Thoughts on Adobe.com code (aka, “This is my blog, and I’ll complain if I want to.”).

The most concise code examples is not from Adobe.com.  Adobe seems geared toward presenting:

  1. Instructions for exploring the full API.
  2. Selling Cold Fusion (or Flash Builder, or LCDS, etc.).
  3. Just plain egotism.

Instructions for exploring the full API

From an introductory point of view, the API is far too complex to just jump into; this is good, in the long run, but terrible for introduction to the concepts. What I really need is brief example code that presents the entire functionality. This generally gets added over time to the API documentation, but you still have to know what class to begin with. Further, there is generally no brief “best practices” code. Flex 4 is starting to respond to this concern with Tour de Flex, and this is much appreciated. However, you still have to dig through a lot before finding what is useful. Even with this resource, I will start with a Google search of the blogosphere – infinitely easier to find concise, significant info!

Selling Cold Fusion (or Flash Builder, or LCDS, etc.)

I will never use Cold Fusion. It is proprietary, and it’s potential market share will always be limited by Java. It also breaks the idea of running Flash on any screen; not in the sense of not being able to use the content, but rather that I cannot simply change from a Mac to a PC, or a PC to another PC without having to re-purchased the back-end coding environment. I’m not going commit to something that has a high cost with only equal benefit compared to something with no cost.

I have the same reaction to Flash Builder, LCDS, and other programs from Adobe that have free counterparts in the wild. However, some of these offer integration with Flash (and other programs) that make things much easier, so there may be a use for them in the future. At this point, though, the cost is not only prohibitive, but also repulsive.

Just plain egotism

There is very little that is more annoying than an evangelist instructional video. Everyone knows what I mean; unless, of course, you are an evangelist.

The worst part about it is that they are presenting interesting content ideas, but there are no cue points, fast forward buttons, or text transcripts. I have stopped even trying to watch them.

In Conclusion

Despite all this, I still recommend many of the archived “live” presentation events that Adobe offers, since these are often from professionals in the field.  They end up being sincere and informative; and if you can attend the online session while it is going on, you can get some pretty good answers to specific questions.

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