Welcome!

Machine Learning Authors: Elizabeth White, Yeshim Deniz, Jason Bloomberg, Zakia Bouachraoui, Pat Romanski

Related Topics: Adobe Flex, SYS-CON MEDIA

Adobe Flex: Article

Adobe Has Inherited Web History from Macromedia...

...and will be making more web history in 2006, with Flash

One of the "inflexion points" of the development of the Web, when commentators and analysts draw breath for long enough to chronicle its history, is certain to be the day that Google, through first Gmail and then Google Maps, opened the eyes of millions to the fact that the Web can be smarter, more responsive, and interactive...above all, that it doesn't have to involve "click, wait, and refresh."

 Google happened to use AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript + XML) for those two bellwether apps. But those of us who have followed the Macromedia, now Adobe, story know of course that AJAX is very much a Johnny-come-lately to the Rich Internet Applications party.

Whereas "AJAX" is barely a year old (Jesse James Garrett having coined it Feb 18, 2005), "Rich Internet Applications" as a term was in circulation many years before. Already at the beginning of the new century, Macromedia's developer-innovators were using the term, so that by 2003 for example "Flash-enabled RIAs" was really quite a common term in developer mailing lists and Macromedia user groups.

Macromedia anticipated AJAX in every way, pioneering the RIA approach of which AJAX is merely a subset, and in 2006 its prescient approach is productized in Flash and Flex and FlexBuilder and Flash Player, products which over time Adobe is likely to help turn into the best-known suite of software on the planet.

From a personal perspective I shall never forget a session that Christophe Coenraets gave at one of the SYS-CON Events conferences I was fortunate enough to Chair, namely Web Services Edge Conference & Expo (East) 2004, in Boston. The session was called "Code-Based Rich Internet Applications with Macromedia Flex" and covered using components, layouts, and managers to build user interfaces as well as using Flex's XML-based language, MXML, to create and manipulate client-side data models. What I remember above all was that the delegates in the completely packed room were spellbound, literally spellbound, by Christophe's agile demonstration of how much could be done with the Web vs. how little anyone was (then) doing. It was as if we'd lost our collective critical judgement, his presentation seemed to imply - as users, and therefore as developers, we'd begun to accept latency that ought never to have been tolerated, and had almost been self-brainwashed into thinking of the Web as "pages" when that in many circumstance was far from the best metaphor. For many in the room, it was an epiphany, you could sense it.

So in reality the inflexion point came long before AJAX, and even longer before Gmail and Google Maps. And it came from Macromedia as much as anyone.

SYS-CON Events - a wholly owned subsidiary of SYS-CON Media which brings you MXDJ each month)has been working with Adobe behind the scenes just recently to bring you the RIA story in a major educational event so that you don't fall into the trap of failing to see the wood for the trees. After all, Flash also interacts with JavaScript on a web page, and it's a highly suitable, lightweight tool for highly responsive web apps. Google Maps could just as easily have been done in Flash several years before it was done in AJAX. Why it wasn't, who knows? Perhaps this will be one of the enigmas discussed at our upcoming Rich Internet Apps Conference in August 2006 (www.RIAConference.com).

So, will Adobe try and crush AJAX, Microsoft-style? And/or openLaszlo? Most definitely not. Under Kevin Lynch's technologically nuanced and developer-centric leadership, it seems much more likely that Adobe's Platform Business Unit will concentrate on inspiring developers to use Flash and HTML "with an AJAX approach" to build Web 2.0-style applications. Especially since it is Kevin himself who oversees Adobe's developer relations program.

As he wrote just recently, in the last issue of MXDJ - in the article based on his industry-respected blog:

"There is clearly a resurgence in how HTML can be used to deliver application user interfaces and terrific progress has been made on that. In addition, Flash brings capabilities that HTML doesn't currently have, and they can be used together to great benefit -- in fact, Flash has already been architected to fit perfectly in the Web 2.0 model.

