Development software

Adobe to provide Flex to open-source community

Editor’s Note: This story is reprinted from Computerworld. For more Mac coverage, visit Computerworld’s Macintosh Knowledge Center.

Adobe Systems Wednesday unveiled a new version of its Flex SDK development tool set, code-named Moxie, along with plans to provide its code to the open-source community.

The next version of the standards-based language and programming model, slated to ship by the end of the year, will be available under the Mozilla Public License (MPL) now used by the Mozilla Foundation and by Sun Microsystems for its Open Solaris operating system, Adobe said. Flex is supported on multiple operating systems including Mac OS X.

MPL requires that changes made to the code be kept under the MPL license, and those who make the changes cannot freely distribute the altered code.

The open-source move was prompted by the increasing use of the Flex tools to build rich Internet applications — Web applications that include the rich features of desktop applications but the ease of maintenance of a Web application, said Phil Costa, director of product management for Flex.

“[Flex] has reached a critical mass of people developing on the technology and partners extending the technology that by moving it into an open-source project, we can really grow the community and get the developers more involved in extending Flex,” he said.

“[The MPL] strikes the right balance between being true to the spirit of open source … but also being friendly to the needs of commercial vendors like ourselves,” Costa said.

Adobe in June will be setting up a Web site where daily builds for the next version of Flex SDK will be posted, he added. The site will include a public bug database for users to enter bug reports or other enhancement requests.

Flex SDK and other Flex products will still be available under commercial licenses.

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