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From Leo Simons <m...@leosimons.com>
Subject Re: [PROPOSAL] Flex for Apache Incubator
Date Wed, 21 Dec 2011 14:43:02 GMT
Hey folks,

I had to think about this a bunch. We don't have anything like this at
apache today.

On Tue, Dec 20, 2011 at 9:37 PM, Greg Stein <gstein@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Tue, Dec 20, 2011 at 15:30, Raju Bitter <rajubitter@googlemail.com> wrote:
>> (..) Adobe Flex is quite different from most Apache projects (...)
>> 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. (...)

Just to pick this apart...

* Flex helps you make apps that target the flash player (or the AIR runtime...)
* There is effectively one implementation of flash player (supporting
the v10 SWFs that come out of flex...)
** which you get from adobe or someone that has an agreement with adobe
** which comes with very restrictive licenses [3]
*** basically you probably can't even *use* it if you want to
implement a flash player yourself [4].
* This flash player plays SWF files (and FLVs..).
** SWF has an "open spec" that isn't very open at all [1,2].
* Flex does not produce SWF files all by itself. It uses the Flash SDK
and the AIR SDK (and some other bits)
** which you have to get from adobe and which come with very
restrictive licenses.
* Adobe could unilaterally change the license for the flash player,
the SWF format, and/or the prerequisite SDKs, and flex would become
essentially useless.

Analogies to .Net or Java (or oracle databases) don't make much sense
to me. Instead if I had to come up with an analogy, it would be
something like having an apache http server that you could only
install on windows, and run only if you already had IIS, and that
would then host websites that you could only view if you had internet
explorer.

I don't understand why it's useful to have such a project at apache.
But, apparently, a lot of people do want to work on it, and flex is
obviously useful to a lot of people.

So is there a problem? I guess not. As long as the Apache Flex website
makes all this clear enough and no-one makes a PR mess out of it or
anything like that, I don't see any actual problem with the proposal.
I can't say I'm enthusiastic about it, but I don't have to be.


cheerio,


Leo

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SWF#Licensing
[2] http://www.adobe.com/devnet/swf.html
[3] http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/eula/flashplayer10.html
[4] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gnash#Adobe_Flash_Player_End_User_License_Agreement

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