Flex Builder on the Mac

There have been many questions over the last few days as to Adobe’s intentions for releasing Flex Builder on the Mac. As part of our continuing effort at transparency here is a short list of questions and attempts at answers. Let us preface this by saying that we have only begun the planning phases of the next release(s), so many of these answers will be incomplete until we’ve had some more time (and sleep).

Q: Is there going to be a Flex Builder release for the Mac?
A: Yes

Q: Why wasn’t it released with the Windows version?
A: We began by developing Flex Builder for both Mac and Windows at the same time. However during development we ran into a number of issues that were specific to OS X and needed to be addressed in Eclipse itself. Fixing those issues would have meant delaying the overall schedule, so we decided to focus on finishing the Windows release before returning to the Mac in a follow-up. In the meantime the Eclipse community has been working on Eclipse 3.2 which fixes a number of the issues we ran into earlier. This makes the likelihood of a timely Mac release that much better, and we’re looking forward to continuing to improve Eclipse on the Mac.

Q: When will Flex Builder for the Mac be available?
A: We are still in our planning phases but we are hoping to have a public beta on Labs this year and the production release early next year. One can imagine a particular event in October where we’d be thrilled if we could launch the beta, but we simply don’t know our timelines yet. We can say that a whole lot of Flex Builder engineers just received shiny new toys to help in this pursuit, while Product Management received nothing. Not that Product Management is jealous.

Q: If I buy Flex Builder for Windows can I transfer that license to the Mac when it comes out?
A: Honestly we’re not sure yet, we still need to figure this out. We’ll need another few weeks to answer this, hopefully before the trial expires.

Q: Will Flex Builder for Mac run on PPC, Intel, or both?
A: We’re very excited about the new Intel-based Macs (at least the engineers who received them are, PM is still not jealous) and at minimum we will be supporting that platform. We’d be interested in getting your feedback on the importance of supporting PPC given how quickly the Intel is getting adopted. Feel free to leave feedback here.

Q: What about Flash Player 9 on the Intel for Mac?
A: You can grab a beta version of that Player here: http://www.adobe.com/products/flashplayer/public_beta

Q: What do I do in the meantime if I have a Mac?
A: Download and use the free SDK. A number of developers have come up with workflows for building Flex applications using the Mac; we’ll try to put together a more comprehensive list of them in the next few days.