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Open Source Flex Gets Top Project Status at Apache

Apache FlexFrom the 'Adobe Open Source Flash' files:

It has been some time since I last wrote about Adobe Flex, which now has gained new status at the Apache Software Foundation.

Flex first came to my full attention back in 2007 when Adobe decided to open source the Rich Application Framework. Adobe had been building flex since at least 2004 so the move to open source was not part of the original design.

At the time, the move was seen as an effort to help Adobe compete against AJAX based web development approaches. Huh, remember AJAX? We don't talk about it anymore do we? Instead the conversation has now morphed to being about HTML5.

Fast forward to June of 2012 and Adobe donated all of the Flex Framework to the Apache Software Foundation as an incubated project. On December 19th, Apache Flex was voted up out of the incubator and became a Top Level Project. Yeaah that's relatively fast.

On December 27th, Apache Flex 4.9 was released, marking the first official release of Flex as a full Apache Top Level Project. Among the additions in the new release is support for Java 7, as well as a new SDK installer. The Flex SDK installer, in my wannabe dev opinion is one of the greatest innovation in the history of the Flex project to get new devs started with the project.

"The Apache Flex SDK Installer is an application that simplifies the download and installation of the Apache Flex SDK and its (required) components. It is aimed at anyone who wants to use the latest release of the Apache Flex SDK, but who might not necessarily be familiar with the tools and procedures required to compile the Apache Flex SDK from source code."

Yeah, I know, Flex=Flash and Flash is dead right? Well not quite. As a development framework, developers can build use Flex as a starting point for applications that can run on multiple platforms including mobile (iOS and Android) as well as HTML5 enables devices and browsers.

It's interesting to see how Flex has progressed and it is no small achievement that the project has become a Top Level Project at Apache.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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