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I’ve been following the development and the evolution of Adobe Flex ever since it first appeared as a beta, but its marketing has always been uncertain. The way it was referenced and named was sometimes inconsistent and the name itself made it a little difficult to search for in some cases.
Adobe Flex will retain it’s name as a particular application but, from now on, the marketing for it will be as part of the Adobe Flash Platform. Adobe has announced this new name for the product line as well as a few other things that will be official at the MAX Conference this week.
Adobe Air version 1.5 will be available featuring much better performance and memory handling. The new version will support Flash 10 and webkit. There will also be a new encrypted database which is a huge plus for corporate applications. To go along with Air, Flex 4 (a.k.a. Gumbo)will be demonstrated which should be an even better and more powerful product than before, but also more accessible to newcomers.
Adobe Catalyst (a.k.a. Thermo) has been in the works for a long time now and aims to close the gap between Designers and Developers. It creates a two-way bridge between files created in Adobe’s Creative Suite products such as Photoshop , Illustrator, and Web apps built in Flash or AIR. Mobile flash will also be something in demonstration, allowing developers to port their applications on to mobile phones.
We should also see the new — and really really long awaited — 64-bit flash player for Linux. This just shows the wide adoption for flash and its already very impressive lead in the RIA world.
I personally can’t wait to see the new version of Flex Builder, version 4, and all it’s new features. I’m not a full-time developper so anything that makes building easier will be very welcomed and will certainly help Adobe to secure it’s lead as the RIA developper’s choice.