I’m John C Bland II

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Founder ofย Katapult Media, and full-stack polyglot developer.
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I’m about as sick of this discussion as I am with “Silverlight vs Flash”:https://blogs.katapultmedia.com/jb2/2007/08/silverlight_vs_flash_stop_it.html so I’m going to say it one more time for Scott Barnes since he thinks I haven’t taken a stand. I told’em I wouldn’t respond anymore on his blog (or any other blog for that matter) then “he responded to my comments with some falsehoods”:https://blogs.msdn.com/msmossyblog/archive/2007/10/14/rich-interactive-application-the-plot-thickens-adobe-s-not-happy.aspx so here’s my last thoughts and comments on RIA vs MSRIA as well as my thoughts on Scott Barnes.

[this post got super long; I’ll do a quick summary here then you can read it if you want]
Scott has closed his mind to other possibilities. He says he’s open to Adobe tech but only blogs about negatives. RIA is RIA and will always be. MSRIA is fine but they shouldn’t acronym it as RIA…be original and transcend the market instead of going about it by reusing a predefined term.

This post is very argumentative…no denying it. Again, only read it if you are Scott or feel like hearing a rant, seriously…it is pure rant.

TRUST ME…I WON’T SOAPBOX ON THIS ANYMORE (beyond responding to any comments).


First off…”read this post”:https://www.johncblandii.com/2007/10/scott-barnes-wont-stopryan-mak.html from yesterday. I cover the basis of my stance. I’ll clear up my points here (no specific order).

**My “History”**
Macromedia, as you so love to point out…Jeremy Allaire and others, started using the term RIA in 2002. Macromedia touted the “Broadmoor application”:https://reservations.ihotelier.com/onescreen.cfm?hotelid=2054&languageid=1&rezT=2054 (which is surprisingly still the same; Broadmoor…upgrade already) and I personally fell in love with the RIA concept. My Flash skills during this time weren’t great (couldn’t build an RIA to save my life) but I grew leaps and bounds within the next 1.5 years…then Macromedia came out with Flex 1.0 and BLEW IT!

I remember looking at the examples and thinking…WOW! I couldn’t believe you could do such things with simple tags that weren’t the easiest tasks in Flex. Flex Builder sucked (horribly) if you used Dreamweaver for your server-side coding but it was still pretty cool. BTW, I still have the Flex 1 CD…I might install it again and compare the examples. ๐Ÿ˜‰ The product was great but the price point kept millions of developers (including me) away or at a distance. I remember hoping a client would be willing to pay the server costs and let me get down with some Flex…oh well…no love.

Then came MAX 2005 in Anaheim. Flex 2 changed the game. You get all of the greatness 1.0 had but with a CONSIDERABLY lower price point…FREE (minus Flex Builder). I remember talking with “Phillip Kerman”:https://www.phillipkerman.com after the keynote and we both were in love with the idea. During Beta1 I was already building client projects (first was a CMS using PHP); yes, they were aware it was in beta. ๐Ÿ™‚ The Adobe brought Macromedia. Hrmm…I had an eyebrow open but kept an open mind.

I think the acquisition was the right move. The Macromedia product line just fits in the Adobe product line and the integration is sweet…still not THERE but we’re getting close (hello Thermo). Adobe is carrying the torch and doing a great job of managing the entire Flash Platform as well as the RIA initiative. In comes Microsoft, earlier this year (really kind of last year).

I love Microsoft joining the RIA space. I think it is GREAT and I really love some of the things they are doing with Silverlight (namely pushing Adobe to do way more instead of enough) and I think WPF is the best thing (for Windows apps) since sliced bread (for development, that is). Honestly, I had a second of being nervous when I first heard MSFT was joining until I saw WPF/e at MIX ’06. It was severely lacking but (now) Silverlight has matured tremendously from those days. Silverlight, IMO, has already done a great job of forcing Adobe to do what they need instead of what is convenient. For example, I remember having discussions on our user group list with Mike Downey about having PNG and GIF support in the Flash Player. We had to do our best to convince them to add it, as I’m sure others in other circles did the same. Well, they added it but it seriously felt like pulling teeth.

