Not adding fuel to the Flash fire

Image of tree branches

I’m not going to add any flames or speculation for what the recent choices Adobe has made in regards to mobile Flash, Flex, AIR, or JavaScript/HTML5. There is already plenty of that out there and it’s hard to know what is FUD, what the Adobe FAQ answers truly mean moving forward, or if some people just like taking shots at Flash because they think it sucks. Go read that at your leisure and make of it what you will.

If you’re at all concerned with Flash falling by the wayside, you have a few options that I can think of


  • Hope that nothing changes for you and you can keep putting Flash-assisted cash in your bank account. Assume that nothing is changing or that it won’t affect you.
  • Start to learn some JavaScript techniques and general HTML5 approaches to make up for any Flash application drop off. Start branching your toolbox just a little bit in case a client starts harping about HTML5 because it’s in the news more lately.
  • Start jamming on AIR for Android and iOS so you can offer something up to those platforms in a round-about way without committing to hunkering down and learning totally new stuff.
  • Start jamming on Android Java and iOS Objective-C so you can offer up some native goodness to those platforms. Leave the optimization headaches and late-adopter OS-version capabilities to other developers.

I am always in favor of rounding out your capabilities as broadly as you can. Push yourself a bit more. Flash has been a mainstay technology for a great many of us for quite a long time. Some of us got our start and remain profitable (employable) being one-trick Flash ponies. Some of us have branched out and used Flash as a springboard to other languages and platforms.

Things change in this technology field, and you have to be open to that change if you want to stay on top of the game. And remain in high demand. It’s my personal belief that if you haven’t started to branch out yet because you’ve got AS3 nailed and you love it, I’d suggest you start branching now. It will only help you as a developer anyway… when you pick up bits of other languages you’ll improve all around in how you approach coding projects in any language. You’ll start to think more broadly about what you’re doing.

I’ve been tooling with Android and iOS (both natively) for some time now and I can almost pump out apps in the same amount of time that they took in AS3/Flex. So now I can offer native Android, native iOS, Mac OS X, Flex, AS3, and AIR as options. I haven’t done the AIR for mobile yet because I don’t like having some magic sauce do magic things underneath me. I do value the superior portability of platform it can bring though.

Once you branch you’ll see how similar many languages are to one another. Same ideas just different syntax and approaches – so having AS3 under your belt will get you a jump start on other languages.

Branch out… it’s a ton of fun!

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2 thoughts on “Not adding fuel to the Flash fire

  1. Joseph

    I agree… I’m learning Javascript in the mean time while I find (in the future) a framework that can do what Flex can.

    Currently… there aren’t any.

    On Another Note, All Actionscript Developers, knowingly or unknowingly, already knoqw Javascript… It’s Extreemly Similar. Just the DOM needs learning.

    1. Eric Post author

      A lot of people poo-poo JavaScript, for some valid reasons. But it remains very powerful. I even use some in the odd iOS project here and there. Calling JavaScript through Objective-C and back to Objective-C from JavaScript is pretty nice. It’s a useful tool in the tool belt for sure.

      Glad to hear you’re learning it.


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