First, some updates. Skip to “Duty” if you’d prefer.
Choosing your contractual future whilst capitalizing on your satisfactorely ability to communicate effectively in hopes of ensuring no bridges are torched in signing such binding agreements is… diffucult. I’m basically working on doing what I’ve always wanted to do; have a company ensure me a steady stream of Flex work without having to be an actual employee.
Problem is, there are a lot of players battling for my time, I hate saying no, and previous ventures into contracting were either a failure, or never provided enough incentive to go full time. If there’s a book on this stuff, I haven’t read it, so instead I depend on my smart networking contacts, both old and new, and heed their advice since this is new territory for me. The short: be honest, and know exactly what you want.
It’s still challenging though as these decisions must be taken with respect and given their due time to think them through. I just keep the beer I’ll savor Friday eve forefront in my mind.
So, amongst this barrage preliminary work & negotiations, I’ve been barely able to keep my head above water following the blogs. I’ve been trying to shed the “Flash Developer” moniker from my various titles since I don’t see my future in Flash, but rather Flex development where Flash merely plays backup.
…and yet, reading this update by Jon Meyer, I had disturbing recollections of Slashdot. Whilst many Flashers will agree, it’s pointless to do battle there anymore; there is no point. While spreading correct information is great, why waste your time on those who have no interest in listening? Frankly, if I were John Dowdell of Macromedia, sure, I’d still do it because it was my job.
At any rate, this hit a nerve, so whether this is an emotional response hidden under the guise of noble duty, or not… so be it. He’s just 1 blog, not the cacophony, patience trying of Slashdot.
To clarify my position, yes, Jesse Warden wants to utilize Sparkle. It sounds cool as hell; please give me pre-alpha/beta copy, thank you much!
I’m no longer a professional designer, although I can still do some design work thrown my way. That is not what makes me yearn for Sparkle, however. It’s the easy ability to make Windows Applications look good. My background is doing applications that look cool; utilizing Director and Flash for Fat Clients. Like using Flash in Screenweaver/Zinc, or embedded into custom holders like Visual Basic and custom C apps. I’ve always loved the endless power that such situations give, as well as the ability to make them look damn good. That is what makes Sparkle appealing to me since Day 1 of Sparkle’s blog appearence.
This statement, however, is based on 1 example which does not support his point:
Macromedia Flash, in my opinion, is becoming less of a significant player as developers shift from Flash to using DHTML and “Ajax” to create applications like GMail and Google Maps. Today many developers view Flash as a tool best suited for web video and advertising, and not for the “heavy lifting” required in substantial applications. I see this trend continuing, unless Adope significantly enhances Flash, e.g. with 3D, more audio and video formats, access to native code, a revised security model, more sophisticated text, faster script execution speed, and an open runtime of the breadth and richness of .NET.
He cites Flickr’s changes to making their images being housed in Flash to instead be an image that has it’s URL dynamic via DHTML.
That wasn’t a decision to “use DHTML instead of Flash”, that was the right decision. Not being able to right click on an image was stupid, and it was trivial to get the image through view source. Case in point, this was a bad use of Flash, more importantly, a bad decision. …and they fixed it, go Flickr.
But this wasn’t a “choosing to use AJAX/DHTML instead” scenario he describes. If you read their reasoning, they changed it because of user feedback, and their AJAX offerings were additional pieces of functionality having nothing to do with the Flash change.
Next, homeskillet definately has the Avalon bug. Associating “3D” with “substantial applications”. Am I to concur that 3D helps make an application substantial?
Additionally any of these developers who “view Flash as a tool best suited for web video and advertising, and not for the ‘heavy lifting’ required in substantial applications” need to have a talk with me, and plenty of others who can give a different perspective than I. While I agree the current development paradigms for making applications suck, as soon as Zorn comes out and is cheap, problem solved. I’m a Rich Internet Application Architect; I do this for a living, and would love to discuss how Flash CAN solve those heavy lifing needs, and integrate well in your workflow.
I’m really confused on the request for a “revised security model”. The one we have currently works great, is very secure, and drives Flash & Flex Developers batty in that it’s so secure.
I’m also confused on the “more sophisticated text”. Huh? We can utilize system fonts installed on a user’s machine, we can embed fonts ensuring the user sees what the designer inteded even allowing them to be used in input/dynamic text fields, and also now having a font display engine rivaling PDF’s, called Saffron. What more do you want?
Everything else he asks for, I agree, I want to… but it’s easy as nuts for .NET; they are OS specific with a 60+ meg runtime vs. a cross platform, under 1 meg runtime.
It’s pretty apparent to me: We as Flash/Flex Developers are most definately a “significant player” if Microsoft makes an application to respond to Flash, but only a framework to respond to AJAX.