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Tag Archives: flash
On March 28, 2012, Adobe announced and introduced the anxiously awaited Flash Player Premium Features for Gaming, with Flash Player 11.2 and AIR 3.2. Also Roadmap for Flash Runtimes was updated. (BTW, the problem with the road-map is that it’s just some plans, ‘official gossip’ as I call it, it offers no commitment or legally binding promise from Adobe. And it can get updated anytime…).
What has the cat dragged in?
Good news is that using domain memory and (Alchemy introduced and officially documented) fast memory opcodes by themselves is not considered as premium use. Only using both domain memory and Stage 3D is considered as premium. So it seems Adobe listened to the community and did what it could. (‘a fair compromise‘ – Mike Chambers).
Licensing starts on August 1 -we have a grace period and any prior work will get to use the premium features royalty free-, there will be no charges for the first $50K of revenues (but 9% after that). AIR including for mobile applications for iOS and Android, will be royalty free. There’s a FAQ about all this.
Another good thing is that Adobe states ‘no intent‘ for making any existing feature premium in the future (but any new feature may come as premium). In any case, it’s up to the community and individuals to trust Adobe about any intentions…
In summary, it looks as if only big gaming studios, who would use Alchemy to convert their million dollar 3D games to Flash for the Web only (as AIR usage is royalty free), are the target (and $50K entry point will protect small studios). ‘These premium features will allow console developers to deliver unprecedented, AAA console quality games to over a billion computers’ says Tom Nguyen, Sr. Product Manager, Gaming at Adobe.
[in no particular order]
Nicolas Cannasse, creator of MTASC and Haxe, called this the Speed Tax for 3D games: ‘Adobe just made DECENT SPEED a “premium feature”‘.[caption id="attachment_366" align="aligncenter" width="128"] Nicolas Cannasse[/caption]
Joa Ebert, another name who needs no introduction to anyone in the Flash community, in his post titled ‘Collateral Damage‘, announced: ‘I am no longer committed to supporting any Flash related open-source projects‘. A sad development indeed.
[caption id="attachment_367" align="aligncenter" width="408"] Joa Ebert, Flash on the Beach 2009[/caption]Peter Elst, yet another name who should not be unfamiliar to any Flash platform developer, currently a Googler, tweeted: ‘I’m calling it… Flash Player time of death March 28th 2012, you’ll be missed – died at the hands of incompetent surgeons‘.
[caption id="attachment_359" align="aligncenter" width="495"] Tweet from Peter Elst[/caption]
Robert Penner, author of famous easing equations – if you remember them, good old times-, author, former Adobe Flash Team member, tweeted the following: ‘I thought Adobe was supposed to make money by building the best tools and services, not by cutting them & selling the platform. I’m not saying Adobe is wrong to change their Flash platform strategy. But I’d rather they be successful with great tools & free platform.‘.
[caption id="attachment_376" align="aligncenter" width="400"] Robert Penner in Flash CS4 About Box[/caption]Phillip Kerman, writer, teacher, programmer, tweeted: ‘man, can’t sleep… had a nightmare Adobe really did kill Flash. Wait, did I even go to sleep yet?‘.
Omar Gonzalez, Senior Software Architect @ Almer/Blank, tweeted: ‘I don’t think I’ve ever seen a company destroy so much of their own intellectual property in such a short amount of time. #amazing #Adobe‘.[caption id="attachment_358" align="aligncenter" width="480"] .Net magazine covered the story[/caption]
There were also positive reactions, I think mostly because some people thought the $50K is big enough a barrier that will protect them, some are clueless newbies who just heard about Alchemy opcodes and decided they are not affected, some use AIR exclusively and didn’t care about anything else, some sincerely found initial conditions for licensing acceptable, and some, I believe, felt that that to contain the damage, they have to back the decision publicly… And then some, chose to remain silent…
Below are links to some discussions on Google+:
On March 31, Daniel Bunte had a blog post titled How we managed to get Alchemy1 working with FlashPlayer 11.2 Incubator and the secrets of SWF Tag 92. So it seems, Adobe will use a different method for enabling premium features. This is a technical detail, still I find it important to mention here.
