There’s a great recording of Adobe Platform Evangelist Lee Brimelow on USTREAM answering 50 questions put to him by the Flash community. His answers give an interesting insight into Adobe’s strategy for the Flash platform and also helped confirm things that many suspected.
He confirmed that Adobe are deliberately pushing developers towards Flash Builder and continuing to cater for designers within Flash Professional. It’s why very little effort has gone into improving the coding tools within Flash whereas Flex/Flash Builder’s IDE has gone from strength to strength. The news regarding the tighter integration between the upcoming Flash CS5 and Flash Builder was also very welcome and something I’m really looking forward to.
Also due for release in Flash CS5 is a brand new text engine and much improved font support. Anyone who’s used Flash will know how tricky it can be when dealing with fonts and managing the fonts that are embedded within your SWFs, so I’m sure it’s going to be another great reason for upgrading to CS5.
Also anyone holding their breath for ActionScript 4 should probably stop. Lee confirmed that ActionScript 3 is here for the foreseeable future and that there are no plans internally for a replacement. He does however state that there will probably be improvements to the language over time, so people hoping to see language features such as the inclusion of private constructors might still get their wish.
One thing that really surprised me was Lee’s admission that although a lot of effort had gone into improving the animation system in Flash CS4 most users had not embraced it, and had instead opted to stick with the traditional system. I have to admit that I still use the classic timeline animation model in Flash but I’m a developer who doesn’t have as much need to use the timeline. I would however have expected designers/animators to have gone mad for it. I might make it a priority to find the time to look into the new timeline animation in Flash CS4. After all the guys at Adobe put in a lot of effort and from what I can see, produced a pretty neat piece of work.
Have a great new year, and I’ll hopefully blog again in a few days time.