Flex? (was and still is: What's exciting in Adobe Thermo?)

24 Mar 2008 - 11:47pm
6 years ago
4 replies
556 reads
Chris Bernard
2007

So I'm a bit 'biased' here as well. Something that gets missed in a lot of these conversations is presuming that going with a standards-based site or a FLEX/Flash/X approach is an either or choice. In the past this was largely the case and the power of the browser has made that a singular platform of choice for many folks but it's doubtful this will be a viable strategy in the future. As many of the applications of the future increasing move to ad supported models, develop service-oriented orientations or scenarios that require data to move across or be accessed from different devices we are going to see designers asked to build optimized experiences for multiple different channels.

This means in the future you might build a standards-based Web site. A site optimized for a specific mobile platform. A desktop client and even some proprietary interface that is kiosk-based perhaps. There's a barrier to this right now in that it's really expensive and labor and skills intensive to pull this off. But in the future, in the spirit of competitive differentiation those that can will do this.

One of the things that makes technology like Flash (and hopefully soon things like AIR, Flex, Silverlight and stuff like Google Gears compelling) is that it might just be an easier way for companies to build things that work elegantly from a user experience perspective than in a standards-based method. It may be 'possible' to do so in each but you may be better off taking advantage of the inherent strengths of each technology versus picking one at the exclusion of the other. Sometimes this may happen in parallel or sometimes you may start with something that needs to evolve into something else for scalability. Which is the thinking behind dynamic runtime engines that will be able to take Ruby, Python and even JavaScript and run more effective using a virtual machine. Similarly we may find that some applications demand the lightweight disconnected functionality that AIR or Gears can provide or will require a more embedded solution focused on WPF or a Cocoa application.

>From a developer perspective companies will want to strive to attract talent pools to their platform and tools that can be flexible and execute against all these scenarios versus just one. The promise of things like Flex, Flash, AIR, Silverlight, WPF and Gears is that they all promise development models that promise ways to target more than just one channel with a common set of skills and tools. I think all of these technologies are going to enable a new ecosystem of software development that is far, far bigger than even the Web is now. Success of all these platforms will really boil down to the effectiveness of the tooling, the speed and flexibility of the development processes for the platform, security and stability, and (perhaps most importantly) the size and quality of the talent pool. Proprietary offerings will also need to continue to balance the value of openness in their platforms and develop compelling ROI models for the acquisition costs and TOC to be competitive with standards-based offerings as well.

The other thing that will matter is the actual processes we use to design for applications right now. I think we often operate under the assumption that it won't change. Right now our design processes are borne of the same techniques and tools that were largely developed and optimized by digital print production. It's easy to forget that in a little less than two years the valuable skill of being an analog paste of artist went the route of the blacksmith when print production when digital. The question we have to ask ourselves is if these existing practices and standards are going to serve us well in the future or undergo a similar rapid transitions.

Tools like Thermo are exciting to us because they help us preserve familiar work practices and processes. But there's a price we pay in preserving the familiar too and that's that it might not really be the best way for us to collaborate and design the software that will have to run on all sorts of different systems and devices and be a hybrid mix of open and closed technologies.

We may make personal choices to standardize on one toolset, technology or platform but the markets that pay us for our work may choose otherwise or demand that we master new skills that we might be uncomfortable with. Worse still, we may see direct competitors embrace new methods or tools that allow them to go to market more effectively than we are able to with our existing design methods.

What should be exciting for all of us is that having all of these companies vie for our attention creates a competitive environment that is ripe for innovation. I don't think I'd be dismissive of any of these new technologies at this point and I don't think we're talking about a zero sum game where picking one approach automatically discounts ever using another in conjunction with it. These technologies all have large audiences that can execute against them today and the ultimate success will be by those that can leverage the value of their ideas around creating great experiences in the fastest and most effective way possible.

