It's all spinning wheels and self-doubt until the first pot of coffee.

Macromedia Central and Deja Vu?

Macromedia Central provides a safe environment for developers to deploy occasionally-connected applications. Using Macromedia Central, developers can create an application and give it away for free. Or they can sell it to end users using the Try/Buy framework that is part of Central.

I’ve had a bit of enthusiasm for Flash lately. So, this Macromedia Central thing that’s been on its way for a little while now looks very interesting.

<p>But&#8230;  What differentiates it from every other &#8220;widgets on your desktop&#8221; or &#8220;widgets in a little box&#8221; technology that&#8217;s come before?  <a href="http://www.google.com/search?q=dodots">Remember</a> <a href="http://disobey.com/ghostsites/show_exhibit/dodots">DoDots</a> ?  <span class="caps">CNN</span> called them <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2000/TECH/computing/04/07/dodots.idg/">the web without a browser</a> and there was general gushing here and there about it.  At one point, I was close to being drafted to write a few promotional games using their <span class="caps">SDK</span>, and it seemed nifty enough.  No clients bit, though.  And all that remains of the company on the web are ghost pages and ex-employee photo albums and reunions.  Oh, and I still have a mousepad and a clipboard from the dev kit.</p>

<p>And then there&#8217;s <a href="http://java.sun.com/products/javawebstart/">Java Web Start</a> and <a href="http://www.konfabulator.com/">Konfabulator</a> .  Have any of these sorts of things really taken off?  I mean, they all have their share of nifty things, but has this idea of a centrallized corral of mini-apps ever paid off?  Flash is yet another cool technology with which to develop these things, but will Central take off?</p>

<p>I&#8217;m not trying to whiz on anyone&#8217;s Cheerios, since I honestly think these things are nifty, but then again I like widgets with fun buttons to push.</p>

Update: Hmm... Mike Chambers is inviting questions about Central. Maybe I should wander over there and ask.


Archived Comments

  • I wandered over here from Chamber's blog, to answer your question. I think the major (or minor, depending on how you look at it) will be leveraging the multitudes of Flash programmers that already exist. All those other options had their own specific API/code to learn. Also a timing with the Intel Centrino marketing and occasionally-connected computing talk, and joint efforts with Intel would certainly boost credibility.
  • I think there are a couple of things that set Central apart. 1. integrated try / buy support. It will be very simple for developers to sell their apps (or allow users to try them for a set amount of time). This takes away a ton of the hassle for developers trying to make money from their work. 2. Support of Macromedia / Marketing. Macromedia makes money when developers do, and thus you can be assured that we are going to do everything possible to 1) make sure that Central is successful, 2) make sure that developers sell a lot of apps. 3. Ubiquity : Since Central is based on the Flash player, we will be able to quickly port it to new operating systems. We plan to release with versions for Windows and OSX, and will follow shortly there after with a Pocket PC version. The Flash player is available on tons of other platforms (linux, solaris, etc...), so there are tons of opportunities. Just some quick thoughts, hope that helps... mike chambers mesh@macromedia.com