%HTMLlat1; %HTMLsymbol; %HTMLspecial; ]> Spark Europe 2005
Roland van Ipen­burg
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Spark Europe 2005

Wed­nes­day 30 Novem­ber 2005 19:12

From the 16th to the 18th of no­vem­ber I was at­tend­ing Spark Europe 2005 in Am­s­ter­dam. I kind of for­got whether the re­al­ly cool stuff was al­ready avail­able in the ver­sion 8 play­er or the al­pha ver­sion of the 8.5 play­er, but in the near fu­ture Flash will of­fer in­ter­est­ing things, that's for sure.

But the pro­gram also made me think, or it could just be the track I fol­lowed, or wish­ful think­ing on my part: The Flash IDE is dy­ing... Adobe is tak­ing over and even when Adobe ap­pli­ca­tions have a rep for be­ing not very in­tu­itive in their GUI, the Flash IDE is even worse. I'm sure Adobe can come up with some­thing bet­ter than the Flash IDE to edit .flas, and After Ef­fects is just the be­gin­ning. So "Flash" will be more fo­cused on the play­er it­self, the VM, byte­code, serv­er com­mu­ni­ca­tions and things like that, in both the reg­u­lar and Lite ver­sion, while swf de­vel­op­ment will be in­te­grat­ed in the Adobe CS prod­uct line. Maybe swf and pdf merge at some point or one will be a con­tain­er for­mat for the oth­er. For Flex de­vel­op­ment Macro­me­dia has de­vel­oped an Eclipse plug-in, which to me al­ready seems like aban­don­ing the Flash IDE.

The fu­ture of the Flash play­er is de­pend­ing on how big they are able to make the down­load. In broad­band-land - like The Nether­lands - Flash sites aren't even aimed at mo­dem users any­more. ADSL rules the na­tion and Flash stuff is big. So what could Flash do when the play­er can have a ten times heav­ier pay­load? From a de­vel­op­ment point of view Flash is still lag­ging be­hind ful­ly-blown pro­gram­ming en­vi­ron­ments like .Net, Java, Perl and alike, just like Flash Lite lags be­hind Flash for foot­print pur­pos­es. It would be nice to have com­mon li­braries in­cor­po­rat­ed in the play­er so Flash be­comes a plat­form with more ca­pa­bilites. And then I'm not talk­ing about dy­nam­i­cal­ly load­ing PNG and stuff, but do­ing tricks like qemu.

And some of the cool stuff de­pends on the en­dusers: do they have an op­er­a­tional we­b­cam, and will they al­low sites to use their we­b­cam as part of the ap­pli­ca­tion? I doubt it will take off, be­cause PCs are about the only de­vices with a we­b­cam. Game con­soles don't have them as stan­dard, of­fice work­sta­tions don't need such a se­cu­ri­ty/pri­va­cy risk, peo­ple don't have them on their home-en­ter­tain­ment sys­tems, and most of them make you look as bad as you sound on a cell­phone: flat and bro­ken up. Maybe with a new gen­er­a­tion of we­b­cams the avail­able Flash func­tion­al­i­ty will be­come pop­u­lar.

(This post could be longer than in­tend­ed be­cause I'm typ­ing this on the 1600x1200 part of my iBook graph­ics)


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