public License (MPL.) They see MPL as a commercially friendly license. They see MPL being less viral than GPL. They say in the video "People can take MPL and use it internally without making any of their IP publicly available." MPL can also create commercial products without sharing the improvements back to the Adobe. From the video they say the MPL license means others can create competitors to the Builder. So I guess a Linux version of Builder is something one could create, and probably do well with. They are planning to open their bug database and start doing daily builds starting in Summer. -Frank
  35. This is great news. Flex 2 is a very cool piece of technology and I think open sourcing its core components will only improve it. If you have done complex Java web apps with lots of AJAX its enough to make you cry. My experience with Flex is that you can do stuff with will make you customers jaw drop, and you don't have to be a Java/AJAX rocket scientist. There are some bits you need to pay for like the FlexBuilder or the charting components but is a pretty trivial cost for commercial development, and its worth every cent. regards Malcolm Edgar www.avoka.com
  36. Its a gr8 news Sudhir http://www.jyog.com
  37. Pagination requires FDS?[ Go to top ]

    Flex is a very good product especially since its runtime Flash is ubiquitous. Do we need to install Flex Data Services to have the pagination feature? It is not a problem to invest in Flex Builder plugin and Charting components. However, FDS is expensive. At least for now, we don't have much need for what FDS has to offer except for Pagination. We might not adopt this technology if we have to install FDS at such a price.
  38. Re: Pagination requires FDS?[ Go to top ]

    However, FDS is expensive.
    But FDS is free for 1 CPU.
  39. I have programmed Swing UIs for a few years and now I am experimenting with Flex. The problem with applets was/is: 1. Applets provide access almost to all Java facilities and are not just a UI framework. This opens the door to all kind of abuse (doing things that you are not supposed to do in UI) 2. Swing provides tools to create UIs, but not a framework. Every swing programmer does it differently, and has his own way of doing things 3. Code looks ugly. We have seen all efforts to hide the code that generates the UI layout. 4. MVC is not enforced 5. And please try to use SwingWorker in a larger more complex application! Flex has tried to address the above mentioned problems with Swing. It is a UI framework, it separates UI layout and binding from the application logic and the serverside backend. FlexBuilder does a very good job in creating the UI and provides a very good debugging facilities. I do not mind paying for tools such as FlexBuilder. Open-sourcing the SDK is a good marketing move. The main hurdle is the data services piece that is too expensive. They can make it free, but what will be their source of income? I am planning to spend more time on Flex. I am not sure if it will be a good decision or not, it will depend on how Adobe will market the tool and how it will be able to convince more programmers to give it a change. Reza Paidar http://primestucco.com
  40. The main hurdle is the data services piece that is too expensive.
    I keep hearing this but I don't understand why people keep saying this. Data Services is totally optional. There are lots of other options for communicating with your back-end... HTTPService, WebService, Granite Data Services, WebOrb, Red 5, etc. If Data Services doesn't fit your needs and budget then choose one of the other options. -James (Adobe)
  41. Flex is open-sourced now.But there is no open-source builder tool like Flex Builder. Flex builder is very expensive for developer. There is no free-license for developer.