This story was written by Keith Dawson for UBM DeusM’s community Web site Develop in the Cloud, sponsored by AT&T. It is archived here for informational purposes only because the Develop in the Cloud site is no more. This material is Copyright 2012 by UBM DeusM.

Adobe Edge and HTML5 Tools

Adobe's tools combine HTML/CSS/Javascript, mobile, open source, the cloud, and a freemium-plus-subscription model.

Adobe has announced the Edge suite of tools and released the first few pieces; other tools are in beta and still others under development.

adobe-cloud-apps

The company that was until recently deeply invested in Flash technology and tools has had an apparently sincere change of heart -- and direction. Adobe is now rolling out tools to develop HTML5, CSS, and Javascript apps for the Web and mobile devices.

The company has been developing the Edge tools in what has been (for Adobe) a remarkably public process, with open betas, frequent feature releases, and paying a lot of attention to community feedback. Some of the tools are in forkable GitHub repositories.

Here is a listing of the Edge tools and their current status.

Adobe's Creative Cloud subscription is at this point an amalgam of cloud services, software that downloads and installs on a desktop or laptop, and a licensing / validation system that permits the local software to run only as long as a valid subscription is in place. Creative Cloud encompasses a great many of Adobe's products, not just the Web-and-mobile-oriented Edge suite, including Photoshop CS6 and Illustrator CS6. Subscriptions cost $600 per year -- Adobe prefers to quote this as $50 per month. Users with valid licenses to earlier Adobe packaged products qualify for a tier at $30 per month -- seems to me Adobe is being rather generous here, including software all the way back to CS3, released in 2007.

How attractive will the Edge tools be to Web developers? It depends on whom you ask. Adobe is catering to the new trend of designers and coders exhibiting some fluidity in their roles. Edge Animate is designed to appeal to creatives who have developed in Flash for years.

As to hard-core Web developers -- the commentary on the Ars Technica coverage is revealing. One developer claims, "Most of the Internet is created in plain text editors [i.e. not in WYSIWYG tools such as Edge Animate], and if anything the industry is moving away from packaged development. Plain text editors are getting more common."

What do you think, do the Adobe Edge tools appeal to the Web developer in you? What about the pricing for Creative Cloud? Let us know in the comments.