Chris Bernard
Microsoft
User Experience Evangelist
chris.bernard at microsoft.com
630.530.4208 Office
312.925.4095 Mobile

Blog: www.designthinkingdigest.com
Design: www.microsoft.com/design
Tools: www.microsoft.com/expression
Community: http://www.visitmix.com

"The future is already here. It's just not evenly distributed." William Gibson

-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com [mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of Dave Meeker
Sent: Monday, March 24, 2008 4:13 PM
To: Andrei Herasimchuk
Cc: IXDA list
Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] Flex? (was: What's exciting in Adobe Thermo?)

I've been really trying to stay away from this... but I have to chime
> in.

Uh Oh. :)

>
> > 1) Write once, deploy cross platform
>
> That "pro" is also it's biggest con, in that you are tying yourself,
> your product and everything you do to Adobe in what is effectively a
> closed and proprietary format. In other words, you are at the mercy
> of the Adobe folks getting it right year over year as technology
> continues to evolve.
>

Agreed. But, with any software, you have to have some faith.
Added to that is Adobe's deal with Mozilla this year to license the
scripting language to them for inclusion in the browser framework.
For me, I think it is as simple as recognizing that Flash (player) isn't
going anywhere, is installed on 98.5 (or more) of the computers out there,
takes only a minute to install on machines that don't have it, and because
of that is pretty much ubiquitous. Lesson #2: Don't launch a mission
critical application using any brand new technology you've been working with
it for a while and think you've mastered it (or you know a bunch of
engineers at Adobe who work on the Flex team).

>
> > 2) You can turn your Flex application into a desktop application
> > without
> > much code refactoring (using AIR).
>
> Indeed. This is a nice argument for creating a thin client product.
> But mixing these products into browser environments as well as having
> desktop versions is massively confusing in my opinion. I actually
> think Flash/Flex is better for the thin client approach, and
> desperately wish people would stop embedding massively complex Flash
> apps inside web browsers where they make little sense.
>

I don't disagree with you here. Like anything though, "good" experiences and
"bad" experiences shouldn't be blamed on the technology itself, rather the
implementation of an idea using a particular technology. I've seen the same
concept built by two different teams and feeling that one of them sucked
pretty bad, while the other was brilliant. It comes down to execution,
paying attention to the little details that can make an embedded application
give off bad UX vibes, etc.

>
> > 3) With the evolution of browsers, you can be less concerned about
> > how to
> > migrate your code to keep up with changes in the Document Object
> > Model in
> > AJAX, as the Flash player is backwards compatible.
>
> This is an argument for dropping the web browser as a development
> platform. However, if Adobe ever were honest about that product path,
> they'd probably lose 90% of the people who would even be interested
> in using Flash/Flex. Why? Because the products would live outside the
> massive deployment model of the web browser. Unfortunate as that is.
>

I hear you. I still think that adobe (like a lot of software companies) have
the official plan, but are very cognoscente of the change in the market,
etc.
I don't think Adobe wants to kill the browser as a platform by any means...
(case in point, the deal with Mozilla).
Let's face it... it is a hell of a lot easier to deploy a web application
than a desktop application. AIR solves some of that, but it still isn't as
simple as just going to a URL and having the application sitting there for
you. The downside to browser-only applications is that there is not any
integration with the desktop. Some of the cool things that a platform like
AIR brings you is the ability to drag items (a spreadsheet for example) into
the application and have it converted to consumable data on the fly.

Some of the comments I have made regarding Mozilla refers to the Tamarin
Project: http://www.mozilla.org/projects/tamarin/

> > 4) The Flash player now has hardware acceleration... so you can
> > build UI's
> > that look and feel the way YOU want the to, and not be limited by your
> > development technology
>
> No. You are still limited by whatever Flash can or cannot do as a
> platform. Let's not even bring up how crappy text handling still is
> to this day in the Flash rendering environment.

