So what's the future for us Flash Developers? - yes it's that question again....
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  1. #1
    Special Member Tea_J's Avatar
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    So what's the future for us Flash Developers? - yes it's that question again....

    Hi Guys

    Yes it's another one of those questions. It's been a while since I've asked this question so I figured I'd ask it again.

    I may PHP programmer using Flash as my GUI , under AS2... there's a real and solid reason why I'm still on AS2, let's not get into WHY... but focus on the point. HOW LONG do you think will we survive? And specifically the AS2 side of things..

    Last time i asked this question, i think someone said there's still AS2 in the next few versions of Flash.. but now i've not even heard of the new version of Flash yet.... i'd hate it to be just Flex.. right now there are things that i've done for my GUI enhancements like animations, transitions and FX, that one can't do in FLex (some for flare only but some are actually useful) ..

    But w/ mobile devices dropping Flash support already, w/c is really sad, in favor of HTML5.. I love HTML5, but HTML5 to replace FLASh RIGHT AWAY (key word is RIGHT AWAY) when HTML5 is still in its infancy, and Flash in full blown maturity, is just stupid.. and try doing interactive animations in Flash and mimic that in HTML 5.. in Flash i can do it in mere seconds.. in HTML5 it requires tons of code using AJAX and other crap, just to get a simple and smooth interactive animation ... even a just simple FLASH tween animation (point to point) vs lines and lines of code on HTML5..

    anyway we can't fight change, but the question is.. HOW LONG do we have? and SPECIFICALLY for ME, doing Win32 applications using PHP APACHE MYSQL as backend and FLash AS2 GUI (Projector and Browser based interfaces)... i actually have a bunch of applications deployed from simple Customer database to a full blown inventory and accounting.. and right now im working on a medical software for a local hospital w/c is about 80% done already. i look to support and update this for a looong time.. but maybe even ADOBE will drop already FLASH soon ... it's kinda worrying..

    What you guys think?
    TJ

  2. #2
    Total Universe Mod jAQUAN's Avatar
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    The only reason to be doing AS2 at all is because you're supporting some massive legacy code base that can't be justified financially to rebuild. I'm really glad you mention it though because it helps underscore a point I've been making. I don't think any of us are fighting change. When better stuff comes along we welcome it. And so when I say there's almost no reason to use AS2 anymore, I can imagine what it would sound like to say that about AS3 should we find ourselves with a better option. Its easy to say that about as2 because of the vast undeniable obvious improvements in as3. We don't have something better than as3. And I think Adobe believes that too. So strongly in fact that they have smartly decided to focus on flash as a game development tool. And with the extremely successful move to make AIR compile to android and iOS apps, as3 is a nearly future proof choice as a base. HTML gets better bandages every day but as you state, it takes a mountain of a process just to speed up development a tiny bit.
    Now jump back about 8 years when I had the revelation that flash shouldn't be used for everything and simple things just make more sense in html. That's still true today, which is sad. The upheaval seemed to take minutes and sifting through the rubble still suggests that there is no advantage to writing full applications in html.

  3. #3
    Special Member Tea_J's Avatar
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    @Jaquan

    Thank you for your input.. YES a big reason of me sticking w/ AS2 is i have thousands of lines of legacy code developed already MY WAY w/c makes things so easy for me. i have my own functions, routines, and a even about 90 movieclips w/ OnClip code (this is really something useful that they took out on AS3) attached to them that i add or remove to a GUI i need.. change a variable or 2 and it's ready to go. I dont pull these elements off the Flash Library anymore, but rather MCs from the stage of another FLA file and everything just works flawlessly.... AS3 has great advantages performance and all that.. but BETTER sometimes doesnt mean PRACTICAL..

    To be honest for my next project I was gona code it in AS3 already... but that means a looooot of time deving and specially troubleshooting......and for what is need to be done, i can do the project in a month w/ my current libraries in AS2.. so BUSINESS/PRACTICALITY side of things, why the hell would i spend 2-3 months on a 400USD project when i can do it EASILY and produce RELIABLE PRODUCT in a month? I mean give me 4000 USD for this project and i'd gladly do it in almost any language or method you want. lolz.. but for what my client can afford and what i can easily provide, the current AS2 setup i have solves all problems.. you can't say I'm wrong for sticking w/ "old" technology for this reason..

