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From Raju Bitter <rajubit...@googlemail.com>
Subject Re: [PROPOSAL] Flex for Apache Incubator
Date Tue, 20 Dec 2011 21:49:13 GMT
Thanks for the quick response, Greg!

On 12/20/11 9:37 PM, Greg Stein wrote:
> On Tue, Dec 20, 2011 at 15:30, Raju Bitter<rajubitter@googlemail.com>  wrote:
>> ...
>> 2) Action Script Virtual Machine (AVM)
>> In November 2006 Adobe open source the Flash Player Script engine:
>> http://www.mozilla.org/en-US/press/mozilla-2006-11-07.html
>> Is the source code of Tamarin still the current version of the Action Script
>> Virtual Machine in Flash Player 11? If there is a new version of the AVM
>> (2+), will that be contributed to the Apache Software Foundation as well?
>>
>> It doesn't really make sense to only contribute a compiler, if there is no
>> open source implementation of a runtime/scripting engine available, but that
>> might only be my personal view. If the community would decide to create a an
>> open standards based runtime for Flex, would that mean the community would
>> have to start from zero?
>
> I think that's just your personal view :-)
That's true, but still would be good to have an open source, up-to-date
scripting engine for ActionScript bytecode to enable other future
runtimes (imagine running the same ActionScript 3 code in the client and
on the server, like node.js). Therefore it would be very valuable to
know if Tamarin is still compatible with the scripting engine Flash
Player 11.

> There is a ton of open source code written to work against Oracle's
> RDBMS, or Windows' .NET runtime, or Apple's iOS. I see no problem with
> Apache Flex targeting a proprietary environment.
I'm not sure which projects you are talking about: .NET runtime should
be compatible to Mono,

>> 3) Commercial support for Apache Flex
>> Does Adobe plan to offer support for an Apache Flex product? If yes, what
>> kind of support would be planned. I read somewhere that Adobe will not offer
>> any support for Flex 4.6+ to new customers, but I'm not sure, if that's
>> still the current plan.
>
> I think this is orthogonal/unrelated to the Apache Flex proposal.
I think it is related to the proposal. If Adobe has binding contracts
for future versions of Flex, and the Apache community would decide to
change Apache Flex 4.7 implementation details, Adobe might be forced to
fork the project for customers. How would that work?

>> 4) Flash Player
>> Are there any plans to open source a stripped-down version of Flash Player,
>> e.g. the discontinued version of Flash Player for mobile) in the future
>> (similar to the pure open source Flex SDK vs. the commercial SDK)? The
>> Apache community could continue working on a browser-based mobile runtime
>> for Apache Flex, if that was the case.
>
> Likewise.
Isn't it a valid question to ask which runtimes will be available for a
a framework with compiler? To be technically correct, Flex applications
WON'T run in mobile browsers without a Flash Player (which means you
won't see a Flex application on iOS). You CAN compile a Flex application
into a mobile application using the Adobe AIR SDK and the Adobe AIR
player. The proposal mentions rich Internet applications running in
desktop and mobile browsers. Elsewhere iOS is mentioned. As we all know,
Flash applications (SWF files) cannot be rendered in iOS browser.
Therefore the question if there will be a way run mobile Flex
applications in mobile browsers as rich Internet applications (versus
native apps) is very valid in my eyes.

>
>> I hope I don't sound to skeptical here, but Adobe Flex is quite different
>> from most Apache projects I've been in contact with. It's a powerful
>> compiler with an interesting language, but it looks like the output of the
>> compiler can only be used with Adobe-owned proprietary software at the
>> moment.
>
> As I mentioned above, I don't see this as a problem whatsoever. And
> even if *some* people have a problem with it, there is a huge
> committer list of people who obviously have zero problem with that
> fact. The Foundation is here to provide support to communities, rather
> than block them on philosophical rationales. (IMO :-) So if a
> community wants to build up around Apache Flex, then we do what we can
> to help them.
I've been using Flash for the past 8 years in projects, organized Flex
User Group meetings, co-organized events with Adobe. I have a good
understanding of what Flash, ActionScript and AIR are capable off, how
many people are using Flash, how useful it can be.

But none of the companies offering RIA related products and players in
the past 7 years (Adobe, Microsoft, Sun, Oracle, to name the big ones)
has not been affected by strategy changes of the management, often
leaving developers and clients in positions which were less optimal.
(Adobe Flex 1.5 -> 2.0 changes, differences in Silverlight APIs with
major version upgrades, Sun/Oracle dumping JavaFX Script, Microsoft's
decision to favor HTML5 over Silverlight).

Adobe decided to discontinue development of Flash Player for mobile
devices and smart TVs (it's a company decision, we have to respect
that, but it wasn't easy for large number of people to hear those
news). If they would decide to discontinue the desktop version of
Flash Player, wouldn't it be good if the community would have an
alternative runtime prepared already? I believe it is in the interest
of the Apache Flex community to have an alternative runtime for Flex
in the not-too-far future, and if Adobe would express support of that
goal , it would be very valuable.

The proposal might have a sentence saying: "Adobe will provide the
Apache community with the technical information needed to develop
additional runtimes for Flex." Would that be acceptable?

> Cheers,
> -g

Thanks again for you comments!

Raju

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