Thursday, August 07, 2008

Cairngorm : Makes a few announcements

There has been no shortage of discussion about Cairngorm over the last twelve months. In particular there has been a lot of discussion comparing Cairngorm with the other Flex frameworks that have been, and continue to emerge. But there has been surprisingly few announcements from the Cairngorm team. That all changed yesterday with a lengthy posting by both Alistair Mcleod and Steven Webster. The raw essence of both of these posts is that Cairngorm public face has moved to Adobe Open Source with all the support features that entails (community forums, source code available in a subversion repository, a JIRA bugbase for logging bugs and feature requests). There was also mention of plans for Cairngorm 3 but there were no hints ta how far away that might be. What was most interesting was that both posts read almost like a manifesto, a statement of their philosophy. At no point did they directly respond to Cairngorms quite vocal critics but there were a number of assertion of principles that indirectly dealt with some of these criticisms. The following comment from Steven Webster is quite telling :

"Blog posts that " is evil", " is bad", " sucks" certainly catch a great deal of fleeting attention, but I don't believe that investing our limited time and energy in these debates is the most effective way of advancing the state of our art."

Some other quotes of interest :

Alistair McLeod :

"At Adobe Consulting, we've always had a minimalist approach to Cairngorm; we don't want to add feature for feature sake, add functionality that doesn't belong within an architectural framework, or introduce another design pattern into the mix because it's the latest fad in the software industry. The framework is there to allow us to build well-architected software solutions, and we've only ever added features we truly believe helps us do that."

Steven Webster:

"We have no desire to convolute the framework, to introduce abstraction, or to discourage the use of idioms or techniques specific to Flex, in order that we might create applications that could be ported to other presentation-tier technologies."

"We wish for Cairngorm to encourage best-practice leverage of underlying Flex features, and we are keen to ensure that we never add something to Cairngorm that is better suited to the underlying Flex SDK."

"One of the things we'll look to lock down as we go forward from here, is a simple charter by which we measure suggestions; this has been very implicit and shared understanding amongst the Adobe Consulting team, but we need to document and agree this with the community as we go forward. But in essence, it's as important to decide what Cairngorm is, as well as what it isn't, both now and in the future."

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