I love it when you Flex like that

Apache Flex gains Top Level Project status – but is it too late?

Chris Mayer

After 14 months incubation, the Flash-based framework emerges from incubation at Apache. But has the world moved on?

Cross platform application framework
Apache Flex
has officially been promoted to Top-Level Project status at
the Apache Software Foundation, 14 months after Adobe’s

The ubiquitous Flash-based Flex framework, used to
rich Internet applications,
emerged from the incubation process in December, signifying
that it was ready to become an Apache project.

Adobe pushed the Flex SDK to Apache in November 2011,
believing their future lay away from Flash and with HTML5 for
application development.

“In the long-term, we believe HTML5 will be the best
technology for enterprise application development,”

Adobe stated in a blog post
. “We also know
that, currently, Flex has clear benefits for large-scale client
projects typically associated with desktop application

Despite this, Adobe didn’t abandon the project,
continuing to ship updates and oversee
the management of the Apache-governed project.

The announcement comes alongside the dual release of Apache
Flex 4.9 and Apache Flex SDK Installer 2.0, consisting of an SDK,
compiler and automated testing tools. Highlights of the latest
version include the arrival of Java 7 support in compiling, as well
as being able to work with Flash Player versions 10.2
through 11.5.

“The Apache Flex SDK Installer increases software developer
productivity by reducing the amount of time spent configuring
utilities and components needed to make the SDK work with an IDE,”
said OmPrakash Muppirala, release manager for the Apache Flex SDK

Vice President of Apache Flex, Alex Harui believes that
gaining TLP status “demonstrates Apache Flex’s commitment to ‘The
Apache Way’” and its ability to self-govern. He also indicated that
work has already begun on the next release, with plans “to include
better support for Maven and better parity between mx and spark

With the transition period over, the team behind Apache Flex
can focus on getting a healthy community contributing code behind
it. Their Apache top billing shows they’re committed to the cause,
but with the enterprise world embracing HTML5 as the de facto
choice application development, is it too late?

The late Steve Jobs’
thoughts on Adobe Flash
in 2010 put the nail on
the Flash coffin, saying that “
new open standards
created in the mobile era, such as HTML5, will win on mobile
devices (and PCs too).” With Adobe jumping ship over a year ago,
the technology’s
days are numbered with its relevance
on the desktop only intact. For now.

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