Is Adobe even trying?

I was watching the live feed from the DNC today, via Silverlight, and Move, and it occurred to me. Microsoft has scored the two biggest online video deals around. Who knows, the RNC too? Making three.

So I got to wondering, is Adobe even trying? Yeah there’s 5 gagillion Flash player downloads, oh wait 5.5 gagillion now, but really, do we think the Olympics and the DNC won’t boost the Silverlight numbers rather dramatically? I installed it after all.

From techCrunch:

NBCOlympics.com may have streamed 72 million videos and racked up 1.2 billion pageviews, but Yahoo Sports still edged it out with an average of 4.7 million visitors a day versus 4.3 million (source: Nieisen Online). And Yahoo didn’t even have video.

surely not unique to users, but still 4.3 million visitors a day? That’s a lot of Silverlight installs.

I don’t disagree that Flash player is still the king of the hill, but is sitting on the hill not defending your position, really the way to move forward?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m under no delusion that M$ didn’t pay a ton of money for their tech to be chosen, no doubt in my mind, but still, was Adobe in the bidding war?Simply outbid, or too proud to participate?

I’m in favor of the high road approach, Tom and I try to take that road more often than not, but at the same time, defending your position is kinda important. What’s there to say when Silverlight installs equal Flash player installs?

47 thoughts on “Is Adobe even trying?

  1. Kevin Hoyt Post author

    Yeah,

    I don’t take it as an attack … In fact, I rather agree with your comment that the rest of the world isn’t in the loop. There’s multiple sides to the loop as well, but I like to think about it as consumers and developers.

    Your mom may not know that Flash rocks, but by watching the Olympics on the Internet, she’s probably not exactly going to tell all her friends about Silverlight either. It’s just an enabler. That being said, she’s probably sending you spam about the latest YouTube video she saw. I think that’s an area where Adobe can focus on leveraging it’s stack to build noisy applications, and I think we’re doing a pretty good job so far (i.e. Photoshop Express, Buzzword and others like Sliderocket, Ribbit, etc.), though it’s very early in the game.

    The other part then is informing developers about what’s available too, so they build these noisy applications.

    This is a particularly challenging problem. Whenever we apply focused effort outside of our existing communities, those constituents (hey, the DNC is in Denver), become outraged, or simply just start panicking. As a ColdFusion developer, you can certainly appreciate this response (What?! Did he not mention CF in his Flex presentation?!). Let’s say that the NBC Olympics guys are a .NET shop. What would be the response of the Adobe communities if we rolled in a ton of .NET features for Flex Builder at the cost of features for ColdFusion 9? Oh, there’d be noise alright, but hey, we got Flash on the Olympics over Silverlight. Yeah?!

    Making noise outside the loop for both consumers and developers is an exceptionally challenging task when you have lead products with over a decade of baggage. Silverlight is free to do whatever it wants to, or feels is best, simply because it doesn’t have to care about what anybody else says. That makes it really easy to make noise.

    Kevin

  2. Ryan Stewart Post author

    I think it’s even more noise than money. Everyone knows Microsoft has a ton of money, but they’re also wicked good at PR. They know all of the journalist folks and know how to pitch them. Frankly, Microsoft versus Adobe with Microsoft as the underdog makes a pretty compelling story.

    I’m partly in the camp that no publicity is bad publicity. Silverlight has gotten a TON of people talking about RIAs and Adobe/Flash. We won’t always win the battles (Olympics, DNC) but we’re doing a great job of fighting the war. Worldwide our Olympics numbers blew Microsoft and Silverlight out of the water. We just need to be louder about it (but that’s coming soon hopefully).

    =Ryan
    ryan@adobe.com

  3. Leif Wells Post author

    I am on board with the sentiment of this entry and the comments. I just don’t want to start sounding like people who use other Adobe products and whine incessantly about Adobe not marking those products properly. That makes me nauseous.

  4. bob Post author

    Let’s not forget that Microsoft and NBC have been in bed together for years with MSNBC, so it’s a pretty good bet that they already had the inside track for the Olympics. Although, I heard a rumor a few weeks ago that because NBC has become so biased and out of control with their promotion of one certain political candidate over another, that Microsoft is considering severing all ties with MSNBC. That could just be a rumor, but maybe NBC giving MS an exclusive spot with the Olympics is their way of making it up to them! ;)

  5. Jake Munson Post author

    Besides the DNC and the Olympics, there’s mlb.com (Major League Baseball, for those that don’t know). And I’m sure there are other big sites as well.

