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Thread: Adobe cancels CS5 public beta

  1. #21
    Senior Member Pazil's Avatar
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    Maybe Adobe will try to match up Unity with a new Director or something...

    As far as Unity complaints go, if the complaints are consistent for one game, then it is apparently the game programmers fault. But on site like Newgrounds, you can see a varied response from users like "This is an awesome game!" to "This game was sooo slow on my computer". I think it's important to have consistency, otherwise optimizing a game to a specific standard will only allow a certain level of users to play it, where as a consistent web player can deliver the same content reliably to all audiences.

    But as far as real concerns over incompatibility with the Unity Web Player, I haven't heard any major concerns.

    After that though, the main, real purpose of these players are to deliver the content, and yes I agree, as long as the content can run, it really doesn't matter what you used to get that across.

    As far as actionscript goes, I sort of like the new Actionscript 3.0. I like to have more control over stuff. Yeah, yeah, it's way more complicated, but the control I'm talking about is the structure of display lists, manipulating byte arrays, and dynamic sound is a juicy one...
    Though on the other hand, I guess if they had made the player fast enough, they could have simply included those features in with AS2.0. w/e, I'm just happy with what I have!


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  2. #22
    Senior Member joshstrike's Avatar
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    I remember using Director / lingo to write some little mac-based apps back in 1992 or so... when I was 12 and Spaceship Warlock style multimedia CD-ROMs were the shizzle... and once or twice an agency I worked for did some little shockwave apps in the late '90s... but I can't imagine what Director could possibly have now on Flash, other than GPU support, which is supposed to be on the way. Some of the Director 3D stuff was nice but it's child's play compared to what you can do now with PV3D or away3d. Shockwave penetration was never good I think mainly because the player was huge and in those days it actually took some time to download a 4Mb file. I wonder why at this point Adobe would want to invest in a dead platform that's long since outlived its usefulness. Just my 2p.
    Last edited by joshstrike; 12-21-2009 at 10:10 PM.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by joshstrike View Post
    Some of the Director 3D stuff was nice but it's child's play compared to what you can do now with PV3D or away3d.
    Here's an ancient demo using Shockwave 3D and Havok physics:

    http://www.director-online.com/havok...o-cardemo.html

    Is there anything as good as this capable with any of AS3.0's 3D API's?

    Regarding AS3.. I agree with you Pazil that its complexity is a problem. It makes it less accessible, and that means fewer new developers picking it up.

    The genius of AS1.0 was that anyone could learn ActionScript in a weekend. Also, Flash's built in learning resources like the interactive tutorials were excellent, and didn't assume any previous skills or programming knowledge. That was one of the reasons Flash became so popular with developers. At the time it was introduced, Director's learning curve was pretty steep, and it also wasn't newbie friendly. New developers got a foothold in Flash, and didn't bother with Director.

    I think the biggest problem with AS3.0 at the moment is lack of good learning resources, especially for beginners. Adobe is not catering to this market, and that could be dangerous in the long run because it means newbies may turn to technologies that are easier to get into. Again, Director's history here speaks volumes about what happens if you don't keep new recruits adopting your technology.

    Joshstrike, one thing Director has on Flash, besides GPU support, is the vast Xtras library. I work with developers who still use Director to this day because it allows them to interface with all kinds of crazy hardware (this is for interactive museum installations). Often they use Flash to talk to Director, which then talks to the device. Ok, maybe they should really be coding this in C++, but their skillset is Director, and it does what they need it to do. Maybe an improved AIR will make this redundent soon (I hope so), but that hasnt' happened yet.

  4. #24
    Yes we can tomsamson's Avatar
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    to Squize:
    Yeah, that Adobe was actually shocked about the state of director (and that there was no propper on development going on) when they bought Macromedia and that they didnīt give up on it and let it be developed further by a small core team wasnīt just rumors, it was on various offical Adobe team outlets in one form or the other.
    But then Adobe themselves released a director version which was seen as extremely bad and lacking by the majority of director users.
    They had the defense though that they couldnīt do much more in the time since the aquisition.
    Well, i think the next version is really their last big chance to pull something good off there and still have a good bunch of director users listen and care.
    Depending on when it comes out and how convincing it is it may or may not be already too late.

    to Pazil:
    yeah, i like the display lists model manipulating byte arrays, and dynamic sound and other new api additions coming with flash 9 player / AS3, too, but as you said, these could have been implemented in AS1/ 2 syntax, too. Its due to unwillingness of Adobe to support a javascript type syntax next to their java copy syntax further why those things arenīt there.

