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The recent Adobe happenings and some projections

Yes, I have been away for blogging for quite sometime now and my apologies for the same. The last few months have been quite happening with new launches of innovative products by some companies like Adobe and some new events and work at an induvidual front as well. Now that I got a little bit of time, I thought I would post a recap and my perspective of it.

Flash 11 and Adobe AIR 3 is on its way. Molehill will be present full-on in this release. Also coming is Captive runtime for AIR, meaning you can package the runtime along with the app and users don’t have to download AIR separately before installing the app. There are some other cool features in this release as well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With respect to Adobe, we saw the launch of Adobe Muse(codename). For those who missed it, it is a tool for interaction and experience designers and artists to create highly interactive webpages with no programming. It runs on Adobe AIR technology and from its early impressions, it is likely to mature or get integrated into a big software like Adobe Dreamweaver. Why is it amazing ? Cuz you only need a design or aesthetic sense to create rich webpages and don’t have to know jQuery, or <html> tags. You simply design on a canvas and it gets reflected into a website.

Another fascinating tool that has garnered some early interest is Adobe Edge, that makes animating HTML components or elements easy. In the dawn of HTML5, it is important it’s learning or adoption is smooth. I would say, this is Adobe’s yet another attempt in capturing the supply chain. The idea was very simple, if HTML5 was gonna make animations, transitions smoother, then it also has to be simple for designers to create those rich animations. It was pretty much the premise in which Flash started gaining momentum. Good designs can be planned and improvised only on a canvas and not from a HTML or text editor. So, Adobe Edge provides a canvas for animation which gets translated into HTML5 codes, making life the way it is meant to be for designers.

Seeing such tools emerge, I think interaction designers are gonna be key players in moulding tomorrow’s internet media future. As things evolve, my prediction is that there will only be two major kinds of techies in internet companies – interaction designers (who do all the art/design and basic interaction level coding) and back-end developers (those responsible for data engineering behind the scenes). My argument is that if more and more code components and tools/frameworks( like ones mentioned above) are readily available to make apps/websites quickly and easily, then the work of a front end UI programmer is gonna diminish slowly. With people advocating MVC programming, interaction designers don’t have to bother about data, their schema etc. All they need to do is make sure they have space(real estate) and navigation modes(scrolling and moving between) through that data.

What about HTML5 and Flash ? Yes it’s a hot question. With Flash now available as a tool to develop for iPhone/iPad, does it mark its dominance again ? Not necessarily, because it is not available on the browser yet. Consumers or developers don’t know if the app is running off Flash(translated objective-C bytecode) or native code. With the absence of Flash for 3-4 years on mobile platforms, developers have to an extent learnt to live life the hard way, writing native code. And the huge base of 4 million and 2.5 million apps and games on iOS and Android devices are an evidence to that. On the contrary however, we have seen Flash/Flex apps (like Politifact or Machinatum) top the charts of AppStore. Hence, we are getting positive response for using Flash to develop engaging mobile content. However, on the broader context Flash is beginning to disappear. I even heard recently that Slideshare adopted HTML5 leaving behind Flash. Microsoft (announced during showcase of Windows 8) that only a very small percentage of popular websites have Flash content (other than ads). Slowly, we should begin to accept that HTML5 will be the medium of delivery of advertisements on the internet. Adobe has also understood that and pushing its bet on Rich media applications like 1024px Video rendering, extensive use of GPU rendering for improved performance and 3D content as well. Hence we are seeing a shift in roles, the laggard HTML has caught up with Flash Player of ,say early 2000s.

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Security Analysis Of Flash Applications..!!

While my primary involvement at Adobe happens to be around the ActionScript language, I also have some background in security, and recently I have been thinking about channeling some of that into designing and implementing tools for secure programming in ActionScript. ActionScript programs are compiled to run as Flash applications (on the web) or as AIR applications (on the personal computer / mobile device); as such, they are run on platforms with security models, and their security on those platforms is controlled by various security mechanisms, both at the language-level as well as at the platform-level. (More here.(Adobe blogs)….>)

Flash is not here to live, but conquer…!!

I am writing this post after a Flash / Flex user group meeting. I am writing this post after seeing some of the unreleased or Alpha features of the next Flash player. I am writing this post after experiencing with the Molehill 3D Api.

Flash is ubiquitous, from connected TVs to handphones, from PCs to chumby devices. Yes we all know that. There have been hardships in packaging Flash lite content on Nokia phones( most widespread phone) and suffered in controversies from Apple. We also know that. But what I see is a new dimension of Flash that has emerged over the few years. Social gaming has become so big that it has overhauled Electronic Arts. Adobe saw the tablet and devices explosion coming in 2009 and started the Openscreen Project, to bring its technology on all range of devices. And today, flash is sitting on every device I can imagine. So I do strongly believe that Flash is gonna be around for quite some time in our future ( in fact, fabricate our digital future).

