Facilitating the Spread of Knowledge and Innovation in Professional Software Development

Write for InfoQ


Choose your language

InfoQ Homepage News Flex and the Open Web

Flex and the Open Web

This item in japanese

Kevin Dangoor of SitePen recently blogged about Flash, Silverlight and the Open Web. He offers his defense for open standards as the best future for the web:
We at SitePen are very strongly in favor of the Open Web concept, because it’s the Open Web that has gotten us what we have today and will ultimately lead us to the best “web of the future”. I think that Brad does a good job laying out the characteristics that have made the web successful thus far.
Dangoor goes on to criticize Adobe Flex in context of the open web, although does not clearly quantify what he sees as the “downsides.”
The “is it the Open Web?” question comes up with Adobe Flex. One could always build entire sites in Flash, but doing so was almost entirely filled with downsides.
Ryan Stewart, a Flex evangelist for Adobe, responded on his blog arguing:
Adobe is an incredibly open company. We've released the Tamarin project, the VM for the Flash Player, as an open source project. We've open sourced Flex. We've open sourced BlazeDS which enables rich, real time data communication. And we've opened up the AMF specification which is a much faster way to transfer data between clients and servers. We've been a long time supporter of our runtimes on Linux which includes a public beta of Adobe AIR. We continually solicit feedback from our community, our customers, and our partners in making sure that we innovate on our tools and our platform.

Furthermore, we want to engage with the open web. We think that it benefits everyone if Adobe's rich platform and the browsers/standards committee all continue working towards a richer web.
Dangoor goes on to conclude his assessment of Adobe Flex by asking a key question:
With Adobe providing free Flash players for Windows, Mac and Linux, the tempting question to ask is “why care if SWF is open?”
Dangoor’s ultimate conclusion is that developers will decide:
There is no standards body that can truly dictate what the web of tomorrow looks like. Developers will choose their tools as they build their apps, and users will pick the apps that they like the best. For those of us who are web developers, we should strive to ensure that the web of tomorrow remains open so that we have freedom in how we build our apps.
For developers and architects in the community, does the power of Adobe Flex trump the openness concerns? Do Adobe’s efforts outlined by Ryan Stewarts help to eliminate this concern?

Rate this Article