It’s been interesting reading reactions from folks like Ted Leung and Ryan Stewart on the Flex open source announcement. I imagine that more interesting discussions are going to happen as people slowly digest the news and start digging deeper into what this all means and how it will all work.
One of my concerns around open sourcing Flex is around how we stay disciplined about what goes into the framework. As it stands, it is quite difficult for the Flex engineers to balance between the things they would like to add to the framework versus practical considerations like download size and runtime performance. We are going to make sure we don’t get bogged down in feature-itis or “design by committee”.
One thing that I think could help is a clearly articulated philosophy about what Flex is, what Flex is not, and how it should evolve going forward. One community that has done a particularly good job at this is the microformats community. In many ways, the microformats movement grew up as a reaction to some of the more ambitious movements around adding semantics to the web. Because of this reactionary nature, the value of practical, small, incremental steps was greatly appreciated by everyone in that community.
As we open up Flex development to the world, my hope is that we can build a strong, core philosophy around Flex that is similarly grounded in keeping things practical, small, and focused.