The Open Sourcing of FLEX

by Kurt Cagle

Adobe announced a few days ago that they would be open sourcing the FLEX API and framework. I've found it amusing and instructive over the years to realize just how open source licenses are increasingly being used by companies as a business weapon, as a means of gaining (or keeping) control over a market at the cost of losing software license fees.

Certainly, this is the case here. Adobe and Microsoft have long been engaged in a quiet cold war that has, at its base, control of the way that information is presented - how documents are laid out and fonts are displayed, how vector graphics work in two, three and four dimensions (assuming time as the fourth), how we build user interfaces for everything from game programming to advertisements to forms. Adobe, Microsoft and the W3C have each established differing approaches to this problem of presentation, the first two by creating proprietary standards and technologies on top of them, the last by creating open standards and encouraging the use of these standards by others to build the technologies.


7 Comments

Dave P.
2007-04-30 10:20:00
What if SilverLight ended up supporting SVG? Heard a rumor about that, for a future version.
Kurt Cagle
2007-04-30 11:57:03
Hmmm ... hadn't heard that one ... it would be ironic if it did. I'll look into it, as it would have a significant impact on SVG if it did.
Dave P.
2007-04-30 11:59:25
Encourage you to do that. I think that would be a further FLEX killer, viewed from Redmond's mountaintop. The graphics stuff in FLEX appears more primitive than SVG, so you'd either have to do a bunch of programming yourself, or integrate / learn somebody else's add-ins. Cheers!
Philip Fennell
2007-05-01 01:50:03
Flex supports the embedding of SVG files within a Flex application but things like SMIL animation do not work, which to my mind is a crying shame. I'm just starting to look at Flex as means of delivering cross-platform Rich Internet Applications (RIA) after a brief flirtation with Open Laszlo. If I where in a position to deliver XSLT + SVG + XForms to customers I would because together they'd knock Flex (and Silverlight) into a cocked hat!
Dave P.
2007-05-01 07:50:26
We looked a FLEX a bit, and other stuff for our small scale RIA, and I can testify that XQuery, XSLT, and SVG are indeed knock-out tools and ways to develop. That said, we have had to struggle with pagination for printing, and cross-browser issues for hybrid (html+svg) documents (using in-line SVG, see http://wiki.svg.org/Inline_SVG).
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darmowe gry
2008-01-07 06:28:04
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