What’s this all about?
The next version of our IDE, Flex Builder, will be called Flash Builder 4. This summer, we will make available a public beta for Flash Builder 4 and Flash Catalyst (check Adobe Labs from time to time, because this is where we will make them available).
At the same time, we will not change the name of Flex Builder 3. This will stay as it is now. Furthermore, the names of the Flex framework, and the Flex SDK, remain unchanged. The same goes for Flash Professional, which remains unchanged.
Why we are doing this?
This has happened to me more than once. When I ask people at conferences “Who’s a Flex developer?” many people are unsure how to answer. Why? Because some of you are using the Flex framework, to create Flex or AIR applications, and not our IDE (Flex Builder), some of you are using Flex Builder, but without using the Flex framework (you use ActionScript 3 to create Flash applications). Thus the uncertainty.
Of course, the correct answer is this: anyone who uses the Flex framework, is a Flex developer. It doesn’t matter what tools you use to create these applications. At the same time, any Flex application gets compiled into a SWF file, which is played by the Flash Player. The same happens with the applications written using ActionScript and not the Flex framework.
So looking at it from this perspective, I think it makes a lot of sense. Have the developer tool that is used for creating Flash/AIR applications with or without the Flex framework called Flash Builder 4.
We are working on the next versions of our tools and framework. As I said, this summer, on Adobe Labs, we will launch the beta versions of Flash Catalyst and Flash Builder 4. Both of these products will work with the upcoming version of our framework, Flex 4 (codename Gumbo).
I’m really curious about your feelings. Please feel free to drop a comment, if you wish!