As has been pointed out by the community, there is an existing crash bug that was reported by Matthew Dempsky in the Flash Player bugbase (JIRA FP-677) in September of 2008 that still exists in the release players. It is fixed in Flash Player 10.1 beta, and has been since we launched the beta in early November 2009.
I want to reiterate that it is our policy that crashes are serious “A” priority bugs, and it is a tenant of the Flash Player team that ActionScript developers should never be able to crash Flash Player. If a crash occurs, it is by definition a bug, and one that Adobe takes very seriously. When they happen, it can be the result of something going on purely within Flash Player, something in the browser, or even at the OS level. Depending on where an issue occurs we work to resolve the crash internally or with our partners.
So what happened here? We picked up the bug as a crasher when it was filed on September 22, 2008, and were able to reproduce it. Remember that Flash Player 10 shipped in October 2008, so when this bug was reported we were pretty much locked and loaded for launch. The mistake we made was marking this bug for “next” release, which is the soon to be released Flash Player 10.1, instead of marking it for the next Flash Player 10 security dot release. We should have kept in contact with the submitter and to let him know the progress, sorry we did not do that. Having that line of communication open would have allowed him to let us know directly that it was still an issue. I intend to follow up with the product manager (or Adobe rep) who worked on this issue to make sure it doesn’t happen again. It slipped through the cracks, and it is not something we take lightly.
The team is actively reviewing all unresolved crash bugs in JIRA and will reach out to the submitter if we need their help. We have been updating JIRA bugs with status when we ship pre-release and release players with fixes, but will be focusing on scrubbing these more vigilantly so the community will be able to get status on their issues earlier. Again, FP-677 is fixed in Flash Player 10.1 beta on Adobe Labs and was made public in a regular bugbase scrub that happened yesterday.
The community is an important part of making Flash Player great, and is one of the reasons why we created the public bugbase in 2007. You have been instrumental in helping us improve the quality and feature set of the runtime, and we are committed to looking into what happened with FP-677 and making the necessary improvements and investments for our part of the relationship. So please download Flash Player 10.1 from Labs and play a role in identifying and reporting issues so that we can live up to our commitment to ship the next version of Flash Player without any known, reproducible crashers.