Would you pay for Flex Builder on Linux?

The current alpha version of Flex Builder on Linux doesn’t have feature parity with the Windows and Mac versions of Flex Builder. It is scheduled to timeout on December 1, 2009 and current development seems to be on hold. If you would like to see Adobe create a full version of Flex Builder for Linux then please go vote for feature request #FB-19053! Thanks!

  • omnomnom

    Certainly, in fact I already purchased a (windows) license to use with the Linux alpha a year ago in anticipation of a full release. Vote sent. Hopefully I won’t need to move to IDEA ;)

  • But I thought the Linux EULA forces users to only install and run free software!

  • dbmuse

    since flex builder is eclipse/java should it not just work on any OS ? Same for flash… sinces it is another vm, flash applications should just work on linux …

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  • Cosma Colanicchia

    Voted! :)

  • Falk Brügmann

    We are doing all our backend development in Java, and are looking to switch to Flex for the frontend of our enterprise product. Like many Java shops, we are using Eclipse and Linux on all developer workstations. If there is no perspective for a good tool story on Linux, for us that would be a real disadvantage for Flex.

  • Falk Brügmann

    P.S.: … and yes, we would definitely pay for it, of course – we would even buy the current version w/o GUI designer if there was a supported product available (64 bit support would be nice though).

  • JulesLt

    Flex Builder may be Eclipse-based but it’s not 100% Java – remember, Eclipse allows plug-in modules – the Mac version only appeared a few months after the Windows version for this reason.

    I’m not sure if logging a bug request will do the trick, but I presume if Adobe knew enough people would pay for it, they should continue development. (The problem is, until the product is finished, there’s no way to really measure the demand).

  • Ah before reading this article I linked to the bug issue not knowing you blogged about it. I really hope they don’t do anything stupid like stopping development on this.

    I’m glad to see all the votes though!

  • I knew that this topic would eventualy show up. :) What’s interesting about this (to me at least) is that I’ve sort of been through this before. But not with Flex Builder – rather Delphi. Waaaaay back in the day Borland asked it’s following that “if we made Delphi for Linux, would you buy it?”. The community came back very strong with a “YES!” and a year or so later Kylix was born. (My apologies to my old Delphi buds of whom I just sent shivers down their spine)

    Kylix was incredible. At the time, it was hands down the best IDE on Linux bar none. I figured it would revolutionize the Linux desktop market, because there just wasn’t anything there other than some craptacular text based editors, and the Linux desktop community needed a kickstart. I smelled a goldmine, and I bought up a copy.

    Guess what happened? No one bought Kylix (ok, just a few). All the community did was bitch because they had to pay for something that they felt should be free, and if I remember correctly it was all of $399US or something.

    Meanwhile, Borland/Inprise missed the .NET boat and had to play catchup, because they spent so much time on Kylix. I had already moved on to .NET via Visual Studio by then.

    Now — since FlexBuilder is Java based, it should be MUCH easier to migrate FlexBuilder to Linux — whereas Kylix was written in C/C++ I believe.

    So — my moral of the story? I have no idea. I left the Linux community because no one wanted to pay for the hard work I put into my apps. Even when I released free versions people whined because I did not include source code. I love Linux for the desktop and have high hopes for it – but could Adobe be feeling the same pains? Just my OPINION — but I was both disappointed and happy when it was annouced that it was on hold.

    The question that I am asking myself is this — would I rather:

    a) Have FlexBuilder for Linux or
    b) Have Gumbo completed before M$ catches up?

    Right now – I’d choose B. Sorry guys and gals – JMHO.

  • omnomnom

    Pat Buchanan, forgive me if I have misunderstood, but I believe Kylix compiled to Linux binaries only. The end-user audience available to developers using Flex Builder is several orders of magnitude larger than Kylix, since .swfs run fine on windows, macs and Linux.

    Selling a Linux-native development environment capable of producing output for “Joe Regular” on Windows and Mac is a completely different ballgame (and a different market) than selling an IDE for a Linux-only end result.

    This is not about Linux on the desktop for users, but for developers.

    And much of the initial development cost has already been invested, I mean, the important bits of FB is already running on Linux fairly well in the alpha. Is it really that hard to keep the eclipse plugin cross-platform?

