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  1. #1
    Junior Member Ankush Jain's Avatar
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    Hello guys. This is potentially a very stupid question, but since I'm virtually clueless right now, I'll just go ahead and ask it.

    When I was about 12 (I'm 17 currently), I did a course on Flash. I used version 4. Since my math skills weren't strong enough at that point, I was unable to understand the programming aspect of it (the part where you configure Actions).

    Now that I think my Math skills are strong enough to handle programming, I downloaded Flash CS4 (since my PC is ancient and can not run CS5). When I ran it, it didn't look like a tool I knew how to use. Yeah, I could do basic stuff like shape and motion tweening, but a lot of it was new (like ActionScript, I've no idea what that is).

    So how do I go about it ? Should I polish my skills on Flash 4 (Yes, I have a copy of it, and I know it's 2011) or should I drop it and learn CS4 ? I don't have any plans of being a professional developer or something, I just wanna learn it as a hobby, but be good at it at the same time.

    And while you're at it, could you suggest me any free and good places to learn Flash 4/CS4 ?

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  3. #2
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    Flash is no longer the simple web animation tool. It can do more and actually produce content way beyond the original purpose of the platform. The question for you is how you want to use it. Do you want to use it for web animation, programming, application design, character animation, ad design, web page design, games, etc? Once you figured this out then it would be easier to get help and resources for it.

  4. #3
    WDF Staff smoseley's Avatar
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    The answer to the question is, if you're looking to use Flash, you should stick with CS4. F4 is way out of date. However, the web is moving away from Flash altogether. You should potentially drop Flash altogether at this point and learn AJAX, DHTML, HTML5, and Canvas manipulation, as that's the way of the future.

  5. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by smoseley, post: 204909
    The answer to the question is, if you're looking to use Flash, you should stick with CS4. F4 is way out of date. However, the web is moving away from Flash altogether. You should potentially drop Flash altogether at this point and learn AJAX, DHTML, HTML5, and Canvas manipulation, as that's the way of the future.
    I beg to differ. I sometimes think that people who keep saying "flash is dead" are those designers or developers who cannot do anything good with flash. I've been a designer and developer and have experience in both platforms and I can see both have disadvantages and advantages. Sure HTML5 is the so called future but if you compare it with all the features that flash is now supporting then you might end up thinking twice about still sticking to HTML.

  6. #5
    WDF Staff smoseley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eyeball, post: 204911
    I beg to differ. I sometimes think that people who keep saying "flash is dead" are those designers or developers who cannot do anything good with flash.
    You REALLY don't want to take up that challenge... I've been a Flash developer since 1998 (Flash 3), and I would put my Flash skills up against anyone's, including your own. But I understand how technology evolves to conform to standards. Flash CS5 has an option to export to an HTML5 Canvas. Why do you think that is? I'll give you a hint... it's not because Adobe believes HTML5 can't replace Flash.

    PS - Your post is intentionally obscure. In contrast to your baseless belief about me, I don't believe you know anything about HTML5. Please tell me a single thing that Flash does that HTML5 + other W3 standards won't do (in some similar capacity).

  7. #6
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    I've been developing for the past 3 years in Flex / Flash Builder since Adobe has pushed the product to a point where RIA development has become increasingly easier. With my experience with the earlier version I saw a lot of features that I wished HTML had. With the introduction of latest Flash Builder and the new Flex/Flash framework, HTML started to look like a very incapable markup language that has been around for a long time.

    Component Architecture - Adobe introduced a component architecture which html5 is just starting to implement. The Objects like button or the canvas has been around ever since the earlier versions. What is neat is Adobe provided a whole set of components that serve as primitives that the developer or designer can build on, extend or customize to their hearts content. Some components that have become very handy are like the List and DropDownList components which is probably a pain in the *** to do in HTML.

    Flash Component Skinning - With AS 3.0 and the latest framework, adobe introduced a new skinning architecture that allows a designer to skin components easier by having the component skin assigned from the SkinClass property. This means I can create and skin my components more effectively. Combine it with the support for adobe's FXG vector graphics then I can design very graphic intensive websites or applications that are optimized and lightweight.

    Custom Components - Once you get a hold on the basic components, any designer or developer can create their own custom components. If I created a window panel I would simply have a code that looked like this <comp:MyCustomPanel title="Panel 1"> content </comp:MyCustomPanel> instead of having a an html equivalent of <div><h2>Panel 1</h2> <img src="buttonclose"><img src="buttonminimize"></div>. The close or any buttons are embedded with my panel component so I NEVER have to repeat the code throughout any instance of the panel code. Makes everything much more cleaner.

    Support for Vector Graphics - Flash and Flash Builder supports Adobe's FXG Vector Graphics which allows a designer to create and import FXG vector graphics created in illustrator and other authoring tools. This means designers can create more smaller and optimized graphics instead of using bulky raster based assets. FYI you can also create them without any authoring tool as I have been doing with buttons or window pane or whatever UI needs them. Rounded corners, borders and gradients, tiling backgrounds and scaling graphics have never been so easier.

    3D - I'll just give the link and I'll let you be the judge.
    http://www.bytearray.org/?p=2310
    This page is a demo of the new 3d molehill API's that will be included in the flash framework. The days of interactive product viewing are coming. Looks like return of VRML on steroids.

    Filters - This is old. Filters like DropShadow, Glow, Blur are all part of the flex/flash framework. Instead of creating raster based assets to produce these effects you can simply apply it to your visual object. What is cool is that they can be introduced to objects on demand meaning the effects are pretty much dynamic depending on how or when the users wants to use them.

    Animation - animation effects comparisons between html5 and flash are really very basic. It is when complex animations and the native support for it in flash is where flash shines above HTML.

    States - this is a cool feature in the framework that allows you customize the content, appearance, functionality based on the concept of "states". A button component in flash has a skin that has by default a normal, over, disabled state which you can configure and customize. Want an icon on your button and a glow only on mouseover? No problem. Just assign the effect or icon (which can be a line code) to be included (literally "includeIn" is a property) a part of a specific state.

    Flash has a lot of features that HTML does not natively support. You would have to learn Ajax or Javascript to get things done while flash has all of these features built in.

    I have been working with flash since 2000 (mostly on the animation side) and I've watched it evolve into a platform that proved to be more useful than HTML. I have nothing against using HTML or whatever technology other people might prefer to but to bash the flash platform (and declare it is dead) is somewhat a really stupid thing to say and especially coming from someone who has experience with it.

  8. #7
    WDF Staff smoseley's Avatar
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    Styling = CSS
    Filters = CSS3
    Vector Graphics = Canvas or SVG
    Animation = Canvas
    3D = OpenGL + Canvas
    States = CSS2
    Component Architecture = jQuery or equivalent
    Video = HTML5 video tag
    Core language extensibility = XML (limitless expandability)
    Toolkits & IDEs = They will come!!!

    I know Flash still does it better... that's why I didn't say "Flash is dead". But you can't deny that a standards-compliant version of your proprietary tools are attractive to a lot more people, especially when companies as influential as Apple stand up and refuse to support Flash for its proprietary nature.


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