Kurt Melander commented on my previous post and said: ‘…speaking from the e-learning development side and as a US DoD defense contractor, the digital signing may be due in large part to the downgrading of flash and Shockwave from the DoD CIO office in terms of risk for mobile code. Shockwave .dcr format is now no longer allowed on military networks and is classified “1x”, flash was downgraded from a “3″ to a “2″, lower numbers meaning higher risk to the network. One of the main reasons for this downgrade is the lack of Flash and Shockwave to recognize or validate digitally signed code.‘
Jethro Villegas, former Engineering Manager and Software Architect for Flash Professional, commented: ‘Digitally authenticated SWF files can be so useful in many ways.‘ I can’t agree more.
So, most probably, digital signatures in SWF files will stay for one reason or another.
Was premium features really necessary?[caption id="attachment_390" align="alignright" width="160"] Thibault Imbert[/caption]
Thibault Imbert, Sr. Product Manager for the Flash Runtime at Adobe, had the following comment at Nicolas’ post:
‘…because games could generate millions of revenue with maybe 200 copies of Flash Builder and Flash Pro sold. Is it a good business? Not really.‘
I also think Mike Chambers‘ (currently Director, Developer Advocacy for web platforms at Adobe) following comment there is important:
‘The model where Adobe invests all of the resources in developing the Flash Player, and then projects such as Haxe and Unity pull developers away from Adobe tooling is one that was not sustainable under the old model. Under the new model, it doesnt matter which tools and technologies you are using to develop Flash content, since revenue is generated based on the runtime and not tooling.‘[caption id="attachment_356" align="aligncenter" width="336"] So-called Alchemy opcodes are officially well-documented.[/caption]
So, it is clear that Adobe needed more money to support Flash Player development. But was the right answer Premium Features? Why wasn’t AIR developers targeted? Why wasn’t right click context menu introduced as a premium feature? Is $50K the optimal amount? Is 9% the optimal percentage? What will the nominal fee for Premium Features Developer Program be (which will be introduced after grace period ends on August 1, 2012)? Will it be be worth all this?…
As I stated in my previous post, IMO SWF format is now a closed format. As someone programming for SWF format since April 1998 and co-author of the first Flash decompiler (since May 2000, which we still update daily) and many SWF related tools, I am qualified to make that statement. Closing SWF format will have ‘dire consequences’. (Our reaction as Manitu Group will be increasing pricing for our commercial applications, as we think premium technologies, require premium tools that cost premium prices).
Some last minute improvements to premium feature set has been a good thing nevertheless, but my personal opinion is that it won’t be sufficient to save the SWF format, hence the Flash platform. But we may have gained some time. And who knows, maybe more…
So, has Flash really died this time with the introduction of premium features as I predicted?
‘I’ve heard of the death of Flash more times than I can count over the years. I think the difference this time is the claims are coming from the people that use it, and the ‘killer’ is the company that makes it. Time will tell I guess.
The quote that sums it up for me is:
“The model where Adobe invests all of the resources in developing the Flash Player, and then projects such as Haxe and Unity pull developers away from Adobe tooling is one that was not sustainable under the old model”
I’m sure that is true, but really it is saying Adobe can’t compete in spite of all the advantages inherent in making the platform. Look at FlashDevelop – made for free by two people (and no doubt some friendly help) and it blows away Adobe coding tools. Not because it is cheaper, because it is better.
So if you can’t compete, sure, business model two, try to wring money out of your platform standard as you slowly choke it to death. The real question though is why can’t they compete? If my money was tied up in there, I’d be asking that question a lot.’
And here is Mike Chambers’ reply: (I won’t be cloning the discussion, this is the last update I’ll have here, read more at its source).[caption id="attachment_389" align="alignright" width="180"] Mike Chambers[/caption]
‘I dont think it is a question of competing. Adobe could put in the resources to build a 3d authoring tool that competes with Unity, but why would it want to? Unity already is awesome, and can target Flash Player.
Why not create a model where Adobe doesn’t have to build every single tool that targets the Flash Player in order to ensure that there are resources to continue to invest in the Flash Player? Why not create a model that better reflects the core value of Flash, which is the reach and richness that the Flash Player provides?‘
Update2: Ray Cutro‘s G+ post titled Speed Tax for Speedy death of Flash Platform is a good read as he mentions certain points which I deliberately avoided, and illustrates sincere disappointment of a passionate developer.
