Tim O’Reilly on Flash and more

…Well, I’ve just joined the Macromedia board of directors, so that may tell you something about the importance I place on Macromedia. It’s important for Flash to become more open and more standard (even if only to the level of Postscript and Acrobat, which have widely been accepted as standards despite Adobe’s ownership, because of Adobe’s complete and timely documentation of all new releases).

I find Central fascinating, because I do think that we’re deconstructing the browser these days. Central is one of several attempts to take the web apart and put it together in new ways. On Mac OS X, Watson and Sherlock are analogous examples. And of course RSS and related syndication technologies are also deconstructing the web in new ways.

We’re entering a new world in which data may be more important than software. The frameworks that enable the manipulation and distribution of that data are yet to be defined. Flash does enable great cross-platform interfaces using a small client footprint (orders of magnitude smaller than Java), so if we can just open up the right kind of innovation and sharing on top of that platform, a lot of great stuff can happen.

It’s essential that we keep those new frameworks open and cooperative. I used David Weinberger’s wonderful phrase above: “small pieces loosely joined.” This is the current architecture of the internet. Tools like Flash and Central are really useful, but they don’t currently support that architecture. However, I believe there is an opportunity for them to play better on the Internet, and by doing so, to become even more successful than they already are.

Read the rest at stage4.