Reading another funny document by Adobe

Today Adobe released another document that brought tears into my eyes. Why 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 more than 10% up 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 re-write 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 it in New York City, “Fuggeddaboudid.”

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?  OK, 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 re-writing the FLex Halo components into Spark architecture just to accomodate the need of this still born 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, “During six years we tried hard, but couldn’t create a stable and performant version of Flash Builder for our own Flex SDK. For some weird reason, Flex developers would spend half of their time waiting for Flash Builder’s workspace to finish rebuilding itself. Design mode never really worked for Spark components. We are off the hook now, yay! Noone would even expect us to fix this for some Apache product. 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 ocasions 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.  Still, it’s sad. I’m going to miss Adobe Max conferences. They knew how to put up great events, really.

7 thoughts on “Reading another funny document by Adobe

  1. Well said. It’ll be highly interesting to see what the turn-out is like for future Adobe MAX conferences. I always bent over backwards to convince my employer than I needed to attend, and I was blown away by the last conference (Weezer, got to shake Rainn Wilson’s hand, etc). I was pumped up and looking forward to showing the world what Flex could do on mobile…then they pulled the rug out from under us.

    Turning your back on developers is only sure to affect their bottom line. Less tweets, less blog posts, less excitement from developers means less excitement from investors over the long run. And hyping HTML5 has only pushed many over to Sencha and ExtJS which is available now. I think this small company will have little problem monetizing the framework and IDE’s without having to hire talent from the Office to do it.

    1. Sencha is a well funded company, and the VC’s money were given specifically to develop the EXT JS series of products. Expect to see the brain drain in Adobe increase as the leftovers from their Flex team and evangelists will migrate to Sencha.

  2. Guys it so sad. Really.
    I suggested to guys from relaxy and jetbrains create a version of flash player of their owm.
    Maybe someone will do it.

  3. Agreed with your views especially on LCDS.
    Adobe people such as Deepa, Mike and Thibault were in Paris the last two days to present to developers of this noble city their Flex and Flash/AIR roadmaps.
    I was there, though we were all glad with the Apache move and the Adobe promis to hand out Falcon and FalconJS at some point in the future to ASF, many of us did wonder if they are high-ranking enough to engage such a responsibility.
    The fact is big companies such as Atos or Sopra who involve in the french public governmental sector no longer issue any solution based on Flex neither in the RIA nor in the mobile development activities.
    There’re still small startups such as Kap-IT to invest massively on Flex but thery are that not many.

  4. Thanks for the blog post Yakov. I am an educator interested in teaching the Adobe Suit to my students, and I was wonder if you could clarify the future of Catalyst and Builder, as well as this new Edge program. I have been trying to understand what place these programs would have in the CS6 line up, and what place they have in the future of Adobe CS releases. Are either Catalyst or Builder being dropped from the line up? Is the new Edge program that works with HTML 5 going to take their place? Your insight would be much appreciated.

  5. Regarding LiveCycle Data Services, it has been shipped out to India. the entire team that worked on it has either been laid-off or are working on other products. Adobe disinvested on it’s enterprise products and all of them are in maintenance mode. I agree with the sentiment on pricing. The philosophy with pricing internally was different. We did not have the support structure to support a lower price. The strategy internally was to add more to BlazeDS to address this market rather than reduce the price of LCDS. What you may not know is that LCDS made good money and was growing pretty well.

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