Update3: [July 21, 2012] Tom Nguyen posted the following to the Adobe AIR and Adobe Flash Player Team blog: Update: Premium Features for Flash Player :
“We previously communicated that beginning August 1, new content using the Premium Features for Flash Player would require a commercial license from Adobe, and that we would share more details on how to obtain a license. We will be extending this deadline to give publishers more time to prepare and obtain a license. These Premium Features are designed primarily to enable publishers and commercial game developers to target the Flash Player with games developed using C/C++ (via the Project “Alchemy” compiler) and/or 3rd party tools such as Unity.
We expect to make available a website where you can obtain a license by the end of August, which will be available at adobe.com/go/fpl. And we are extending the free use of the Premium Features for new content publicly released prior to the availability of the licensing website. To obtain a license for grandfathered content that is released prior to the availability of the licensing website, please contact us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To provide publishers with enough time to obtain a license to take advantage of Premium Features, Flash Player will not begin enforcing the license requirements for Premium Features until at least 8 weeks after the availability of the licensing website. Once Flash Player begins enforcing the Premium Features license requirement, unlicensed content requesting use of the Premium Features will continue to run, and will automatically use software rendering (for more information, please review the release notes for the beta release of Flash Player 11.4).”
Update4: [January 30, 2013] Adobe reclassified use of Alchemy fast-mem opcodes with Stage3D as nonpremium! This means currently there are no premium features (but there can be some in the future).
Here is relevant part of the FAQ from Adobe Premium Features for Flash Player page:
What are the XC APIs?
The XC APIs are the combination of domain memory APIs and Stage3D hardware acceleration APIs. These cross-compilation APIs allow a 3rd party ecosystem of game development tools to target Flash Player, including languages such as C/C++ and tools like Unity, as well as the Adobe Flash C++ Compiler (flascc) cross-compiler.
What is the status of the XC APIs?
As of January 2013, the XC APIs are no longer classified as a Premium Feature and access no longer requires a separate license from Adobe, nor royalties. The use of Stage 3D APIs in conjunction with the fast-memory opcodes via the domainMemory API will be available as a standard feature without requiring that content creators enter into a separate license agreement with Adobe. …
Why is Adobe changing the licensing requirements for the XC APIs?
Based on feedback from developers, Adobe has decided to change the licensing terms for the XC APIs and classify these capabilities as a standard feature. …
Current version of Adobe roadmap for the Flash runtimes states:
“As of January 2013, the XC APIs are no longer classified as a Premium Feature and access will no longer require a separate license from Adobe. Thus the use of Stage3D APIs in conjunction with the fast-memory opcodes via the domainMemory API will be available without requiring that content creators enter into a separate license agreement with Adobe. Developers and publishers that have published content using the XC APIs do not need to make any changes to their content to reflect the change of status for the XC APIs, nor submit royalty payments.
At this time, there are currently no APIs or features designated as Premium Features in the Flash runtimes. However, additional Premium Features may be added in the future.”
Also worth noting is that plans for Flash Player “Next” and ActionScript “Next” has changed:
“However, by its nature, this type of architectural innovation is disruptive and generally not backwards-compatible. As Adobe has learned in the past from transitions between generations of virtual machines (from ActionScript 2 to ActionScript 3), this places a high burden on developers who want to take advantage of features and APIs which may only be available via the new runtime, or which may require significant porting of content, frameworks, and libraries. Given this, as well as the growing importance of browser-based virtual machines, Adobe will focus its future Flash Player development on top of the existing Flash Player architecture and virtual machine, and not on a completely new virtual machine and architecture (Flash Player “Next”) as was previously planned. At the same time, Adobe plans to continue its next-generation virtual machine and language work as part of the larger web community doing such work on web-based virtual machines.”
This is consistent with Premium Feature reclassification, as earlier plans were making fast memory opcodes irrelevant:
New ActionScript 3 APIs to access the fast-memory opcodes are no longer being added to the “Dolores” release. The APIs are no longer relevant due to planned improvements for ActionScript execution and APIs in ActionScript “Next”.
