Open Letter to Adobe



The following message was originally posted on facebook:

Hi Loni, firstly, thank you for your response to questions. I was a developer of the Away3D TypeScript HTML5 project which was funded by Adobe. I wrote my own Flash/Air 3D engine called Zest3D which had no funding from Adobe, so I’m in quite a good position to comment given my experience with the technologies being discussed.

The comments here illustrate just how concerned developers are, developers that have invested in Adobe technology over the years. I have invested 13 years of my own development career in Adobe products and evangelized the technology over that time. Your users can see that there is a perfectly good technology that does more than the new HTML5 offerings and they are evidently frustrated that you are not supporting developers that do not understand why they are being forced to retrain to use inferior technologies.

Whilst I understand business choices are being made to support HTML5, Adobe should understand developers will leave rather than use inferior technology. I, for one, would resent moving to your HTML5 technology and every highly skilled developer that I have spoken to has said the same. You can see that in the comments already received.

Many of those developers feel that Adobes evangelist attitude to HTML5 is misplaced and a PR/market bending directive that is damaging their livelihoods and the skill-sets that they have accumulated and as most people would understand, developers and artists want to use the best products and workflows to get a job complete. In this case, the best product is Adobe Air and certainly not PhoneGap. So why do we keep seeing Adobe pushing the technologies that the developers do not want?

I would like to take the opportunity to ask Adobe to speak out and offer their support to existing developers with serious PR and coverage and continued accelerated roadmap for the Adobe Flash and Air product before all of your best developers leave and take their years of development and programming skills with them. Adobe has seen this already as developers have sought to find other native solutions, Unitiy has become the entry level tool of choice and companies like myself and Minko are essentially planning or working on building superior tools that may soon make Air obsolete whilst supporting native and HTML5 development without the need for an Adobe toolchain. This is the effect of alienating your development community and will surely impact sales of your supporting tools.

Personally, I do not want to see Adobe Air or Adobe Flash disappear as they both have a formidable user base, excellent workflow, perfect cross-platform capability. With a small amount of investment, I feel that Flash and Air could be a much superior technology and with this approach Adobe might regain the trust of their developer community whilst continuing to enrich the lives of those developers who have continued to champion Adobes history of excellent web technologies.

Gary Paluk

If you are a developer that is affected by Adobes technology policies, please leave a comment below to show your continued support. Thank you

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30 comments on “Open Letter to Adobe
  1. Ilkhom says:

    F**k Adobe

  2. Clark says:

    Nice letter Gary. I have fallen into the latter, it is nothing personal for Adobe to just drop a technology and that is tough but one can accept it but It is HOW they have handled it. Basically I am just one of those flash losers as far as Adobe are concerned. A particular kick in the face after defending Flash for 24 months. Never again. Adobe can do what it wants, but I for one will be avoiding anything to do with them for the remainder of my career. Yes spending 16 hours a day either working or learning is depressing but not quite as depressing as wondering if you, as a flash developer…. Will have a job tomorrow and if not, can you get a new role. Answer = Unlikely

  3. Rich says:

    Well said. I still use Flash technology for about 90% of my projects. Clients all think they want HTML5, but when you really listen to their needs and find out what their user base is, Flash always is the most cost effective way. Until IE8 officially stops being supported by corporations, the best bang for your buck, reaching the most eyeballs is still Flash. All the designers and devs out there who think everyone is using the latest versions of Chrome and Firefox are sorely mistaken. W3 schools statistics do not represent the business to business world.

  4. I support this letter. Regarding technology I love Flash and Flex over HTML for building Applications (and not web sites). Adobe should revert his position and make a string support for his platforms and runtimes.

    Adobe should invest in his tools since is the way they should make money, but since they are making HTML tools, people like me will no longer buying Adobe HTML tools since we’re not interested in that kind of products.

    3 years later their decision seems wrong and they should change as their customers are asking them to do.

  5. Bruno Pacola says:

    Hi Gary,

    I want to enjoy and also to vent my dissatisfaction with Adobe. I’m a developer (Adobe or Apache) Flex and was disappointed with the way this technology has taken. Today there is no technology at or above the Flex for creating business software. It’s frustrating having to use HTML for this.

  6. Great letter Gary.

    I hope your message will actually be read and be taken seriously by someone @ Adobe that could steer them back on the right path – to make tools that their longtime developers & designers actually want to use.

    This “PhoneGap” announcement, and the lack of mention of new Flash & AIR features at their latest product conference – is such a huge dissapointment.

    It raises questions to all of us Flash/AIR Devs:

    -Who is working on Flash now? Is there even a team behind it?

    -Does the company not have the guts to come forward and admit that they don’t have enough / the right resources to continue enhancing Flash/AIR? Is Adobe too proud?

    -Is Adobe shifting it’s focus to less popular technologies without even realizing it? Or is there a big master-plan they can’t leak out to the public until HTML5 catches up to Flash/AIR?

    At this point, the way I interpret Adobe’s lack of response / commitment to anything relevant to Flash, is that… well maybe they simply don’t have the brilliant minds they once had (in-house) to innovate. Maybe they can’t continue to add (or fix even) more to Flash/AIR.

    I’m sure however, if they open-sourced it – there would be a huge positive feedback from the community. Smarter tools could be made, bugs would likely get resolved faster with more eyes on the issues, and best of all – the fire behind the “Flash is dead” rumors would get extinguished once and for all.

    Until then though, I’ll familiarize myself with Haxe on my time off!