  6. john wilker Post author

    @Kevin,

    true. she’d probably just say the internet is so neat she watched the Olympics on it. LOL Wait! She sends you those too!! I completely agree, I’m sure being a public company only exacerbates that problem of what to say, and what not, etc.

    @Leif, don’t get me started on CF Marketing ;)

    @Ryan, yes, no noise, is worse (IMO) than bad noise.

  7. barry.b Post author

    of course, the battle for eyeballs is really the battle for the DEVELOPER eyeballs, because they're the ones that come up with the compelling applications.

    … at least now that Microsoft has a runtime so there's a choice.

    so you've got Olympics deals to get more of an install base. Fair 'nuf. but that's just the process of laying the foundations on which to create applications (you ain't gonna write anything that won't play anywhere).

    more important is getting the tools, the knowledgebase, the examples/samples/best practices, the evangelists out infront of developers. THAT's the gold. That's the real value in spending money to support product. And making the tools/platform enablers (eg LCDS for Flex) easy to access for developers (the install disc for every new copy of Apples OSx 10.5? RubyOnRail did this…)

    ubiquitousness of the platform for developers, that's the key. Just ask PHP…

    meh my 2c

  8. greg h Post author

    I guess your post got Ryan thinking (and then writing) about this subject. After he commented here, he posted the following blog post:

    How the world watched the Olympics online
    http://blogs.zdnet.com/Stewart/?p=918

    g

    P.S. John good luck in your new evangelist role! It sounds like a rockin' good role for you :-)

  9. Leif Wells Post author

    Come on, John. Just looking at those numbers, couldn't it mean that only 4.3 million people installed Silverlight and just kept coming back day after day?

    I have to agree with you, though, that even if Microsoft is giving a lot away by providing exclusive Silverlight video for the DNC and the Olympics, they certainly have people installing and talking. I mean, here we are talking about it. (Mind you, I steer clear of installing Silverlight on my systems for personal reasons)

    Adobe needs to find a way to remind everyone that they have the superior, more mature product. I mean, no full screen video? Come on!

  10. Adrock Post author

    I’m guessing you are talking about video from the DNC website or something. Definitely not where most people would look for it. FoxNews.com has _8_ live feeds from the DNC floor that you can switch back and forth from…. all in Flash (built with Flex). So… Adobe doesn’t have to pay anyone.

    http://is.gd/1Uz4

  11. john wilker Post author

    @Leif,

    Oh I’m sure many of those are repeat visitors. Just like I’m watching DNC today too, and installed yesterday. But the same 4.3 million all 16 days? That I don’t buy. Though I’d guess the percentage is well over 50% returning vs. new.

    Yeah that’s kinda my point. Adobe being silent, and (it appears) relying on superior install numbers, etc. isn’t a long term strategy, as far as I can tell. Flash player is by far more mature, and more installed, and more loved by all of us fanboys :) but when the install numbers are equal, or if M$ passes, then what? It seems that right now Adobe is simply relying on having the most installs, that’s impressive, but come on, they’ve had a few years, LOL.

  12. john wilker Post author

    @adrock,

    I suppose it depends on where we get our news, LOL. FOX news is not my source for anything on this planet.

    the DNC does have two camera angles as well.

    obviously it’s subjective, but to me, the official DNC site, and Olympics is a bit more impressive than Fox news.

    I’m sure there’s other sites using Flash too, but since they’re not known, or talked about, the point remains, who knows but Adobe?

  13. Shannon Hicks Post author

    Of course Adobe is trying. Silverlight is getting the media coverage because it's going overnight from no market share to having the exclusive on two events. However, Adobe has the exclusive on nearly everything else on the web, including Microsoft's own websites. Even MS's web developers realize that if they need to reach a majority of people, Silverlight isn't a realistic option.

    I think that Adobe's deals just aren't as publicized, and/or don't create a huge uproar of how users are being excluded. Check out the Adobe Flash/CNN sign in Times Square: http://www.lol.com/joke/show/204

  14. Kevin Hoyt Post author

    Okay, way out on a personal limb here, and these statements don’t necessarily reflect those of my employer (Adobe) but …

    IMHO, this has to do with one thing and one thing only – lots and lots of money. I would venture a guess that Adobe was never even invited to the dance. It has nothing to do with technical superiority, and everything to do with good ol’ fashioned money (corporate nepotism?).

