A small improvement to our version numbering (aka Why there won’t be a “Flash Player 10 Update 1″)

Some people have noticed that our Flash Player 10 release last week had a “funny” version number. Funny in that the fourth digit wasn’t “0″ for the final release as it has been in the past.

No, it isn’t a mistake — we are using a new numbering system! Ok, not new as in totally-different, but new as in tweaked-and-better. In the Flash Player world, where backwards compatibility and legacy behavior are important, making a change like this is a big deal. Big enough that this particular change was proposed a few times until we finally felt comfortable enough to give it a shot. There are a few good reasons why we wanted this change. First, the old system, where the third digit was basically our build number, created some internal havoc. You can imagine the pain we caused to our documentation team and other internal products that had to wait until we were done to find out the final version number. The other pain was to marketing and our customers. We weren’t able to version dot releases in a meaningful way, which is how we ended up with a name like “Flash Player 9 Update 3″ delivering something as juicy as H.264 in a product with a version number.

Enter the improved system that allows us to predict the final build numbers through the first three digits but takes into account that the third digit always has to increase for legacy detection scripts in the wild. For Flash Player 10, our developer builds were 10.0.10.b, betas were 10.0.11.b and release candidates/GM builds were 10.0.12.b. (b is the build number, so take note that we want you to continue to ignore the fourth digit for detection purposes.) The important information about the version is the first release of Flash Player 10 = 10.0.12.*

This new numbering system allows us to move towards more meaningful release numbering where the first, second and third digits actually mean Major, Minor, Bugfix. For example, the next bugfix or security release should jump up and use the series 10.0.20/10.0.21/10.0.22, and we can use “10.1″ (e.g. 10.1.30/10.1.31/10.1.32) when we do a feature-bearing dot release instead of “Flash Player 10 Update 1.” Old detection kits will continue to work, but moving forward you could detect for minor releases for a specific feature more easily. And it’s not a tongue twister.

So, there is the explanation for the Flash Player Trivia files. :-)

* 10/22/08 tiny correction. The first release of 10 is actually, which ships in CS4 (because of lockdown schedules). That build is only in the tools and was never available from the player download center for users. You should update your players to the first web release of the player for development and testing.

Flash Player 10 has launched!

Flash Player 10 “Astro” has launched! Justin has a nice write up of the release here, so I won’t repeat what he’s already put so nicely. The player bits went live last night with the press release, and a LOT of content that you should check out.

The product page has a new look, and resources that might be useful to you:
* At-A-Glance – which is a overview of the highlights of this release. A nice little thing to leave on your boss’ desk as a hint that you want to use these awesome new features…
* Datasheet – a more detailed description of this release
* Features Page with interactive demo – try out the new features live, and see what is new and enhanced in Flash Player 10
* Flash Player in Action – has a rotating pod of quotes from developers, and links to some cool Flash Player 10 content you can look at today. There are some cool 3D, sound and Pixel Bender demos to check out.
* Pixel Bender Exchange – check out and upload your own cool filters and effects

Other important product resources:
* Release Notes – check these for a list of known and fixed issues
* Support Downloads page – you can get the debug players here
* Flash Player Support Center – Check here for new tech notes and issues to be aware of
* Flash Player Bugbase – and of course…if you find any issues, or want to make a feature request please file it!

Developer Center
* Introducing Flash Player 10 – Justin’s intro article has been updated with video snippets showing demos (used to be on Labs)
* Detecting Flash Player versions and embedding SWF files with SWFObject 2 – Adobe contributed to and supports SWFObject 2. We tested it with this release, and plan to make this the standard detection kit moving forward (replacing the Adobe Detection Kit)
* Security Changes in Flash Player 10 – There are a series of important articles to review here. Start with Trevor’s article Understanding Security Changes in Flash Player 10, then review the Working with policy file changes in Flash Player 9 and Flash Player 10.

I started on this team four years ago right as we were launching Flash Player 8. Flash Player 9 was already in the wings – so although I have launched quite a few releases and dot releases, this is my first full player release cycle. This is an incredible release, and I am extremely proud to be a part of this amazing team. This is going to be another industry changing release, and we eagerly await the next wave of fabulous, wondrous, and innovative experiences you will create for the Web with our technology.