On the positive side:
There seems to be a lot of excitement around Flex Builder 2 and the advantage of ActionScript 3 in Flash.
If you have not already, check it out the new stuff on http://labs.macromedia.com/
The role of the builder independent of the server has finally provided a stable bridge for the free lance developer (Flash, ColdFusion and Java) to build Flex applications. I know there was a huge demand for such a thing after we launched the first version of Flex and now that it is here and in alpha we all get the opportunity to make sure it is a huge success.There were also some encouraging comments on the direction of the Flash platform and our vision for the Mobile and Enterprise spaces with Flash and Flex.Lots of people seem to have jumped on board to Flash 8 with much enthusiasm although many had not yet discovered most of the new expressiveness features. I am certain many people left Max this year with a head full of creative ideas.On the negative side:I heard some unexpected disappointments about our discontinuing the DRK components. Some people even thought the decision to do so was because we were moving all of that functionality into Flex. (This is really not true. The DRK components were not distributed as widely as possible and required a lot of resources to coordinate their publication. They were normally developed by third parties and so as we moved to ActionScript 2 and more complex architectures the components became increasingly difficult to support. Things like the charting components were not ported to Flex from the DRKs but are uniquely written from the ground up for the Flex environment.)There was also some discussion on the thought that Flex may take over Flash, Flash Remoting and ColdFusion. (This is not true either. Flash is optimal for animation, component development, and that uniquely creative blend of design and interaction that goes beyond the needs of most business applications. Also in my opinion you can expect it to become the platform of choice for Mobile development which currently leans towards very personalized non-traditional UI. Cold Fusion and Flash Remoting have a home too. Just consider it a question of scale. Small to midsized companies may only need to develop a few new applications a year and may have only a few hundred users on their applications simultaneously. While the Flex Enterprise companies may need to churn out dozens of new applications a year, or even have applications custom built automatically based on business rules. They may have hundreds of developers working on applications that must sustain thousands of simultaneous users. This will be a lot easier to do with Flex then with Flash and Cold Fusion. That and they can make use of their existing Java developers to build new applications with out much additional training due to the new Flex Builder. Also don’t forget, the midsized companies can use Flex Builder to develop more business application oriented projects and they can still target ColdFusion as their application server. One day soon all of these technologies will work seamlessly together to provide the best possible user experiences online.)So enough of my babbling; what did you guys think? What are your questions, concerns, thoughts about the future?