"I have a mind like a steel... uh... thingy." Patrick Logan's weblog.

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Saturday, May 15, 2004

Central

I thought Macromedia Central would have generated more interest or at least more discussion. Is the functionality not needed, or is it needed but just in another format?

For example, the ideas may be right, but they should be delivered in dotnet, Gnome, Mozilla, or Eclipse.

Should these ideas be made avaible to the client in a mix of these technologies? How?

Is it up to the desktop vendor, i.e. Microsoft, to get the ball rolling? Maybe WinFS and Avalon is their answer, and we just have to wait until 2007 or later to find out.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

As Memory Stick said, "lightweight with rich look and feel as expected."

Damn skraight! Central does the have the capability to build rich enterprise level applications, but it's also good for niche and disposable applciations as well. Niche as in single functionality applications that some users need. Examples include the Regular Expressions creator, Blog Reader, and games. What's interesting is everyone I've talked to that is positive about Central has more than one idea of where it would fit best. One of mine is using there XML-RPC interface for LiveJournal. Maybe that's sacriligious talking about that site on Blogger, but so be it.

Disposable in that the apps are so easy to make, you can "knock one out over the weekend" for a client. Games are different, but the point is, it's quick and easy to make something pretty sophisticated. Developing and testing is another story... not having Test Movie blows, but regardless, they've given the developer a lot to play with... specially a different paradigm then your used to in regular SWF's deployed on a site.

Although the branding is probably the hottest topic next to file access, "familiar" is a success; you know how to access. I'm probably stretching his meaning, but so be it. You "recognize" both the interface elements, and as a user are not intimidated by the environment. I ALWAYS felt that way about Java client stuff... I was like "why is this purple?" Now, I know some smart arse (me?) is gonna go, "well, why is it chromy green". The point is, it is approachable.

I think the main problem is really the IDE. Flash development is usually, at least in my experience, niche. Central's vision of the future is not very well conveyed to the developer, either, therefore complicating the ability for people to see value in Central, and thus develop for it. A junkie like me knows, but I'm a Flash freak, it's all I do aside from gaming.

Regardless, I've got clients who are interested, but to get a gain from a platform like this, you need a really big push marketing & adoption wise. Hell, look at how Longhorn is fairing... tons of talk, little delivery. Good news is, we're holding Macromedia to the same standards, and it sounds like we've got even more phat functionality to add to the mix on the way.

The monkey wrench, to me, is Flex. Hopefully he'll expediate enterprise peeps to start talking about "all this Flash dev stuff", and hopefully that knowledge and momentum will cascade into interest for others to spread beyond Flex into Flashcom and Central's arena. Otherwise, it's camp out in SmartClient land till Longhorn actually works and you have 50 million peeps attempting to build Rich Apps (keyword attempting) as you join in the fray missing your timeline paradigm...

Anonymous said...

Oops, sorry, registering is boring:

JesterXL
jesterxl@jessewarden.com
http://www.jessewarden.com

Anonymous said...

The applications that you're seeing might be just the tip of the iceberg. Below the waterline are many applications and potential applications developed outside the USA. I think you should re-assess the situation a week or two after the try-buy license scheme changes ;) (Hopefully it will change soon) Also under the waterline are applications that have taken longer to develop and refine to bring to market. A lot of the applications you'll see initially are the lowest hanging fruit.

Central IS a great idea. A tremendous vehicle to sell and deliver software applications. I think Macromedia have floundered a bit in it's delivery - especially in the way they've locked out many dedicated and talented application writers, and failed to formalise or communicate their strategy. The technology is ok right now, and it has a few years lead over Avalon. Macromedia can exploit this lead to make Central great ( my suggestions about this are at: http://e2easy.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=44 )

I don't think Central will appeal to a lot of current Flash developers. Many of whom are Graphic Designers, and Central is not so much about eye-candy as it is about functionality. But it does have a hard-core following with some very capable, inventive programmers.

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Portland, Oregon, United States
I'm usually writing from my favorite location on the planet, the pacific northwest of the u.s. I write for myself only and unless otherwise specified my posts here should not be taken as representing an official position of my employer. Contact me at my gee mail account, username patrickdlogan.