    Then on technical side the main performance problem with the languages arenīt actually the languages, its how they are handled at compile time and runtime.
    Unity achieves it that one can code in Javascript, Boo and C# and no matter which one uses they all lead to same performance while with flash due to the lousy compiler and weak interpreter there are big differences.


    to Joshstrike:
    Dandylion is right, directorīs 3d capabilities, just like its graphical performance capabilities are still massively beyond what flash can handle at good performance.

    One can actually still do way more than with flash in drector in many areas, and when its about something one can do in flash but not director then director allows using flash content in it, too.

    So regarding what one can do with it, well, director is still miles ahead.

    Where director clearly lost is that flash was initially way easier and more approachable to use and that attracted many designer/interactive designer types, lead to tons of flash content and the plugin penetration numbers to raise quickly. Then, while flash was constantly developed further, director wasnīt and when one looks at two technologies, one is on constant evolution while the other pretty much stagnant since 2004, hm..


    Today directorīs workflow and interface is so ugly to me i wouldnīt want to touch it.
    Flash is meanwhile in the same risk as director was though: There are new technologies coming up which are way more approachable, fun and easy to use to non traditional coders, so more visual workflow oriented people.
    At the same time the new technologies also perform way better than flash though.
    (Unlike the director<->flash comparison where director performed better and one could do more with it but flash still won because of its big usability and ease to get into plus).

    to all:
    Iīm not arguing for hardware acceleration for the sake of hardware acceleration. I donīt think 3d games are automatically better than 2d ones automatically for example, the contrary, many game types actually are way more fun in 2D.
    But iīm arguing for hardware acceleration because the lack of it makes flash way less usable and less enjoyable to use to many.
    They introduce AS3, Alchemy etc to squeeze out more performance instead. Or flash is not available or runs lousy on all mobile platforms, again due to lack of propper use of the hardware.


    And i agree with dandylion said, Adobeīs focus on AS3 and not propperly supporting onwards AS1 and 2 besides legacy backwards compatibility is indeed a very big danger for the future of the flash platform.
    Last edited by tomsamson; 12-22-2009 at 12:58 AM.

  5. #25
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    No, flash is not in any way in the same situation as director was/is.

    #1 reason flash is what it is today is because you could make full flash web sites and Microsoft started using it and bundling it with IE. This was a loooooong time before games were even possible.

    Director was out of that loop and mostly just used for CD / DVD development.

    Games came into the picture later and even though Director is still way more capable than flash, it just couldn't overcome that huge advantage flash had ( everybody had it installed even before a single game was made with it )

    Same with Unity, most people on the internet do not care about games, one of the reasons Unity will never be flash. It may overtake it in game department in some distant future, but don't hold your breath.

  6. #26
    Yes we can tomsamson's Avatar
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    No, flash isnīt as big as it is today because one can make websites with it.
    Flash initially got its biggest push because it allowed to run animations at big screen dimensions at reasonably small filesizes. People were amazed that one could suddenly watch cartoons with full animation and sound smoothly on the back then hideously slow connection speeds people had.
    It came later that it was also used for websites and games. Actually being used for websites and games came pretty much around the same time, if you think about it its logical because what was required for that was adding interactivity/logic/ code to the project to control the animations and that was first introduced in early way in flash 2, then with more interactions in 3 and with full blown even if a bit awkward scripting possibilities in 4.
    6 had the final version of what is known now as AS1 and 7 introduced what is known as AS2.
    So yeah, first games like websites were mostly made at around flash 2/3 times.
    That was many years before Adobe invented the term rich internet application or others terms like web 2.0 to try to sell people something.

    Interestingly what flash was initially most apprechiated for and for a long time a big trend in website creation, having intro movies and custom menu functionality is today largely despised by the majority of the web surfing crowd who to a large degree finds it interesting and maybe nice for some sort of experience site but usually very annoying for sites they visit regularly, like letīs say something like a news blog or something like ebay.
    For such things, the sites people most visit regularly flash usage on the main site content is tried to get reduced as far as possible with newer html/ js techniques.
    You can see many many sites which were made in all flash way a few years back which are now running on a basic blog/ cms system and doing some transition or gallery stuff with some easy to drop in js framework stuff.

    At the same time, even if it takes em ages, it can clearly be seen that there are big pushes to also get video played back natively by the browser in better form.

