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Flash CS4 update now available

Several moths ago I posted a blog about some issues that were being reported with Flash CS4; some of you also posted your own comments and issues. I am happy to say that we have just posted an update to address a good number of the issues that were reported. I know some of you have been waiting for some time, but we wanted to fix as many problems as we could so we took a little more time with this one.

Adobe Flash® CS4 Professional (10.0.2) addresses a number of performance issues. Some key fixes are:

  • Fixed a performance issues when dragging objects on stage, scrubbing the timeline, or entering symbol edit mode in large AS 2.0 and AS 3.0 files.
  • Fixed a performance issues when opening large files or files with many nested symbols.
  • Fixed a performance issues when working in the library such as scrolling, selecting items in the library, dragging item to stage, or editing symbol from library.

It also addresses several crashes involving creating a text fields on stage and opening specific files with corrupted fonts.  The font issue was causing many people to suffer crashes because Flash was not handling inappropriate or corrupted fonts very gracefully.

One fix that was very specific to a request by the community was to put back the JSAPI that allows users to publish FLA files without opening them. You can now use fl.publishDocument( flaURI [, publishProfile] ) to do this. Steven Sacks I hope this helps.

There are a more fixes than that and I have posted the list of them at the bottom of this blog.

I do want to thank everyone that contributed their issues and concerns in my blog, the forums and the email lists. The team worked hard to fix as many issues as we could. If you don’t see your specific issue addressed in the update it doesn’t mean we didn’t pay attention. We just had to prioritize in order to get the update out in a reasonable time. The remaining list is logged and we will continue to try and fix as many more as we can for a future version of Flash.

We made many significant changes to the tool in this cycle and unfortunately this time we ran into a few issues. The changes were necessary to continue to have a framework to work on and make Flash a next gen tool, but you have my commitment that we will do better next time.


Bugs fixed in this release:

  • AS2 Doc Crashes CS4 when buttons not rendered correctly
  • Auto Format beaks the code if encounters ++ or — with an array inside if statement
  • Clicking through movie clip with large preview takes long to select in the Library in AS 3.0 file
  • Scrubbing and pressing Enter to play timeline is not smooth, slower in AS3 documents
  • W and H of instance incorrect after frame 2 if apply tween to instance with filter
  • 3D tools appear incorrectly to a child movie clip when applying skew and rotation to the parent 2d movie clip.
  • Changing W/H for nested 2d>3d movie clip from PI does not work. After scrubbing the hot text, it snaps back to the original size.
  • Dragging from Library to Stage is slow in some files in CS4
  • Selecting items in the library is slow in CS4
  • Scrolling the library (vertical scroll bar) is slow compared to CS3
  • In a FLA with lots of library items, double clicking a symbol "in the edit mode" hangs Flash on Mac.
  • Library contents explode CS4 memory (CS3 sits at 75M)
  • Performance issue with Stagecore (AS 3.0 fla) – scrubbing, moving, altering objects.
  • Object visibility is compromised when created inside empty groups in AS 3.0 fla files.
  • Double clicking symbol or symbol name in library hangs Flash; library contains a lot of items
  • Text with device font disappears when it is selectable
  • Component parameters don’t work for scenes greater than scene 1
  • Selecting frames with textfields is a lot slower if the Components Inspector panel is opened
  • Empty maskee incorrectly renders mask invisible rather than visible
  • Crash when opening a  fla that uses a font symbol whose name was identical to the Postscript name of the underlying font and the font is missing
  • Optimize a section within a shape leaves gaps in the shape
  • Optimize opening and closing FLA files, frame manipulation for FLAs with many frames
  • Win only: Crash on exit when the text field is in edit mode and clicking X button to quit without save
  • Compiler errors when opening "Air Settings" while adl still running.
  • (screens) timeline playhead can’t scrub and jitters when playing anything that spans frames
  • gotoAndPlay("framelabel") compiles differently in CS3 versus CS4
  • Scrubbing the timeline and selecting frames is much slower in CS4 than in CS3
  • Crash when creating a text object on stage when there are corrupted fonts
  • Graphic symbol looping setting changes when apply color effect to instance in PI
  • Files with lots of nested clips suffer from performance issue (file open) in Flash CS4
  • Edit in Place of 2d objects which has 3d movieclips nested inside is not functioning correctly.
  • Edit in place is slow for complex instances in FP10 documents
  • Breaking apart a nested movie clip erases instance name of child movie clip
  • Efficient calculation between keyframes so dragging is faster and generally makes people happier if spans are long and complex.
  • AS3 Components not compiling correctly when using the Component Definition dialog
  • Window Only: Flash crashes when double clicking a fla to open while a current fla is opened with text block selected
  • Can’t interact with Flash because modal dialog is up, but hidden behind the workspace when switching between applications
  • From crash reporter: crash on Mac when double click to enter symbol edit mode (when the black dotted rectangle is drawn)
  • Mac IDE flashes when right-clicking on Library after doing Test Movie
  • Performance is slow after double clicking movie clip to enter edit mode and exit
  • Setting an instance’s width and/or height to 1 makes W and H hot text unusable in the vertical PI.
  • Hot text in the Vertical PI for X, Y, W, H displays only 1 decimal point while edit field displays 2
  • Export image: Dimension values in Export dialog and Vertical PI do not match which is misleading to user.
  • Crash when selecting text field on stage with many fonts on user’s system.
  • Text PI is stuck and some controls on the PI are not drawn with certain fonts on user’s system
  • The JSAPI that allows users to publish FLA files without opening them was inadvertently removed when the Project Panel was deprecated.  fl.publishDocument( flaURI [, publishProfile] ) is added. 
  • "Export classes in frame" behavior is different in CS3 than in CS4
  • Drag and drop large nested symbol from library to stage hangs Flash
  • Dragging from Library to Stage slow on subsequent drag or after scrubbing the timeline
  • Scrubbing and pressing Enter to play timeline is not smooth, slower in AS3 documents
  • W and H of instance incorrect after frame 2 if apply tween to instance with filter
  • Large amounts of text nested in a symbol causes performance problems in non-AS3 documents
  • Playback in authoring is not smooth (playhead skips frames), cannot stop it when hitting enter, eventually hangs and takes long to respond (both AS 2.0 and AS 3.0)
  • Performance Creating Exported Symbol when the classpath contains lots of files and folder
  • Create ease, undo after first edit removes ease
  • Selecting and deselecting raw shape after convert to symbol spikes memory and/or crashes
  • FLA crash on open when fonts loaded
  • Mac only: User input resets to previous setting when attempting to change any value in Vertical PI input area
  • Accessing a Windows SWF after it has been moved or deleted crashes Flash
  • Crashing when re-opening FLA after canceling publish
  • Crash in test movie when running a file with video and filters