    I think it’s important to remember the scale of what we’re talking about here. Microsoft has an unbelievably vast amount of cash. While spending that cash to hire engineers doesn’t necessarily bring a product to market faster, or with more features, or whatever (Mythical Man Month), but it does make a lot of noise.

    That money, and that noise is, over time, going to buy Silverlight a very large amount of downloads. I think we’d be kidding ourselves as developers if we didn’t believe that some day, Silverlight will be among the most ubiquitous technologies available. In no particular order, Flash Player, Reader, Java, Silverlight, and of course the browser (which really makes all this possible in the first place). I believe that there’s no stopping Microsoft’s momentum once they’ve decided to enter a game.

    That doesn’t mean they’re going to win the game however… Having a broadly available runtime is one thing, but there’s a lot more that makes for a successful technology.

    What tools are designers and developers using? Do they work in tandem? Did I learn them in college? What does everybody else in my discipline already use (data interchange)? Where can I get data for my content? And how easy does it connect to other technologies at the server? At the client? Is the infrastructure in place to solve my development challenges such as unit testing, logging, functionality testing, online/offline support, synchronization, mobile? Are all these technologies available to me everywhere I need them? Everywhere my customers need them? Mobile deployment? Operating system support (not just the runtime)? SEO? Accessibility? On and on and on…

    I’m not saying that Adobe necessarily has all of these either, just that it’s a lot more complicated than having a runtime.

    Kevin Hoyt
    Platform Evangelist
    Adobe Systems, Inc.

  15. John Wilker Post author

    @Kevin,

    well said. And yeah I totally don’t equate shelling out money with quality. Nor a more complete offering, which I definitely think is Adobe’s win in both columns.

    Simply it’s more a noise thing. Noise for better or worse does mean something. Flex, and Flash devs know Flash rocks, and is a more complete offering. But my mom?

    Fox news readers? DNC.com visitors? Olympics fans?

    Public opinion always has sway and it’s great that those of us in Adobe know Adobe’s products rock, but the rest of world isn’t in that particular loop, LOL

    I don’t mean this discussion to be ‘attacky’ or anti Adobe, more I’m just raising my own observations from the outside looking in. (as much as that’s possible given my job, LOL)

  16. Jake Munson

    Besides the DNC and the Olympics, there's mlb.com (Major League Baseball, for those that don't know). And I'm sure there are other big sites as well.

  17. bob

    Let's not forget that Microsoft and NBC have been in bed together for years with MSNBC, so it's a pretty good bet that they already had the inside track for the Olympics. Although, I heard a rumor a few weeks ago that because NBC has become so biased and out of control with their promotion of one certain political candidate over another, that Microsoft is considering severing all ties with MSNBC. That could just be a rumor, but maybe NBC giving MS an exclusive spot with the Olympics is their way of making it up to them! ;)

  18. Jeffry Houser Post author

    I have a handful of "Devils Advocate" style comments here..

    Kevin Hoyt said:

    "What tools are designers and developers using? Do they work in tandem? Did I learn them in college?"

    As a coder; I pretty much use Eclipse ( Flex Builder / CFEclipse ) or VisualStudio.NET. I don’t do any design, so the fact that Adobe design tools integrate easily with my code tools doesn’t matter to me. I expect a lot of other people are in the same boat here.
    Between Flex Builder and VS.NET, VS.NET wins hands down. It gives me compiler errors as I type. Compilation can be measured in seconds (or less), not minutes. All these things make the development process easier.

    I understand that MS designer tools (Expression) offer similar integration with MS coder tools (VS.NET) that Adobe designer tools (Photoshop, Fireworks, Thermo) offers to coder tools (Flex Builder, Dreamweaver). I can’t comment on the success of either of these integration attempts, since I don’t deal with it.

    "Is the infrastructure in place to solve my development challenges such as unit testing, logging, functionality testing, online/offline support, synchronization, mobile? Are all these technologies available to me everywhere I need them? Everywhere my customers need them? Mobile deployment? Operating system support (not just the runtime)? SEO? Accessibility? On and on and on…
    "
    Adobe doesn’t yet fill all my needs here. Mobile being a significant hole in my own personal development adventures. I understand that MS has similar gaps.

