On Flash And Flex Naming

Over the past 24 hours or so, word has gotten out that the next major version of Flex Builder, currently codenamed “Gumbo”, won’t be named Flex Builder, the final product name will be Flash Builder 4. This is a good thing, it’ll greatly simplify explaining the Flex/Flash relationship, an obstacle that we still deal with every time we present Flex. So, the Eclipse based tool will be named Flash Builder, emphasizing that it is used to build apps for the Flash Platform. The Flex framework will still use the name Flex, as will the Flex SDK. This greatly clarifies what Flex actually is, Flex is an ActionScript 3 framework for creating apps for the Flash Platform. It’s nice and clean, you can use Flash Builder and/or Flash Professional to build apps for the Flash platform, and when doing so you can start from scratch or you can use the Flex framework (which makes you a Flex developer, so you are free to still call yourself one).
For more on the subject, Tim Buntel has posted his thoughts, as has Lee Brimelow (who also posted a FAQ), Serge Jespers, and Duane Nickull.

3 responses to “On Flash And Flex Naming”

  1. Clint Avatar

    I like it. Actually since the beginning I too have had a difficult time both describing and explaining the difference. If Flex is a framework for a Flash application, why call it a Flex application? It is a Flash application still, right? So if a builder is building Flash apps in the Flex framework, it stands to reason that the IDE would be called a Flash Builder. I just hope that this change doesn’t take any steam out of the Flex buzz. Frankly I think Flash just needs a whole new makeover and reputation as the premier business RIA solution instead of something for games, cartoons, and intros. I know your working on it but hell, just throw the switch.

  2. ron hiner Avatar
    ron hiner

    It’s rarely a good thing when a product is renamed. Tons of money have been invested by Adobe and it’s partners and friends promoting ‘Flex’ as a brand. All that money and time is now wasted, in hopes that Flex can glom on to the tons of money and time infested in the ‘Flash’ brand. If you think it was confusing distinguishing Flex and Flash before, I think you are headed for further market confusion. How hard is it to say that ‘Flex is a development platform for creating Flash applications. Flash Professional is another platform for developing Flash applications.’
    It seems to me that Flash Professional is the misnamed product — not Flex.
    In a marketplace where ‘nobody gets fired for choosing the Microsoft solution’ — I think this is a mistake.

  3. Mike G. Avatar
    Mike G.

    Yeah it seems they chose to go ahead with the new name! I think it’s a good choice, it will make things easier to understand even if changing a name is always a dangerous game. But i guess that people will adapt quickly as the name (for me) seems more intuitive. The last comment arguments are pretty good though, i guess we can only wait and see if it was a good move 🙂

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