“What Adobe Should Have Done”

I was talking to one of the leading experts in Adobe technology, who shall remain nameless, about HTML5 frameworks, about a year ago. He mentioned “Sencha” and I asked “what is that?”

“It’s… [long geek pause] … what Adobe should have done” he replied. He was referring to Sencha Touch.

We at Silicon Publishing have been using two frameworks for HTML5 development recently: Sencha (mainly Architect and EXT JS, yet we play with the disconnected Sencha Touch as well) and Montage (which was created by an amazing team at Motorola Mobility, some of whom were previously top talent at Apple, Adobe, and Opera) – we were forced to do this on an experimental basis as we awaited news of a license we can actually deploy from. I have to say: Montage is what Adobe should have done. Sencha has a couple distinct technologies that yes, Adobe should have done, but Montage has one core technology that just plain works. (perhaps that has to do with their roots at Apple?)

Not to disagree with the expert. Sencha, too, is what they should have done. Montage just takes the notion of framework and makes it elegant, modern, and clean. Flex-like, as Tom says. Oh, and Open Source.

Montage is a better Sencha, if you will, and Adobe is a distant third in this race, at the moment. One would think Adobe has near-infinite graphics/development chops, so at any point they may return to the game, but the visions of Muse and Edge are limited and canine compared to the vision of Montage.

8 Responses
  • Elliot J Geno

    Montage and Ninja have just as much influence (if not more) from Macromedia/Adobe than Apple at Motorola Mobility. Overall they’ve amassed a very talented group. So don’t discredit any Adobe engineers. If anything Adobe’s executives are the real dead weight at that company.

  • steve

    psstt… There’s no money in tools, especially putting big money in a framework. Money is in services and controlling platform ecosystems.

  • maxdunn

    @Elliot J Geno Elliot, I would NEVER discredit Adobe engineers. I have the utmost respect for them, in fact our company is about 50% ex-Adobe engineers, and I am stunned by their talent each day. Dead weight at the top, yes, obvious to a two-year-old, don’t get me started.

  • Elliot J Geno

    Well Ninja is Open Source. So, yeah, there is no money in it.

    Before this, people were writing off Motorola… sometimes its not what you do, but how you present yourself.

  • Elliot J Geno

    @MaxDunn I think the media tends to lump the entire company together when talking about Adobe. The media really is like a two year old sometimes. Those poor engineers get a lot of sideways flak for decisions upper management makes. That can’t last.

    @Steve there can be money because of tools. If you use those tools to shore up a platform. Then yes, money can be made indirectly from tools. Montage and Ninja might be free, but who knows what services or products could be sold when a new ecosystem develops!

  • steve

    Adobe isn’t playing small ball, they’re trying to hit home runs. They’re looking for a billion dollar business to add onto Acrobat and CS success. To you and me, 1 million would be pretty good, but they don’t care about 100s of millions. Maybe I’m wrong, but I’m not seeing a billion dollars in HTML5 based app store, licensing, games, tools, no matter who ‘curates’ it.

    Adobe spent 5+ years dumping money into Flex framework and Flash Player, eventually selling a $200 and $600 products to support them. Throw in some niche servers ended up with a 250 million dollar business. That’s not going to grow the business.

  • maxdunn

    @Elliot J Geno I think Adobe has a stunning name overall and really I hope no engineer has ever mis-construed any of my “Adobe should do this” rants as some sort of criticism of their talent, which I bow down to. It’s the business-level decisions on the products that irk me. When I say “Adobe should do this” it is because I hope they would bring their insane talent (and unique ability to integrate with their existing toolset) to bear on the challenges we face, as they tend to do things extremely well – when/if the proper goals are embraced on the business side.

    @steve I don’t think that when John Warnock started Adobe he considered “will this make > $100 million or should I do something else?” I think he saw that he could fill a technology need and set out to provide a technology that people needed. I think now they lack such human visionaries and are led by, as you say, a money-focused committee that aims to please the street. This is what puts them behind Sencha and Motorola Mobility when they create tools like Edge, Muse, Dreamweaver without a technology vision empowered by leadership.

  • Luca Candela

    “Montage is better than Sencha”… might be, but what is your yardstick?

    Disclosure: I work for Sencha.

Leave a Reply