Flash Player 9, Flex 2, Released
Adobe released the final version of Flash Player 9 earlier this week, as well as Flex 2. This signals a continuation of the spread of Flash, which Adobe is promoting heavily for use in next-generation Web applications. It has already been implemented in a number of services, including some owned by Yahoo and Google.
But as Jens C. Brynildsen of Flashmagazine points out, the tool is still “hard to use for the uninitiated.” He also remarks on the “limitations on scale and scope” that make Flash somewhat ill-suited for larger, professional Web applications. Brynildsen comments on the competition it faces from AJAX and the Windows Vista Rich Internet Applications (RIA), as well.
Flash is not a lost cause, though, or even a losing one. There are several groups who intend to “combine Flash and AJAX to take web applications one step further.” Adobe’s Apollo platform has established a (proverbial) defense against Microsoft developments, and Brynildsen believes that “with Flex 2, they now have the tool to win developers over to their side.”
As one might expect, Adobe’s executives have a good deal of confidence in their products. “Now Flash app development is even more compelling and a lot easier,” said Bill McCoy, General Manager of the ePublishing Business at Adobe, to BetaNews.
On the more technical side of things, McCoy said, “Flash Player 9’s new ActionScript 3, compatible with proposed next-level of ECMAScript, is a powerful language that supports direct XML processing (ECMAScript for XML, aka E4X), strong types, inheritance and mix-in interfaces, exceptions, and other robust software-engineering capabilities.”
For Flash and Flex fans, these new products represent positive developments. Whether they can carry Adobe into the future remains to be seen.