As if the news from earlier last week wasn’t enough of a blow to the Flash community (referring to Flash no longer being developed for mobile browsers), the hits seem to just keep coming. On Friday Adobe announced they will be “donating” Flex to an open source initiative called Spoon, and they will no longer be managing the framework.
To me, this was a hard thing to take at first, especially in the wake of the week’s earlier announcement. The decision, though, does make sense in the long run for Adobe… After all, it is company looking to make a profit just like any other, and, from what I gather, the Flash drama with iOS was proving to be more of a hassle than a revenue maker. Regardless, it seemed too soon to make such big movements from a PR standpoint. With these changes and recent layoffs, I can’t imagine those heavily invested in the company feel very stable at the moment.
Over the weekend I spent a lot of time researching and reflecting on the reaction of those who have significant influence in the community. I found a variety of responses (freak outs, whining, Flash/Flex/Adobe bashing, nostalgia, rejection, ignorance, etc.), but the ones that made most sense to me logically involved some level of optimism. It seems that the more level headed people who have been affected by this change have embraced it as a part of the industry, and are moving on. This is what I intend on doing as well.
I have always been an advocate of learning new technologies as often as possible. If you don’t keep your skills sharp and current, you’ll be left behind. Unfortunately, in this instance, my motivation is more forced than proactive. In any case, learning more technology is good, and I’m looking forward to the new challenges that are coming over the horizon.
I haven’t given up on Flash completely as of yet… Flash still lives on the desktop and on mobile devices via Air, there are some top notch players in the biz who will be working on the Spoon initiative, and my current full-time job is developing a Flash application utilizing Air primarily for mobile devices. Hopefully, though, more opportunities will present themselves for me to dig through something new, and I, like many others, will make the transition just fine. I think the movement away from Flash will be slow, and I believe that it has another year or so before the demand is significantly affected… Nonetheless, the time is the present to learn, and I will be posting some of those learnings here as I go.