Flash Player and Acrobat Reader merging?

There has been quite a lot of confusion this week over one of the items in the Adobe / Macromedia acquisition FAQ. Specifically, the following question:

What are Adobe’s plans for Flash Player and Adobe Reader?

was not worded well initially. Quite a few people in the community interpreted the answer as saying that the Flash Player and Acrobat Reader were going to combine into one uber web browser plugin.


That is not correct.We have updated the FAQ answer to try and clarify this:

Our long-term plan is to develop a “universal client” by combining PDF, Flash and HTML in a single, integrated runtime. Of course, we will continue delivering the Flash Player as a small, efficient runtime for content and applications on the web, and Adobe Reader for viewing and interacting with PDF documents and forms. The integration of these technologies into a unified framework creates a ubiquitous platform that runs on virtually every device, and dramatically expands the opportunities to create compelling solutions.

However, there still seems to be some confusion.So, in order to help clarify this further:WE HAVE NO PLANS TO COMBINE THE FLASH PLAYER AND ACROBAT READER WEB BROWSER PLUGINS.One of the primary reasons for the success of the Flash Player is that we have been able to keep the download size small. While the size will grow in the future, we are not going to do ANYTHING that jeopardizes the ubiquity of the player.The “universal client” mentioned above is referring to the Apollo project, which is a project in its early stages focused at creating a client that allows developers to create and deploy apps and content using a combination of Flash, HTML and PDF. You can think of it as a successor to Central.The only public discussion we have had about Apollo has been in some recent keynotes, where Kevin Lynch laid out some of our early ideas / thoughts about Apollo.You can find a summary of Kevin’s Apollo discussion at MAX here.You can view a video of Kevin’s discussion of Apollo during the MAX keynote here (Day 1 > Platform Future).

10 Responses to Flash Player and Acrobat Reader merging?

  1. Rob Cameron says:

    Any chance that some Apollo info will appear on Labs soon? 🙂

  2. Shunjie says:

    cool, that sure clarifies a lot of things. I am pretty surprise when my friend told me flash player and adobe reader are merging

  3. mike says:

    Thank the Lord for that. I thought Adobe had managed a new record in stupidity.

  4. Campbell says:

    Kewl, looking forward to Apollo. Will it be:a) cross-platformb) extendable with new libraries.This is sounding like a nice way to extend flash on the desktop. Hope you find a way to do transparency too ;oP

  5. sutrostyle says:

    I am sorry that my comment is off-topic, but I do not know how else to reach you: can you comment on Microsoft’s recent decision to change IE to block the interaction with Active-X controls until the user clicks on them? How will this affect Flash developers?I am running a flash-based website with hundreds of thousands of registered users, and we would like to get a clarification.

  6. DickRivers says:

    That’s what I call a good news 🙂

  7. John Cass says:

    Hi Mike,I attempted get in touch with Maria Krinsky but her telephone number appears to no longer work. I had a question for you. You and Maria appeared to prefer I go through Maria in the past.I attempted to get in touch with your PR department, but there was no direct line to the Macromedia PR department anymore.RegardsJohn CassBackbone Media

  8. Priya says:

    How to pass the name of the PDF file dynamically and open it from flash

  9. Gregory Fisher, Time Inc. says:

    Is there anyway to have the acrobat reader run within a flash player client application?

  10. Stan Vassilev says:

    One thing that worries me, is that “merging PDF, Flash and HTML into a single platform” sits nice on paper but may be technically totally impossible.First of all PDF, HTML, Flash overlap a lot in some areas and this is making Apollo bloated in my opinion.We’ll have three totally separate, and incompatible implementations of a text layout and rendering engine, three totally separate scripting engines (or at least two, if you plan to reuse the PDF JS engine for the browser too) and so on.Furthermore, merging PDF and Flash? Or Flash and HTML? How is this supposed to work, they just don’t mix together in a single framework or concept.I also see PDF as largely unneeded in the entire picture. We had a light FlashPaper client that emulated the basic capabilities of a PDF document, and it seemed sufficient. Forms and scripts running in PDF neither seems like a good idea (though I realize people try and do it anyways), nor it works very fine in practise (IMHO).I realize Adobe has this baggage and revenue source to support around the entire PDF ecosystem, but I hope that the current PDF reader is gradually phased out and replaced by a shared AS3 library which will emulate the required features directly in the Flash Player (or something like that).There’s something big missing from your platform strategy btw: 3D. Where is it? I know the team has no plans to introduce 3D in Flash (not that I know of, at least), but it’s a matter of fact I hear more and more demand for 3D in Flash, and in fact it’s been twice a showstopper for projects to be implemented in Flash.Product demos, complex visualizations, 3D maps etc. : they just need native 3D support. Avalon definitely has an edge here.I hope you’ve guys planning to start introducing hardware accelerated rendering and 3D in your platforms soon (and I hope it won’t be based on Adobe Atmosphere 3D).