Friday, May 11, 2007

tech wars

It seems that the last few weeks have seen a blitz of new technologies emerging, major players releasing products, and the UI wars are well and truly on. It has been a whirlwind. Not much of it will have major influences immediately and once the dust settles, it will be interesting who ends up standing. Nevertheless the recent events will have some sort of impact on the way that we work and the industry moves.
So, Adobe released their next iteration of their product suite. This includes the swallowed Macromedia's product suite, including the new Flash CS3 of course. Getting stuck into AS3 has been just around the corner for a while, so having a copy of an IDE AS3 compiler will be a wicked learning boost. The framework at work and the general trend is that everything we make will soon be AS3 based. This release of the Adobe suite has also moved the international design and developer community into line. This is ofcourse for those wo can afford it. But indeed if you haven't got the client who is going to pay for the suite and still profit, then you should keep learning with their demos or sell yourself to someone with money or a CS3 sitting on their book shelf. CS3 promises to work well on mac and windows computers and unify the way things are created. It's pretty much got the monopoly there as none can compete realistically anymore.
This will be boosted with the move of the Flex platform into the open source arena. This will be a major boost in how many people use Flex and now that it's open source, the emergence of Flex communities will be huge. At work we are moving onto the Flex platform so that'll bring me across into that arena, bit more importantly it will be a great learning experience, not to mention huge fun.
In the UI wars, Microsoft is flexing its muscle with Silverlight. Java is having a go with JavaFX. Seeing that JavaFX is considered as being a response to Microsoft's Silverlight, it looks like the battle will be fought out amongst those two for the number two position after flash. Both technologies have a long way to go in order to mature and even attempt to bite at Flash's ankles. But you gotta start somewhere, right?
In the dust, you'll see a lot of hype about Silverlight. Heck there'll be well paying jobs to develop Silverlight content. But that's only because Microsoft has wads of cash, but like most Microsoft technologies, it will become segregated to the Microsoft world. It will be interesting where JavaFX ends up, but my prediction is that it will go in the way of its Swing technology. Dead as.
But that's not to say that these technologies will not have any effect on us Flash devotees out there. The repercussions will be in learning what those technologies are able to accomplish and how. Then it's time for Flash to take the good things and discard the useless.

You could never be too careful, the tech wars are'a'brewin.

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