Thursday, May 17, 2012

Flash Professional CS6

I was really considering staying with CS5.5 unless there was a compelling reason to upgrade. Flash CS6 really didn't provide that reason, but as the upgrade price for CS6 for CS5.5 owners was half the price of the normal upgrade price, it was pretty compelling. When I found out that the Web Premium package was being combined with Design Premium, it would mean that a program that I wanted but couldn't justify was now part of my upgrade. InDesign is a desktop publishing application. With all the additional features in the other apps in the suite, the upgrade became a no-brainer.

If I only had Flash, not a suite, I doubt even the reduced price would have been enough to justify upgrading. I hope that I am wrong, but I really get the feeling that Adobe is abandoning Flash. Still, it is a tool I see myself using for many years to come. Perhaps not as a game development platform, but definitely as a tool for creating animations for the games. With Air packagers and Stage3D, it is possible that Flash will remain a platform for game development. As I have the tools, I have decided that I will play around with the starling framework and possibly try some low-level stage 3D work.

Still, for web development, the move to HTML5 is clear. Thankfully, Flash CS6 provides some tools for aiding in this migration. A few weeks ago I looked at a tool for creating image strips. This functionality is now built right into Flash. Likewise, there is a plugin for converting animations over to the CreateJS suite (which EaselJS is part of). While it is a great feature, it does not convert the ActionScript into JavaScript. Had this capability been in CS6, Flash professional would have instantly become the best tool for HTML5 development. ActionScript is a far nicer language to work with than JavaScript so the ability to write in ActionScript and compile to JavaScript would be well worth the price of Flash Professional. Yet another case of Adobe being blind to what they already have.

The thing is, both ActionScript and JavaScript are derived from the ECMAScript standard. ActionScript just happened to be based on a specification that was abandoned due to politics and infighting. Personally I think JavaScript would have been a much better language for web development had ECMAScript 4 passed. Since the underlying language is the same the version would have been backwards compatible. While I understand that some people think JavaScript should be easier, as the web moves towards JavaScript even larger programs will be created in that mess of a language so thoughts of dealing with large scale programs should be at the forefront as that is what the web ultimately needs.

In fact, the languages are so close that I think a quick porting tool could easily be developed so as a side project for this development blog, in future weeks when I don't have other things to discuss, I will look into the issues of writing such a tool. Even though I don't want to add yet another project to my overflowing plate, I just might develop such a tool as part of this blog. I know in the past I had looked for such a tool and while some projects existed they did not work the way I needed. Perhaps it is time for another look.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

FalconJS which may conver AS to JS, may be coming... But I'm not sure how optimiZed it would be.

This is a great start for CreateJS... I see good things in the next releases.... One thing for sure is... To date it has more features than ImpactJS... Hence as I know of the most feature rich JS stack.