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The Future of Flex and the Flash Player

This question comes in from a reader, about the future of Adobe Flex and the Flash Player:

Hello Jeffry, I know you because some answers your in StackOverFlow.

But my contact is because in Brazil we company is totally based in Adobe Flex used Flash builder 4.6 and AIR for mobile, and I would know you suggestion about future of Flex and flash.

I believe that programming for long year ahead because all programmer in my company lover Flex but sometime I have fear Adobe finish Flash player and my apps canĀ“t running in my clients.

I wrote a lot about the future of Flex in the past.

But, all those posts are few years old. What do I think today?

First, I am not an Adobe employee and am no longer part of the Adobe Community Professional program. I cannot offer any personal insight into what Adobe may do with the Flash Platform.

I do think the Flash Platform will be around for a long time. However, I do not see Flash as a growth area.

It is very difficult for me to run a Flash Debug Player on my Surface Book

Most new browser based applications are written using HTML5-based technologies. I have had success with AngularJS in the HTML5 world. I even wrote a training course about AngularJS for Flex Developers.

AIR for mobile seems a lot more viable than the browser based Flash Player. I know a lot of gaming companies still use AIR for mobile deployment.

In terms of Flex, the Apache Flex team has done wonderful things with Flex. Since you're still on Adobe Flex; I recommend you consider upgrading to the latest version of Apache Flex.

If your clients do not have problems running your apps today; I'm sure they'll continue to run them throughout the next year without any problems.

For those out there who are considering re-writing your apps to use HTML5 tools; feel free to reach out. I am available for consulting, training, or mentoring.

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Peter Demling's Gravatar I'm a 10 year Flex developer currently making the transition to Angular2/TypeScript, and the primary reason is I think it's become very clear that Flash Player is dying a definitely-slow, but slowly-definite death. On the one hand, it's managed to "burrow itself into a slew of niches", to the extent that browser vendors won't just shut it off tomorrow, despite the security issues: there's still too much monetized ad, gaming, video and enterprise app content delivered on it.

But the scope of what's possible with the "pure web" (JS/CSS/HTML) has shifted dramatically, since Steve Jobs hammered the first nail into Flash's coffin back in 2010 with his "Thoughts on Flash". Content and application richness that was once the exclusive purview of Flash/Flex can now be delivered fairly decently with this stack, and in some cases better and more expansively. There are certainly pain points, and I laugh sometimes as JS devs wring their hands over design problems that Flex solved a decade ago; but the library/API foundation first begun with jQuery in 2012 has evolved at an astonishing rate, culminating with ES6 in 2015, and mature component-based frameworks like Angular, React and others today. Data viz? Ten years ago, almost nothing; today, the activity and interest in D3.js alone easily dwarfs all of Flex.

I loved Flex with a passion, was super productive with it, and cherish my memories of 360Flex, with Doug McCune's salty/reflective presentations, and the wonderful feeling of togetherness and vibrancy of a creative community. And Adobe's mismanagement of the product makes me sad, because I think it hastened the decline. But it's over now, and I'm okay with that. For me, the most fulfilling, personally rewarding and job-securing approach is to embrace a mindset of constant learning, be it in Flex, JS or whatever-comes-next. And I think an unexpected silver lining for former Flash/Flex devs is that they'll find that the JS/web ecosystem is currently experiencing an explosion of growth and change, which makes for a very engaging and exciting community; something Flash/Flex hasn't felt in a long time. And it's really embracing the component model - something Flex devs will find themselves right at home with.

When one function closes, another one opens... may the return values be ever positive. : )
# Posted By Peter Demling | 3/24/16 2:44 PM
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