I pointed someone to this on Flashcoders:
Do you have any new views on where Flash is heading?


On 20/12/2012 05:50, Alex Harui wrote:
Re: [flexcoders] Re: Flex alternatives

Well, there are several pieces. ActionScript is a language. It is really only the dozen classes or so in the “top-level” in the ASDoc. String, int, RegEx, Array, Vector, a few functions like unescape, etc, plus a bunch of keywords and stuff like “var”, “class”, plus a grammar of how you put it all together. It hasn’t changed much in years, other than the addition of Vector. There are no plans to improve on its specification by adding things it is missing compared to other languages like Java such as method overloading, or mutiple inheritance. Instead, Adobe is tossing out the whole specification and developing a next-generation of ActionScript. It will have some of the same things you see in the current ActionScript, but there will be new keywords and grammar. The goal is to give up on backward compatibility in order to get significant speed improvements by making the language easier to execute at runtime.

ActionScript currently only runs in a Virtual Machine embedded in the FlashPlayer or AIR. Both runtimes provide additional APIs that allow you to draw stuff and get network i/o, etc. The current APIs use ActionScript 3 syntax and are focused primarily on Sprites, Shapes and MovieClips on a display list. New features were added in every major release.

Now, Adobe is working on embedding a new Virtual Machine that runs the next-generation ActionScript in the FlashPlayer and AIR. The focus is on gaming, and a new set of APIs that talk to a 3d rendering engine is being devloped in the next-generation ActionScript syntax. There will be no support for the old Sprites/Shapes/MovieClips and display list.

However, the old virtual machine that runs ActionScript 3 will continue to be embedded in the FlashPlayer and AIR that run on tradtional desktops/laptops. I would not expect it to be co-existent on mobile versions of AIR because the new focus is on the captive runtime workflow where you pre-process your ActionScript code and the runtime libraries into a device-dependent executable.

So, given all of that, you can continue to deliver ActionScript 3 content in AIR or FlashPlayer on desktops/laptops “forever”. And unless you have heard otherwise from the PDF team, they probably won’t eliminate support for Flash in PDF on desktop/laptops soon.

I think Apache Flex exists because folks have found the Flex workflow easy and productive and also safe because it uses structured programming, and former Flex customers are now pitching in to continue to evolve Flex as much as we can given the constraints of the current environment. The problem for many is that, because Adobe is not evolving the ActionScript 3 language, VM and runtime APIs related to it, folks see it as a dead end and no longer want to develop apps on it. I can see their point, but there is a reason why DOS is still around on some custom handheld devices: it works, it is well known, and has a small footprint for a constrained environment. Flash/AIR and Flex on ActionScript3 continue to be excellent ways to create apps quickly, but it has been difficult to convince customers to stick with it.

Anyway, so far, the most interest in Apache Flex seems to be around trying to leverage the Flex workflow to create apps that run on the HTML/CSS/JS stack (without Flash). It will have growing pains for sure, but to me, a question about CPU load is premature. There is 1000’s of people from all over the world working on improving the runtime environment for HTML/CSS/JS. They have made significant advances in the past several years and I don’t see a cap on it. So any pain points you experience now are likely to be solved in the near future. If you can continue to use Flash/AIR and let others suffer through the growing pains, consider yourself lucky. Otherwise, put on some pads and join the battle.

On 12/19/12 9:29 AM, "John McCormack" <> wrote:

    Thank you again.

     Although ActionScript is not being developed for the FlashPlayer,
    is it possible that it may still be developed separately for use
    in AIR? I could deliver content through AIR instead of PDFs.

     My problem is that the FlashBuilder / Flash Professional workflow
    is such a seductive one, with that easy marriage of graphics and
    code, that I don't want to lose it. I have used C++ to produce
    graphical programs and the AS3 route is a godsend in comparison.

     One wonders "Is HMTL5 going to use any less CPU cycles than AS3,
    once it is doing similar work?"


     On 18/12/2012 05:38, Alex Harui wrote:

          Re: [flexcoders] Re: Flex alternatives  Things get lost in
        translation, but one goal of the parallel frameworks is to not
        leverage things that get lost in translation.  Otherwise,
        since JS and AS are ECMA-based, the translation works pretty well.