    ... and it's not even OLD or inefficient or a discountable technology already .. it's not like it actually affects performance and reliability , specially security.. AS3 is great, hands down, but AS2 can't be discounted.. it's such a powerful language.. Same as HTML5 is great! but you can't discount the power of FLASH as a GUI.. for both USER and DEVELOPER EXPERIENCE ... other programmers are amazed at how beautiful, interactive, or out of the ordinary my interfaces are.. best thing? i could deploy my software in Windows and Unix systems .. Projector.exe on Windows and Browser and Flash Player for other operating systems.. it' was perfect really.

    So back to the question, HOW LONG DO WE HAVE, or I HAVE on AS2... coz I'd hate to be putting so much work in my current and new software projects only to find out the environment they're on will be dropped next year.. w/c gives me about a year then I'll start having problems .. If i can only see my FLASH AS2 GUI running on Operating systems Desktops (exe) and browsers of Computers (f*ck the mobile devices lolz), in AT LEAST the next 5 years, then I'd be OK w/ it.. coz i see my self doing legacy work for another 5 years after that - ill probably have an old copy of Flash CS7 or 8 w/ AS2 and deploy older operating systems for specific clients like grocery stores, clinics, even hotel systems..

    anyway i fully agree w/ what you're saying mate and it's nice to have company in this idea that sometimes these new toolz are shiny new tools but that doesnt make them any more effective than the older tools that get the job done reliably.. it's really situational.. same thing w/ CSS.. i have to say i got drawn into that CSS fad when it blew up and thanks to that i would probably give myself credit for being CSS master in my own right. every site i did after that was CSS centered.. then i woke up.. CSS is great but not practical in all situations.. sometimes i make 5page websites, and spend more hours than i need to CSSing it , debugging the CSS, and all the alignment quirks and all the new cross browser crap you have to deal w/ when doin CSS.. So i fired up dreamweaver, just did old school tables, DW templated it, and boom.. i'm done.. client happy, money in my pocket..

    HTML5 i'm sure will be great for Mobile and other applications, but that doesnt mean FLASH has no place anymore in this world.. so sad to see such a good technology getting pushed down the drain really...


    *sigh*

  4. #4
    Special Member Tea_J's Avatar
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    [woops double post]
    Last edited by Tea_J; 11-12-2012 at 11:13 PM.

  5. #5
    Flashkit historian Frets's Avatar
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    We have our entire lives. The software isn't done till the developer is dead.


    Playing the waiting game does not make the future speed up or guarantee that it will be better then the past. Steve Miller has thousands of guitars. Yes thousands. He usually only takes three on tour with him. Many wouldn't survive the trip. Packed away in the cargo hold of a plane. One day he's in Alaska and the next Australia. He takes not the oldest nor the newest but the most reliable with him. Those that can weather the weather and do what needs to be done.

    So too as designers / developers. We need to carry forward with our most effective tools and carry a back up with us. The world won't wait for us to wait for the next big thing to come along and it may be not that great when it does.

  6. #6
    Total Universe Mod jAQUAN's Avatar
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    There are tons and tons of swf's running in AVM1 (AS2) and adobe would be in huge trouble if they discontinued support. There's lots of life.
    That said, there's virtually nothing in AS2 that AS3 doesn't improve on. That's not always obvious to people coming from AS2 and it's common to point out the apparent idiocy in making a simple click so hard. Once you've covered the learning curve you will wonder how you ever got it done before. The magic really comes out once you've adopted an OOP regiment and it's worth starting to do small projects in AS3 until you get more comfortable. In time, as2 will seem silly.

  7. #7
    Flashkit historian Frets's Avatar
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    I think when dealing with backend people focus to much with front end.

    Unlike the rest of the software title industry. Such as image and video manipulation and publishing software the DAW industry is very much alive and very competitive.