Now, with Microsoft in the arena, we don’t have to pull teeth anymore. In fact, we don’t even have to do too much to convince Adobe of a feature we think is important because at this point…they aren’t cruising as the “only” company providing RIA tools. If Silverlight has it, I guarantee Adobe will seriously consider putting it in the Flash Player. Silverlight is a clear competitor in the video market if you take plugin penetration out of the argument. Shoot, even with plugin penetration considered Silverlight empowers a ton of already available WMV content to seamlessly play in the browser. Adobe responds with H.264. Isn’t competition grand? ๐Ÿ™‚

**RIA vs MSRIA**
I’ve stated this numerous times before. Rich Internet Application is correct and always will be. This has NOTHING to do with Macromedia or Adobe “owning” the acronym, seriously. It has EVERYTHING to do with Microsoft taking an established term, presently in-use term and changing it. They have documents/articles online stating RIAs but then call them Rich Interactive Applications. Huh? What? Why? Well, Scott, based on your words “Internet doesn’t fit” because RIAs don’t always use the Internet “most are behind firewalls.” Huh? What? Are you serious?

You have blogged this argument for about 6 or 7 months and that is just crazy. Your most recent post clearly puts me out there like I never take a stance. Well, read the comments on your blog “here”:https://blogs.msdn.com/msmossyblog/archive/2007/07/25/we-gave-birth-to-ria.aspx and “here”:https://blogs.msdn.com/msmossyblog/archive/2007/04/22/thanks-silverlight-you-just-validated-ria-wrong-here-s-why.aspx.

Like my comments on your blog, I don’t disagree with the term Interactive. I disagree with Microsoft using the term RIA. I do feel like Rich covers Interactive (as “noted yesterday”:https://www.johncblandii.com/2007/10/scott-barnes-wont-stopryan-mak.html) but that’s besides the point. RIA is a presently used term and Microsoft should use their own term or stay in the RIA (Internet) space that everyone else (besides Microsoft employees) sees them.

Ok, now…to respond to “your comments”:https://blogs.msdn.com/msmossyblog/archive/2007/10/14/rich-interactive-application-the-plot-thickens-adobe-s-not-happy.aspx then I’m done.

“Comments on previous post had anti-Microsoft behavior associated it first, *actual* points second (I just wish those folks would develop some new material or something as rehashing the same points really do sound …boring?)”
Ummmm…me anti-Microsoft or someone else? You can’t mean me…just look at my comments (links above) to your posts and my words above on this post. I’m clearly not anti-MSFT…just anti-hijacking. Yes, you’re right…continuing these discussions are boring…hence my request for you to stop. I’ve unsubscribed from your feed because of it. Not that your blog will be any less relevant because I don’t read it but because I feel you have lost your objective view and you seemingly have to always write about Adobe stuff with gas on it hoping a flame starts, it seems.

“You and I aren’t sharing a two way dialogue, you seem to talk at me, never with me :)”
At you? Seriously. Again, just read my comments. I’ve asked you questions, etc in hopes of dialogue but discussing topics with close-minded people is difficult.

“You haven’t once outlined what the wording means to you, only how you think or assume Adobe should be the owners / custodians of all that which is RIA going forward. If you’re going to comment, make a stand on what – you – feel passionate about and not so much what you’ve been drip feed into believing.”
I never once said Adobe owns it. I “CLEARLY stated my position”:https://blogs.msdn.com/msmossyblog/archive/2007/04/22/thanks-silverlight-you-just-validated-ria-wrong-here-s-why.aspx on the topic back in April and my views are still the same now. Again, read your blog comments again.

“I honestly don’t care what people do with our terms / product names etc (Yet expect me to challenge it whenever it’s been done). When you become a target like Microsoft has been for years on petty squabbles or name calling, you develop a thick skin quite easily.. something our competitors need to mature into.”
Yeah right. You left the opening though for you to challenge it…JUST LIKE ADOBE AND RIA DEVELOPERS ARE DOING NOW. Dang…I hate closed minded discussions. Also, you just got to Microsoft so don’t play like your skin is tough through years of MSFT hate. The company may shrug but, as you say, “…expect me to challenge it whenever it’s been done.” Get serious and just think for a second.