    Barry said:

    "the battle for eyeballs is really the battle for the DEVELOPER eyeballs"
    [John Echoed this]

    I believe this is absolutely rubbish. Developer’s don’t make technology decisions for companies. CTOs, or higher, make such decisions. I’m not saying that is the best approach, it is just the way it is in big organizations.

    If clients [who are probably not developers] come to EUI, Cynergy systems, or UM in droves asking for Silverlight applications; then the "boss-men" at such companies (probably not coders) are gonna to find a way to make it happen. If memory serves me, Cynergy already announced they support Silverlight development.

    As a small development shop, clients often come to us with technology requirements already in place. I’m sure the same thing happens with bigger dev shops and bigger clients.

    Since CF Marketing came up, I’ll say that CF has improved significantly since the Adobe acquisition of Macromedia. They’ve done good.

  19. John Wilker Post author

    @jeff,

    Good points, though I think outside the enterprise, developer eyeballs do count, likewise in many startups, that are started by or with developers being very high up. But you’re right in rubbishing, that it’s a universal, I had forgotten my days in the enterprise. I remember a meeting with our hardware and software team (sys admins, screw turners, Outlook fixers), where they told the entire dev team (CF’ers) "We’ll be moving to .NET, we like it, it’s better because it’s Microsoft, so you guys should start figuring that out"

    It never happened, but I do see your point, developers often aren’t making the decisions. I disagree that they never do though.

  20. Jeffry Houser Post author

    John,

    In the start-ups I’ve consulted for (often self funded, with just 1 or 2 people), the technology decision was made by non-coders; often based on referrals from people they knew.

    In a funded start up with a larger team; I’m willing to accept that the coders have some control. There are exceptions to every "rule."

  21. Kevin Hoyt Post author

    @Jeff

    RE: Design Tools

    These tools may not matter to you the Flex developer, but many times having a complete workflow is important in the larger picture. How easy can an application go from comp to production? Having support across the complete process is critical. Something like the eBay Desktop doesn’t happen without coordination across multiple disciplines. Having said that, I’m sorry to hear that all your applications use the default Flex look and feel (wink).

    Certainly compiler performance, IDE intelligence, etc. is something we continue to work to improve.

    RE: Meeting Your Needs

    Tongue in cheek here, but I certainly hope we’re not meeting all your needs, otherwise where would the new features come from (smile)? In all honesty however, I followed that paragraph up with the statement that Adobe doesn’t provide all of those needs today – and we know that. Mobile development is something we’re working on making big strides forward. At a high-level, the FXG features in the Flex 4 (Gumbo) work to support mobile development. They have much broader implications, but mobile is a big one. Stay tuned.

    Two cents,
    Kevin

  22. Jeffry Houser Post author

    Kevin,

    Integration / ease across the whole process is important to the bigger picture. That is a point I didn't consider in my original post. I'm in no way to judge whether MS or Adobe does it better; but clearly both parties are keeping that in mind.

    I believe that being able to deploy Flex Apps to mobile devices to be a necessity for Flex [or any development platform] to take off in the long term. I know I'm not the only one interested in such things. It is good to know that Adobe is aware of the gap.

  23. dbmuse Post author

    And some like me… will never install Silverlight because it is from Microsoft. Besides it wouldn’t feel right on my Macbook Pro. Even my window computers don’t have it. Been working on Windows since the beginning. Now I am trying to pull away from everything MS. And I am very pleased to see Adobe Flex for linux. sorry but all that MS money is not going to buy my love…

  24. dbmuse

    And some like me… will never install Silverlight because it is from Microsoft. Besides it wouldn't feel right on my Macbook Pro. Even my window computers don't have it. Been working on Windows since the beginning. Now I am trying to pull away from everything MS. And I am very pleased to see Adobe Flex for linux. sorry but all that MS money is not going to buy my love…

  25. Kevin Hoyt

    Okay, way out on a personal limb here, and these statements don't necessarily reflect those of my employer (Adobe) but …

    IMHO, this has to do with one thing and one thing only – lots and lots of money. I would venture a guess that Adobe was never even invited to the dance. It has nothing to do with technical superiority, and everything to do with good ol' fashioned money (corporate nepotism?).

