Kevin Lynch’s perspective on the past, present, and future of Flash

In case you may have missed it, this past Tuesday Adobe CTO Kevin Lynch posted his thoughts on Open Access to Content and Applications. If you want to get a better handle on Adobe’s vision for Flash and web tools this is a must read. In response to the recent introduction of a “magical device” that has spurred so much talk online over the past week, Kevin talks about the future of Flash and how Flash Player 10.1, the Open Screen Project, HTML5, smartphones, and more fit into it.

More recently, Kevin responded to comments on this post and shared is thoughts on Flash Player performance as well as reports of crashes in some browsers.  As he notes, Adobe works directly with browser teams for Apple Safari, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Internet Explorer and Google Chrome to resolve issues and ensure that Flash Player is not released with any known crash bugs. 

If you’re following the wider conversation on the future of the Flash Platform, be sure to check back or follow us on Twitter.

Private browsing with Flash Player 10.1

With the focus on mobile and other exciting new features, you may have missed that Flash Player 10.1 supports the private browsing modes in many of the latest browsers.

End-users are becoming increasingly savvy about their online privacy, and private browsing lets you browse the web without storing any history on your computer. With Flash Player 10.1, the plugin will now automatically clear stored data in accordance with your browser’s private browsing settings.

See the new Private Browsing in Flash Player 10.1 article for more information about how private browsing mode impacts Flash Player behavior for local storage and settings. If you’re a developer, there is a section that describes how this feature may impact your use of local storage and content when a user is in private browsing mode.

Flash Platform 2009 – Year in Review – Part 3

In part 1 of the year in review I talked about some of the great applications and content that have been created on top of the Flash Platform. In part 2 I talked about the partnerships and what that has enabled this year. Now I’m going to turn to the tools and technologies from Adobe. When I look back at my own personal history with Flex and the Flash Platform, coming with Flex 1.5 and Flash Player 7, it’s amazing to see the progress we made this year.

The biggest news came at MAX. We provided beta versions of Flash Builder 4, Flash Catalyst, and ColdFusion Builder. Three tools that cover a broad spectrum of RIA development. Flash Builder 4 built on top of our momentum with Flex Builder and introduced a new data-centric development methodology as well as some long-asked for productivity enhancements. Flash Catalyst is a completely new tool that lets designers bring in designs from Photoshop and Illustrator and turn them into working, interactive Flash content without writing any code. And of course ColdFusion Builder provided ColdFusion developers an Eclipse-baesd tool from Adobe that works seamlessly with Flash Builder and lets ColdFusion developers quickly work on ColdFusion and HTML projects. The three tools work together to let designers and developers collaborate around all parts of an RIA project. And the next generation of Flash Professional also got a sneak peak at MAX with the announcement that Flash CS5 will support creation of native iPhone applications.

We also started to lay out our vision for services at Adobe in 2009. Before and during MAX we provided betas and some new information about the Adobe Flash Platform Services. This includes things like LiveCycle Collaboration Services which lets you easily add real-time collaboration components to your Flex and Flash applications. We debuted a Distribution service that lets you track and distribute Flash content across a number of popular properties. There was also the Try/Buy service codenamed “Shibuya” which will help Flash developers directly make money from what they build on the Flash Platform.

Both of our runtimes, AIR and Flash Player, saw beta versions of the next generation. We provided beta access to Adobe AIR 2 which provides developers a lot more access to native functionality as well as adding next-generation HTML support and performance optimizations. Developers had access to a beta of Flash Player 10.1 later in the year which is the first version of Flash Player that is intended for smart phones. Developers got to see how this version of the player would run on the desktop with new memory optimization and support for multi-touch gestures. Flash Player 10.1 will be released for Mac, Windows, Linux, and smart phones like the Palm Pre and Google Android later this year.

Adobe was also busy in the server space. ColdFusion 9 was released this year and it included much deeper support for Flex and AIR applications as well as the ability to tightly integrate with Microsoft Office documents (including SharePoint) and some nice code enhancement for long-time ColdFusion developers.