The number of people playing games on the internet and facebook is easily higher than those playing on their XBox, PSPs. MAC and Linux users have always felt the deficiency of mind blowing 3D games. Whereas, Windows users have the luxury of DirectX. Adobe, shortly is going to release Molehill API which was demo’ed last year in Adobe MAX, which is cross-platform. Get a glimpse, here. Can you imagine this amount of 3D content running inside the browser and being GPU accelerated ?

Google and few other companies together launched (few months back), webGL plugins on Google Chrome. But the problem with them is, the web programmer has to learn OpenGL (which is a night-mare to even hardcore coders). So, its going to take atleast half- a decade for web developers to create content on WebGl. And the only way, I see 3D games coming to the browser is through Flash. Again, here there is a challenge. Analyzing gaming trends on facebook and mobiles tells us that casual games are making it big than graphics rich, GPU accelerated games. But if you had seen the Molehill demo I saw, you would be convinced that EA Sports would soon launch the next iteration of Need for Speed on facebook or mobiles.

Flash has also moved to other streams like support for new game controller devices and also 3D Video playback( yes, no joke). These seem pretty exciting.

As many predict, the rise of HTML5 will dethrone Flash in a few ways. Flash based ads will soon extinguish. Many youtube videos might be in the new HTML5 video format. More and more, visual effects and eye-candy will be created in HTML5. It may lose to native mobile applications in performance. But from what I see, Adobe’s focus has moved. With AIR, its targeting Desktop applications. Most RIAs today are created on Adobe AIR. Adobe’s evangelists are now focusing more on showcasing Flash as a gaming and enterprise applications platform. And few years down the line, we might see Flash reigning in an all together new space.

New Flash Book, Foundation Flash CS5 For Designers By Tiago Dias, Tom Green

Flash is one of the most engaging, innovative, and versatile technologies available—Flash CS5 boasts a host of new features. Through the use of solid and practical exercises, you will soon master the fundamentals of this latest edition of the Adobe Flash authoring tool. In Foundation Flash CS5 for Designers, Flash experts Tom Green and Tiago Dias guide you step-by-step through all facets of Flash CS5, keeping the emphasis firmly on good design techniques that you use in your own projects.

Purchase your copy in eBook format or pre-order through Amazon today!

What you’ll learn:
Learn Flash design from the ground up, or just get to grips with the new features, with a series of step-by-step tutorials.
Provides an easy introduction to ActionScript 3.0 coding, but the focus is mainly kept on design.
Learn from the experts—written by renowned Flash designers Tom Green and Tiago Dias.
Learn how to create mobile applications

Adobe Announces Availability Of Flash Player 10.1 For Mobile & Devices To Its Platform Partners ……..!!

Via Adobe, yesterday Adobe announce the availability of Flash Player 10.1 for Mobile.

“Adobe Systems Incorporated (Nasdaq:ADBE) today announced the release of Adobe® Flash® Player 10.1 to mobile platform partners. Redesigned from the ground up with new performance and mobile specific features, Flash Player 10.1 is the first release that brings the full Web across desktops and devices. Mobile users will now be able to experience millions of sites with rich applications and content inside the browser including games, animations, rich Internet applications (RIAs), data presentations and visualizations, ecommerce, music, video, audio and more.

Already one of the top free apps on Android™ Market today, Flash Player 10.1 will be available as a final production release for smart phones and tablets once users are able to upgrade to Android 2.2 “Froyo.” Devices supporting “Froyo” and Flash Player 10.1 are expected to include the Dell Streak, Google Nexus One, HTC Evo, HTC Desire, HTC Incredible, DROID by Motorola, Motorola Milestone, Samsung Galaxy S and others. Flash Player 10.1 was also released to mobile platform partners to be supported on devices based on Android, BlackBerry, webOS, future versions of Windows® Phone, LiMo, MeeGo and Symbian OS, and is expected to be made available via over-the-air downloads and to be pre-installed on smart phones, tablets and other devices in the coming months.”

kris

Forum Nokia Online Flash Lite Packager is back!

Here is a great news from Forum NokiaForum Nokia Online Flash Lite Packager. Check the document with all the information:

“This document provides developers with information on the Forum Nokia Online Flash Lite Packager. The reasons for the creation of the packager are explained and a full description of how to use the packager provided.”

Here is more infos about Nokia and Flash Mobile.

(Thanks to Alessandro)

Adobe CS5 Launch Countdown

Adobe has started a countdown to CS5 launch.

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