Flex Builder 4 (“Gumbo”) to be named Flash Builder

Posted on 17 May 2009

For those who have not yet heard the news, Flash Builder is in fact the new name for what would have been Flex BuildFlash Builder Logoer 4 (“Gumbo”). For those of you who were already aware of this name change, this is a little of my opinion on the matter.

This is not surprisingly quite a hot topic for both Flash and Flex developers. Flash developers who regularly use Flex Builder to create ActionScript projects think it only makes sense to call it Flash Builder, while Flex developers who use Flex Builder to create Flex projects don’t see the name change as making much sense, or possibly even a mistake.

I’ve browsed about the blogs of a large portion of Adobe technology evangelists and although my opinion is not quite the same, I completely understand their point of view. Quickly glancing through a few dozen comments revealed that the renaming issue runs the full spectrum from strong like to intense dislike and of course general indifference.

From my perspective as an existing developer using Flex, Adobe could rename Flex Builder to “Flexity Flashomator 5000” or “Flash Master Flex” and it wouldn’t affect my views and usage of the tool and framework the slightest.

As a developer who is already exposed to the technology, well versed in it’s functionality and understands it’s place in the market I’m not concerned about the name change influencing my current use of Flex at all.

However, I do recall my conversion to Flex and I do believe that had it been called “Flash Builder” I would have been much more hesitant to take a look. I, like many others who do not come from a Flash background, but a strong development background had quite a few misconceptions about Flash in general and would have wanted nothing to do with another Flash tool.

I understood from my initial exposure that Flex Builder was an IDE for building Flash content using the Flex framework, however had it another name or been named “Flash Builder” I more than likely wouldn’t have been interested or been so quick to investigate.

My only concern about the name change, would be that new potential developers interested in Flex technology may be quite hesitant with a name like Flash Builder. After all, Flex is a technology that is creating a bridge to bring additional developers into Adobe’s fold.

If I had to complain, it would be that I’ve read several posts that suggest that because the builder compiles SWF files, it makes total sense to call it Flash Builder. However, think of EXE files and try that same logic — it doesn’t work. Possibly a name referring to ActionScript would be a better fit.

Of course, from my spectator seat far from Adobe internals — I would trust they have a great marketing and communication campaign that will clearly send a message to would-be developers that Flash Builder is the way Flex / AIR applications are built. Adobe evangelists have always done an excellent job educating all of us. Let us hope this makes their work easier as well as increases the adoption rate of Flex all around.

With all of that aside, I look forward to the new version of the builder and it’s new features, regardless of the name.


A few evangelist blog posts on the topic of renaming:

Mihai Corlan

Ryan Stewart

Lee Brimelow

Duane Nickull

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