Speed Tax for Speedy death of Flash Platform

I'll start with a wonderful dialogue from the movie AVATAR, which really suits Adobe and community relation today:

"They're just pissing on us without even the courtesy of calling it rain."

Well, I couldn't find better line than this to explain whats happening in the drama of Adobe & Community clash.

Adobe is a company who has never been kind to the community. They never supported, showcased, appreciated community's great work in a way it should be. Sponsoring couple of projects, events/contests does not make a huge difference.

The message was clear, MAX 2011 keynotes incident
The torture of the community of Flash Developers began from the MAX 2011 keynotes, and it is still going on. One after another PR mess and disaster only made developers' lives a HELL. This has become a routine practice for us now. Adobe drops a PR bomb on us, community reacts negatively, and then some Adobe Employees/Evangelists try to justify and explain the new PR mess again and again on various sites or blogs, and then they ask Why there is so much FUD in the community?
Adobe clearly delivered a message that HTML5 has been brought in the front position and Flash has been pushed on the back seats, and it is now 2nd class citizen of Adobe. So, don't complain now, if they are treating it as a 2nd class citizen. Adobe guys may not agree, but we are not as dumb as Adobe think we are.


Screwing up your loyal customers / communities will only lead you to the destruction
This is common sense, and a very basic rule of business. Learn something from Apple and Google in this regard. No wonder why Adobe and RIM get along very well with each other, they are unable to compete in the market and satisfy their loyal customers, it is something which in common in both. You make false promises to your customers, you keep them in dark, and you screw them hard, and then you expect them to love you in return. Hahaha! Poor fellas.


Leadership lacks true vision at Adobe, and they are not doing anything about it.
We have to pay the price for Adobe's non-visionary leadership. Why don't you get a new highly skilled, less expensive, more visionary and presentable CEO? You guys can't see how consistently bad he has been performing. Since the day he was appointed as CEO in 2007, till today, such a horrible performance in every area, stocks, software qualities, PR, etc.
This whole thing makes me believe what many ex-Adobe employees say about Adobe, that its plagued with bureaucracy, and not many creative people and creative freedom is left in the company. A perfect example is Ansca Mobile company, started in 2007 by two former Adobe engineers Carlos Icaza and Walter Luh, who worked on Flash Lite at Adobe. Look at them, they are comparatively very small company but they are doing really great job now with Corona.
Honestly speaking, Adobe lacks vision and a good leadership from a long time now. Due to which, they can't understand the growing technologies, where to invest, what to do. Forgot about the future, they can't even see the present. They can't see where everybody is going today. A friendly suggestion to Adobe guys, Get rid of this CEO (Mr. Shantanu Narayen) and appoint some other person as CEO who take less salary and does better job. Believe me you are going to save more money than you'll earn from this so called PREMIUM features tax.

Here is a two year old article about Adobe's fall down, a must read:
http://www.codfusion.com/blog/post.cfm/adobe-should-fire-shantanu-narayen


We can't earn enough by selling tools only, we need more ways like Revenue share, taxes, etc.
There are numerous ways to earn money, its not community's fault that you can't make great tools for developers. But we still buy Flex/Flash Builder, don't we?. Don't blame us if you can't generate enough profit from your tools, lets do the basic comparison, when it comes to speed FlashDevelop outperforms Flash Builder, and FDT leaves FB behind in features for hardcore developers. These small groups/companies are doing 100 times better job than Adobe in providing great tools to developers, that's why we choose them over Adobe's tools. We have seen how well you compete with your rivals, so lets not get into that debate.

We have always paid for your massively priced products and bundles (CS3, CS4, CS5, etc), where had that money gone? Who says Flash Platform is free? We paid for the platform not for the tools which you sold us with couple of random updates (Deco Tool, Spray brush, etc), I don't remember any new huge feature coming in Flash Pro in years. Bone tool is good feature but it doesn't work every time, its broken and I'm talking about developers here.


The new wave of PREMIUM features scares me
This is going to be dangerous, this shows a sign to us that now we have two kind of features in the Flash Platform, Premium and Non-Premium, and many awaited features from whitepaper might end up being a PREMIUM features like ActionScript Workers, etc. Now, this whole thing adds new level in the stack of uncertainty. First, we have a constant fear of Flash Platform's life, and now we have to worry that if Flash Platform survives, which features are going to be PREMIUM.


