July 10, 2006

Flash Player #9, Pt 1
(To the tune of "Love Potion #9")

Updated: Part 2 is now available.

A little while ago Adobe (nee Macromedia) released the new public version of the Flash Player 9. There's REALLY some nice under the cover improvements there - nothing as visible dramatic as filter effects, the new font engine, bitmap caching and other Flash Player 8 features - but probably stuff that's MORE important to developers.

Two big ones: dramatically improved Flash virtual Machine (JIT even), which
I discussed a bit already, as well as some nice language improvements, including E4X support.

Of course, it'll be a short while longer before the
tool to go with it is released, and a little while after that before developers can really take advantage of it - check out the penetration curves.

A few years ago, when I was at
Viewpoint (yes, yes, toolbars, etc. - read the comments here before you flame me :)), making our multimedia engine "version-less" was one of my prime design goals. A variety of content and distribution deals lead to some not-so-bad penetration, but I remember the well-intentioned folks at Macromedia (at the time) being quite put out by our claims - oddly so.

Viewpoint Bozos
(Of course, they weren't the only ones:
Liar, Liar Pants of Fire )

Now, I actually think the Flash Player is pretty amazingly cool, and that with it, Adobe, has a decent chance to
rule the world. But I think there was some confusion about what was (fundamentally) different in our approaches (Viewpoint v. Flash).

I'll explain the deal, and also express some key things I think Adobe is still really, really not getting in part 2 (as always, IMHO :P).