Changes can often be uncomfortable, but what does Adobe Flex migrating to the open source Apache Foundation mean from a historical view? Let’s look at some commercial projects and their migration to open source.


IBM Eclipse R1.0, (c) IBM Corp 2000, 2001

Eclipse was originally a project developed by IBM Canada as a JAVA based-replacement for the Smalltalk based VisualAge family of products. In November 2001, over a decade ago, a consortium was founded to move Eclipse to open source, in 2004 the Eclipse foundation was created.

If you want to take a trip back to the past, Eclipse Version 1.0 is actually available in the Eclipse Foundation archive.

Without Eclipse, Flash Builder wouldn’t exist in this form today.

A similar situation with originated as StarOffice, an office suite developed by StarDivision and acquired by Sun Microsystems in August 1999. The source code of the suite was released in July 2000 with the aim of reducing the dominant market share of Microsoft Office by providing a free and open alternative. [Wikipedia]

And it obviously worked: 3.x reached one hundred million downloads just over a year since its release.  [Wikipedia]

Apache HTTP server

Apache is a project of the Apache Software Foundation and part of Flash Media Server 4.5.1,

Since April 1996 Apache has been the most popular HTTP server software in use. As of May 2011 Apache was estimated to serve 63% of all websites and 66% of the million busiest.  [Wikipedia]

These are just some examples, but it becomes clear open source is an opportunity, not a burden, especially if large enterprises can now take their faith and their Flex framework feature requests into their own hands.

Please note this is my personal opinion, Deepa Subramaniam has an official update on the Flex Team Blog.