Speed Tax is just a beginning of an end
Today, after many years, they finally started to do something to boost the speed and they hardly have completed couple of features from the many promised in whitepaper and see this, they want to get early profits out of it. Tomorrow, if they make some security features for the Flash Player, then there will be Security Tax, and may be Stability Tax. If you want more secure and stable Flash Player, get a new license and your content will run in crash-free, hack-free mode of Flash Player unlike others. Getting any idea where it is heading?


Licensing for everyone who uses Stage3D with DomainMemory, is a HORRIBLE idea
The thing which bothers me the MOST is hassle of licensing. Whether you are making a game or something else, whether your game crosses that $50k milestone or not, if you use Stage3D with DomainMemory, you'll have to go through the licensing process. Do you call it a smart move?

According to Adobe's FAQ about premium features: A nominal program fee may be introduced beginning 1st August, 2012. So, there you go, a nominal fee for every license. We can imagine what nominal would be from Adobe's perspective.
[+Lee Brimelow writes on his blog: No you don’t pay anything to get the license... ]. I don't know whats going on? Please someone clarify this?

I just want to let the community members know that this is just one side of the coin, the other side is yet to be revealed. They haven't told us how they are going to check how much our game is making, how this monitoring system will actually work and believe me that will be another disaster, bigger one too.


Peeping into our balance sheets
Why the hell is every company today wants to access our data? and How on the earth they are going to track the record of my earnings for a game? There could be many sources of generating revenues from a game, and Adobe is going to keep an eye on all of them. Brilliant, just amazing. This is going to be a true innovation and a revolution in the field of technology. I'm sure Adobe has enough resources assigned to do this job.


This is how you payback
I thought it is payback time for Adobe, since they haven't done any thing significant for the platform in last many years. But, this is how they payback our services and hell lot of money which we have paid for their average tools. Stage3D is the only big feature added to the Flash Platform, since the day they acquired Macromedia till today.


So, what is the problem really?
Again, referencing to +Lee Brimelow's post, he writes "...It is primarily for the console-quality games that come out of Unity and in the building of things like the Unreal Tournament 3 demo from Epic."
If that is the case, why don't Adobe with the Unity's and Epic's support, add this licensing in the Flash Export feature in IDE's of Unity and others, so it will be required for those only who are using these high-level gaming tools to create AAA games.
If you are like me, you don't make any games, and even if you do, you know your games won't cross $50k milestone ever, so why do people like me have to buy a license and allow Adobe to keep an eye on my little earnings all the time. Adobe also knows this fact very well, and they are saying themselves that most of the Flash devs won't be affected by this Revenue share as they are not likely to cross that mark, but still they are forcing everyone who wants to use domainMemory and Stage3D together to buy a license, so that Adobe can make little extra cash, even if you are making some non-game stuff or something for educational purpose like tutorials, etc.


First deliver, then talk about money
I want to make it clear, that I'm not going to bet my hard earned money on this limping horse (Adobe). If I have to spend more money, I would love to spend on some other company who has some respect for its community and has track record of delivering. You guys have hardly completed couple of features from the long list of promised features in the whitepaper, and you have already started to think about generating early revenues from it. This tax/share would have made some sense after you would have delivered most of the features from whitepaper by next year.
So, the point is, you could have implemented this revenue share model after you would have improved the VM performance in Flash to match up with Alchemy opcodes performance, then it would have made a sense. People who want to port their C / C++ code to Flash Player, they can use Alchemy 2, and for that they have to pay for a license, sounds fair. Other developers, who are making stuff from scratch in AS3 will get a great performance as well, without having to use any domainMemory/Alchemy, etc. So, they don't have to get any license or something at all.


More and more burden on the community
So, we all are aware of the fact that Flash Platform is community-driven platform. Without the support of an amazing community of hugely talented people, Flash would not have been what it is today. Community has a major contribution in the success of this platform. Now, poor developers who contribute to the community in a big way, they have to maintain two versions of the same library. One which uses PREMIUM features so they can use it in AIR apps (till Adobe introduces some other tax on AIR apps as well) and the other which doesn't, for those developers who want to use the library in Flash Player. This is an added responsibility on the shoulders of the community members.


