Discover The Wonders Of Raster And Vector Graphics
Adobe Flash (formerly Macromedia Flash) is a multimedia platform used to add animation, video, and interactivity to web pages. Flash is frequently used for advertisements, games and flash animations for broadcast. More recently, it has been positioned as a tool for "Rich Internet Applications" ("RIAs").
Flash content may be displayed on various computer systems and devices, using Adobe Flash Player, which is available free of charge for common web browsers, some mobile phones and a few other electronic devices (using Flash Lite).
Some users feel that Flash enriches their web experience, while others find the extensive use of Flash animation, particularly in advertising, intrusive and annoying, giving rise to a cottage industry that specializes in blocking Flash content. Flash has also been criticized for adversely affecting the usability of web pages.
Flash originated with the application SmartSketch, developed by Jonathan Gay. After developing other graphics software for Silicon Beach Software, Gay created his own company, FutureWave, in 1993. SmartSketch was a drawing application for pen computers running the PenPoint OS, created by Silicon Beach Software. When PenPoint failed in the marketplace, SmartSketch was ported to Microsoft Windows and Mac OS. Once the Internet became more popular, SmartSketch was re-named first as CelAnimator, and then as FutureSplash, a vector-based web animation application competing with Macromedia Shockwave. In 1995, SmartSketch was further modified with frame-by-frame animation features and released as FutureSplash Animator on multiple platforms. FutureWave approached Adobe Systems with an offer to sell them FutureSplash in 1995, but Adobe turned them down at that time. FutureSplash was used by Microsoft in its early work with the Internet (MSN), and also by Disney Online for their subscription-based service, Disney's Daily Blast. In 1996, FutureSplash was acquired by Macromedia and released as Flash, contracting "Future" and "Splash". Flash is currently developed and distributed by Adobe Systems, as the result of their 2005 purchase of Macromedia.
Adobe Labs (previously called Macromedia Labs) is a source for news and pre-release versions of emerging products and technologies from Adobe. Most innovations, such as Flash 10, Flex 3, and ActionScript 3.0 have all been discussed and/or trialled on the site.
One area Adobe is focusing on (as of February 2009) is the deployment of Rich Internet Applications (RIAs). To this end, they released Adobe Integrated Runtime (AIR), a cross-platform runtime environment which can be used to build rich internet applications, using Adobe Flash, that can be deployed as desktop applications. It surpassed 100 million installations worldwide in February 2009. Flash can be installed independently from Adobe's website (adobe.com) and is installed silently when Adobe Reader is installed. [not in citation given]
Two additional components designed for large-scale implementation have been proposed by Adobe for future releases of Flash: first, the option to require an ad to be played in full before the main video piece is played; and second, the integration of digital rights management (DRM) capabilities. This way Adobe can give companies the option to link an advertisement with content and make sure that both are played and remain unchanged. Flash Player for smart phones was made available to handset manufacturers at the end of 2009.
Open Screen Project
On May 1, 2008, Adobe announced the Open Screen Project, which hopes to provide a consistent application interface across devices such as personal computers, mobile devices, and consumer electronics. When the project was announced, several goals were outlined: the abolition of licensing fees for Adobe Flash Player and Adobe Integrated Runtime, the removal of restrictions on the use of the Shockwave Flash (SWF) and Flash Video (FLV) file formats, the publishing of application programming interfaces for porting Flash to new devices, and the publishing of The Flash Cast protocol and Action Message Format (AMF), which let Flash applications receive information from remote databases.
As of February 2009, the specifications removing the restrictions on the use of SWF and FLV/F4V specs have been published. The Flash Cast protocol—now known as the Mobile Content Delivery Protocol—and AMF protocols have also been made available, with AMF available as an open source implementation, BlazeDS. Work on the device porting layers is in the early stages. Adobe intends to remove the licensing fees for Flash Player and Adobe AIR for devices at their release for the Open Screen Project. ,br> The list of mobile device providers who have joined the project includes Palm, Motorola, and Nokia, who, together with Adobe, have announced a $10 million Open Screen Project fund.