    I think it's important to remember the scale of what we're talking about here. Microsoft has an unbelievably vast amount of cash. While spending that cash to hire engineers doesn't necessarily bring a product to market faster, or with more features, or whatever (Mythical Man Month), but it does make a lot of noise.

    That money, and that noise is, over time, going to buy Silverlight a very large amount of downloads. I think we'd be kidding ourselves as developers if we didn't believe that some day, Silverlight will be among the most ubiquitous technologies available. In no particular order, Flash Player, Reader, Java, Silverlight, and of course the browser (which really makes all this possible in the first place). I believe that there's no stopping Microsoft's momentum once they've decided to enter a game.

    That doesn't mean they're going to win the game however… Having a broadly available runtime is one thing, but there's a lot more that makes for a successful technology.

    What tools are designers and developers using? Do they work in tandem? Did I learn them in college? What does everybody else in my discipline already use (data interchange)? Where can I get data for my content? And how easy does it connect to other technologies at the server? At the client? Is the infrastructure in place to solve my development challenges such as unit testing, logging, functionality testing, online/offline support, synchronization, mobile? Are all these technologies available to me everywhere I need them? Everywhere my customers need them? Mobile deployment? Operating system support (not just the runtime)? SEO? Accessibility? On and on and on…

    I'm not saying that Adobe necessarily has all of these either, just that it's a lot more complicated than having a runtime.

    Kevin Hoyt
    Platform Evangelist
    Adobe Systems, Inc.

  26. john wilker

    @adrock,

    I suppose it depends on where we get our news, LOL. FOX news is not my source for anything on this planet.

    the DNC does have two camera angles as well.

    obviously it's subjective, but to me, the official DNC site, and Olympics is a bit more impressive than Fox news.

    I'm sure there's other sites using Flash too, but since they're not known, or talked about, the point remains, who knows but Adobe?

  27. Leif Wells

    Come on, John. Just looking at those numbers, couldn't it mean that only 4.3 million people installed Silverlight and just kept coming back day after day?

    I have to agree with you, though, that even if Microsoft is giving a lot away by providing exclusive Silverlight video for the DNC and the Olympics, they certainly have people installing and talking. I mean, here we are talking about it. (Mind you, I steer clear of installing Silverlight on my systems for personal reasons)

    Adobe needs to find a way to remind everyone that they have the superior, more mature product. I mean, no full screen video? Come on!

  28. barry.b

    of course, the battle for eyeballs is really the battle for the DEVELOPER eyeballs, because they're the ones that come up with the compelling applications.

    … at least now that Microsoft has a runtime so there's a choice.

    so you've got Olympics deals to get more of an install base. Fair 'nuf. but that's just the process of laying the foundations on which to create applications (you ain't gonna write anything that won't play anywhere).

    more important is getting the tools, the knowledgebase, the examples/samples/best practices, the evangelists out infront of developers. THAT's the gold. That's the real value in spending money to support product. And making the tools/platform enablers (eg LCDS for Flex) easy to access for developers (the install disc for every new copy of Apples OSx 10.5? RubyOnRail did this…)

    ubiquitousness of the platform for developers, that's the key. Just ask PHP…

    meh my 2c

  29. Ryan Stewart

    I think it's even more noise than money. Everyone knows Microsoft has a ton of money, but they're also wicked good at PR. They know all of the journalist folks and know how to pitch them. Frankly, Microsoft versus Adobe with Microsoft as the underdog makes a pretty compelling story.

    I'm partly in the camp that no publicity is bad publicity. Silverlight has gotten a TON of people talking about RIAs and Adobe/Flash. We won't always win the battles (Olympics, DNC) but we're doing a great job of fighting the war. Worldwide our Olympics numbers blew Microsoft and Silverlight out of the water. We just need to be louder about it (but that's coming soon hopefully).

    =Ryan
    ryan@adobe.com

  30. Shannon Hicks

    Of course Adobe is trying. Silverlight is getting the media coverage because it's going overnight from no market share to having the exclusive on two events. However, Adobe has the exclusive on nearly everything else on the web, including Microsoft's own websites. Even MS's web developers realize that if they need to reach a majority of people, Silverlight isn't a realistic option.