You are limited by any of the technologies that we have. Flash isn't
perfect, but it is arguably the best we have at the moment.
Also... I've been fortunate to work with some of the best and brightest
Flash developers out there. So, can flash "do it all?". NO.
Can an ActionScript Ninja who really understands the SWF format and the
inner workings of the Flash player work magic? Amen.

> > 5) 3-d integration (using papervision or another framework)
> No one cares about this. Ok... maybe 3% of the development teams out
> there do... but really, no one cares about this point.

They will. :)
check out searchme.com as an example of why.

> > 6) Handles LOTS of data much, much, much better (data grids with
> > tons of
> > rows, etc)
>
> Based on what metrics? I have yet to find a Flash/Flex app that
> handles large sets of data faster or better that a well implemented
> browser or desktop version. They all have their pitfalls, especially
> when done improperly. And yes, this includes and understanding that
> even if you could display a thousand rows of data in less than a
> second, people can't process it on something as coarse as the
> resolution of a computer screen, so who cares?

I could provide proof of concept after proof of concept that I or coworkers
have developed that demonstrate this.
I will not say that a compiled desktop application suffers from the same
lack of data handling that you'd find in the browser though.
Desktop binaries are a different class, and would most likely outperform an
application in Flex. (almost definitely).
But when it comes to pure handling of data, Flex beats Flash, and most of
the AJAX frameworks.
You also have to take into consideration that if you use Flex with BlazeDS
or LiveCycle DS or even products like Midnightcoders' Web Orb, you also
benefit from the data compression and passing of native objects between the
server and the client.

> > All in all, it's been a really good tool in my experiences... But I
> > preface
> > that by saying I've been fortunate enough to work with some pretty
> > talented
> > software engineers that really know the framework and how to make
> > it sing.
>
> That's obviously a big issue. The thing I have yet to understand is
> that if I'm working with that kind of engineering group, which I have
> have done so many times in my past, why not just build a real desktop
> client application and regain control of everything you need to gain
> control of.

Point taken. I don't argue with you here, except for the fact that the "Web"
is king and the large majority of these apps have distinct business
requirements that require them to be deployed online. The flipside of this
is that with the reintroduction of thin-clients (AIR, WPF/Silverlight) the
notion of having "Web" or "Network" connectivity inside your application
should be taken as an obvious thing to include in the architecture.

I agree though. If you want maximum performance... bring your application to
the desktop.
If you have to play in a world with requirements that require it to be
deployed in a different manner.....

> Sure, *some* of the up front engineering may take a tad
> longer than going the RIA route, but given the total and full amount
> of control you'll get for that investment,

True. (again!)

>
>
> Now... I'm not saying Flex/Silverlight or any of those technologies
> are bad or anything. But what I am tired of are people who aren't
> discussing the pros and cons of all of them at a purely agnostic,
> "what happens" level, letting people decide for themselves what they
> really need to do for their product development. Your list crosses
> that line for me.

I am an agnostic guy. I have to be. I have a lot of experience with Flash
and for the last 4-5 years, Flex...
but there is the right tool for the right job, and it might not always be a
flash-player based RIA.

Case in point: I am working on a project now which is an internal
application to be deployed world-wide for a corporation that needs to have
the ability to tie in a device plugged in via USB or serial cable with a web
application. Whoa.... This will be MSIE only, utilizing AJAX as a UI and
data transmission layer with embedded Flash content and OS integration (USB)
using a (gasp) ActiveX Control.

When was the last time you heard that! :)

Thanks for the fascinating challenges to my point of view and the
interesting discussion.

dave
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Comments

25 Mar 2008 - 12:53am
Andrei Herasimchuk
2004

On Mar 24, 2008, at 9:47 PM, Chris Bernard wrote:

> What should be exciting for all of us is that having all of these
> companies vie for our attention creates a competitive environment
> that is ripe for innovation. I don't think I'd be dismissive of any
> of these new technologies at this point and I don't think we're
> talking about a zero sum game where picking one approach
> automatically discounts ever using another in conjunction with it.