“I don’t hate Adobe, a person is never one thing. I dislike things about Microsoft that I love in other competitors. Whom ever believes that a person has to be one brand and only one brand is ignorant. I dislike Adobe AIR and Flex’s product positioning, I however like the technology. Just because I disagree and challenge the marketing behind a technology, doesn’t mean I don’t embrace the technology itself.

I recall paying my $2k+ to buy the product? am I not entitled as a customer just like you are John?”
Show me 1 blog post about things you DON’T like about Microsoft SINCE you’ve been at Microsoft. Now, I haven’t read every single one of your posts but I have yet to see you say “Silverlight doesn’t have X” or similar. Obviously, you work for the beast so being purely objective is probably a struggle for you. Embracing a technology is not constantly talking about how the technology is lacking or failing. Show me a post where you embraced an Adobe technology other than Photoshop. All you do is complain about Adobe tech’, decisions, etc. Challenge the marketing…that’s good but you only discuss negatives. You thought AIR was terrible until you toyed with it last week (or whenever). I thought the objective Scott was back.

Are you seriously still considering yourself a customer of their products? I don’t see you jumping in Flash or Flex builder to give a serious review of the technology. Even after seeing the “light” of AIR you only mentioned it in comments and have yet to blog about AIR. Again, you’re on a Microsoft blog so I understand not completely hyping a competitor technology but if you open the can of worms and talk about the negative I feel like it is your “journalistic” duty to report both sides of the fence (good and bad). Maybe it is just me though.

“My role is to evangelise Microsoft as a brand/products etc, and from time to time I will engage competiting brands to ensure that what I feel is appropriate perception about Microsoft or such brands are accurately portrayed so that – our – customers can have an informed opinion that isn’t Adobe. Welcome to the market which is Software.”

This is my last point exactly but you simply don’t do it. Again, show me an informed opinion of an Adobe product on your blog that shows BOTH (good and bad). It is fine if you’re talking to customers face-to-face and telling them one thing but your blog readers are getting a completely different view…1 sided at that. Thanks for welcoming me to the market. ๐Ÿ˜‰

“You assume we are playing some gang-wars or brand-club? this isn’t a game, it’s about real solutions and realistic approaches and feel free to challenge Microsoft on our respective brands. The floor is yours, but could I ask you do it via your own blog :)”

No, I’m not playing “gang-wars” at all. All I’ve tried to do was get you to be open to what is really going on here and come out of your Microsoft tent for a minute just to look around. Your points are clear but are terribly closed minded. An RIA that doesn’t hit the Internet is Interactive? Huh? I won’t reiterate (read above again) but you get my point…well…maybe not. As for challenging Microsoft, no sweat. I do and will continue for both Adobe and MSFT, as well as others.

To sum up this terribly long post, open your mind as if you were not at Microsoft and see how you guys are taking a predefined term, changing it, and claiming RIA as incorrect. If that were true you would change Ajax because I have only used XML a few times (come to think of it) and that is only because “Adobe Spry”:https://labs.adobe.com/technologies/spry/ didn’t have JSON support at first. Even if you had the views of “Don Burnett’s ‘RIA Controversy Continued’ post”:https://blog.donburnett.com/2007/10/ria-controversy-continued.html which is to say both exist and can co-exist but he’s not toting MSRIA as the right way, as you seem to do. Just be open to the point that because MSFT says it to be true…it isn’t necessarily the Bible. As you so “melodramatically stated on Ryan’s blog”:https://blog.digitalbackcountry.com/?p=1080, With power comes great responsibility. You have a (great) responsibility to provide an objective opinion to your readers and in my opinion you are failing every time you blog about this argument and/or make comments about Adobe tech’ in an unfavorable light when you haven’t done your research (“here”:https://blogs.msdn.com/msmossyblog/archive/2007/10/01/it-s-all-a-buzzword-in-the-end.aspx and “here”:https://blogs.msdn.com/msmossyblog/archive/2007/10/01/what-s-your-story-around-air.aspx [you now have seen the light of the X-platform argument in the comments]). Not to play Ryan’s protector but live up to it yourself before attempting to read someone else their rights.

The floor is yours…feel free to do it here. ๐Ÿ˜‰