Adobe has updated the Flash Runtimes Roadmap whitepaper for the new year and there are some significant changes from previous iterations. Some of this is good, some questionable… and some bad:
- New documentation of the SWF file format has been made available (good)
- XC APIs are no longer designated as Premium Features (good)
- New info on “Folsom” and “Geary” (good)
- ActionScript “Next” development has been cancelled (questionable)
- Flash Player “Next” development has been cancelled (questionable)
- AIR for Windows 8 “Modern UI” has been cancelled (bad)
- Web-based VM work hinted at (good)
On top of these announcements, Adobe has recently submitted the RTMFP p2p protocol for consideration as an open web standard and has been loudly trumpeting their gaming initiative and has increased funding toward the Away Foundation who are building AIR-based tooling for the Away3D framework. All of this news is very good and welcome.
Let’s examine some snippets from the roadmap:
Adobe will focus its future Flash Player development on top of the existing Flash Player architecture and virtual machine, and not on a completely new virtual machine and architecture (Flash Player “Next”) as was previously planned.
In general, I’m disappointed that the new runtimes and language are not happening… even though I do understand the reasoning for it. It would certainly be disruptive (though some would argue that disruption is what is needed), but this initiative demonstrated that Adobe was invested in the long term. This is now somewhat questionable.
Adobe AIR is available and supported for Windows 8 Desktop on x86-based computers. Adobe currently has no plans to support Adobe AIR for Windows 8 Modern UI applications.
In my opinion, lack of support for the Windows “Modern UI” is a huge gap in the cross-platform story of AIR – perhaps even larger than the current Linux-sized hole we are now dealing with. The stated reasoning behind killing off Flash Player for Android was to focus on mobile AIR. Ooops.
Adobe plans to continue its next-generation virtual machine and language work as part of the larger web community doing such work on web-based virtual machines.
There is a lot more to the roadmap. I simply examined the bits I have the most concern/interest about in this post. I suggest that everyone go over and read it for themselves if any of this is of interest.