Below are a couple of Twitter reactions to the news:
Good news everyone ! Flash Premium Features licensing is no more in effect for XC API’s. - Ralph Hauwert @UnitZeroOne
#wtf now #stage3d + #alchemy are no longer a premium feature. So wht purpse served that move lst year ? #as3 - Patrick Le Clec’h@pleclech
It says a lot about the stewardship of Flash that rolling back a bad idea is seen as the top new feature. - Robin Debreuil @debreuil
The #Flash speed tax is dead. Hope #adobe doesn’t replace it with something worse - Nicolas Cannasse @ncannasse
SWF file format, the format for Flash files, is proprietary. Flash has been criticized for this by many, including late Steven P. Jobs.
But SWF format has been open, since 1998 with the initial release of SWF specifications. And this is what we all said against proprietary format argument.
Openness of SWF format meant that any 3rd party can create SWF files without the need to get permission from Macromedia or use any Macromedia software (now Adobe). Then we saw 3rd party SWF related utilities flourish, from Claus Wahlers‘ JPEG to SWF converter to Swish text effects to animation packages like Toon Boom Studio. (We also made a living around SWF format).
This openness has been a very important ingredient of Flash’ success. Even with open SWF format, Adobe still has the upper hand, because they control the Player³ and hence the new features: 3rd party apps can only use existing features but Adobe software can make use of the latest features.
If some features of the Flash Player is to become premium, this means SWF format is no longer open, just documented (assuming Adobe continues releasing SWF specs).
As we all know, Flash suffered many blows in the last few years and declined. Flash could have become the software on every appliance in the world for ever; thanks to the competence of Adobe suits who couldn’t stand up against S. Jobs of Apple, Flash retreated to gaming world (and DRM infected video delivery)¹.
Now, with Flash Player 11.2, open SWF format is going away.
[Adobe introduced domain memory and some opcodes, that performed faster memory operations, for Alchemy project (C to AS3 conversion). AS3 was not fast enough, so many 3rd party developers made use of these opcodes to create Flash content and more importantly libraries. Flash Pro couldn't make use of the opcodes but Haxe did, our own Azoth did, Joa Ebert's tools did. That was the power of Flash and open SWF! (Soon will be history)].
I’m on no pre-release program so can speak freely (and ignorantly). Adobe decided to make money off -maybe what they saw as a dying platform- Flash by charging for what they call premium features. SWF files created for new 11.2 player won’t be able to use so-called Alchemy opcodes, unless they are signed².
[Old content, created for older players, older SWF versions will still be able to use the opcodes in the name of backward compatibility (But AFAIK, not the libraries/SWCs if they are loaded by a newer version SWF file). So this move is deliberate and has no technical justification - only greed for more money, I would say. Well, this is nothing surprising, Adobe seems to lay off more talent as they make more money...]
What is really pathetic is that they are promoting (demoting) an existing feature to premium. (If a totally new feature was introduced as premium, that would have been easier to digest).
This move will make the SWF format closed… So, a free version of Alchemy 2 is irrelevant here. Any Adobe software that creates SWF files is irrelevant.
“The ability to fully target the flash player has suddenly transformed from being free to being locked-in. That hurts the confidence of many developers (including me) which was already quite down with recent announcements”.
And if this happens (now seems inevitable with Player 11.2 release), I, hereby, predict Flash’s death.
Well, some say Flash is already dead. Release of premium runtime features will only be my personal recognition for the date of death. Flash will not suddenly go away or disappear, for sure. But it will be the point of no return.
With Player 11.2 release, we will welcome a dead Player with Premium features. I will not install it on any of my personal computers I actually use* – I heard web still exists without Flash…
¹ And Flex is abandoned to Apache. (You may say it is now better for Flex, but you see, Flex is now just a footnote. Sad.)
² Signing files against modification, or, as signaling approval are totally different subjects.
³ Adobe also controls the distribution of the player.
* I intend to keep latest 11.1 version and not update, as long as I can. Afterwards my computers will be Flash runtimes free.
It was 1994, me and me brother were into music and computers (in that order). It was the year we created a MIDI driver for Windows 3.1 (Windows 95 was still in beta at the time).
The device driver converted audio input to MIDI notes. We could directly record from line input to MIDI sequencer software. It effectively converted our regular electric guitar to a MIDI guitar, provided that we played single notes at a time.
It was a good start but certain things and life prevented us working more on it. Anyway, the pitch detection algorithm we used was something my brother worked on…
Back to 2010… Now that microphone data is accessible with Flash player 10.1, we decided to make use of the algorithm and provide a free online chromatic guitar tuner.
