Flex Builder on Linux canned, and how you can help get it going again

Submitted by Falken on

According to a report, Ben Forta has said:

"The project is currently on hold. There is not enough requisition for the product to continue its development"

This is very bad news for anyone who uses Linux to produce Flex content, as the existing build on Adobe Labs is incomplete, even compared to the existing Flex Builder 3 product. It's also not been updated very much, and certainly not recently (there are funny manual steps required to get the latest Flex SDK and AIR working with it, for instance).
I dread to think how much further behind it will be allowed to drift if this report is true, and so I've logged a formal bug with Adobe.

And that's what I'd like your help with - if you believe Builder should be as cross platform as other Adobe tools, like Flex and AIR, vote on this bug : http://bugs.adobe.com/jira/browse/FB-19053

Adobe say they listen to bug reports, and the number of votes is important. I can't vote, I logged the bug - so, if you currently use Flex Builder on Linux register your support for this great product so we don't see it die.

There shouldn't be any real reason why this can't happen. It's all just Eclipse and Java. Adobe used to say they needed a special version of the player called authplay on Linux. But as of Reader 9.1, Linux is using that to run SWFs inside PDFs.
The only thing left that I can think of is just the QA overhead of having a larger test matrix... and we'd pay for Builder, so that should cover that.


Submitted by Mike Rankin (not verified) on Tue, 04/28/2009 - 17:20


What ever happened to write once, run anywhere? Why does Adobe need to do complete distributions? Shouldn't they be able to just roll a single eclipse plugin and cover most of the cross-platform bases? If anything, I would abandon the stand-alone version.

Hi there

I read your post and i'm shocked to hear this news. Thanks for bringing it to my attention! I'm writing a post calling for my readers to help save this invaluable project!


I couldn't see a way to comment on your blog, Rick, so let me start by saying thanks helping to spread the word even if you don't seem in favour yourself.

You mention needing 'people with specialized knowledge' - Adobe already has them, because they already support many technologies on the Linux platform - I've spoken to some very good people on the Flex, ColdFusion and AIR teams who really do 'get' Linux.

VMWare is an answer, but I don't have a Windows (or Mac) licence to use with it, so that's a no go, a position many people are in as Dell and HP both sell laptops with Linux rather than Windows.

I don't think it needs to be open sourced (though I agree, the core could be, and leave the 'pro' stuff like charts, profiler, design view closed) - just worked on.

Sounds like fixing a few key bugs would sell a lot of licenses.

Incidentally, this is now the most voted bug in the system, cheers all !

Submitted by lamapper (not verified) on Wed, 05/06/2009 - 01:37


And I was seriously looking for a decent development platform.  Obviously it is a HUGE MISTAKE to invest seriously in ADOBE products.

I am tired of spending time with one dev environment, application or operating system just to have a proprietary company decide to end-of-life it and hang me and other devs out to dry.

The tools I use, will be open source or I will NOT use them.  I am sick and tired of this BS, typically because of a relationship or reliance on one Microsoft operating system, proprietary device drivers or proprietary BIOS. 

It gets really old, really fast.  I do not mind paying for innovation, additional features, something extra, but the basics of the platform MUST be open source or this very scenario will just happen again, and again and again.  I think the last 20+ years gives enough history of this BS.

Suggestion to all: When evaluating an offering (software, hardware, dev tools, etc...) from any proprietary company for use in Linux, Unix or Mac OSX; if said company has ever done this (for any reason) at all in the last 10 years, make that a DEAL BREAKER.

Before considering any future products from such a proprietary company, insist on seeing a 5+ year favorable track record, where the Linux, Unix and Mac OSX communities are treated with the exact same timeliness to market as the Microsoft Windows community.

This allows a company to make a MISTAKE and correct their behavior and way of thinking about open source in general.  And become a good and responsible community member after a mistake or two.  But three strikes and they should be OUT.  

Hold them accountable to their history of how they have treated your community, be it Linux, Unix of Mac OSX.  If they are responsible and good community members in good standing and have been over the last 5 - 10 years then they might just be worth spending your IT budget on them. 

However to continue to support members in poor or bad standing with your hard-to-get and justify IT budget and allow for them to continuously disappoint you is absurd.  I would suggest to you that it could be held against you as a prime example of bad judgment, fiscal malfeasance and that you are not carefully using company funding for which you have signature authority to spend.

I would suggest to investors that such a company, there are many poor examples, might signal a bad / poor investment.  A sign that they can not adapt successfully and favorably to market pressures and your investment dollars might be wisely invested elsewhere.

Seems pretty basic to me.  Screw me once, shame on you, screw me twice, shame on me.  There should NEVER be a third chance allowed.

If everyone adopts this mindset with all their purchases, vendors will make different decisions and do NOT think that a small market share of only 2% (Linux today on the desktop) is a honest and real issue.  Thats just smoke screen.  In this economy, the companies that emerge stronger and smarter are spending their IT budgets wisely. 

What will you do about it?



Submitted by Chris (not verified) on Sat, 09/26/2009 - 05:09


A customer of mine reccomended me to a friend of his. This fried had a site designed totally in flash. I'm now going to have to let him know what a horrible mistake he made. Flash is NOT a smart move no matter how impressive it looks. I'm going to tell him his last designed locked his site in Adobe's propritary format. That comes with a number of restritions. One, I won't/can't edit it. Two, his site is almost completely invisible to search engines, and three many users can't see his site at all even if they enter it directly into the browser's location bar.