    I think that Adobe's deals just aren't as publicized, and/or don't create a huge uproar of how users are being excluded. Check out the Adobe Flash/CNN sign in Times Square: http://www.lol.com/joke/show/204

  31. john wilker

    @Kevin,

    true. she'd probably just say the internet is so neat she watched the Olympics on it. LOL Wait! She sends you those too!! I completely agree, I'm sure being a public company only exacerbates that problem of what to say, and what not, etc.

    @Leif, don't get me started on CF Marketing ;)

    @Ryan, yes, no noise, is worse (IMO) than bad noise.

  32. Kevin Hoyt

    Yeah,

    I don't take it as an attack … In fact, I rather agree with your comment that the rest of the world isn't in the loop. There's multiple sides to the loop as well, but I like to think about it as consumers and developers.

    Your mom may not know that Flash rocks, but by watching the Olympics on the Internet, she's probably not exactly going to tell all her friends about Silverlight either. It's just an enabler. That being said, she's probably sending you spam about the latest YouTube video she saw. I think that's an area where Adobe can focus on leveraging it's stack to build noisy applications, and I think we're doing a pretty good job so far (i.e. Photoshop Express, Buzzword and others like Sliderocket, Ribbit, etc.), though it's very early in the game.

    The other part then is informing developers about what's available too, so they build these noisy applications.

    This is a particularly challenging problem. Whenever we apply focused effort outside of our existing communities, those constituents (hey, the DNC is in Denver), become outraged, or simply just start panicking. As a ColdFusion developer, you can certainly appreciate this response (What?! Did he not mention CF in his Flex presentation?!). Let's say that the NBC Olympics guys are a .NET shop. What would be the response of the Adobe communities if we rolled in a ton of .NET features for Flex Builder at the cost of features for ColdFusion 9? Oh, there'd be noise alright, but hey, we got Flash on the Olympics over Silverlight. Yeah?!

    Making noise outside the loop for both consumers and developers is an exceptionally challenging task when you have lead products with over a decade of baggage. Silverlight is free to do whatever it wants to, or feels is best, simply because it doesn't have to care about what anybody else says. That makes it really easy to make noise.

    Kevin

  33. Adrock

    I'm guessing you are talking about video from the DNC website or something. Definitely not where most people would look for it. FoxNews.com has _8_ live feeds from the DNC floor that you can switch back and forth from…. all in Flash (built with Flex). So… Adobe doesn't have to pay anyone.

    http://is.gd/1Uz4

  34. john wilker

    @Greg,

    I'm like that, a muse for the big guys :D

    @Barry,

    true dat, the developer eyeballs are the important ones.

  35. John Wilker

    @Kevin,

    well said. And yeah I totally don't equate shelling out money with quality. Nor a more complete offering, which I definitely think is Adobe's win in both columns.

    Simply it's more a noise thing. Noise for better or worse does mean something. Flex, and Flash devs know Flash rocks, and is a more complete offering. But my mom?

    Fox news readers? DNC.com visitors? Olympics fans?

    Public opinion always has sway and it's great that those of us in Adobe know Adobe's products rock, but the rest of world isn't in that particular loop, LOL

    I don't mean this discussion to be 'attacky' or anti Adobe, more I'm just raising my own observations from the outside looking in. (as much as that's possible given my job, LOL)

  36. Jeffry Houser

    Kevin,

    Integration / ease across the whole process is important to the bigger picture. That is a point I didn't consider in my original post. I'm in no way to judge whether MS or Adobe does it better; but clearly both parties are keeping that in mind.

    I believe that being able to deploy Flex Apps to mobile devices to be a necessity for Flex [or any development platform] to take off in the long term. I know I'm not the only one interested in such things. It is good to know that Adobe is aware of the gap.

  37. john wilker

    @Leif,

    Oh I'm sure many of those are repeat visitors. Just like I'm watching DNC today too, and installed yesterday. But the same 4.3 million all 16 days? That I don't buy. Though I'd guess the percentage is well over 50% returning vs. new.

    Yeah that's kinda my point. Adobe being silent, and (it appears) relying on superior install numbers, etc. isn't a long term strategy, as far as I can tell. Flash player is by far more mature, and more installed, and more loved by all of us fanboys :) but when the install numbers are equal, or if M$ passes, then what? It seems that right now Adobe is simply relying on having the most installs, that's impressive, but come on, they've had a few years, LOL.