    Everytime I turn around there is a new daw and a new plugin. The free plugins and daws are so pitiful they are a waste so most users elevate to the payware rather quickly. Developers are so busy trying to top themselves in UI and features that stability is thrown out the window. A few years back a new Daw came out on the market from a hardware firm as opposed to a software firm. It was lean, mean and stable. Users rejoiced for awhile but they missed all the bells and whistles that would cause all the problems with their big name daws. So when version two came out from this upstart company they too added a gazillion unneeded feathers. The result was a less stable daw. They fell into the same trap as everyone else.

    I've given up on software daws with the exception of mastering. Instead I'm using rather outdated hardware solutions. The proof of the pudding is in the eating. It takes a little bit more prep before hand but a lot less work during the recording and mixdown stages and leaves me with a finish project rather then an endless stream of broken dreams that those who opt for software over hardware.

  8. #8
    Special Member Tea_J's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jAQUAN View Post
    There are tons and tons of swf's running in AVM1 (AS2) and adobe would be in huge trouble if they discontinued support. There's lots of life.
    That said, there's virtually nothing in AS2 that AS3 doesn't improve on. That's not always obvious to people coming from AS2 and it's common to point out the apparent idiocy in making a simple click so hard. Once you've covered the learning curve you will wonder how you ever got it done before. The magic really comes out once you've adopted an OOP regiment and it's worth starting to do small projects in AS3 until you get more comfortable. In time, as2 will seem silly.

    Yep i agree, AS3 is really a great up from AS2.. but i do believe also in practicality.. of what WORKS , WORKS.. (and i dont mean DOS base inventory software vs VB based ones etc) .. i didnt mean MAKE IT WORK or WORK AROUNDS.. im talking about AS2 being such a good and mature tech already that is even ages ahead of other more common form of GUI programming..

    but you are right, about moving FORWARD at least little by little.. that's what I've been hoping for that I at least have time to get familiar w/ AS3 slowly , as you said w/ small projects first, or slowly porting my older projects to AS3 and etc.. im sure there's lots of things i can be happy about vs annoyed/frustrated at, but I REALLY NEED TIME.. a lot of us though..

    and worst? I'd hate it that when i finally get well rounded w/ AS3 (w/c is a huge undertaking) then everyone kills flash in favor of HTML5 or some ridiculous crap like that.


    but anyway , given that "there is life" and dependencies to Flash and AS2/AS3 all over the world, i guess till today (and again i've asked this question before)... is it safe to assume:

    1) AS2 will be supported in the next 1 or 2 versions of flash? If ever there is another version *sigh*
    2) Will flash all together still be here in the next 10 years?
    3) Will Flash Players be on desktop systems, and perhaps optional support on mobile? although the latter seems very bleak given that Adobe is not wasting time anymore on developing Flash players for the many different mobile devices and configurations .. but F that ill require my clients to have a laptop - at least this is an option for me
    4) and more importantly for me, WILL FLASH PROJECTORS (executable) still run on Desktop systems in the next 10 years at least? because this is really my thing, i develop GUI and data validators on Flash in EXE form , sometimes wrapped by a compiler such as FlashStudio Pro.. and then offer to my clients an optional interface (Limited features) for the browser. All powered by PHP/Apache/MySQL backend.. This is the bulk of my past, current, and future projects ...

  9. #9
    Some advice from a long time lurker.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tea_J View Post
    1) AS2 will be supported in the next 1 or 2 versions of flash? If ever there is another version *sigh*
    2) Will flash all together still be here in the next 10 years?
    3) Will Flash Players be on desktop systems, and perhaps optional support on mobile? although the latter seems very bleak given that Adobe is not wasting time anymore on developing Flash players for the many different mobile devices and configurations .. but F that ill require my clients to have a laptop - at least this is an option for me
    4) and more importantly for me, WILL FLASH PROJECTORS (executable) still run on Desktop systems in the next 10 years at least? because this is really my thing, i develop GUI and data validators on Flash in EXE form , sometimes wrapped by a compiler such as FlashStudio Pro.. and then offer to my clients an optional interface (Limited features) for the browser. All powered by PHP/Apache/MySQL backend.. This is the bulk of my past, current, and future projects ...
    Only time can answer those questions.
    2-4 years ago people were talking about how Steve Jobs was an idiot and will eventually put flash on iDevices.
    8-10 years ago I thought flash was going to take over the internet and thought I would have the same hair line I did in college.

