Archive for January, 2008

About Flash Components

Many users have been asking about components. They want to know if we are releasing more components or where they can go to get more of them. Many members of our community have also been wondering what is our vision for components going forward. Apologies for not responding sooner.

The Flash Authoring team does not have plans to release any new components in the CS3 timeframe.   Of course, the Flex team will continue to develop and release new components; components are an integral part off their model and core to the success of the Flex product.

When the Flash Authoring team went out and met with users to research what we should be developing for CS3 and beyond, additional components didn’t make the cut. When we focus on the needs of the community, this is what we hear loud and clear: focus on expressiveness, focus on ground breaking design and focus on enabling the community to meet the needs of other users through extensibility. Demand for components has been very fragmented – some users want x, other users want y – and no matter how many components we have built we were still not fully satisfying all the needs of the community. And, frankly, we realize that in many cases Flex is a better alternative for some of the customers that ask for components to assist in RIA development.

So, for you component lovers, we’re doing two things – 1) continuing to invest in the extensibility of Flash Pro so that you can build and share the components you need and 2) investing in integration with Flex Builder to make it even easier to take advantage of what Flex has to offer.

So what does that mean to our users today? Well, it means that we are looking to third party vendors and our community to help fill that gap.

We have started to provide documentation on how to build and extend the new AS3 components. Jeff Kamerer wrote a comprehensive article on the matter and you can find it at http://www.adobe.com/devnet/flash/articles/creating_as3_components.html

Some community members and third party vendors have already created some great components, for example:

1. The Adobe Exchange for Flash has a large selection of third party components.

2. Grant Skinner has been developing components for some time now. In fact as many of you already know he worked with Metaliq to develop the AS3 components for Flash CS3. <URL?>

3. Yahoo has a great set of components at http://developer.yahoo.com/flash/astra-flash/

4. Digicrafts has some visually rich components at http://www.digicrafts.com.hk/components/

5. There is a nice selection of components at http://www.afcomponents.com/components/

** If your site is not listed, please send me a post and I will add it to the list.

Of course, everything I write today is affected by what our community has to say. When it’s all said and done you really are the ones that determine what we do. So with that in mind there are some other ideas/questions we have that I would like to throw out there and see what the feedback is.

1. What could we do to help promote and encourage the community to start creating new components for Flash Pro?

2. In the future, how would supporting the Flex components help solve the problem?