I’m sitting down with some tea while my little girl is taking a nap feeling the big exhale from MAX. The energy of the past few days has been largely fantastic and I always find MAX to be rejuvenating both from a professional standpoint and a personal standpoint. Getting to connect with the community and my colleagues at Adobe has been great. In the contrast to the buzzing of MAX, the current deep quiet of my house leaves me reflecting a bit on the week.
This will go down as a very transformational MAX. The announcement of the Creative Cloud and the fact that it will include all of Creative Suite Master Collection as well as the touch tools and services (including TypeKit) is one of the biggest things I’ve seen from Adobe in a long time. And it feels like we’re jumping in with both feet and getting back to the core of what Adobe does: empowering designers to create with great tools. I thought the news about the single edition of the Digital Publishing suite was a perfect example of that. It makes the blossoming world of digital publishing accessible to more people.
The PhoneGap announcement was, for me, the most significant announcement of the week. By acquiring Nitobi (fantastic guys) and contributing the PhoneGap project to the Apache Foundation, Adobe took a huge, huge step into the world of HTML5. It was a perfect way to start a day 2 keynote that focused on the things Adobe is doing to be a part of the HTML5 ecosystem.
Based on the Twitter stream there seemed to be a feeling that the lack of traditional Flash indicated that Adobe is giving up on it. I think that misses the big picture. With the Nitobi acquisition and the embracing of PhoneGap, Adobe is making a significant and meaningful bet on the web and cross-platform mobile applications. This can’t be overstated. For Flash developers we have AIR, which will let you build cross-platform mobile applications. For HTML developers we have PhoneGap, which will let you create cross-platform mobile applications. Both are web technologies that don’t require developers to be locked into a specific operating system or type of device. You see the same thing with our digital publishing suite; it doesn’t matter if you want to deploy on iOS, Android, or PlayBook, you can. And that’s possible largely because of the web formats that go into creating the DPS apps.
This isn’t about Flash versus HTML, this is about supporting creative and interactive content across the broadest platform in the world: the web. Whether it’s mobile apps or browser content; animations, interactive web applications, or 3D gaming experiences, Adobe genuinely believes that the web is the best way for our customers to deliver their creations. By making PhoneGap a cornerstone of our story, I think we’ve proven our commitment to that mission.
I’m glad I was at MAX to see all of this in person.
Edit: This is a great piece by Daryl Taft of eWeek that talks about Flash and HTML. And it’s great to see that the “and not or” message is getting picked up. But what I like about this particular message is that when you follow it upstream a bit more, it just means we love the web. And if that’s the case (and I feel like it is) then the technology becomes secondary to the goals of helping people create cross-os and cross-device content with web technologies.