    And I’m done! ­čśŤ

  7. Norbert Zakariás says:

    +1 The only reason I’ve choosen to be a web developer is the Flash platform. The freedom and capabilities of Flash cannot be matched to any other technology!

  8. Eldar says:

    I’m a Flash technology lover, and will not move to HTML5. I hope that I will be able to work with Flash technology forever, but if not, I will better switch to Java or Objective-C rather than HTML5 and JS.

  9. Arne says:

    Great read. After a year of wrestling with html user css jQuery bootstrap and the hundreds of frameworks people tend to use to get things somewhat close to what they hoped for I am looking Bach to when I started with flash 5 and how easy it was to get my imaginations on screen. I really hate Adobe for that and while I still love Photoshop, illustrator, after effects I will probably never buy a copy again.

  10. Santanu Karar says:

    Well placed points; Though Adobe will use its forces to sell other technologies i.e. Phonegap etc. but they should have been more serious about the credibility of Flash/AIR in these years.

  11. Andrius says:

    I totaly agree. I use AIR for more then three years and now I am strongly thinking about switching to other tech. Adobe please dont let me do that.

  12. Hadi says:

    We AS3 developers have the right to know if the same thing with flash on browser would happen to Air on mobile or not. Having this fear every day in my life is not making me happy.

  13. henke37 says:

    I like the Flash runtime. It has a nice API and offers the relatively rare service of vector graphics. But I worry that there are no developers at Adobe who does anything important to it. The runtime is stagnating.

  14. Hiren Sakaria says:

    I strongly support this letter and request adobe to reply to this. I love working on Flash and AIR and do not want this technology to disappear.

  15. rodrigo says:

    flash es una excelente tecnologia pero adobe save que tiene problemas muy graves por ejemplo en el manejo de texto. los navegadores adquieren cada ves mas caracteristicas beneficioando al desarrollo html/js. contra eso no se puede hacer nada. hoy flex/flash son excelente tecnologias para juegos y aplicaciones empresariales. adobe lo save y esta inviertiendo en capacidades para air en moviles.

  16. I completely agree with the letter and give it my support. I still use flash as it is still being supported and new versions come live from time to time. Flash and ActionSctip3 still have some of the best debugging tools for games in the market. Scout is one of them!

    My games are instantly accessible from everyone in the numerous publisher’s websites and the community is just awesome. I don’t want to dive in HTML5 and if I do so that will be with some 3rd party software like Unity3D (certainly not PhoneGap).

  17. Shan says:

    True, the letter is spot on.

  18. Raa says:

    Sign under every word.

  19. Radu Birsan says:

    One year of constantly worrying about my life! O Adobe with your Indian CEO, why do you do this to me.

  20. Max Henry says:

    Adobe will surely undermine any confidence that artists, designers and developers have in their products, unless they listen to the community, and realise that they are neglecting a very, very powerful technology.

    What’s clear is that Html5 is still not an option, and never will be. After years of trying to get that poor turkey to fly, most of the initial enthusiasts that I know have long given up, and have moved away from Web work. A return to the days of “this sites is best viewed with [insert browser]” is simply not on the cards especially when the results are so dire.

    Air is an incredible achievement; to leverage the flash ide and enable people to publish to so many platforms simultaneously, is truly amazing. If adobe really are unable to take advantage of what they have on their hands then I would hope that they can overcome the legal issues and hand flash over to the open source community.

  21. yefeng says:

    i’m disappointed about adobe . I have use actionscript3 for 6 years to develop webgame .but this year I’m away from adobe,I have to do it or I would lose my job ,so I switch to use C++ cocos2d-x to develop my game . flash air is not good on Mobile platform, I love flash player ,but I had to leave it .

    • admin says:

      Hi yefeng. I am interested to know why you feel that Air on mobile does not yield good performance. When using the GPU features of Stage3D, the performance is actually near native. Take this example of Zest3D running a physics simulation on the original a Galaxy Tab 10.1 as an example:

  22. yefeng says:

    if we use flash stage3d to develop Small game ,it may be a good choice,but flash air APP mush cost 8M more to install air . it make our app bigger . and if we develop flexable game such as chinese ARPG game ,it’performance was not perfect . I have my own 2d stage3d Engine on pc platform, one thing boring me , the texture upload is too slow with BitmapData, when I use ATF texture just like pvr texture ,it works well,but it still cost 1 ms time to upload in pc , I fair it works bad on Mobile platform, it may cost more than 1 ms to upload texture , It may cause our arpg game not smooth .

  23. Yaroslav says:

    Great letter!

    Flash & espessialy Air is perspective technology. HTML5 – this is first of all Hyper Text MARKABLE Language.

  24. celsyum says:

    good letter. I agree with you. I have more than 7 years experience and i am not planing to move to html5 at any cost. I would be rather switching to c++ and haxe (like openfl)

  25. Dan says:

    Great work man!!

  26. Mirko says:

    Adobe has lost battle, the are just given up from their plans. Flash is great platform but I think for disaster of Flash platform developers are most deserving, 95% people don’t know how to work with AS3 how to clean up memory. The same thing will be with javascript/html believe me. In next few years everyone will work with javascript/html5 animation. When html5 animation become more complex than problems will accur.

    I think Adobe have just one more chance and that is they must perfected adobe air for mobile, they must resolve problems with resolution, they must create powerful development kit with lot of native options, they must implement lot of new features for mobile development and that will backup adobe flash platform on the top again.

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