I'll be blunt, Chris, as Doug knows I often try to avoid pulling
punches.

While that sounds good on paper, it's sheer fantasy right now. It
*is* a zero sum game because there are only so many resources in
companies to build shipping software products. The amount of time and
effort it takes to build a robust software product offering for one
platform takes at minimum a year, often much longer. More than one
platform? Forget it. Only a select few companies on this planet have
the kind of money to toss at that problem and most of them choose not
to because it's often a waste of time and resources.

Let's not even discuss "innovation," as 99% of the projects done with
these tools are simply reinvented versions of past software products
or ideas. It doesn't matter what platform or technology you choose:
browser with ajax, flash/flex/air, expression blend/silverlight,
java, desktop client. They all take the same amount of time in the
end and they all have been done before to various degrees. And I
speak as someone who has created software pretty much in every
various capacity one possibly can. It's getting to be tiresome at
this stage dealing with yet another language or platform or whatever
flavor is "exciting" this year.

To do software right and do it well simply takes time, even if
business executives think they are getting stuff out of the door in
less than six months. They aren't. That's a facade. Sugar coating the
notion of what can be released. It looks like a more polished product
offering getting to market faster, when in fact it's nothing more
than an incomplete beta. A pretty one I would grant you that, but
incomplete nonetheless. The product isn't quite there yet and won't
be for some time. It takes a lot longer to get there for real, often
not until at least version 3 of any software product, long after an
alpha and a beta, public or not, as well as versions 1 and 2 of course.

It takes longer to get the product right. It always will.

In the end, it's not the technology that gets in the way or makes
things smother. It's often something entirely different in the
software world. More often than not, it's the designers, engineers
and product managers who still haven't come to understand the medium
for which they are creating products, much less understanding their
customers who are fickle and rightfully so about what features are
right for them. And the ones that do understand their mediums and
their customers know it simply takes time to get the design itself
right.

No amount of slicing bread with a fancier, partially automated bread
knife, changes that. Not Ajax, not Flash, not Expression, not Code
Warrior.

> These technologies all have large audiences that can execute
> against them today and the ultimate success will be by those that
> can leverage the value of their ideas around creating great
> experiences in the fastest and most effective way possible.

There are no shortcuts. One of you -- Adobe, Microsoft, OpenSource,
whichever -- will win the battle at large. That's the nature of
business and of technology. The primary winner will dominate, the
rest will be viable, but not to the degree of the winner. And
designers everywhere will simply deal with whomever wins, as we
always do with any technology that is required in our business.

Ultimately, I have no dog in this hunt. It honestly doesn't matter to
me who "wins." As a designer however, I can tell you I'm done with
"innovation" at a technological level. I'm done with learning yet
another new thing which is basically the same as the old thing which
requires me to re-learn a bunch of things I already knew how to do
but now need to learn how to do differently but with some new set of
annoying technological constraints that ultimately as just as
arbitrary as the constraints I already deal with today.

There's nothing innovative in needing to draw a circle to make a
button. Sure... drawing one as a true vector is nice. But innovative?
Only if you consider that it's about ten years late to arrive and
should have been more mainstream ages ago, I guess. But plenty of
designers get along fine without the bells and whistles.

In software, we are doing nothing more than fancier versions of
applications since Engelbart gave his famous demo in 1968, one year
older than I am now closing quickly on 4 decades ago. Innovation for
us will not come in the form of cooler technology that allows certain
mundane design and engineering tasks to seem to be potentially faster
or slightly more dynamic. It will come in the form of new input
models and devices, like the multi-touch in the iPhone, or fake
plastic guitars and drum kits in games like Rock Band, and new
display devices with small chipsets that bring pixels way past the
computer screen and onto all sorts of ordinary devices in our lives,
regardless of size. It will come from what people do with that new
technology together, out in the open, not as islands. Especially not
as islands of people who stare at their mobile phones all day
texting, doing so mostly in isolation even when they are surrounded
by others.

