Flashforward Update – Town Meeting with the Flash Team

So far, Flashforward 2004 has been a blast. I’ve been spending a lot of time with Danny Dura (newest member of the Central team), and we have really been delving into the potential of some of Macromedia newest inventions like Flex, Central, Breeze Live and others which I can mention after today’s keynote, but not before. I’m still completely amazed by the amount of innovation that goes on at Macromedia.

I attended a great session last evening called “Town Meeting with the Macromedia Flash Team”. Lucian Beebe, Gary Grossman, Nigel Pegg, Paul Betlem, Gilles Drieu, and Rebecca Sun simply sat up on stage as microphones were passed around the audience, and answered as many questions as they could in an hour. The team was very straightforward and the session went extremely well, with lots of great questions and feedback. The one thing the Flash team kept emphasizing was that they needed to hear from the community what you feel their top priorities should be for future versions of Flash or dot releases of the current version. For those of you who didn’t attend and could not contribute in person, any comments posted here will be sent right to the Flash team.

2 Responses to Flashforward Update – Town Meeting with the Flash Team

  1. brian leroux says:

    Please fix the compiler and IDE stability. The components need performance enhancements too; the player can currently only handle approx 50 total components which impedes enterprise class applications.

  2. Tom Klepl says:

    Thanks for asking. Flash is great, but there is always room for improvement.A few things I’d like to see…1) Fix existing bugs/issues:- Please bring back the old multi-timeline undo, and don’t count mouse-clicks and other minor user actions as undo items – the new undo system is practically unusable for me.- Fix text wrapping bug with dynamic text fields where blank spaces find themselves at the beginning of new lines of text (this is SO annoying to see).- Array of objects returned from a web service, for some reason only works if object names are specified in ALL CAPS. Not sure if this is a bug but it took me a few hours to figure out why my app wasn’t working.- Windows alt-tab seems to think that the actions pane and the IDE are separate entities…actions pane loses focus when returning to flash from another application. Less of an issue now with external .as files.- Type1 fonts not fully supported (type1 fonts often have many styles other than Bold and Italic, which are not selectable in flash! Look to adobe’s latest “CS” releases for a good type palette).- Strange artifacts/blanking out occurs when scrolling the timeline on certain systems.- Increase width/height of stage working area, really wide graphics get truncated when played back in flashplayer.2) New & improved functionality- Native client>server file upload capability (not using any JS kludges) – this would really open flash up to a wider range of possible applications.- Better typography control including setting of character spacing for dynamic text…better font kerning.- Better control over text antialiasing (look at Photoshop’s ‘sharp/crisp/none’ modes).- Textbox property for vertical alignment (top, centre, bottom). This would come in handy so many times….- Easier and better built-in methods to preload, cache, and manage loaded graphics, sound, and video files. Improve mp3 streaming methods (currenly we can’t even detect when a streaming mp3 has begun playing).- Expand on audio features & performance. Would be nice to create sampler-like envelopes from audio clips with attack, loop, and release segments.- Support for dynamic PNG and GIF loading and other formats (JPEG2000?).- Better/more logical usage of IDE screen real estate (especially properties panel) for larger screen resolutions (this goes for dreamweaver too) – I miss being able to click a keyframe and then set alpha properties directly, without first having to select the object. Also for some reason, the properties panel is half used by Sound controls, even when a frame without sound is selected. It would be nice to see alpha properties instead.- Ability for projectors to access web services and flash remoting (correct me if this is already possible…but it didn’t work when I tried it).- more robust support for printing from flashplayer…easier ways of building printable pages from dynamic content…- easier way to customize appearance of components..maybe even an external skin editor or something?- Faster graphics performance of flashplayer on PC and Mac (hardware acceleration support?).3) Overall- Make it even easier to interface Flash with databases… really like the coldfusion integration, flashremoting, and webservices stuff..but it needs to be quicker to develop database driven sites with Flash. When this happens, RIA will take off in a big way..until then, we will continue using a lot of HTML (sadly).- Improve memory usage/stability/performance of the IDE.- Even though there are many decent 3rd party tools for advanced projector creation, it would be nice to see Macromedia expand on their own implementation. I really like Flash as a cd-rom app creation tool.- There’s probably more that I can’t think of right now. Maybe Flash could have a built in bug reporting/wishlist feature 🙂