Adobe loves HTML5, more than Flash now ?!?!?!?!
So, Adobe loves HTML5, that's great, so do we, but that doesn't mean cutting down the resources of Flash and moving them to work on HTML5. Both should be given their required amount of resources to keep up. You don't need to lower Flash's image to make HTML5 look great, pass statements like *This can be done in HTML5 easily, so don't use Flash for that."
I was telling a joke to my friends, about this recent WATERMARK announcement of Adobe, which is a great innovation from the company, showing a watermark message in runtime is great idea, Since Adobe makes tools for both Flash and HTML5, they can use this watermark for marketing as well. Like if you just make a simple fade in fade out animation in Flash, and when you compile it, a watermark message can be shown, saying *"You can do this in HTML5 now, use Adobe EDGE to create it in HTML5".
Well, it won't be wrong to say that HTML5 is Adobe's favorite now, at least reality reflects that. Muse, Edge, Shadow, PhoneGap, etc. Adobe Developer Connection site has more and frequently added articles/tutorials/videos on HTML5, CSS3, etc. and if you go to other sections like Flash Player, AIR, you won't find any new articles/tutorials from last 4-5 months. Do I have to explain anything further?


We don't believe you Adobe, don't you remember what you did last November
Its matter of trust, and Adobe has lost it in a big big way, not once, not twice but many times. We all know how rapidly things change with Adobe. Today, they are saying that no similar licensing will be required for AIR apps, but it can change in future, knowing the fact how Adobe changes rules overnight. Anything can change, we just don't trust you Adobe at all, sorry.


Protesting in my own way
Today, after this announcement I'm going to boycott CS6. I'm not stupid enough to think that one person's decision of not buying their products will make any significant difference to them in terms of anything. I know this can make things even worse, that's why I won't suggest every community member to take the same decision as a protest. I'm not making this decision only because I'm angry and upset with Adobe, but I don't have enough money left in my account to waste on something which doesn't truly worth it. I know what they have been selling me from CS3 to CS5.5, I mean look at the upcoming features of Flash Pro CS6, Spritesheet Generator, OMG! (Adobe made fun of Flash Pro when they displayed & highlighted this tiny little feature at MAX keynote on big screens last year.) My non-Flash dev friends laughed at me by saying that The best gaming platform of the web doesn't have its own spritesheet generator yet. LOL!
Another upcoming feature is Export to HTML5, wonderful, isn't it? added Wallaby in Flash IDE, isn't it? Nice.


Conclusion
Adobe, If you want to kill it, just go ahead and do it in one go, have some mercy on the wonderful community of developers and your own baby platform, don't kill it in installments. Don't leave it in half dead half alive state like Shockwave/Director. I'm say this because your efforts look so desperate and deliberate. I have seen Flash devs going from superheros to second-class developers, from jobless to beggars*, but you guys are not bothered about it, right!

[ *beggars: Yes, thats true! Begging for projects, for work, for features etc. If you want to see by yourself, go to the AIR developer forums of BlackBerry, and see how Flash devs are begging RIM to update AIR 3.2 on Playbook and enable Stage3D on the device. Both Adobe and RIM are silent about this. Adobe says RIM is handling AIR on Playbook, and RIM says we'll think about it if Stage3D content shows up on other mobile platforms and there is good demand for it. Do anyone remember Adobe's Danny Winokur at BlackBerry DevCon 2011 Americas, showcasing Stage3D game on Playbook?]



Today is a very unfortunate day for me, as I have finally started to write about my whole experience of working with Flash Platform, the outstanding community of developers and Adobe. It will be a very long and detailed article about my journey, and the day I say goodbye to Adobe and sadly Flash, then I'll publish it. I have a feeling that its going to happen soon, I'm standing at the tip of the cliff, I just need a slight push to jump off the cliff, couple of more announcements like this will do the job.

Thank you guys for reading my longest post ever. I don't write detailed posts normally, but this time I couldn't stop myself.
Please comment about the things you agree and things you don't, and tweet or share this article with other Flash devs, I want every fellow from the community to read this.

Thanks for you time.
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