I was interested to read this article about the fact that Adobe are discontinuing development of their Flashpaper product, and the problems that this is going to cause for other companies which use Flashpaper as part of their own product or service.
In one sense, of course, you could argue that companies who failed to read the writing on the wall when Adobe acquired Macromedia deserve everything they get for failing to spot the obvious problem with one company now owning both Acrobat and Flashpaper. The only real surprise is that it’s taken this long. But even so, it’s an interesting and somewhat salutatory lesson about picking the technologies that you choose to rely on for your own products or services carefully; what if Moxiecode decide one day that they don’t want to maintain or develop tinyMCE, our WYSIWYG editor, any more?
The other thing that puzzles me slightly is that I thought I remembered from the Flash conference I went to last year, that Adobe have a slightly evolved version of Flashpaper baked into their file sharing application, the name of which I’ve now forgotten. But the idea was that whatever sort of file you uploaded to their site, you’d be able to get a Flash-based preview of its contents, and that preview looked very much like Flashpaper. Perhaps it was always a separate product; it would seem particularly mean to discontinue development of the product for your customers, whilst continuing to develop it internally to use in your own products. Adobe wouldn’t do that, surely?