    In your situation as long as you are getting paid do what you need to. Always keep adding new skills to your talent arsenal because our industry is based on technology which changes very fast and is unforgiving to the under-qualified.

  10. #10
    Special Member Tea_J's Avatar
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    yeh there is no definite answer to my questions (and i wish there was) but my point really is to get oppinions and estimations from people.. kinda like the WISDOM OF THE CROWD in their collective thinking hehe. this is the only way i can somehow get an answer to the question..

    if i were to answer my own questions..
    1) I think AS2 will have at least 1 more run in the next Flash release
    2) I think so, but a bit on the legacy side. but at least it'll still be here, perhaps not by default on operating systems and browsers, but atleast an optional plugin or workaround for those that still need it..
    3) in 2 years, I dont think the player will still be available on mobile devices anymore and people would've stopped developing flash for mobile as soon as next year )or it could've already happened).. but i do think it'll be supported in desktops both exe forms, and browser plugin, ..
    4) kinda answered in #3 already..

    well that's my take on it, but im very outdated w/ the news to be honest

    so what ARE your oppinions. based on what you know

  11. #11
    Flashkit historian Frets's Avatar
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    Adobe needs to do not much at all to keep flash running on desktop browsers.

    This could have been a golden time for adobe had they reinvested in flash for the emerging windows and android market by making better tools for app development which work with flash. I can't begin to speak of the many dumb little widgetl apps that I'd built during the 00's using SWiSH Max and the now discontinued SWiSH Studio.

  12. #12
    Total Universe Mod jAQUAN's Avatar
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    Here is adobe's outlook on flash player. Doesn't seem to be any mention of killing as2 support.
    http://www.adobe.com/devnet/flashpla...s/roadmap.html

    As far as time wasted on learning AS3, impossible. You have to remember that as1 and as2 were custom scripting languages designed to operate on the flash player but followed no actual programming language standards although some features resembled them. AS3 was a complete re-design to be ECMA compliant. This means it follows guidelines used in many other languages so by learning as3, you're only making it easier to work in similar systems.

  13. #13
    Flashkit historian Frets's Avatar
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    Yes but the new ecma standard of which adobe tried to get ms and apple on board with was pretty much shut down/ignored. As a more developed and consistent language of it's sibling javascript. ECMA would have made a lot of the headaches associated with javascript vanish into thin air.

    The sad part is the only consensus we have in the world of computer programming languages is that we have no consensus.

  14. #14
    Total Universe Mod jAQUAN's Avatar
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    the irony is that Microsoft just released typescript which is damn near as3 for javascript and it's ECMA 6 compliant.

  15. #15
    Flashkit historian Frets's Avatar
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    Of course. Did you think Balmer wouldn't steal anything he could after that whole windows media/flash h.264 video thing?

    When I first got into flash. I was also working with alternative streaming media. Remember when there was javascript and microsoft's version jscript? I used to spend long hours trying to code something relevant that would allow wmv to communicate with the page over the timeline and vice versa. It was inane and wouldn't work on mac browsers not even ie for mac at the time. What a waste.

  16. #16
    Total Universe Mod jAQUAN's Avatar
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    Yeah I remember taking a look at that whole mess and saying "no f*cking way" and that's similar to how I feel about getting things done today. I look at these paradigms where you have to do x, then y, then z but only if xx and yy and zz and even you get all that correct you only get a pos.

  17. #17
    Special Member Tea_J's Avatar
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    interesting conversation you guys...

    read the whole roadmap, didnt mention of em killing AS2, but also didnt say anything bout maintaining compatibility scary..

    anyway AS2 has really worked for me and i have rich and matured library of reusable code, MCs, and components that i've developed, my way, my style and it makes me blaze through projects swiftly vs conventional GUI and Programming design process other guys do (80% from scratch).. I'm sticking w/ it for now.. as it gets the job done and brings in the bacon.. I will however slowly try and learn Haxe instead of AS3.. as it is more reasonable to learn that vs AS3 - from where I'm coming from. If i'm gona learn something new anyway I dont wana invest that time in just ONE language w/c i dont know the future of.