A quick search reveals that there are only a couple of similar online tuners with pitch detection but they are all Java. Ours is proudly Flash.
It’s not open source, but we encourage you to peek at the source, using AS3 Sorcerer…
1994 seems so back in the past now, ancient. Yet at the same time it feels it was a blink ago… We still do plug in our axes from time to time, actual C source of the 16 bit device driver is lost long ago, but the algorithm, XAMDF, lives on…
Hope you find it useful. Happy tuning…
I hated the Flash Builder name change and found it totally wrong, it turns out some of my reasoning was caused by different understanding of what Flash and Flash Platform means. I've updated my definitions in my previous post, but my concerns about increased confusion are still valid.
If Flash Builder name is indeed to clear up confusion, logical next step is renaming Flash authoring tool, AKA Flash Professional or Flash IDE (or simply Flash before Flash Builder).
Flash is currently a catch-all name, can refer to a SWF file, Flash Player (AKA Flash Platform in marketing talk), the IDE and more. It's comparatively easy to change the authoring tool name.
Other tools by Adobe, that start with 'Adobe Flash', does not end there. Sure, now current usage is becoming 'Flash Professional' but this also creates its own problems (see below) and it sounds like it's part of the version, not the actual product name.
Flash Professional is the premiere tool for creating Flash content. The day it's gone, will be the day sealing certain death for future of Flash. It's more than an animation tool, or a designer tool. It's a complete development tool, which also appeals to designers. Some Flex/Flash Builder users don't get this. I can understand them, they just don't know what Flash Professional is and so they cannot appreciate it.
I think, in all fairness, Flash Professional is still a good name, which needs no change. But Flash Builder users, who think they are the professional users and the Eclipse plug-in is the professional tool, don't like how 'Flash Professional' sounds more 'professional' and above 'Flash Builder'. So, something must be done, sooner or later.
Suggestions coming from Flash Builder users like 'Flash Designer' and 'Flash Animator' are IMHO quite unacceptable. 'Flash Studio' might have been a good name but it's sure to cause more confusion as initial expectation will be that 'Studio' includes 'Builder'.
The new name, should not be unfair to the tool and it should not sound more professional than Flash Builder. It should not be too different from what it is today. Tough job.
But I think I have a good suggestion, something only Adobe can do:
That's it. Everybody knows Photoshop and this name IMHO fits like a glove and has a good vibe. What do you think?
In Flash world, even the most obvious and simple word 'Flash' has a dubious meaning. After online and off-line reactions to my recent posts, I have updated my definitions (actually they are not formal or complete definitions, but what you need to really understand when the 'term' is used unless the context strongly suggests another meaning).
Following may seem obvious to some (kudos to them), but it took me some time to come up with this. Hope it helps. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.
1 SWF file.
2 Adobe authoring tool for creating Flash Platform content (current version is Flash CS4 Professional)
1 A file that runs on Flash Platform
1 SWF file. Flash.
1 Flash Player. Runs SWF files.
2 Flash Player and related tools by Adobe.
1 Flash Platform. Runs SWF files.
2 Actual file which implements the Flash Platform functionality. Most of the time either the browser plug-in or stand-alone executable version.
Adobe Flash xxx
1 An application by Adobe, which creates Flash Platform related content.
1 Adobe authoring tool for creating Flash Platform content (current version is Flash CS4 Professional)
1 Former Flex Builder. An Eclipse plug-in, by Adobe, for creating Flash Platform content.
- After 'Flex Builder' got renamed as 'Flash Builder', 'Flash Pro' is the least confusing way to refer to the authoring tool which was simply known as 'Flash'.
- Expect a name change to 'Flash Pro' sooner or later, as 'Flash Builder' developers are unhappy how 'Flash Professional' sounds more professional than 'Flash Builder'.
A man applies to court to legally change his name. Judge asks "What's your current name?", man replies "John Shit". Judge says "I see why you want the change. What would you like your new name to be?". Man says "James"…
I admit there was some confusion because "Flex Builder" could actually build more than Flex Framework based work etc. I admit another name be it "Flash Builder" or "XYZ" will help cut this confusion.
But the name "Flash" already means many things to many different people. Confusion around the word "Flash" is probably more deep than any Flex related confusion.