  • @omnomnom: I 100% agree with you. But I’m curious as to if Adobe is seeing the Linux market as too “gotta-be-free” and worries if they will make any money off of it. Borland tried, and failed. Thoughts?

  • Good conversation. Thanks everyone for participating.

    My $0.01 on this is that it’s not JUST about pure dollars and cents. For instance many of the thought leaders in the developer audience that Adobe is going after use Linux. And supporting all three major OSs is always a way to firmly say that a development platform is really cross-platform.

    -James

  • I’d like nothing more than to dump my windows workstation for development. right now, FB is the only thing keeping me there. All of my other machines are already linux.

  • I, like the first poster, paid for a license for FB even though I have only Linux machines. I have applied it to my Linux FB install (even if I don’t need it). I don’t mind paying.

    I actually am fine with the support in the Alpha version. I don’t need the GUI builder, and I don’t ever use it at work where I’m on Windows and have access to it. And, as with most Linux users I suspect, I really don’t need tech support.

    But I’m very frustrated with the fact that Adobe has not taken the very simple step to update the current alpha release to work in Eclipse 3.4. The assertion problem is obviously a simple to fix (for those with access to the code). It was fixed in the Windows version in short order. But Linux users have been hung out to dry.

    James, you’ve even commented on the 3.4 assertion-error bug report, and been totally ignored, and you are an Adobe employee! Imagine how left-out that makes the rest of us feel when even Adobe employees can’t get a response.

    The latest versions of most plugins REQUIRE me to use Eclipse 3.4, because it is over a year old. And 3.5 is out now! But instead, I run 3.3 because I must to use Flex Builder. So, I’m giving up many new features/plugins I should be able to install but can’t.

    Further, the Air workspace (specifically the xml app definition) has changed between the latest FB and the Linux latest version, so you can’t work on the same Air app with someone who is in Windows.

    What you say about thought leaders is true. A couple years ago, I convinced management at my company to go with Flex over Ajax/DHTML technologies (where they were leaning). Now, my company is heavily entrenched with many Flex developers. This is a previously exclusive Java/HTML shop.

    Many thought leaders do use Linux, and my ongoing frustration does not make my recommendation likely. I can assure you, if Flex 4 does not include a Flex Builder for Linux, I will certainly never recommend it again.

  • Hi Dan,

    Thanks for commenting. All I can say is that I feel your frustration. :)

    BTW: I just got FB for Linux kinda working on 3.5 but there are a number of things that don’t work right. I need to file more bugs.

    -James

  • I did the unexpectedly challenging task of extracting the votes from the Flex Builder Jira. At this moment, the Linux issue has 382 votes. The next closest is “Ability to intercept system error dialogs” with 316 votes. After that, nothing else even has 200 votes. Flex Builder for Linux is by far the most requested feature of Flex Builder.

  • After reading your comment about Flex Builder in 3.5, I decided to google information on it. I had previously tried some tutorials related to 3.4 and utterly failed. However, this time I followed these instructions http://blog.danyul.id.au/?p=68&cpage=1#comment-100 to the letter, and I’m happy to say they worked perfectly.

    Now I’m slightly less frustrated….but I’m still in the “I’d pay” camp.

  • Hi James,

    Eclipse 3.6 Helios is out for a while now. It fixes some nasty performance problems with PDT (PHP support).
    Is there any news about Flash Builder 4 for Linux?
    At least the old Flex Builder 3 alpha. Would be very appreciated if it could at least be made to work properly with Eclipse 3.6 and SDK 4. In our company we use Flex Builder 3 on Linux with Eclipse 3.5 and PDT (3 developers). It gets the job done, but far from perfect.

    My MiniBuilder project is stagnating. I don’t have time to do this all alone and looks like though lots of people look interested, not so many actually do something. I really think I should have better forked ASDT (AXDT). With similar effort, I would have come much closer to a production-ready alternative for Linux. And leave AIR where it belongs, the small niche of easy-made-good-looking-bad-performance apps.

    • Hi Dramba. I’ve actually switched to IntelliJ. It has a few issues but works really well overall.