    Anyway thanks you guys.. im just happy to see AS2 still in CS6 and i hope atleast till CS7 and CS8.. by then im sure to have moved to AS3 or Haxe.

  18. #18
    Special Member Tea_J's Avatar
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    oh and BTW, how long do you think Flash CS6 will last this time? any news w/ Flash CS7? that kinda gives me a clue as to when i should start getting worried again lol

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    I doubt they'll drop backward compatibility anytime soon ( although, not sure how the new iteration of AS will look like -> they are mentioning something about a smoother transition than form AS 2.0 to AS 3.0, but that's not really enough ). I personally think you've been just lucky all this time... freelancing and carefully chosen clients gave you the chance to keep on using something you're familiar with and not have to change your habits or learn anything ( significant stuff ) for years.

    ... but with your current skills, if freelancing were to not be an option for you anymore, you'll be a sitting duck. Your ActionScript 2.0 experience is obsolete, no company ( or a negligible number - people maintaining a really old code base ) is looking for people with AS 2.0 experience these days.

    From your replies, it's also quite clear that you're not a programmer, you haven't got a background in programming ( like a degree that would take you through a few things you've most likely not even hear of ). Also calling AS 2.0 and what you've built for yourself ( "your way" ) over time "practical" is completely subjective... and quite silly. Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to offend you, great for you that you've survived so far on AS 2.0 ( and I do hope you'll do fine in the future too ), but the problem is that you clearly have no understanding of AS 3.0 and OOP, so of course your conclusions and comparisons are flawed.

    HaXe in my humble opinion is a complete waste of time. You'd be really better off learning AS 3.0 and more importantly, OOP and good programming practices in general.

    That being said: if you're happy with your current setup and lifestyle, great for you! AS 2.0 will most likely not get dropped suddenly ( as jAQUAN has already pointed out: there are quite a few applications still written in AS 1.0 or 2.0 on the web... Adobe executives / managers have to be extremely dumb to drop backward compatibility anything soon ), but you're far from competitive in the field... your lack of real programming experience and that you've never worked in a team ( do please correct me if I'm wrong ) just put you in a really bad position on the market. If you want to stick with this technology, you'll eventually need to learn AS 3.0 ( even if you say "f*ck mobile" now, just give it 1-2 more years and you'll find yourself badly regretting those words ), OOP and start shifting towards Game Developer ( or Enterprise Application Development which will kinda require Flex ).

    Projector is obsolete in my eyes and it's just a matter of time until Adobe will stop supporting it and wasting time making it work for never versions of windows and what not. You want to develop for the desktop? Then Adobe Air is the way to go... fight it if you want, but you'll eventually just lose the fight.

  20. #20
    Databarnak atRax's Avatar
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    AS2 is dead
    AS3 is evolving but still requires you to pay PREMIUM to Adobe for Hardcore processing.

    Flash will last because of the penetration.
    Unfortunately I don't see Adobe Flash being the future except if they separate, again, their editor for different audience... meaning that they really suck at it.

    That said, Flash is now part of the darkside with the % we have to pay when using its full power.
    W3C is fussy and unfortunately not evolving fast enough to be what will wow the future on every screen.

    That said for "Open Screen" in gaming, Unity is doing a really good job.
    Cloud processing is now at the hand of every kid.
    Realtime processing with world localisation will always need a nice front end rendering...

    Learn to scale your Data, understand visual design and architecture, build your own service, learn how to animated and model 3D and of course know how to time visuals with sounds... or in the other hand have fun being a Jack of all trades or stall or die.
    I ask you all to concentrate really hard on the freedom of all being. Its hard not to be very angry it is impossible We have to focus this confusion frustration helplessness feeling into a creative outlet Anger can spawn such amazing creativity through Street art Free art to teach each other know each other a language our evolution Go ahead and break some dumb rules

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