Upcoming Flash Platform Goodness

I just got back from the Adobe Max conference in Milan this week. Boy, what an event it was! I haven’t been to any large conferences recently, so I can’t make any direct comparisons. For me, it was great balance between learning and fun. I got some good insight into what to expect from future Adobe products, here are some snippets that are important to me as a Flash Developer:

In my opinion, it looks like Flash will gradually return back to it’s roots as an animation tool. Unlike today, where it has become a multimedia behemoth in which entire sites are created. Flex and a new product named Flash Catalyst will take over the rolls of creating user interaction. I got a preview copy of Catalyst and it looks pretty good. Page elements, and their states, can be assembled visually based on an imported Illustrator or Photoshop composition. It reminds me somewhat of Dreamweaver, but instead of HTML in creates MXML (the declarative language used in Flex).

I took a preview of Flex 4 for a spin, but it still can’t keep up with the sheer awesomeness of FDT. I think Adobe should just buy FDT, employ all the Powerflasher dudes, mash the two products together, and give it a snappy name like Adobe Insane.

In one of the general sessions held on Tuesday it was mentioned that BlazeDS should soon be compatible with the .Net framework. I was exited about BlazeDS when I first heard of the product a couple months back, but my excitement eroded away like a soaked sandcastle when I heard it required Java. Nothing against Java of course, but the company I work for uses .Net. BlazeDS may yet make it onto the company servers.

One of the Max sessions showed a sneak peak of peer-to-peer capabilities in the Flash Player on the basis of RTMFP. A peer-to-peer mesh would open up some amazing data sharing possibilities. We could build a Skynet of SWFs! Historians in two hundred years would say things like: “At first it played simple animations and cheesy banners, but then it gained consciousness ant launched a nuclear attack”. We could also just use this technology for video streaming I guess.

I had a great time at Max, and I am looking forward to continuing my work as a Flash Developer with all the great new Tools coming up.