    So yeah, right now flash is most used for video playback and games in the browser and in most sites only at best for some small widgets that canīt be done nicely with html/js yet .
    With time their count will sink to zero % and video will be nicely playable without needing a plugin, too.

    Leaves the main big left market be the games market where developers are usually more eager to either switch to a more powerful or easier to use technology and content consumers are usually also more eager to get other plugins.

    Have you never wondered why after ignoring us for years and years when their big hyped thing was cartoon animations, websites, rias or video, suddenly Adobe discovered us game developers as their new target audience to suddenly listen to?

    Yeah, its hard to say whether another technology will anytime soon be as widespread as flash is today.
    But its not hard to say that flash itself could totally not be as widespread as it is today in the not too distant future.

  7. #27
    Yes we can tomsamson's Avatar
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    Oh yeah, maybe i should add this: There is of course another field in which flash has heavy dominance: That is the advertising field. Reason i didnīt list that as strength:
    video and games are things most want to see and install plugins for if needed. Advertising on the other side usually leads to many installing a flash blocker.
    So yeah, if the dominance in the game and video fields crumbles the dominance in the advertising field might bite em back, too.

  8. #28
    Senior Member Pazil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tomsamson View Post
    Then on technical side the main performance problem with the languages arenīt actually the languages, its how they are handled at compile time and runtime.
    Unity achieves it that one can code in Javascript, Boo and C# and no matter which one uses they all lead to same performance while with flash due to the lousy compiler and weak interpreter there are big differences.
    I thought that Flash .swf's were half compiled, and then interpreted during runtime? This being the case, then the speed relies solely on the Player itself, and not the compiler...I would think at least.

    To the Flash crusader (MikeMD) : You say that what makes Flash what it is today, is that you could make full websites with it, and that it started a loooong time ago. Well, that might be right, but Flash has changed in that long period of time into a more complicated (I really don't mind that though...) environment, which is a lot tougher to use for new people. I'm glad I jumped into the Flash boat a few years ago with the release of Flash 8. Because of it, I got an easy start in the world of programming, and when AS3 came along, I could pick it up and start using it, because of the concepts and ideas as2 gave me.
    It seems that Adobe only cares about guiding the original developers through to better and better (subject to opinion) and more complicated features, while putting a lead weight onto new developers and tossing them into the river of millions of as1 tutorials. That probably isn't the case, but it certainly looks like that's what they're doing.

    And by the way, we're in no way against you or Flash, but I truly believe that the signs of Flash's fall are apparent, and the only way to save Flash is to face those problems. How epic...

    Technically, I would place Flash advertising as a HUGE strength. It gives people interesting (again, subject to opinion) ads to look at, and provides some interactivity in them too, like small video's or stupid mini games. Probably a huge revenue generator for many companies out there.


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  9. #29
    Senior Member Sietjp's Avatar
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    My 2 cents on Adobe decision. As usual, money is the reason. Adobe didn't sell well CS4 and the huge response around iPhone compatibility of CS5 make them thinks it will sell much better. The iPhone market is evolving so quickly that they don't want to miss the train. Now is it a wise decision ? Only the future can tell, but as far as I'm concerned, the beta tests I make on my little games always make me think you can't skip this step without paying it later.

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pazil View Post
    It seems that Adobe only cares about guiding the original developers through to better and better (subject to opinion) and more complicated features, while putting a lead weight onto new developers and tossing them into the river of millions of as1 tutorials. That probably isn't the case, but it certainly looks like that's what they're doing.

    And by the way, we're in no way against you or Flash, but I truly believe that the signs of Flash's fall are apparent, and the only way to save Flash is to face those problems. How epic...
    Pazil, I hope someone from Adobe is reading this because I agree with you that it's an extremely serious problem that will erode the user base. Maybe the most serious problem.

    I think Adobe needs to spend as much more money on developing good practical, easy to use educational material for non-programmers, give it away for free, and cut deals with colleges to make it easy to learn and teach Flash and AS3.0 programming. I do beleive that AS3.0 actually makes things a lot easier than AS1.0, even for beginners. But most of information out there just targets the elite programming class who already know how to program, so it's obscured in unnecessary complexity.

    However, I don't think Flash is going away anytime soon. It has no serious competition and there are too many developers whose livlihoods depend on its success (that's still what's keeping Director on life support). The lack of competition is a problem because we're ending up with lacklustre/buggy IDE feature upgrades and what seems like lack of direction for the platform. I hope Silverlight or Unity can somehow give Flash a run for its money to scare Adobe into action a bit.