For example, Adaptive Path has been working on a great new application called MeasureMap that helps people track traffic on their blogs and is being built with a combination of HTML and Flash on the client. Another is how Flickr is using both HTML and Flash, for example implementing the organizer and slideshow with Flash and the photo index with HTML. The language in Flash is ActionScript which is the same as JavaScript, both ECMA standard languages, and it's very simple to call between code in HTML and Flash, enabling smooth integration with a free open-source integration kit."

In the February issue of MXDJ, I'm delighted to give you a heads-up that Adobe's Christian Cantrell - the author of numerous tutorials and white papers as well as being coauthor of Flash Enabled: Flash Design & Development for Devices and of the JavaScript/Flash Integration Kit‹will be writing for us about AJAX to Flash integration, on which he's probably leading expert in the world.

The Adobe product roadmap, mark my words, will continue to keep you as developers far ahead of Microsofties and Ajaxians and all the rest. As it emerges later in the year, you'll be blown away. Meantime, enjoy this issue. And do please keep your 2006 feedback and suggestions coming, by e-mailing [email protected]. "None of us is as smart as all of us," as they say!

More Stories By Jeremy Geelan

Jeremy Geelan is Chairman & CEO of the 21st Century Internet Group, Inc. and an Executive Academy Member of the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences. Formerly he was President & COO at Cloud Expo, Inc. and Conference Chair of the worldwide Cloud Expo series. He appears regularly at conferences and trade shows, speaking to technology audiences across six continents. You can follow him on twitter: @jg21.

Comments (2) View Comments

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Most Recent Comments
Joshua Porter 02/08/06 05:09:29 AM EST

Lynch argues that HTML isn't robust enough for most web application needs, and suggests that Flash is becoming the front-end application tool of choice.

I think that developers will soon prove him wrong, as they (WE) value open, de facto standards over proprietary tools.

queZZtion 02/08/06 04:36:54 AM EST

}} Flash has already been architected to fit
}} perfectly in the Web 2.0 model.

So will we see much more Web 2.0 coverage in MXDJ...I do hope so, sounds great!

CloudEXPO Stories
ICC is a computer systems integrator and server manufacturing company focused on developing products and product appliances to meet a wide range of computational needs for many industries. Their solutions provide benefits across many environments, such as datacenter deployment, HPC, workstations, storage networks and standalone server installations. ICC has been in business for over 23 years and their phenomenal range of clients include multinational corporations, universities, and small businesses.
Headquartered in Plainsboro, NJ, Synametrics Technologies has provided IT professionals and computer systems developers since 1997. Based on the success of their initial product offerings (WinSQL and DeltaCopy), the company continues to create and hone innovative products that help its customers get more from their computer applications, databases and infrastructure. To date, over one million users around the world have chosen Synametrics solutions to help power their accelerated business or personal computing needs.
All in Mobile is a place where we continually maximize their impact by fostering understanding, empathy, insights, creativity and joy. They believe that a truly useful and desirable mobile app doesn't need the brightest idea or the most advanced technology. A great product begins with understanding people. It's easy to think that customers will love your app, but can you justify it? They make sure your final app is something that users truly want and need. The only way to do this is by researching target group and involving users in the designing process.
Digital Transformation and Disruption, Amazon Style - What You Can Learn. Chris Kocher is a co-founder of Grey Heron, a management and strategic marketing consulting firm. He has 25+ years in both strategic and hands-on operating experience helping executives and investors build revenues and shareholder value. He has consulted with over 130 companies on innovating with new business models, product strategies and monetization. Chris has held management positions at HP and Symantec in addition to advisory roles at startups. He has worked extensively on monetization, SAAS, IoT, ecosystems, partnerships and accelerating growth in new business initiatives.
Whenever a new technology hits the high points of hype, everyone starts talking about it like it will solve all their business problems. Blockchain is one of those technologies. According to Gartner's latest report on the hype cycle of emerging technologies, blockchain has just passed the peak of their hype cycle curve. If you read the news articles about it, one would think it has taken over the technology world. No disruptive technology is without its challenges and potential impediments that frequently get lost in the hype. The panel will discuss their perspective on what they see as they key challenges and/or impediments to adoption, and how they see those issues could be resolved or mitigated.