What is Flash? To me it's still the Flash authoring tool. For some it's the Flash Player. For too many people it's 'a SWF file'. Does anyone take 'Flash' as 'Flash Platform'? I don't think more than a few if any, you need to explicitly refer to it as 'Flash Platform'.
So is 'Flash' a 'platform'? Has 'Flash' become a 'platform'? I'd say 'yes' but not in 'words'. Confusion rules. And we are to welcome another member.
There are some catchy words, sometimes software companies use for all their applications, like 'Smart', 'Cute', 'Easy' etc. Then when they release any application they will use the cute name first, as a trade mark, like Smart Editor, Smart DVD Ripper, Smart Doc Shredder… I don't dislike the practice, it's totally fine and we can even do that in the future (if we can find a name not taken). I think this is what 'Flash' is becoming. Not a platform but a cute name, a buzz word you find on (hopefully only) Flash related Adobe applications.
I don't want see the word 'Flash' like this. I want it to refer to the platform.
If you refer to a "SWF file" as "Flash", then the word "Flash" can never mean the platform. This is something I strongly believe. Do you think someone when referring to a "SWF file" as a "Flash file" will ever even unconsciously think he is actually referring to a "Flash Platform file"? Do you ever think of a "GIF platform" when you refer to a GIF file?
'Flash Builder' is a better name than 'Flex Builder' in a sense. But if 'Flash Builder' is building Flash, then Flash is the SWF file, not the platform.
Does anyone remember how Microsoft guidelines urged developers for calling their applications as "XXX for Windows" and not as "Windows XXX"? (I assume they still do). Is it "MS Windows Word" or "MS Word for Windows"? Obviously when Windows was new this made more sense, it was totally normal someone would want to include the name "Windows" in their application name as "Windows XXX"… I hope you get my point.
If 'Flash' was a platform, then the new name should have been 'Builder for Flash', not 'Flash Builder' *.
This would have also caused confusion. Heck, it's still creating confusion if SWF refers to 'Shockwave Flash' or not. Unfortunately, we have to accept that 'some' confusion is here to stay. With correct moves you make it less, with wrong ones you create more.
There are levels of confusion. To the clueless, a guitar (with 6 strings) can look like the same as a bass guitar (with 4 strings) (I have actually seen this happen more than once). You can either call all guitars as 'bass guitars' which will, on the surface look like it has cut the confusion (but will create more in the future). Or you can accept that level of confusion as a fact of life, that cannot be fixed for the clueless at that level (At least you should avoid a move that will create more confusion than it fixes)…
I want to finish with a positive note. It's good that, myself included, now not many people think it's still necessary to avoid the word 'Flash' to make 'Flex, Flex Builder' taken seriously (by people with Java background etc. who may think Flash is 'animation with a skip intro button').
Another positive note: It seems most people, many fellow bloggers I respect, don't agree with me on this one. This means probably I'm wrong and this is a good thing because Adobe won't change the naming policy because I don't agree, Flash Builder name is here to stay. Hopefully, I'm wrong and the name change will be better for the Flash platform.
* I don't think 'Builder for Flash' is a better name, or 'for Flash' use will be better. My point is that you shouldn't use the 'platform' name as a prefix to applications that create content for that platform. If I were to make the decision, probably the next version of Flex Builder would be called 'Adobe RedLight'…
Jesse Ezell proclaimed Flash dead on May 2, 2007. On May3, he blogged more details. That post is quite long, softer and may fool some people, he even ends it by saying ‘So, Flash is great. Silverlight just solves a lot of the major problems that I’ve run into with Flash’.
On June 12, Tinic Uro blogged about multi-core support in the upcoming Flash Player. Flash is to take advantage of multiple/multi-core CPUs, promising 25-33% performance enhancement…
Here’s what Jesse blogged: Flash: Now Slowing Down Your Multi-Core PC !
I had trouble believing my eyes. The Jesse I knew was a great guy I respected (though not always agreed with his opinions). After seeing that post, it feels sad but, he lost me.
That’s the same blinded mindset we saw with ‘RIA = Rich Interactive Applications’ supporters.
I’m beginning to seriously think that it’s not only money but Microsoft really makes use of brain implant chips which, as a side effect (or due to a bug), blinds ones judgment. If you are an MS fanboy, at least you can try to pretend to be fair, doesn’t that make sense?
