Looks like Mike Chambers is responding on that thread.  He is a better person 
to ask than me.

Even though I work for Adobe, my main focus is on Apache Flex.  I barely keep 
up with the plans and goals of the other teams, even the Flash Runtime, because 
at this time, Apache Flex isn’t counting on any new awesome features from Flash 
itself.  Apache Flex is looking at publishing Flex apps for HTML5.  One 
approach is described here: 

Now, IMO, Flex apps are quite different from other Flash swfs, especially those 
that are timeline driven, so Apache Flex isn’t going to be the solution for 

On 5/10/13 12:42 PM, "John McCormack" <j...@easypeasy.co.uk> wrote:


 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 

 On 12/19/12 9:29 AM, "John McCormack" <j...@easypeasy.co.uk> 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" <j...@easypeasy.co.uk> wrote:

  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 workflow.

   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" <j...@easypeasy.co.uk> 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 

    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.

Alex Harui
Flex SDK Team
Adobe Systems, Inc.

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