New ways to draw buttons, or hook up a menu to a data row, or display
an error message or dynamically scale a widget to some arbitrary
screen resolution is not innovation. It's cool, and it helps us
mildly in ways to create slightly different versions of software
applications that are slightly cooler.

But let's not kid ourselves. That's not innovation. It's just
technology. It stopped being innovative once it repeated itself for
the third time (e.g., FidoNet --> America Online --> Facebook), but
only slightly faster and different only in approach, but not in
general use. (And yes, FidoNet and America Online were just as social
and all that back in the 1980s and early 1990s to the degree things
like Facebook is today. The audience was smaller, and the style of
interaction is certainly different, but in the end, they were all
about with keeping up and connecting with your friends, both real
ones and virtual ones online.)

Innovation will come to the software realm when the technology wars
are finally over, one of you guys wins, and then you get to define
how to draw the circle, and us designers can stop learning how to
draw it in yet another way with yet another tool, and hook it up to
yet another back-end development platform.

My only hope is that day will come while I'm still breathing so I can
finally get on with the business of design in the high technology
sector.

--
Andrei Herasimchuk

Principal, Involution Studios
innovating the digital world

e. andrei at involutionstudios.com
c. +1 408 306 6422

25 Mar 2008 - 7:39am
Todd Warfel
2003

On Mar 25, 2008, at 1:53 AM, Andrei Herasimchuk wrote:

> The amount of time and effort it takes to build a robust software
> product offering for one platform takes at minimum a year, often
> much longer. More than one platform? Forget it.

Well, that is unless you're building it web-based or using something
like Flex/Flash/Air :).

Now, if you're talking something like Photoshop, well yes, that's
different. However, I've seen a number of, and been fortunate to have
worked on, a number of very robust software products that are browser-
based and work on multiple platforms.

Cheers!

Todd Zaki Warfel
President, Design Researcher
Messagefirst | Designing Information. Beautifully.
----------------------------------
Contact Info
Voice: (215) 825-7423
Email: todd at messagefirst.com
AIM: twarfel at mac.com
Blog: http://toddwarfel.com
----------------------------------
In theory, theory and practice are the same.
In practice, they are not.

25 Mar 2008 - 10:40am
Chris Bernard
2007

Andrei,

I appreciate your bluntness and your background and experience gives you a unique and compelling perspective but I think you're inferring things in my statements that I'm not making and perhaps I'm not being clear.

I don't think I'm stating that my vision is a reality yet, we're talking about the future. But it's a future that is an inevitability and it is one for the very facts you state. Things ARE a zero sum game today because there are only so many resources available that can build shipping products. This reality will change for the folks that do embrace the technologies that can let them more effectively target multiple devices and platforms with a common set of tooling and platform technologies.

It doesn't diminish all the big D skills that are required to get the right ideas in the first place or the knowledge that must be acquired to tune those experiences to different channels but it gets us a lot farther along technically than we are right now and in fact will enable us to spend more time defining the solution space (which with multiple digital channels gets far more complex).

When I talk about multi-digital channel scenarios I'm not talking about developing professional tooling platforms like Adobe Creative Suite or Expression Studio (Which for the record do indeed take about three to five years to get to robustness). But the barriers and expectations around consumer and enterprise experiences will continue to increase and those that continue to target only one platform or delivery medium may find themselves imperiled.

We can see this in productivity applications today if you look at Microsoft Office or Google Office for example. That single platform choice for each of those products (desktop versus Web) is not viable by itself, but a hybrid is. We also see that with applications like Facebook and most notably Twitter. We're also increasingly seeing that with Web applications and how tuning those applications for iPhones or extending their capabilities with APIs that allow the interface to be refactored into better experience with paradigms like Flash, AIR, Silverlight or WPF.

