The Necessity of ‘Extended’ or ‘Professional’ Versions

These thoughts are spawned by the announcement today of of an ‘extended’ version of Photoshop CS3. I’ve never seen the reasoning behind having two versions of a product like this. Take Flash 8 vs. Flash 8 Professional for example- the difference in feature set between the two versions is huge! I [perhaps wrongly] assume that anyone shelling out that much cash for a product would always pay the extra hundred dollars for the more comprehensive version. I cannot help but see the situation as a ‘full’ version of the product vs. a ‘light’ version no matter what it is actually called. Maybe I’m way off here and perhaps the ‘basic’, ‘standard’, and ‘light’ product versions are actually in high demand? From my perspective- it just seems to create more confusion than anything… I admit I may be totally wrong/biased in this line of thought!

Flash Media Encoder Released

Just picked up the news from Flashcomguru that the Adobe Flash Media Encoder has been released. I’d previously tested the beta version off of Adobe Labs and was very pleased with the results. We had looked into the streaming of live events through Flash Media Server previously, but due to the limitations of the Spark codec had dismissed FMS (for live events) in favor of MPEG4. This is huge!

Flash Player Security Sandbox is Smothering Me…

I’m currently building a standalone app in Flash/AS2 translated to an execuatable via Screenweaver. What has really been a downer are the incredible restictions placed upon BitmapData.draw(), which is used heavily throughgout the application. The really terrible thing is that we own all of the domains the loaded images and video are originating from, but since a standalone app is not necessarily part of any domain, I cannot use the draw() method on any of the digital objects being loaded into this app. I understand that there is a way around this in ActionScript 3.0 using “LoaderContext.checkPolicyFile”, but we need a solution for AS2. The image loading I can get around with a proxy script but (as I understand it) there is no way to successfully invoke draw() on an flv streaming from a Flash Media Server.

I’m looking forward to the Apollo beta release on labs to see whether or not some of these restrictions will be lifted within that runtime. I imagine Apollo would be ideal for this app but since there is so little information out there- I can really only hope at this point.