Saturday, January 19, 2013

Flex is Dead ?

Few days back I was delivering one presentation on Flex to few of the new comers, then suddenly one of the guys asked me one question:
'What is the advantage of learning a technology that is already dead?'

I was shocked by that question. I don't know why people think Flex is dead. May be announcement of Adobe to donate Flex to Apache, may be over hype of HTML5 replacing Flex (well I am doubtful about it in near future at least), may be other reasons. But whatever be the reasons, I thought about writing one small post about it. I did some googling for dead technologies and found the following:
“.NET is dead” is the big winner with 576000 search results on Google. Congratulations J

“JAVA is dead” is following with 138.000 results. I can hardly feel this!!
“PHP is dead” is a little child with only 35.600 results.
“Ruby is dead” is in the same range with 30.700 results.
“AJAX is dead” generates 6500 results.



So what do we say? Adobe donated Flex to Apache and HTML5 may seem promising, but that does not mean Flex is dead. My opinion is that the decision to donate Flex was really a good one. As it is open source now and Apache has lots of good developers working on Flex SDK, it may result in brighter future for it. The bugs may be fixed quickly now. Well the future will unfold the real picture. I believe that the following links will provide proper direction:
http://www.riagora.com/2011/11/flex-is-open/
http://blogs.adobe.com/flex/2011/11/your-questions-about-flex.html
http://www.mikechambers.com/blog/2011/11/11/clarifications-on-flash-player-for-mobile-browsers-the-flash-platform-and-the-future-of-flash/
http://www.universalmind.com/mindshare/entry/html5-for-the-enterprise
http://masuland.wordpress.com/2011/11/28/where-could-flash-coding-be-in-the-year-2050/

Let me know your thoughts on it.


6 comments:

Ragav said...

Thanks for you information.But still we are getting very few openings for flex development. is that because of Jquery & HTML5?

Akhil Mittal said...

It due to the perception about Flex, recently created due to many factors. But Flex is still a very good technology and some serious development is going on.

JQuery ans HTML may have some tags and behavior but replacing Flex does not seem to be possible in near future. Flex is very robust and if you are a good flex developer you will be same in other UI Technologies as well. Flex is all about impressive user experience.

levani said...

see, you don't understand the problem here:

flex is opensorce, but its runtime is not (flash), and we do not really know what is going to be the future of it, so from that perspective, yes flex is dying at least it has no bright future (IMHO), because.. adobe pretty much said, "I don't care about flex anymore, here take it, but I am keeping the runtime for myself, and I will decide what do do with it in the near future" so now its scary situation: you invest time learning flex and one day flash runtime is no longer supported in browsers? or adobe modifies something and brakes your flex code?
what are you gonna do?this is another problem there is the disconnection between flash player development and flex development,
API compatabilities .. roadmaps etc ..

so i believe adobe is going to retire flash runtime , flash builder development is already stoped, also flash profesional IDE will follow it and I also believe blazeds will be there too

Akhil Mittal said...

Levani,

Thanks for your comment. I absolutely understand that FP is not open sourced and that is a bottle-neck in some ways. But that does not mean Flex is dead. As of now no technology has the potential to replace it. With time may be we will get an alternative.

As of now HTML5 is good enough to create some fancy drawing tool or to-do sort of app but serious corporate app development is not feasible. Sencha has the potential but still it has got lot of bugs to cope with.

With HTML5 we have moved to 5-10 years back comparing with Flex. So as of now it is very much the best UI technology to work with. I hope I made my point clear.

Stephen Buckley said...

Levani

Heres the rub, most HTML 5 Developers have never built the sort of systems running behind bank firewalls using the Flash runtime.

The Project I worked on at a bank ran to 750,000 of Flex Code. the project had a lifespan of 10 years. It is in a sealed environment where even updating the Player is strictly. The Flash Players major goal was never to break backwards compatibility. I wish I could say the same about browsers. I do want to consult "CanIuse.com" to check if I can use a feature. The community now owns the Flex framework, it is a pity more developers do not give something back. For my own use at the company I work for we keep source copies of every code library we use, Parsley, FLEX RobotLegs etc. Where we find a use case that warrants it from now on we will push new classes back to the source tree that add new function. The Air Runtime is useful for building fast desktop apps. So in house the Flash platform is super productive for many applications. we can use the core logic in many places and just change the views. Simply because many people are ignorant of the benefits of the Flash tooling and platform is no reason to stop using it where it gives you commercial advantage. Before you ask I can and do write both Native iOS Code and HTML 5. I have built embedded UI's for devices and set top boxes, and have been at the bleeding edge of technology for the last 20 years, so I would not count Flex or the Flash Player out just yet, its a useful weapon in the armoury.
Would I stake my professional life on a great white hope like HTML 5 Hell no! In 5 years time after people have wasted millions of man hours trying build on sand someone will come up with something better than trying to brute force a browser into a totally contorted position

Akhil Mittal said...

Thanks Stephen for the explanation.