July 13, 2005
Flash 8 Player Developer Beta
This week Macromedia released a developers public beta of their latest Flash Player (bld 8,0,0,434), codenamed Maelstrom. Now's the time to test your existing Flash or Flash projects in development for compatibility. Remember, once Flash Player 8 is officially released, there's no taking it back; better to identify and report bugs now than explain to upset clients after it it hits the streets why your content fails with the latest and greatest.
Flash Player 8 brings a new, simplified installation experience for users who already have Flash Player 7 which should make for a faster adoption rate when officially released. Note that Macromedia's March 2005 Flash version statistics currently show the 7.0x player at 90% vs. nearly 97% for version 6.
Macromedia is not yet talking about the new feature set, hoping instead to focus the community on backwards compatibility testing, but those of you who just can't stand the suspense may want to check out Colin Moock's video (wmv-only) of Kevin Lynch's presentation at last October's Macromedia Flash conference in Japan.
Colin calls out:
- saffron, a new type-rendering engine
- dramatic performance improvements (a sluggish calendar app jumps from 14fps to 125fps)
- realtime bitmap effects (blur, dropshadow, colour matrix etc)
- realtime video alpha channel
Onetime DC area resident Aral Balkan blogged about and photographed the new IDE at April's Flash in the Can conference in Toronto.
And at this very moment feverish minds are hard at work deciphering FP8 functionality without the benefit of being a beta site, like this demo of the new player's blend and filter modes along with a breakdown of new AS objects and properties.
Ok, now back to your compatibility testing, please?