  11. #31
    Yes we can tomsamson's Avatar
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    tp Pazil: Yeah, flash AS is compiled to bytecode format, anything that is interpreted higher level stuff can of course profit from a better compiler next to a better interpreter, too.
    In general as long as they donīt change something in output in big way (and they wonīt with their platform independent player setup concept unless they have to), flash never can perform close as fast as other technologies and also always stays easy to decompile without other measures done to the content.
    And its never possible to get really any hard to decompile content because if the flash player should be able to interpret it at runtime, other things can, too.

    Besides the advertising comment i mostly agree with your comment =)
    Regarding the advertising side:
    Yeah, well, if its a really nice made flash advertising site or even banner i in between find that cool, too and sure it brings many companies money; but many people browsing sites are really annoyed by flashing advertisements and its probably the main reason why some (also not that few) people install flash blockers.
    So yeah, what i wanted to say is that if the dominance in the video or games markets goes down the dominance in the advertising scene might make flashīs penetration go down some, too,
    because not a huge crowd would want to have a plugin installed that is most used for advertising stuff.


    to Sietjp:
    I agree with your view, besides i think money is a big reason for Adobeīs actions but not the only. I think thereīs also just a big unwillingness to do hardware acceleration, support AS1,2 and hey, maybe even other languages propperly or do some of the many other things a big part in its userbase has been asking for years.
    Its often things that would cost them way more time, money and effort to support and theyīd have to ramp up their tech, core and support teams a lot (instead of decreasing them as they did not too long ago) and as long as they can get along without doing all that, why should they change it?
    They are telling the developer base for years now that its not their technology thatīs flawed, its that you just hadnīt made the content in right way You just have to code this and that in lower level way, and voila, 10 fps more for basic 2D stuff.
    And well, weīll see soon if that tactic works again for the iPhone/ android etc market, where other technologies power 2D and 3D games running at 30-60 fps Adobe will soon "educate" their userbase that its due to device limitations that you have to watch out more what you do and optimize your AS3 some more to get a smooth framerate going if at all when doing way more basic stuff than the content out there for a while.


    dandylion:
    Well, its difficult, when someone approaches me who is interested in flash i wouldnīt be sure at first what i should teach him first and which way to do it.
    Is it animating stuff on the timeline, animating stuff with bitmapdata, doing the codeside in AS1 or AS3 for the first lesson(s) ?

    I think iīd choose what i teach em in which way in the first few hours based on their previous programming experience and based on what they intend to do in the future.

    As much as someone who enjoys working in Java and more code side centric workflow may enjoy AS3, a group who is more interested in how they design the look and graphics side in general in visual workflow ideally might hate it and not be into getting into it at all.

    Regarding flash not going away anytime soon because it would have no serious competition and also because too many developersīlivlihoods would depend on it:
    There is strong compeition approaching with HTML 5/ canvas stuff regarding websites and web video etc and for games with unity and others.
    I also think developers livelihood doesnīt depend on flashīs success at all, unless one is so stubborn that one totally disagrees to ever touching different technology.
    Flash As1 and AS3 are very similar to other languages (Javascript and Java) so who can use those can pretty easily switch over to many other technologies.
    Last edited by tomsamson; 12-22-2009 at 10:26 PM.

  12. #32
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    They are telling the developer base for years now that its not their technology thatīs flawed, its that you just hadnīt made the content in right way You just have to code this and that in lower level way, and voila, 10 fps more for basic 2D stuff.
    Where exactly is this a problem? I posted a racing game in another thread that runs at full 35 fps in Firefox and IE ( or at least steady 32-33 in IE without wmode, still no slowdown ). And it runs that smoothly even on decent 3-4 year old laptops. It has 6 racers, you can shoot at them so you have other stuff flying on screen, backgrounds are huge ( 1600 x 800 ) and it runs in a fairly large window ( 750 x 400 ).

  13. #33
    Yes we can tomsamson's Avatar
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    This thread was initially about the next flash and its hyped up iphone deploy.
    Once thatīs out port your game to that, check the performance and if its great, iīll shut up

    If you never experienced any flash content performing as you want without eating up lots of cpu and ram ressources and are perfectly fine with what it can run and never wonder about why one can run way more crazy stuff with other technologies without having to code it in Java or C copy lower level languages and giving up any visual workflow, well, good for you.

    As is obvious by now i have a different stance then.

  14. #34
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    I was quoting the part where you said:

    They are telling the developer base for years now that its not their technology
    Obviously for years means browser games, not iPhone which has only been in existence about a year or two, and flash iPhone thing has just been announced.