  38. Kevin Hoyt

    @Jeff

    RE: Design Tools

    These tools may not matter to you the Flex developer, but many times having a complete workflow is important in the larger picture. How easy can an application go from comp to production? Having support across the complete process is critical. Something like the eBay Desktop doesn't happen without coordination across multiple disciplines. Having said that, I'm sorry to hear that all your applications use the default Flex look and feel (wink).

    Certainly compiler performance, IDE intelligence, etc. is something we continue to work to improve.

    RE: Meeting Your Needs

    Tongue in cheek here, but I certainly hope we're not meeting all your needs, otherwise where would the new features come from (smile)? In all honesty however, I followed that paragraph up with the statement that Adobe doesn't provide all of those needs today – and we know that. Mobile development is something we're working on making big strides forward. At a high-level, the FXG features in the Flex 4 (Gumbo) work to support mobile development. They have much broader implications, but mobile is a big one. Stay tuned.

    Two cents,
    Kevin

  39. Leif Wells

    I am on board with the sentiment of this entry and the comments. I just don't want to start sounding like people who use other Adobe products and whine incessantly about Adobe not marking those products properly. That makes me nauseous.

  40. Jeffry Houser

    John,

    In the start-ups I've consulted for (often self funded, with just 1 or 2 people), the technology decision was made by non-coders; often based on referrals from people they knew.

    In a funded start up with a larger team; I'm willing to accept that the coders have some control. There are exceptions to every "rule."

  41. John Wilker

    @jeff,

    Good points, though I think outside the enterprise, developer eyeballs do count, likewise in many startups, that are started by or with developers being very high up. But you're right in rubbishing, that it's a universal, I had forgotten my days in the enterprise. I remember a meeting with our hardware and software team (sys admins, screw turners, Outlook fixers), where they told the entire dev team (CF'ers) "We'll be moving to .NET, we like it, it's better because it's Microsoft, so you guys should start figuring that out"

    It never happened, but I do see your point, developers often aren't making the decisions. I disagree that they never do though.

  42. Jeffry Houser

    I have a handful of "Devils Advocate" style comments here..

    Kevin Hoyt said:

    "What tools are designers and developers using? Do they work in tandem? Did I learn them in college?"

    As a coder; I pretty much use Eclipse ( Flex Builder / CFEclipse ) or VisualStudio.NET. I don't do any design, so the fact that Adobe design tools integrate easily with my code tools doesn't matter to me. I expect a lot of other people are in the same boat here.
    Between Flex Builder and VS.NET, VS.NET wins hands down. It gives me compiler errors as I type. Compilation can be measured in seconds (or less), not minutes. All these things make the development process easier.

    I understand that MS designer tools (Expression) offer similar integration with MS coder tools (VS.NET) that Adobe designer tools (Photoshop, Fireworks, Thermo) offers to coder tools (Flex Builder, Dreamweaver). I can't comment on the success of either of these integration attempts, since I don't deal with it.

    "Is the infrastructure in place to solve my development challenges such as unit testing, logging, functionality testing, online/offline support, synchronization, mobile? Are all these technologies available to me everywhere I need them? Everywhere my customers need them? Mobile deployment? Operating system support (not just the runtime)? SEO? Accessibility? On and on and on…
    "
    Adobe doesn't yet fill all my needs here. Mobile being a significant hole in my own personal development adventures. I understand that MS has similar gaps.

    Barry said:

    "the battle for eyeballs is really the battle for the DEVELOPER eyeballs"
    [John Echoed this]

    I believe this is absolutely rubbish. Developer's don't make technology decisions for companies. CTOs, or higher, make such decisions. I'm not saying that is the best approach, it is just the way it is in big organizations.

    If clients [who are probably not developers] come to EUI, Cynergy systems, or UM in droves asking for Silverlight applications; then the "boss-men" at such companies (probably not coders) are gonna to find a way to make it happen. If memory serves me, Cynergy already announced they support Silverlight development.

    As a small development shop, clients often come to us with technology requirements already in place. I'm sure the same thing happens with bigger dev shops and bigger clients.

    Since CF Marketing came up, I'll say that CF has improved significantly since the Adobe acquisition of Macromedia. They've done good.

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