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InfoQ Homepage News Adobe Flash Player 10 Released

Adobe Flash Player 10 Released

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Today, Adobe announced that Flash Player 10 Beta is now publicly available, the project was previously code named “Astro.” With competitors like JavaFX and Microsoft Silverlight working hard on their own solutions, Adobe Flash Player 10 will include a number of significant enhancements. The player can be downloaded from the Adobe Labs site. sums up the key enhancements at a high level:
The next generation of the Flash Player… promises better performance, improved text handling, custom photo effects filters and native 3D animations.
As with Flash Player 9, the updated player is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux. Adobe details the new features in the release notes for the beta and provides the following overview of the key enhancements on the Adobe Lab’s project home page:
3D Effects: Easily transform and animate any display object through 3D space while retaining full interactivity. Fast, lightweight, and native 3D effects make motion that was previously reserved for expert users available to everyone. Complex effects are simple with APIs that extend what you already know.

Custom Filters and Effects: Create your own portable filters, blend modes, and fills using Adobe® Pixel Bender™, the same technology used for many After Effects CS3 filters. Shaders in Flash Player are about 1KB and can be scripted and animated at runtime.

Advanced Text Layout: A new, highly flexible text layout engine, co-existing with TextField, enables innovation in creating new text controls by providing low-level access to text offering right-to-left and vertical text layout, plus support for typographic elements like ligatures.

Enhanced Drawing API: Runtime drawing is easier and more powerful with re-styleable properties, 3D APIs, and a new way of drawing sophisticated shapes without having to code them line by line.

Visual Performance Improvements: Applications and videos will run smoother and faster with expanded use of hardware acceleration. By moving several visual processing tasks to the video card, the CPU is free to do more.
Adobe’s Ryan Stewart notes a key limitation of the Beta release on his blog:
Unfortunately we don’t have any tooling support for the beta yet, so if you want to dig in you’ll have to wait a bit.
Comments on his blog are already asking:
My only feedback: How do we test it without any API’s?
The Adobe Lab's site does note their hopes for the beta release:
This public prerelease is an opportunity for developers and consumers to test and provide early feedback to Adobe on new features, enhancements, and compatibility with previously authored content.
It sounds like the release includes a number of exciting improvements, along with addressing some of the long known shortcomings of Flash, like Rich Text Management. Hopefully, the developer tools will be coming soon so that the Flex/Flash/AIR developer community can really dig in.

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