Adobe Roadmap - Goodbye Actionscript "Next" and changes to Premium/licensing

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I just saw this on FGL.

Adobe released their roadmap.

Looks like they intend to focus on backwards compatibility instead of AS “Next” and they also dropped the license requirement for stage3d and domain memory usage.

Relevant parts:

[…] Adobe will focus its future Flash Player development on top of the existing Flash Player architecture and virtual machine, and not on a completely new virtual machine and architecture (Flash Player “Next”) as was previously planned.

[…]XC APIs, which consisted of the use of Stage3D in conjunction with fast-memory access via the domainMemory API. As of January 2013, the XC APIs are no longer classified as a Premium Feature and access will no longer require a separate license from Adobe.

 
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Interesting. I’m fine with not overhauling the actual programming language – the benefits of an AS4 from a programmer’s standpoint probably wouldn’t have been that much more than what AS3 offers. And you know what else? Churning out a whole new ecosystem may very well have been a dagger in Flash’s heart. How many people would have taken the time to write libraries and learn everything new? Instead of invigorating the Flash community it might have had the opposite effect.

 
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Originally posted by BobTheCoolGuy:

Churning out a whole new ecosystem may very well have been a dagger in Flash’s heart. How many people would have taken the time to write libraries and learn everything new? Instead of invigorating the Flash community it might have had the opposite effect.

Yes, that’s what I also think. Previously, when they did the as2 – as3 switch, there wasn’t much alternative to flash. But today, with html 5, unity3d, the mobile platforms, etc… Flash is not alone anymore. People keep using it because they are used to it, because there is tons of engines and because it’s popular. But if they had to learn flash again, as a new language, a lot might decide to switch to another language.

That’s why, as bob, I think they took the right decision. ;)

 
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Heh, seems like all that criticism of the premium features wasn’t so stupid after all. Take that naysayers!

 
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I hope this talk of “backwards compatibility” doesn’t mean they’re planning to keep AS2… (The article doesn’t seem to say.)

 
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Originally posted by player_03:

I hope this talk of “backwards compatibility” doesn’t mean they’re planning to keep AS2… (The article doesn’t seem to say.)

I doubt they would ever get rid of AS2 support in the Flash Player, a lot of popular Flash games would stop working.

But it’s a given that they aren’t optimizing the AS2 runtime these days.

 
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FP 11 improved the AS2 performance, but I don’t they will, or even can increase the performance anymore.

 
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You are all to turn in your programming licenses today. The current flash architecture is pretty freaking ugly. Seriously, focusing on improving the current VM rather then building a new one is a terrible decision.

Imagine if we still used AS2, and Adobe had just announced that they were going to focus on optimizing AS2 rather then developing AS3. It’s basically a parallel to that.

Originally posted by Senekis93 (Originally talking about AS1→AS2):
it’s like covering a pile of trash and building over it.

Stage3D+Alchemy development, on the other hand, is good.

 
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Not sure, you don’t need a complete overhaul of the language and architecture in order to make some drastic improvements. Obviously it won’t be as good as scrapping everything and starting over, but the costs will be much less.

 
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Originally posted by jonathanasdf:

Not sure, you don’t need a complete overhaul of the language and architecture in order to make some drastic improvements. Obviously it won’t be as good as scrapping everything and starting over, but the costs will be much less.

The exact same could have been said for AS2 back in the day. I’m sure the AS2 coders thought it was “good enough” and that “the minor problems it suffers from can just be patched”.

In fact, a lot of people still think this, we argue with them in AS2 vs AS3 topics here on this very board.

 
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Originally posted by Drakim:

I doubt they would ever get rid of AS2 support in the Flash Player, a lot of popular Flash games would stop working.

But it’s a given that they aren’t optimizing the AS2 runtime these days.

I was talking about how they’re planning to drop the option to make AS2 games in the next version of Flash CS.

 
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“Thibault Imbert wrote::

Hi guys,

I understand the disappointment. But when we started the initiative of creating a new version of ActionScript and new VM we quickly realized how disruptive this would be for the entire ecosystem.

The tools, the libraries , everything would have to be migrated and we remember how long it took people to transition from AS2 to AS3. We talked to customers and the feedback was, yes, sound exciting, but if we have to rewrite all our projects, migrate people to this new language and change our workflow (which would have been disruptive for a while), it would have been tempting to just move to another solution or people would have just stayed on AS3.

Right now with Stage3D on mobile, we made it possible to develop games with Flash Player and AIR, Scout is a first class profiler for ActionScript developers, Starling, Away3D and Feathers are powering these games and we would have had to migrate all that. This would have been too disruptive today to do that, so we decided to stop investing in ASNext.

On Windows 8, Flash is supported in non metro mode, but yes not in the Metro (Modern UI mode). This may change in the future, but we have no plans supporting it for now.

Thibault
Thursday, January 31, 2013 at 6:48 am # "

 
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The difference is that AS3 is actually a decent language. They can completely rebuild the VM and compiler if that is necessary (frankly I don’t know enough about how it works to know if that is necessary or not) without changing what we see from the outside, and without requiring library builders (who don’t use under the cover bytecode hackery at least) to do anything more than recompile their existing .as code for the new platform.

It’s good to see the Stage3D+memory combo become free again.

 
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The next, tentative version of AS that I saw would have cleared out a lot of bloat and resulted in drastic performance improvements. I’m disappointed but at the same time I see where they’re coming from.