Many designers and developers won't make these investments and there's risk in that because others will and are and by the time many designers and developers realize these emerging skills and work methods are important many companies and practitioners may have moved so far ahead that it will be impossible for those that stayed behind to catch up.

Let's be honest. Will the technology wars ever really be over? Designers and technologists will always be challenged to learn new things (just like doctors or other professional vocations, those that obstinately refuse to will simply get left behind if they want to work in the world of development and production design and will not possess the intellect to understand the capabilities of market if they move higher up the design chain.)

We also seem to be dismissive of incremental innovation. Which is what we often talk about with products and services. It adds tremendous value to consumer experiences and not every breakthrough needs to be on the level of an iPhone or a Surface to count as innovation or deliver value. I to used AOL in its early days and ordered groceries online via a dialup modem. I used to book travel through a travel agent too. I have no desire to go back to any of that.

Chris Bernard
Microsoft
User Experience Evangelist
chris.bernard at microsoft.com
630.530.4208 Office
312.925.4095 Mobile

Blog: www.designthinkingdigest.com
Design: www.microsoft.com/design
Tools: www.microsoft.com/expression
Community: http://www.visitmix.com

"The future is already here. It's just not evenly distributed." William Gibson

-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com [mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of Andrei Herasimchuk
Sent: Tuesday, March 25, 2008 12:54 AM
To: IXDA list
Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] Flex? (was and still is: What's exciting in Adobe Thermo?)

On Mar 24, 2008, at 9:47 PM, Chris Bernard wrote:

> What should be exciting for all of us is that having all of these
> companies vie for our attention creates a competitive environment
> that is ripe for innovation. I don't think I'd be dismissive of any
> of these new technologies at this point and I don't think we're
> talking about a zero sum game where picking one approach
> automatically discounts ever using another in conjunction with it.

I'll be blunt, Chris, as Doug knows I often try to avoid pulling
punches.

While that sounds good on paper, it's sheer fantasy right now. It
*is* a zero sum game because there are only so many resources in
companies to build shipping software products. The amount of time and
effort it takes to build a robust software product offering for one
platform takes at minimum a year, often much longer. More than one
platform? Forget it. Only a select few companies on this planet have
the kind of money to toss at that problem and most of them choose not
to because it's often a waste of time and resources.

Let's not even discuss "innovation," as 99% of the projects done with
these tools are simply reinvented versions of past software products
or ideas. It doesn't matter what platform or technology you choose:
browser with ajax, flash/flex/air, expression blend/silverlight,
java, desktop client. They all take the same amount of time in the
end and they all have been done before to various degrees. And I
speak as someone who has created software pretty much in every
various capacity one possibly can. It's getting to be tiresome at
this stage dealing with yet another language or platform or whatever
flavor is "exciting" this year.

To do software right and do it well simply takes time, even if
business executives think they are getting stuff out of the door in
less than six months. They aren't. That's a facade. Sugar coating the
notion of what can be released. It looks like a more polished product
offering getting to market faster, when in fact it's nothing more
than an incomplete beta. A pretty one I would grant you that, but
incomplete nonetheless. The product isn't quite there yet and won't
be for some time. It takes a lot longer to get there for real, often
not until at least version 3 of any software product, long after an
alpha and a beta, public or not, as well as versions 1 and 2 of course.

It takes longer to get the product right. It always will.

In the end, it's not the technology that gets in the way or makes
things smother. It's often something entirely different in the
software world. More often than not, it's the designers, engineers
and product managers who still haven't come to understand the medium
for which they are creating products, much less understanding their
customers who are fickle and rightfully so about what features are
right for them. And the ones that do understand their mediums and
their customers know it simply takes time to get the design itself
right.

No amount of slicing bread with a fancier, partially automated bread
knife, changes that. Not Ajax, not Flash, not Expression, not Code
Warrior.

