What about a Shockwave Community Process?
This is pure speculation on my part, but what if Macromedia were to assemble a community-driven process based on the JCP that they could use to extend the Shockwave platform and give companies and individuals around the world a chance to have a voice in the matter?
It strikes me that Macromedia could do the same thing with Shockwave that Sun has done with Java. If they did, I have a feeling that Shockwave would achieve the true universal ubiquity they've been pursuing for so many years. I'm not certain, but it seems that the only thing preventing companies around the world from wholeheartedly embracing the SWF platform as the standard platform, and not just the de facto platform, for developing Rich UIs is a perception about Macromedia holding monopoly control over the platform, a shortage of vendors offering competitively priced tools for working with Flash technologies and the attending lock-in fears and paranoia that naturally follow from that train of thought.
So I'm floating this idea out, just to see what people have to say about it. Suppose the Shockwave platform had more vendors developing tools for it, and suppose tool vendors could be involved in steering the future of the platform (of course Macromedia would still have veto rights for any specification requests, as Sun does with Java), do you think the community wants and could support this sort of arrangement?
When it comes to Rich UIs, nothing even comes close to having the market penetration and feature capabilities of Shockwave media. Building an equivalent open platform from scratch would require a massive movement, and probably a decade to achieve the momentum, mindshare and market penetration that Shockwave currently has--it strikes me as a tremendous waste of time to pursue this goal, when the answer lies right in front of us. The largest challenge would be to bring the major players to the table and get them talking. Is it possible?
It's been done before. And I think it could be done again.