Flash Player 9 update 3
Flash Player Update 3 Beta 1 (build 184.108.40.206) is now available for download at Adobe Labs. 371 bugs were fixed since update 2, but that’s just the start. Adobe has more to please. Tinic Uro has the definitive post about this (though he doesn’t mention the ‘Flash Player Cache’ feature like Emmy Huang).
The improvements are mostly performance related. Flash Player now embraces multiple core CPUs, DirectX on Windows, OpenGL on OSX, hardware scaling of video!… There’s also MIP map support for all bitmaps (which should increase performance and somewhat the memory usage), mipmaps are generally used for 3D textures…
Adobe Integrated Runtime, AIR, formerly Apollo, beta 1 is also now available at Adobe Labs. A lot of new features and Flex 3 now has more support for AIR.
I must say I think the code name Apollo was way better than AIR. Now people will say ‘Adobe AIR’ meaning ‘Adobe Adobe Integrated Runtime’ and ‘Adobe IR’ doesn’t even look good. Air is everywhere, essential to life, it’s not heavy, it’s transparent, – but it also doesn’t have any value, so I really didn’t like the new name.
Both the free SDK and Flex Builder 3 beta 1 are now also available at Adobe Labs. What’s more, now the bug base is open to public and also Flex 3 nightly builds are available.
It’s not April 1st, right? Let me check the date again because I find it hard to believe these guys… Read the story at The Register for a good laugh! In short, these guys developed some DRM and claim that Adobe, MS, Apple and Real are in violation of the law (DMCA) because they are not using it! This is absolutely stupid, I’m utterly speechless…
It’s available now. It was no surprise this time… Because Macromedia started being more open and more close to developers lately. We not only knew Flash 7.2 updater was codenamed Ellipsis, we know that 8ball is the codename of the next Flash version.
Mike Chambers, Developer Relations Product Manager for the Flash Platform (which is a new position), mentions about the attitude change in his must-read article titled What Is the Significance of Ellipsis?.
The update itself is great! It’s free, a bit heavy on the download size, 66.66MB for PC and 73.46MB for Mac, but worth every byte.
Documentation is greatly improved with many more code samples and some chapter rewrites. JSFL File API adds needed file functions (as in DreamWeaver). We now have a ScrollBar component and a Delegate class.
Form or class heavy applications took ages to compile and Flash was a resource hog. This is no longer the case. I had to purchase a 3.2GHz machine couple of months ago after I realized startup time for Flash, and resource issues, were severely affecting my efficiency and productivity. Performance is significantly improved now.
Lots of bugs fixed, some are (seemingly) small but cures common daily nuisances. What more can be said, go download it now!
You might say that this release is what Flash 7.00 should have been in the first place. That line of thought has a point. But I’m more exited about what’s to come.
IMHO, it started with Macromedia eating its own dog food (that is using its own software) and redesigning the macromedia.com site back in early 2003.
Flash MX 2004 (7.00) release was clearly rushed, with even crash bugs left in the software, but it was usable for me nonetheless. Macromedia quickly released the 7.01 updater.
Flash Authoring Team now has a blog, Macromedia is more close to developers with new positions (as Mike Chambers mentions in his article above), and Macromedia is now open more than ever, mentioning beta programs, admitting mistakes, and actually listening to developers. You might even get a response when you submit a feature request or a bug through the famous (former)black-hole wish form. (Please do report bugs so that Macromedia knows about them, also report bugs that bug you even if you think it’s known to Macromedia – every submission will count as a vote to fix that bug).
This Flash 7.2 updater is the result of their passion, commitment and learning from past mistakes (which I value as one of the greatest virtues).
Mike Chambers mentions that they’ve moved an engineer from development team to the documentation team. That’s hell of a great move. (Also note that to get future help updates, you’ll need Flash 7.2 installed).
I can’t wait for 8ball because the Flash development team started making customer visits lately, observing how Flash is used in the real world. With that attitude, 8ball can’t fail.
It seems this is the final update to Flash 7 (aka MX 2004). Why 7.20 and not 7.02, continuing the trend? Well, international releases had a different versioning (which is never a good practice and creates unnecessary confusion), and 7.2 brings all Flash releases to the same version number.
In summary, this is a great update and the ‘attitude change’ with Macromedia only promises more… Thank you Macromedia and all Macromedians!