> These technologies all have large audiences that can execute
> against them today and the ultimate success will be by those that
> can leverage the value of their ideas around creating great
> experiences in the fastest and most effective way possible.

There are no shortcuts. One of you -- Adobe, Microsoft, OpenSource,
whichever -- will win the battle at large. That's the nature of
business and of technology. The primary winner will dominate, the
rest will be viable, but not to the degree of the winner. And
designers everywhere will simply deal with whomever wins, as we
always do with any technology that is required in our business.

Ultimately, I have no dog in this hunt. It honestly doesn't matter to
me who "wins." As a designer however, I can tell you I'm done with
"innovation" at a technological level. I'm done with learning yet
another new thing which is basically the same as the old thing which
requires me to re-learn a bunch of things I already knew how to do
but now need to learn how to do differently but with some new set of
annoying technological constraints that ultimately as just as
arbitrary as the constraints I already deal with today.

There's nothing innovative in needing to draw a circle to make a
button. Sure... drawing one as a true vector is nice. But innovative?
Only if you consider that it's about ten years late to arrive and
should have been more mainstream ages ago, I guess. But plenty of
designers get along fine without the bells and whistles.

In software, we are doing nothing more than fancier versions of
applications since Engelbart gave his famous demo in 1968, one year
older than I am now closing quickly on 4 decades ago. Innovation for
us will not come in the form of cooler technology that allows certain
mundane design and engineering tasks to seem to be potentially faster
or slightly more dynamic. It will come in the form of new input
models and devices, like the multi-touch in the iPhone, or fake
plastic guitars and drum kits in games like Rock Band, and new
display devices with small chipsets that bring pixels way past the
computer screen and onto all sorts of ordinary devices in our lives,
regardless of size. It will come from what people do with that new
technology together, out in the open, not as islands. Especially not
as islands of people who stare at their mobile phones all day
texting, doing so mostly in isolation even when they are surrounded
by others.

New ways to draw buttons, or hook up a menu to a data row, or display
an error message or dynamically scale a widget to some arbitrary
screen resolution is not innovation. It's cool, and it helps us
mildly in ways to create slightly different versions of software
applications that are slightly cooler.

But let's not kid ourselves. That's not innovation. It's just
technology. It stopped being innovative once it repeated itself for
the third time (e.g., FidoNet --> America Online --> Facebook), but
only slightly faster and different only in approach, but not in
general use. (And yes, FidoNet and America Online were just as social
and all that back in the 1980s and early 1990s to the degree things
like Facebook is today. The audience was smaller, and the style of
interaction is certainly different, but in the end, they were all
about with keeping up and connecting with your friends, both real
ones and virtual ones online.)

Innovation will come to the software realm when the technology wars
are finally over, one of you guys wins, and then you get to define
how to draw the circle, and us designers can stop learning how to
draw it in yet another way with yet another tool, and hook it up to
yet another back-end development platform.

My only hope is that day will come while I'm still breathing so I can
finally get on with the business of design in the high technology
sector.

--
Andrei Herasimchuk

Principal, Involution Studios
innovating the digital world

e. andrei at involutionstudios.com
c. +1 408 306 6422

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25 Mar 2008 - 12:50pm
Andrei Herasimchuk
2004

On Mar 25, 2008, at 5:39 AM, Todd Zaki Warfel wrote:
>
> On Mar 25, 2008, at 1:53 AM, Andrei Herasimchuk wrote:
>> The amount of time and effort it takes to build a robust software
>> product offering for one platform takes at minimum a year, often
>> much longer. More than one platform? Forget it.
>
> Well, that is unless you're building it web-based or using
> something like Flex/Flash/Air :).

Not true. I have yet to see a robust web product designed, created
and built in less than a year. Again... pretty public betas do not
make a complete a product.

--
Andrei Herasimchuk

Principal, Involution Studios
innovating the digital world

e. andrei at involutionstudios.com
c. +1 408 306 6422

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