Adobe To Open-Source Flex Development Tools

The move comes on the eve of a Microsoft conference, Mix07, that will spotlight Microsoft's fledgling arsenal of tools and technologies targeting the Web developer market Adobe cultivates. Microsoft's forthcoming Silverlight multimedia client will vie with Adobe's Flash, and its Expression and Visual Studio lines compete with Adobe's Flex Builder IDE.

Adobe has previously taken steps to promote broader Flex adoption. An overhaul last June introduced a new pricing model that broke out the Flex Builder IDE for standalone purchase and released the Flex software development kit (SDK) for free.

With "Moxie," the code-named next version of Flex, the platform will go open-source. Starting this summer with preview versions, Adobe will post daily software builds of the Flex SDK for public feedback and bug hunting. The formal release of Flex under the Mozilla license will happen with Moxie's final release, slated for late 2007.

Parts of Flex's source code have already been freely available, but the Moxie release will mark the first time developers have access to source code for the full platform, including the Java code for Flex's ActionScript compiler, debugger and core libraries. Adobe does not plan to open-source its Flex Builder IDE.

Sponsored post

Adobe's developer-software sales jumped 67 percent last year, to $189 million, after growing only 10 percent the year earlier. Still, Flex has a lower profile in the development world than its rivals; open-sourcing the software could help revitalize the Flex market.