Sources inside Adobe’s mothership last night started talking about the next version of Flex, the company’s cross-platform set of components and tools for building RIAs that run on any browser and operating system. Internal blogs suggest that the new product will be code named “Gumbo”.
According to Adobe, the new offering will feature a heavier appreciation for continuous collaboration between designers and developers. It will also take advantage of new Flash Player capabilities and add features required by common use-cases.
Gumbo’s component architecture plans specify the fact that Adobe hopes that Gumbo will make Flex applicable to a much wider range of tasks and people.
Although both Adobe and Microsoft with its Silverlight product have both touted RIAs widely, significant uptake has yet to be seen. Some commentators have suggested that the key to deploying RIAs successfully is ‘progressive exposure to complexity’ so that new or novice users are only shown a certain amount of data or page options until they make the decision to dig deeper into a site.
Is the time right for more use of Flex and greater prevalence of RIAs then? Adobe’s Andrew Shorten told me that, “This year we predict a significant uptake in RIA development as our toolset and technologies are now quite mature – and because our RIAs deploy to Flash so 98% of Internet-enabled desktop users worldwide can actually see the content that is produced.”
I can’t let this blog pass without mentioning a Silverlight site that I use almost every day. Deep zoom is fun, fascinating and for my money it far outshines Google Maps.
Why “Gumbo” you may ask? Well me too. Only Wikipedia can help us now.