The recent months have been very eventful for Flex developers, and initial concerns turned quickly into excitement to get behind the new opportunity. Flex made significant recent steps to become a full open-source project, starting with a brand new logo (*). Adobe’s Holly Schinsky provides a great overview of the current status.

It’s been contributed to the Apache community and is in incubator status. Incubator status is a holding place for a new Apache project and basically a gateway to it becoming a full-fledged project after a release or two. It was great news that it was accepted recently and I have no doubt it will quickly move out of this stage into a full-fledged project. The project has an amazing amount of traction so far, and it’s awesome to see all the activity! [..]

The 2012 Flex User Group Tour is about to start and my team will be visiting many locations over the next couple of months where we’ll discuss all the recent activity and announcements and talk about the latest 4.6 release. [full post]

Adobe Flex has been open for a couple of years, but it introduced challenges as outlined in Adobe’s Apache Flex proposal.

The Adobe Flex source code is available to the community on the Adobe opensource site: http://opensource.adobe.com/wiki/display/flexsdk/Flex+SDK. Currently, while the community has been invited to contribute patches to the codebase, only Adobe employees decided on which patches to commit. There were no external committers and this caused frustration in the community. [full proposal]

The move to an open-source framework is a great opportunity for the community, which Joseph Labrecque, senior interactive software engineer, University of Denver, realizes.

With Flex in the hands of the wider community, there are actually more resources available in light of the number of individual contributors. Even if not an Apache contributor yourself, if you have a patch for Flex that would be useful for others – get in touch with a contributor to see whether they might see value in the patch and perform the contribution in your stead. Don’t forget that a number of contributors are Adobe engineers and that they the company has stated that even though the runtimes are still under their care – they will align releases in light of what is going on at Apache. [full post]

João Saleiro, CTO of Webfuel, shares his views.

For me, technologies are just tools. Obviously I would like to have as many good tools as possible so I can be able to choose the right one for each task. Be it Flex, HTML5, Javascript, Actionscript, JAVA, PHP, whatever. [..]

The first conclusion is that we’ll keep using Flex in long-term enterprise RIAs projects, especially targeting installable desktop and mobile applications. Neither the open-standards nor us are ready to build the same type of experiences that our clients expect us to. [full post]

Apache Flex joins PhoneGap, which is completely open-source and has been submitted to the Apache Foundation (and will become Apache Cordova once approved).

Ryan Stewart shares his Hopes For a Web Application Future.

Eventually though I think PhoneGap can be used as inspiration for installable web apps. This is kind of how the standards world moves, as more and more people adopt something, people find ways to bring that something back into the standards.[full post]

 

The Future

Clearly the future will evolve around open standards, and Flex’s move to openness is in line with this vision. It’s up to you to decide what technology works best, a standards based web application with Phonegap, or an AIR powered high end video or gaming experience (and everything in between and beyond).

But the beauty is the future is in your control now, and 2012 is the best year to get engaged. To shape the future of Flex, attend the Spoon Apache Flex meeting, and subscribe to the Apache Flex mailing list.

(*) Update 02/02/2012: I was reminded that “Although that was the winning competition submission to the competition, it isn’t the final logo and it’s highly likely it will go through some tweaking. This is why you don’t yet see it on the Apache Flex wiki”. I will update the post logo once it is finalized.

(*) Update 02/11/2012: Blog post updated with final logo.