Adobes JavaScript Makeover

One of the things this reviewer has advised in confidence for many years before the AJAX phenomenon to key staff at Borland and Adobe, was that they should consider a more leadership role in developing JavaScript and a JavaScript IDE. Borland had one in the form of IntraBuilder and Dreamweaver has all the bells and whistles except a legitimate debugger on the order of Firebug and a drag and drop visual designer similar to say IntraBuilder or Tibco General Interface.

adobejsThis leadership position on JavaScript would then have allowed either Borland or Adobe to lead on standards and frameworks in the AJAX world. But alas like Cassandra, certain parties were … uhhh shall we say politely ignored. But no more. Adobe is now on a Major JavaScript Makeover.

And does the Makeover ever make sense. The core of Adobe product lines all depend on JavaScript. Photoshop, Illustrator, and many of the Creative Suite programs use JavaScript as their scripting language. Flash ActionScript is tied at the hip to JavaScript and pledged to follow JavaScripts updates in lockstep. Adobe Acrobat PDF houses a JavaScripting engine. The Dreamweaver team has finally pledged allegiance to JavaScript and AJAX and has said that it will be major part of the next version (I am from Missouri). And Apollo is committed to delivering and online/offline runtime that will be able to render HTML/DOM/CSS/JavaScript.

And if you doubt like me the level and timeliness of the JavaScript support, the plethora of JavaScript and AJAX things being made available at the Adobe.Labs site will at least provide some tea leafs as to the robustness of Adobes JavaScript Makeover :
JavaScript in Eclipse – still no visual design or debugging capabilities
Spry AJAX Framework – looks pretty nifty, but so do many others
ActionScript 3 Developer – latest and greatest, key to Flex 2 and Apollo
Apollo – remember the Sun God streaks through the sky only to give way to Nightfall

Now dont get me wrong with my Doubting Thomas approach – Adobe has every reason to have things hidden under wraps on the nature of their true plans. And God knows the previous natural leader, Microsoft, plundered and laid waste to the opportunity with its deliberate retention to this very day of proprietary extensions and stonewalling on any CSS or DOM or other improvements to W3C and JavaScript standards and features. Mozilla has the brains but not the financial punch to lead on JavaScript. So there is an opportunity in this Adobe JavaScript Makeover for the company to assume a broader role. This may be the biggest JavaScript Makeover challenge – can Adobe act in a non-partisan, non-proprietary leadership role ?


(c)JBSurveyer 2007
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1 thought on “Adobes JavaScript Makeover”

  1. I have often wondered this too. perhaps Adobe are trying to avoid p***ing off the JavaScript community too much after they implemented the draft specification of ES4 into ActionScript 3 only to later discover that most of that standard will not end up as JavaScript 2 after all.

    It can only be for this reason that Adobe have not released an AS3-to-JavaScript cross-compiler. That’s why I created JASPA fully in the knowledge that they could crush me if they so wished.

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