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From sébastien Paturel <>
Subject What is the essence of Flex? its future and the Next runtime (was: Re: ASC 2.0 and Falcon)
Date Fri, 19 Oct 2012 12:59:02 GMT
Thanks Gordon for asking about the nature of Flex.
Flex is a RIA sdk and not a gaming SDK, ok thats quite obvious.

But flex must be multiscreen ! and if flex don't run on all screen it 
has no future!
What has put Flex in a difficult position last month is the fact that 
HTML5 could not be targetted!
What has kept Flex alive is to be able to create apps for iOS and 
Android with the same mature framework.
And what can give a bright future to Flex is to be able to target as 
much screens as possible, again, including HTML5.

So lets define a multiscreen strategy here!

Flex is multiscreen because it runs on Adobe's Flashplayer and AIR.
One of its big strenght is to be able to create apps for Desktops 
(starting from flash player 10 which has unbeatable ubiquity thanks to 
the monopoly of flash player on the video streaming area), smartphones 
and tablets, including  iOs AND android.
but it can't run on HTML5. Its not a big deal yet because HTML5 is not 
mature enough (performances) and the user usage is not much on the 
webapp area yet, so native apps is the place to be for now.
It can't target linux well since AIR runtime will not target it anymore, 
and flash player is not quite stable. Its sad but its not big deal as an 
economic point of view, as theres not much users on it.
Thats what makes Flex still a rationnaly good solution nowadays, even in 
an HTML5 hype world.

If there is new mobile hardwares smartphones and tablets, Adobe will 
probably target it with its runtimes, but according to its new strategic 
shift it will be with the new gaming runtime only!
So flex won't run on those new hardwares even being based on Adobes 
runtimes, if we do not port the framework to this new runtime 
architecture! Am i wrong?
It would kill Flex for mobile, as a viable commercial solution.
So if the port to new Adobe runtime is a manageable amount of work 
(threw starling2D), i think we should do it for this reason.
If we need to change architecture of flex sdk for it (more modularity 
and break the UIComponent as everyone wants to), lets start with it anyway.
In that case Flex would still rely on Adobes runtimes for multiscreen, 
but being inline with the new Adobe strategic shift so it would give the 
project more time to be able to run on Adobe's free runtimes.
And being based on a stage3D renderer, would make the future shift to 
openGLES more easy. Am i wrong?

Near future:
IMO the goal is that:
Flex target openGLES and native runtimes of all mobile hardwares. My 
personnal dream is to be able to target all screens including smart TVs 
and gaming consoles (but for RIA apps dev)
Flex target HTML5 which has become mature and viable for serious RIA.

In conclusion,
The first priority for flex IMO is to stay multiscreen.
targetting HTML5 is big priority but in a long term.
targetting new coming mobile hardwares is big priority in short term!

The final questions are:
is it really a more rapid solution to target Next Adobe's runtime as a 
first step before being able to target any new mobile native runtimes 
(threw openGLES directly) or not?
And what we need to change first in the framework to make it possible?
Do flex need a language port to stay multiscreen? stay with AS3? AS4? 
Dart? Haxe? etc.

I'm eager to read your thoughts and arguments, pro and against.

Le 19/10/2012 01:28, Gordon Smith a écrit :
> Yes, the community has to figure out what the essence of Flex really is. To me, it's
an rapid-development application framework, the combination of a procedural language with
a declarative language, and a widely-deployed runtime that can support RIAs. The runtime of
the future for RIAs seems to be native code for mobile devices and HTML/Javascript for browser
apps. The best procedural language is anything that can be compiled to these runtimes. MXML
is a perfectly good declarative language for UIs.
> - Gordon
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Michael A. Labriola []
> Sent: Thursday, October 18, 2012 4:07 PM
> To:
> Subject: RE: ASC 2.0 and Falcon
>> PS I don't think Apache Flex needs to stand for what Flex is today though, and this
is where innovation in the future needs to happen in this project.
> +65535

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