         Keep in mind that, while Adobe is no longer investing in
        ActionScript 3 on the Flash Player, and not developing Flash
        Player for mobile devices, and AIR may not run on all mobile
        devices, where the FlashPlayer is today, it will likely be
        there “forever”.  So, if alll of your users are using
        desktops/laptops that have browsers that have Flash, you can
        continue to use Flex and/or ActionScript 3 to build
        applications and they will likely run there not just in five
        years, but even after that.  There is no time-bomb in the
        players that will go off and stop running.  Even though
        ActionScript Next and FlashPlayer Next are not compatibile
        with ActionScript 3, the AS3 VM will ship in the FlashPlayers
        that Adobe ships in the future.  There is the possibility that
        the browser vendors will stop supporting plugins, but I would
        imagine they will keep a compatibility-mode somehow.  I think
        there is too much Flash content out there and to block it from
        existing desktops/laptops would “break the web” and I don’t
        expect the browser vendors or Adobe take such a risk.  There
        would be too much negative press.  That doesn’t mean that new
        computers with new OS’s may not support Flash (that’s what
        Apple did with IOS), and many home users may forgo traditional
        computers for tablets in the future, so keep that in mind as well.

         I don’t know the PDF market that well, but again, I would
        expect PDFs to continue to support Flash “forever” as well.
         At least for the readers on traditional desktops/laptops.

         On 12/17/12 10:48 AM, "John McCormack" <>

             Thank you.
              That's interesting and very helpful.

              One does wonder if a separate translation tool would do
            the job faithfully, and so creates doubt.

              For someone that wants to use SWFs in PDFs to deliver
            educational content that is fully interactive, what
            workflow would you suggest using for the next three to
            five years?


              On 17/12/2012 16:31, Alex Harui wrote:

                  Re: [flexcoders] Re: Flex alternatives  Adobe has no
                plans that I know of to get ActionScript to work with
                HTML5 in the same way that Google is proposing Dart as
                an alternative to JavaScript.

                  The Apache Flex project is working on a compiler
                that will translate ActionScript to JavaScript.  In
                addition, the link I posted proposes a component
                framework that would enable you to build or prototype
                your app in Flash using FlashBuilder and ActionScript
                and then run a separate tool outside of FlashBuilder
                to translate it to JavaScript where it will run and
                leverage HTML or HTML5 components.

                  Alternatively, the same ActionScript to JavaScript
                compiler would let you write the script portions of
                your website as ActionScript using FlashBuilder and
                have separate HTML files, then use the same separate
                tool outside of FlashBuilder to translate the
                ActionScript to JavaScript.  And maybe variations will
                be created that can output to various JS frameworks.

                  At this time, there are no plans to change
                FlashBuilder to integrate the translation workflow.
                 Adobe’s focus for FlashBuilder is on building
                ActionScript gaming and premium video projects that
                run on the Flash player.  I suppose if the JS workflow
                became wildly popular and Adobe could see a revenue
                stream by supporting such a workflow things might
                change, but I wouldn’t count on it.  There is a better
                chance that someone in Apache Flex will start creating
                plugins for Eclipse to support the workflow or one of
                the other tool vendors will provide an integrated

                  The future of ActionScript 3 in Rich Internet
                Applications (as opposed to ActionScript “Next” as
                mentioned in the Flash roadmap) is actually being
                given more attention by Apache Flex than Adobe.  If
                you want to continue to use ActionScript 3 to develop
                RIAs, I would encourage you to get involved with the
                Apache Flex project.

                  On 12/17/12 2:16 AM, "John McCormack"
                <> wrote:

                      On 17/12/2012 05:12, Alex Harui wrote:

                          Re: [flexcoders] Re: Flex alternatives
                         Adobe has spent the year donating the Flex
                        SDK and Falcon compilers to the Apache
                        Software Foundation.  While Adobe has a small
                        set of people contributing to Flex in Apache
                        and a team that shipped Flash Builder 4.7 and
                        is working on subsequent Flash Builder
                        release, Adobe is not leading the development
                        of Flex and has not been for a full year.  The
                        future of Flex is in the hands of the Apache
                        Flex community.  This document should have
                        made Adobe’s plans clear:

                      I followed this link through to

                       Under Flash Player "Next" this says...
                       " and provide a foundation on which Flash can
                    move forward over the next decade."

                       Does this imply ActionScript working
                    collaboratively with HTML5 or is it an alternative
                    to HTML5?

                       I am asking because I am hoping Flash Builder
                    will continue to offer me a way forward (AS3+HTML5).


                  Alex Harui
                  Flex SDK Team
                  Adobe Systems, Inc.

         Alex Harui
         Flex SDK Team
         Adobe Systems, Inc.

Alex Harui
Flex SDK Team
Adobe Systems, Inc.

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