PixelSessions in San Francisco

For anyone in the Bay Area there is going to be an event next week that you really want to look into.

pixelSessions is a San Francisco based event focused on bringing together designers of all types. They feature great speakers, cool contests and a chance to connect with like-minded individuals. I even hear there is an open bar and DJ’s….Nice!.

Mike Kemper, one of the founders of pixelSessions, described it like this –
" Our event is a platform that encourages intelligent conversations, provides valuable networking opportunities and celebrates all things design. pixelSessions are open to all creative professionals including graphic designers, web designers, photographers, 3D artists, VJs, students, and on and on. If you work visually in anyway, you are welcome to join us and we are excited to have you! "

pixelSessions 1.0 will be hosted at MIGHTY in SOMA, (119 Utah St., San Francisco).

    * Tuesday, May 12th, 6:00pm-10:30pm

     6:00pm – Registration, Hosted Bar, and Snacks
     7:00pm – Speakers and Q&A (bar closed)
     8:30pm – Hosted bar, and networking

Tickets are $25 online, $35 at the door.


Jared Ficklin – Principal Technologist, Frog Design
Jenny Hansen – Creative Director, SuperSecret
Ulm – Director of Experience Design, Adobe
Ernst – Creative Director, Yelp

I hope to see you there!

Concerns and issues with Flash CS4

For several weeks we have received reports and emails concerning issues with Flash CS4, so  I would like to address some of these comments directly.


Let’s start with performance and stability.


The team is currently investigating and working on four key issues :


  • problems scrubbing the timeline while working on a very large project or with complex projects with a large number of nested symbols.
  • difficulty opening large CS3 files with CS4.
  • crashing when a corrupt font is inadvertently used.
  • general performance issues and other reported crashes that are still being isolated.


As soon as we have more information on how we plan to address them, I will update this post.


In the meantime if you feel that there are other performance issues or crashes that are not covered in the above list and you have a reproducible example, please let us know.


Next topic: Flash Help.


