So what are Adobe up to with Flash?

It has been an interesting week in the Flash world. Various announcements and clarifications about the future of Flash, which seem to add up to

  1. Adobe will stop development of the Flash mobile browser plug-in, but mobile operating system and hardware developers are free to continue developing on top of Adobe’s existing source code if they wish to license it from Adobe.
  2. The Flex framework will be freed from Adobe’s control, and will become more open under the guidance of an as yet undecided open source foundation which will include Adobe contributors and the Spoon project.
  3. Development of the Flash plug-in for desktop browsers continues as normal.
  4. Development of Adobe Air, including publishing for mobile apps, continues as normal.
  5. There’s renewed emphasis on the Flash platform as a platform for game development.
  6. There has been some movement of jobs on the Flash CS Professional team, but the team still exists and the next version of the product is in development.

There’s been a lot of hand-wringing as Flash developers struggle to figure out what this means for them. I don’t propose to resolve that here – what this means for you depends on both your skill-set and your job. But I guess if I had one bit of advice it would be, if Actionscript is the only development language you know it’s well past time for you to diversify your skills. Learning a second programming language makes you a better programmer in general, and learning a third, fourth, etc becomes easier with each language. I have lost track of the number of programming languages I have learnt, but each one has made me a better programmer.

What follows is merely my personal take on the situation. Make of it what you will. I’ll start with an important question. Continue reading