Earlier this week I was on a panel at the Adobe Sales Conference, an internal event attended by 1,000+ Adobe sales and marketing people. The panel was to discuss "marketing to developers", and the discussion was, I heard after its conclusion, helpful to those who attended.
During the panel I was asked by the moderator, "what advice do you have for Adobe?" My reply was that Adobe should stop sitting on the fence regarding open source. I followed up my answer with an acknowledgement that I didn't think that those in the audience were necessarily the ones who had the ability to make that decision, but that they could perhaps influence those within Adobe who do have that responsibility.
I was glad to see the announcement that Adobe is open sourcing part of LifeCycle as BlazeDS and even more importantly is publishing the specification for the Flash binary data format, AMF. These are important steps, and along with the recent moves to open source Flex and standardize the PDF format, they show an increased acceptance of open source within Adobe.
But it's not enough. To gain the trust of the open source community, Adobe needs to open source the Flash Player and publish specifications for the SWF format. Only then will it have a chance of winning over this key constituency as the battle against Microsoft heats up. Sun waited much too long to open source Java (with a real open source license, that is). If it had done so in 2001 instead of 2006 it may blunted the rise of PHP as the web environment of choice.
So, Adobe, buddy, good work. You're almost there.
Note: These opinions are mine and not necessarily those of my employer.