apollo hubris

This Cnet article titled “Flash to jump beyond the browser” has been getting some links today. It’s an interesting piece and the information it contains comes from Adobe’s Kevin Lynch so I think it’s fair to say it’s a solid piece factually as well. I’m a little concerned though that the Apollo hype is treading a little too close to just that – hype.

While I’m all for the advantages that come from developing projects in public (Adobe labs is a good example of that done right), I think Adobe have to be careful with over hyping Apollo before having something tangible to deliver. It can be a slippery slope to the kind of predatory preannouncements that companies like Microsoft have been accused of in the past. I guess the true litmus test lies in the spirit of the announcements – when used genuinely the goal is to solicit user feedback and create a sense of community while at the same time fostering critical developer relations (if developers don’t believe in a product it won’t fly, no matter how good it is). When the competition begins to heat up however, (I’ll bet the sun was shining in both San Jose and San Francisco when the latest delay to Vista went public), it can become an easy tactic used to stifle competion.

Don’t confuse these comments with pessimism for what Apollo will be. I really believe Macromedia, (and now Adobe), have done their homework and it is because I truly want to see this project succeed that I’m making these comments. It has enormous potential to make my life (as both a developer and a user) a heck of alot easier.

So, while I’m not the only one with observations of Apollo hubris, I would really like to see the buzz be due to the tech itself and not some ‘next big thing’ feeding frenzy.

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