  15. #35
    Yes we can tomsamson's Avatar
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    Yeah, but come on man, are you somehow ignoring all the years where anything thatīs top notch in flash regarding the technical side is laughable compared to what is possible in other technologies when running on the same machine?
    Why is your racing game a pre mode 7 implementation instead of a full blown realtime 3d one then?
    When i say "They are telling the developer base for years now that its not their technology thatīs flawed, its that you just hadnīt made the content in right way You just have to code this and that in lower level way, and voila, 10 fps more for basic 2D stuff."

    the "basic 2D stuff" means "basic" in terms of whatīs possible with other technologies on the same machine; in the flash world it would be talking about the highest end stuff possible in that field running at acceptable performance on an average machine.
    Like letīs say letīs compare how fantastic contraption (an excellent game btw) runs in the flash version on my 4 years old computer (extremely sloppy) with the way it runs when not made in flash on my first gen iPod touch (excellent with over 100 physics objects placed).

    I mean such things. Obviously if one does more simple kinds of content even for flash terms one will also run less into flash performance brick walls.

  16. #36
    Senior Member joshstrike's Avatar
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    That's a fair point, Tom, but it ignores the fact that designing for web has always meant building things slower and more basically than what you could build for any one specific platform. I mean we're talking about games run in a web browser. The idea that you can do that at all is kind of novel. If you're looking for a serious gaming platform, I don't see why you'd want it to be inside a browser at all. If you're talking about writing cross-platform multiplayer high end 3D stuff with GPU support, an AIR upgrade would make this whole Director thing moot once and for all; that's why I don't see why Adobe would bother resurrecting that particular dinosaur...

  17. #37
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    Why is your racing game a pre mode 7 implementation instead of a full blown realtime 3d one then?
    Because that is the best way of doing a racing game in flash. If I wanted to do a full 3D game I'd use Unity, but honestly it would make almost no difference. The game would be real 3D and nothing more, wouldn't add anything to the actual gameplay and you'd have to bug people with installing a new plug-in.

    The advantage of flash here ( plug-in penetration itself ) far outweighs any disadvantages.

    So that's my point. What is more important to you. Making a game that everybody can play, or making pretty much the same game that nobody can play just so you can brag that it's real 3D.

  18. #38
    Yes we can tomsamson's Avatar
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    to joshstrike: yeah, my comparison is still valid when comparing flash content in the browser with letīs say unity content in the browser.
    And well, to have an AIR update make flash even just be on par with director regarding what can be run at good performance when made with it it would have to be a tremendous upgrade on many ends.

    to MikeMD:
    haha, you miss one of my points after the other and then jump back to arguments already argued lengthy about before.

    There are sites like Shockwave supporting unity content and one can create own sites like Wooglie and Blurst running unity content being seen by lots of people, so can you finally stop the false argument that when done in unity noone would see your content.
    Iīd like to see the stats of your 3d game so one can compare them with the stats of the most played unity racing games to see if the bigger plugin penetration numbers of flash actually make such a big difference in that case.

    Then my argument was also not centered around 3d games in first place, i only had to go there because you brought up your game. Again, even for 2d games like fantastic contraption its the case that there are many games where its the highend of whatīs possible in flash and one has to tweak things for performance a lot where thesame stuff made in other technologies runs way better on the same system even when coded in higher level language.
    If you want to discuss the same topics further with me, fine, but then please at least bring up some new arguments, donīt repeat those iīve already prooven wrong over and over.

  19. #39
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    Iīd like to see the stats of your 3d game so one can compare them with the stats of the most played unity racing games to see if the bigger plugin penetration numbers of flash actually make such a big difference in that case.
    It's not in distribution yet, so numbers are meaningless for that one.

    I average about 175 000 plays a day for games I have in mochi distribution. Peak days were over 300 000 plays.

    Yes I would like to see numbers for the most played Unity racing game, but I don't think Unity has a racing game to show. Really, show me one if you can find it.

  20. #40
    Yes we can tomsamson's Avatar
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    erm, maybe you should actually propperly read the threads and check links in them out before you post many replies.
    The other thread you have been constantly replying over and over to is about Kongregate now supporting unity games and one of the first games making use of that is a racing game.
    Next to that there are many racing games made in unity, i donīt have to google them for you, you can totally do that yourself
    Regarding your stats: Not all bad but then again also not higher than what Kong, Shockwave etc achieve with unity games.

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