A Standing Ovation

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2011-01-03 009After a brief excursion into the world of the whacky and hopeless, I return to play with the big boys. I play a lot with Microsoft during paid time, so this is one good reason to look elsewhere in my spare time, and begin learning Adobe Flex 4.6.

Boy. Man. Cheeses. They must have some sense of an uphill struggle against Microsoft, and they must have thought that developers out there need any help they can possibly get to adopt this exciting platform. What an inspired idea! I am flabbergasted. The introductory PDF alone is a mere 2574 well-written pages (free download). There’s a week’s worth of reasonably well-made video training and exercises right here, and tons after tons of good documentation, dictionaries, tutorials, you-name-it, an inexpensive but well made development tool, … I am impressed. Seriously impressed. Just go to the Adobe Developer Connection and find out for yourself.

It’s very hard to beat Microsoft’s .NET platform on any account, but I am amazed to see how far (and close) Adobe has got. In many ways, they are way ahead of .NET (like, in terms of target platform support). Looking at the documentation alone, it comes at no surprise that the fringe, including, but by no means limited to, Runtime Revolution’s LiveCode, stand no chance in real life.

I can see room at the fringes for specialised exotics such as MIT’s Scratch (programming for kids), Processing (2D and 3D animation) and many others, but it’ll take some real innovative punch to break into the market with a new general purpose language such as LiveCode.

I have always thought it is those hopeless souls that need most attention, as they harbour most novel and exciting ideas. It is sad, in a way, that the world of software engineering appears to be governed by a few big players, but as it happens, this is the rightfully earned case.



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