Generator – Anyone still using it?

If you know anything about me, you’ll know I’ve been involved with Flash for a very long time. When I first launched the ‘www’ site for FlashGen.Com almost 10 years ago, it was to provide information on Macromedia’s Generator server product for Flash 3. The content proved popular and as Generator was quietly killed off due to poor positioning and pricing structures (IMHO) so the ‘www’ site for FlashGen.Com was wound down too.

However there was still an awful lot of Generator users about and people started switching to Turbine, JGenerator and a few others to continue the legacy that Generator had spawned.

Now the reason for this post is that currently I have no ‘www’ site for FlashGen.Com only the ‘blog’ site you’re on now and I was wondering what level of traffic still hits the ‘www’. So I added in a Google Analytics tracker and left it for a few weeks. To my surprise it is still getting a lot of traffic, and Generator related traffic at that – hence this post.

So here is the crux of my titular question:

Is anyone using a Genrator derived server application still, and if so would it be beneficial if I reposted all of the articles I wrote for Generator development as PDFs for download?

Mike Jones


  1. Wow. I haven’t used Generator since shortly after Macromedia threatened to sue us for providing Generator 2 hosting services. Those were fun times.

    I didn’t think anyone still used it, since you could do pretty much everything that Generator could in Flash 4.

  2. Shan, you’re right. However while a lot of the functionality can be reproduced in Flash 4 and beyond there is still a reliance on the client side for that.

    I think that Generator was just way before it’s time and that could be attributed to part of it’s undoing…

  3. I am the guy who created JGenerator. I don’t develop it anymore and I have not updated my website (jzox.com) since 2003 when I licensed it to MM, but still I get a lot of Generator related traffic (a lot of for a 3 years-as-dead site, like 500 unique visitors per day). I guess people are still interested in this technology, although I don’t see it is actively used.

  4. Yes, it would be beneficial. Macromedia Generator fills a development niche still, to the point that we are building small tools that take advantage of it.

    Please _do_ make your Generator articles/notes available as pdfs, please.

    Thank you!

  5. Hi Ron, I’m in the process of retrieving the docs etc from backups. I’ll hopefully have them online in the next week :D

    Could this be the beginning of a Generator revival?? :)

  6. Hi,

    Why is the JGenerator dead for such a long time? How would one be able to produce Flash content using a pure Java API? Is this project dead because there is now a better technology to fill this gap? If there is, which is it?

    Thank you,

  7. Former Team Generator member, and then later on minor developer on JGenerator. I haven’t used it in years. I gave up on Flash and etc around the merge with Allaire. ~MX times. It was exciting with all the media and etc coming. But I disagreed with the shift of server side generation/caching and etc to pushing it all client side. Much less doing it at a higher level via CF. When I was already doing stuff in Java, and CF was another later on top of that. Some functionality I don’t believe was ever replaced, ability to spit out quicktime files, or etc

    I disagreed with their lack of linux support for development, standalone player, and regular player. I disliked how they killed off Generator. Much less years later paying a FOSS project to stop development and etc. Not blaming Dmitry or etc there, I would have taken any checks as well or etc :)

    That 90% of enable crap they pitch is pure BS. I would say maybe 60%. Horrible experiences supporting flash only sites. Which most times was people having issues with the plugin/player. Not anything with the sites or etc.

    These days I stick to html, css, javascript, xml, and etc. Some AJAX and other things. Comparing things like Google Maps to Yahoo. Google does a very good job without requiring a plugin or etc. Not to mention keeping an eye out on style less views of the same sites on devices with limited browsing capabilities. With all the internet enabled devices out there.

    As much as I love vectors, I don’t really do anything with Flash these days. Occasionally use it to generate vector graphics. But no more action scripting, time lining, tweening, templating, generating :)

    I am considering Flexing, but we will see.

  8. Hmm. I somewhat remember Generator. Weren’t there .SWT files involved? Wasn’t this Flash 4?

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