And finally, this was a big year in openness for the Flash Platform. We’ve worked hard to keep the Flash Platform as open as possible by doing things like open sourcing the Tamarin virtual machine and providing the SWF and AMF specifications in addition to contributing to existing open source projects like the Eclipse foundation. This year we open sourced two new projects, the Open Source Media Framework and the Text Layout Framework. The Open Source Media Framework (OSMF) provided a standard way to create and extend the way video content plays on the Flash Platform. The Text Layout Framework (TLF) brought world-class text capability to the Flash Platform. It included support for right-to-left languages like Hebrew and Arabic and gave developers very detailed control over exactly how text was rendered by the Flash Player. Both technologies are available with all of Adobe’s open source initiatives on http://opensource.adobe.com.

Between the tools, new services, the runtimes, the servers, and our open source efforts, it’s been a big 2009 and we’ve set the stage for a bigger 2010. We can’t wait to see what our community does with these technologies. You are the ones that keep the Flash Platform moving and keep us cutting edge. Thanks for a great year!

Flash Platform 2009: Year in Review – Part 2

The partner ecosystem of the Flash Platform has grown tremendously over the past year and led to some great advancements for Flash designers and developers. Our partners have helped us bring Flash to 98% of internet-connected desktops, netbooks, smartphones, cable boxes, game systems, TVs, and other consumer devices which has broadened the reach of the platform. One of the strengths of the Flash Platform has always been a consistent experience for both developers and end users. Without our partners it wouldn’t be possible to create that consistent experience across the various chipsets, processors, architectures, and operating systems on all of those different devices. One of the biggest of those partner initiatives is the Open Screen Project which is bringing Flash content to web browsers as well as standalone applications across all of those devices.

The Open Screen Project started the year with momentum at CES. We announced partnerships with Broadcom and Intel that will bring Flash to the 3rd screen, televisions. We followed that up with an announcement at Mobile World Congress that in conjunction with Nokia we would create a $10 million dollar fund to foster the creation of content for multiple screens using the Flash Platform. In 2009 we received over 700 proposals and have funded more than 50 multi-screen applications. At NAB in the spring we moved further into the living room by delivering technology to our OEM partners that extended the Flash Platform to devices in the digital home such as set-top boxes and Blu-ray players. This included optimizations for using Flash technology for HD video and rich applications on those devices. During the summer we announced that we were working with NVIDIA to optimize Flash content and applications for netbooks, smartphones, and smartbooks that make use of NVIDIA GPUs. Finally, to cap it off, at MAX Qualcomm came and showed that their Snapdragon chipset was ready to support Flash Player 10.1 on smartphone and smartbook devices from companies like Toshiba. At MAX Google and RIM also announced they would be joining the Open Screen Project.

A big part of the Open Screen Project is making more moves to open up the Flash Platform. This year we took another big step forward by publishing the RTMP specification and releasing open source media and text frameworks for the Flash Platform.

The Open Screen Project now has almost 50 industry leaders that are working together to create a consistent platform for developers and users to create and consume cutting edge applications and high quality media. The members of the Open Screen project come from a wide section of industry and include companies. Some major companies announced their support for the Open Screen Project this year including Disney Interactive Media Group, Fox Mobile Group,Google, HTC,NVIDIA, Palm, Paramount, RIM, Texas Instruments, and The New York Times. This video provides a great summary of the goals and partnerships around the Open Screen Project.

Our partners allowed us to greatly expand the reach of the Flash Platform and take it to screens big and small as well as the next generation of computing devices. But the platform itself is just one part of the equation. We’ve also been working on enhancing the tools and workflows that let designers and developers create Flash content. In Part 3 tomorrow I’ll finish the series with the tools, services, and other platform technologies that we were working on in 2009.

October Issue of the Edge

19267_I_Edge_October.jpg

Have you seen the October issue of the Edge newsletter? It’s now live on Adobe.com. Produced by the Adobe Developer Relations team, the Edge has 1.7 million subscribers worldwide. It features video, articles and tutorials for developers and designers who create content and applications for the web.

In this month’s video, Edge Managing Editor Julie Campagna is on the scene at Adobe MAX 2009. See a snapshot of this year’s lively event, including announcements, technology previews, and commentary from attendees.

Also included in the issue:

Sign up to receive the Edge via email. If you missed MAX, you can watch the sessions on AdobeTV.

Why you should NOT care about building apps for the iPhone with Flash

The news from Adobe MAX 2009 that probably generated the most buzz and discussion online was the announcement that Flash CS5 will have support for outputting applications for the iPhone. While I am really excited about the news, and the work we are doing around the iPhone, I am here to tell you that you [...]