We have received a lot of feedback regarding the changes made to Help. These changes resulted from an internal initiative to make Flash Help consistent with the rest of the Adobe Creative Suite products. These changes also allow the group responsible for developing Help documentation to produce better and more current content. The Help team also wanted to tie in community-based resources and the ability to search, which means that search now returns help results  not only from Adobe, but from other relevant sources on the web.


We are aware that there are severe workflow issues with the current solution –most of which Adobe is working on.  Some of the concerns we have heard are:


  • it’s available only when you are online.
  • Help now opens in a browser and not in the IDE.
  • it opens a different browser window every time you hit F1.


The Help team has assured us that they are working on these issues and on improving the Help experience for the Flash user’s needs.


Please let us know what other issue you encounter with Help. Additionally, if you have any feedback on improving Help to make help better, we are all ears.


Last Topic for now: Stage Rendering with Flash Player.


I have received several emails from users concerned about the fact that we now have an instance of the Flash Player running on the stage in the IDE. This is not a bug or an oversight, this is a change we made to StageCore to allow the Flash IDE to render content exactly the same way that the Flash Player would.


Up to now there have always been discrepancies between how content looks like on stage and how it play in Flash Player (e.g., pixel shifting, inaccurate rounded corners and text that looked different.) The reason for this was that the content you see on stage was not really Flash, making it hard to achieve complete fidelity.


With our new architecture we now have accurate representation of Flash content on the Stage. This  also  allows us to represent features that you would not see on the Stage otherwise. For example, the reason we have 3D on the stage is that Flash is rendering it in real time. You can notice one of the benefits by zooming into any symbol that has a filter applied to it.  In CS3 once you reached +800%, you would notice pixilation.  In CS4, you don’t. In the future this will allow us to render all the great features that will be available in the Flash player.


In short, we are working on addressing these issues, and are actively looking for any good reproducible examples and sample files that can help us isolate and test our improvements.


As a final note, I just want to add that the Flash team doesn’t just develop Flash but we are heavy users as well, we appreciate the support and passion of our community to improve Flash and we are committed to it.




3D Video with Flash

Check out this very cool streaming 360 degree video by Immervise Media.

Once you play the video click and move your mouse to change the viewing angle. Then goo ahead and pause the video and move the zoom bar up or down. Its pretty impressive.

MSN Video is all Flash.

In case anyone hasn’t been to MSN Video lately I just wanted to point out that MSN Video is now all served up using Video for Flash (FLVideo). Considering all the hype around SilverLight and its supposedly killer video capabilities its interesting to see all the support we are getting from Microsoft :). I will not make any conclusions based on this, but you are free to make your own…

AIR update for Flash CS3 is Live!

I am happy to say that the new Air update for Flash CS3 is finally available and ready for download at our Labs site.

This is an early release and there are still changes that will be made. Please read the known issues section before using it.

If you create some cool AIR content please share.



Adobe® AIR extension for Flash CS3!

YES! its coming.

I should end my blog there, but since I don’t want to be lynched let me give you a peek at what to expect.

We are planning to release an extension for Flash CS3 that will allow you to author for
Adobe® AIR. We are planning to do a prerelease at the same time as the next public release of the runtime. It will be made available as a download on our Labs site.

No, I don’t have a date.

You will be able to select AIR as the version type under the Publishing settings.

Then you will have a new "AIR – Application Settings" option in the commands menu.

Click to enlarge

This will allow anyone to quickly start authoring for Adobe AIR with Flash CS3. Looking forward to having it out to you soon.

If you were wondering…

If I was going to blog again, then I hope this answers the question. Yes, I know. I really should do it more often, and I will. That’s a promise. I don’t like making excuses but its been a bit busy lately. The team has been hard at work getting our latest version of Flash ready and I’ve been on the road a lot talking to the press and attending shows. Speaking of shows, I was at GDC 2007(Game Developers Conference) in San Francisco a  few week ago. We had a small booth and we were showing Flash and Director. A few times I had the the StarWars papervision demo running on my computer , and it was amazing how many people were shocked when they learned it was all done in Flash and especially when I told them it was all code. PaperVision3D you rock!

If you haven’t seen it already definitely check it out. Also check out the ObstacleCourse game John Grden put together using the same idea. Very Cool.

I have to admit that some of the Papervision3D demos are some of the coolest demos I have seen lately. But please, if you know of any other great Flash sites or examples please share!

The last thing I am going to mention is that flying 6 hours cross country between Newark and SanFran on a 737 with a seat that doesn’t recline should be illegal! I’m done with Continental. nuf said.