MAX 2009: What's new in the Adobe World ?

MAX 2009 started with THE announcement : if Apple doesn't allow the Flash Player to be on the iPhone then... it's the Flash Player who will go for it.

max09MAX 2009 started with THE announcement : if Apple doesn't allow the Flash Player to be on the iPhone then... it's the Flash Player who will go for it.

With Flash Player 10.1,  announced to be released in the first half of 2010, Adobe will give a new compiling option in the Flash professional  interface : compile for iPhone! The trick is to transform the Flash content into a compliant iPhone application. Cleaver...

Just forget those painfull days searching for iPhone developers or spending budget to create a web version AND an iPhone version -  now you can have both in an easy way. And the good news isn't finished yet... the same Flash Player 10.1 will be able to deal with multi-touch capabilities, be it  for your iPhone or all your others multi-touch devices. If we also add P2P support, then it seems we've got some great solutions in our hands to offer innovative and highly user-friendly products.

Multi-touch features

There are several ways to build multi-touch devices. More and more companies like HP are releasing multi-touch products and it's clearly a rising technology since 2007, with the release of the iPhone and the public annoucement of Microsoft Surface. So, we've got more and more multiple devices, all the brand new OSs (like Windows Seven) will be natively multi-touch - but what about the APIs to develop for these devices ?

For the Flash platform, the idea is already there and the new Flash Player 10.1 (which should be released in the first half of 2010) should provide simple and quite effective solutions.

The multi-touch Flash API is based on CCV, an open project that deals with multi-touch devices, no matter the technology they are using to provide multi-touch solutions.

This API consists of two main families : the touch commands that provide low level capabilities, and the gesture commands, that provide simplified events such as "ON_ZOOM" or "ON_ROTATION".  Of course, this API will be avalaible on all devices supporting Flash Player 10.1 and even the iPhone will be able to run these new features.

P2P in Flash Player

One year ago, at the MAX 2008 convention, Matthew Kaufman introduced a new Peer To Peer protocole : RTMFP. He presented RTMFP capabilities with point to point communication between two Flash Players.

However, this year, the demo went a lot further...I think we can resume this year's demo with  "Ok, now Flash Player allow us to do REAL P2P solutions."

Multicasting, Posting, AES based encrypted communication and self-organising topology in the Flash P2P network : all you need will be in the Flash Player 10.1

It means that we just won't be able to do simple data exchange between two clients but with NetStreams & NetGroups, we will be able to develop innovative applications like distributed calculs, video and audio broadcasting, real P2P exchanges like "Bit Torrent" and a lot of new exciting products.

Does it means that Adobe forgot Flash Media Server ? No, FMS clearly stands in the Adobe global perspective for media delivery on the internet but this new feature allow us to deal with small and medium sized data exchange, audio/video chating, multiplayer games and applications without to pay for an expensive FMS license.

We're now able to propose real innovative enterprise messaging solutions or shared media libraries with the robustness of P2P networks in a very designed and user friendly interface.

2010 promises us an exciting time for all for who FMS price was a real obstacle.

AIR 2.0

The AIR 2.0, code name Athena, will be released at the same period that Flash Player 10.1, in early 2010.

What's new in Athena's arms ?
  • Of course the same features implemented in the new Flash Player including :
  • Multitouch capabilities for new OS like Windows Seven or Mac OS > 10.6 with multi-touch trackpad
  • New accessibilities features and standards with MSAA / JAWS / NVDA / MS Narrator
  • New memory and CPU management who will improve seriously performances

But also directly related to the AIR runtime :

  • Volume detection (mounting/unmounting volumes) and all related info (fileSystemType, name, storageVolumeInfo, etc...)
  • Possibility to open documents and files with associated application on the system
  • AIR Runtime now automatically downloaded (not bundled)
  • IPV6 support, UDP support, DNS resolver, SSL (TLS)
  • Direct Audio Encoding without server
  • Global Error Handling
  • NativeProcesses (ex : desktop search)
  • Drag n drop on remote or non existent files (ex : dataInput, FTP, etc...)
  • Exit Event on OS shutdown
  • CSS3 support
  • And the ability for AIR apps to listen sockets !

The Spark Project

Japan is knows for its ninjas, sushis and Godzilla but there's something else in the land of the rising sun : the Spark Project.

The Spark Project is a well know reference for many ActionScript developers because of FLARToolkit, a library dedicated to marker localization, used in augmented reality with Flash. This project, suported by Saqoosha (a japanese AS developer) from a Java library called NyARToolkit (previously ported from a C library called ARToolkit) seems to be today outdated by a new one called FLARToolkit Alchemy. FLARToolkit Alchemy use Alchemy to make the C++ classes of ARToolkit available on the Flash Plateform. It means that this library is twice faster than the AS3 based version and less memory consumer.

But the Spark Project is not dedicated to FLARToolkit and they've got really innovative and exciting other projects. We can talk about SION which is a sound generator for the Flash Plateform or my favorite one, BetweenAS3 developped by Yoshihiro Shindo, who's simply the best Tween engine I've ever seen for the Flash Player.

If you're interesting by this project, you can visit their page at this adress, a must see for all Flash Family addicts.

Digital news!

Are you as digitally addicted as we are? We can supply you with a regular dose of digital news. Simply sign-up, or click to Follow us online.

About the author

Jérôme Lorido
Jérôme Lorido

More than 10 years in web development from Microsoft to Adobe, PHP or webdesign, instructor at l'école des Gobelins d'Annecy for 5 years. Chose this path because it's an endless adventure, always moving, morphing, changing.