The New Adobe Roadmap for Flash, AIR and Flex
Adobe has announced details regarding Flash, AIR, Flex and other related products, presenting how they see the future of these technologies. Adobe repurposes Flash for gaming and premium video.
Flash has been used primarily as a multimedia platform providing animation, video and interactivity on a large number of devices being used for advertising, games, and Rich Internet Applications (RIA). The rise of mobile and later developments in HTML5 has prompted Adobe to re-focus Flash, targeting only games and premium video, and stopping developing it for mobile browsers. Adobe created quite a stir among Flash developers when it announced their new plans for Flash and when they donated Flex to the Apache Foundation. Now they have published a lengthy roadmap for Flash, AIR and Flex which we’ll try to distill in this article.
For gaming, Adobe will provide a formalized game developer program, game services and “fully productized support that enables developers to leverage C and C++ code and libraries in their Flash based games.”
For premium video, Adobe intends to bring their “video streaming and content protection technology to more platforms in native formats “, to provide support for owners of premium content, and to collaborate with hardware vendors for better performance.
More APIs of the existing core runtime will be made available in Adobe AIR, but desktop and mobile specific APIs won’t be the primary focus for Adobe: “Developers requiring functionality not available directly via Adobe AIR APIs should consider adding that functionality via the native extensibility API.”
Regarding the Flash browser plug-in, Adobe is working on three versions for this year: 11.2, -including hardware accelerated graphics for iOS and Android via AIR and support for more hardware accelerated graphics cards-, plus Cyril and Dolores, both versions with gaming enhancements.
After that, Adobe plans to refactor the core Flash runtime and rewrite the ActionScript virtual machine “in order to significantly improve script execution performance”, i.e. for better performance and perhaps lower power consumption.
Adobe intends to support Flash and AIR for Mac OS X and works on enabling “Adobe AIR applications to be distributed on the Mac App Store under the new Mac OS X application sandboxing requirements,” expected to be done this semester. Regarding Windows, they are “working closely with Microsoft to finalize details around supported configurations for Flash Player and Adobe AIR on Windows 8,” without specifying what that means considering that IE 10 Metro won’t support plug-ins and Win8 wont’s support Flash on ARM. On Linux, future improvements will be done via Google Chrome which will contain a Pepper-based Flash plug-in that will be included in Chrome on all OSes supported by Google on the desktop. AIR 3 support has been discontinued on Linux.
On the mobile front, Adobe has stopped developing the Flash plug-in for the browser and encourages developers to use AIR in order to deploy native applications on smartphones and tablets.
Adobe will continue developing Flash Builder and Professional, but not Flash Catalyst.
Ha Ha Ha - A new roadmap for Flex / Flash
Why is there nothing on their roadmap about fixing their quality problems to the point where they would be allowed back on the Apple platforms?
road to nowhere
flash videos need a few cores to run at high res, they don't really run on linux at all.
in a few years there will be even less of a need for flash video because of html5 video tags
Re: Ha Ha Ha - A new roadmap for Flex / Flash
"After that, Adobe plans to refactor the core Flash runtime and rewrite the ActionScript virtual machine “in order to significantly improve script execution performance”, i.e. for better performance and perhaps lower power consumption."
Their current roadmap is not brilliant, it looks to me like a reaction to a development they can't control and can't do much about it. Browser vendors simply do not want to see Flash anymore. Ads and even games (see Angry Birds) will be done in HTML5. Google is the only one still backing up the Flash plug-in, but that's been rewritten to use Pepper.
Yes, Flash will have a much smaller market share, and my hunch is that Adobe is currently working heavily on creating the "best" tools for HTML5 authoring to recapture at least some of the developers mindshare they had in the past. Will they succeed? I don't know.
Re: Ha Ha Ha - A new roadmap for Flex / Flash
The concept of Adobe as a tools vendor is another laugh. The Eclipse plugin they wrote to support Flex development was probably the worst commercial Eclipse plugin in existence.
To regain their credibility Adobe needs to be able to deliver quality, and that would mean a complete culture transplant. That's probably the hardest thing to to in a large corporation.
As I'm writing this, the adobe flash update popped up and is forcing me to close browsers... ARGH! Lame adobe, lame.