October 01, 2007

Astro: Flash player 10

Three new features were demod for the next release of the Flash player, version 10, code-named Astro:-

  • Advanced text layout support; multiple languages, multiple columns, tables, live editing, reflowing. In the demos, the focus was on support for multiple languages including right-to-left languages, all drawn on the same canvas. But it looks also as though it might make for a really good WYSIWYG editing tool, free of the constraints of ContentEditable and the problems of cross-browser support.
  • Perspective transforms for 3D effects for all display objects including video and all other components and controls. Everything continues working while it’s being transformed in 3D, so controls are still clickable, video keeps playing, etc. Additional functions will appear in ActionScript – rotationx, y, and z as well as the existing rotation functions.
  • It’ll be possible for Flash developers to create their own custom filters, blend modes and fills using a new processing language called Hydra.

- 4 comments by 4 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. Mathew Mannion

    Since it would make a really good WYSIWYG editing tool, is this related to their purchase of Buzzword?

    01 Oct 2007, 18:28

  2. John Dale

    Maybe. As I understand it, right now, Buzzword does a ferocious amount of Actionscript processing as you type to redraw its canvas ro reflect the formatting and position of your typing. One could see that better text layout support would make this easier, but I gather that it’s something which just about every Flash developer also wanted, so I don’t think it’s necessarily the case that they would do it just for Buzzword.

    01 Oct 2007, 18:59

  3. Perspective transforms for 3D effects for all display objects

    I guess this is for the Papervision people? Any mention of hardware acceleration?

    01 Oct 2007, 21:42

  4. Steven Carpenter

    Franto from the Flash development team posted an entry about this a while ago, prompted by the PV3D project – hardware support aside they found bottlenecks in the current player related to how the player handles bitmap distortion, plus memory read/write times. To maintain cross-platform support any hardware implementation would have to OpenGL I guess, but as one person noted in the comments to that entry:

    If Flash could include optimised routines for perspective distortion, that would improve a lot of things quite dramatically.

    Which is apparently what they’ve done here, so it’s a step forward at least. Adobe doesn’t seem to keen to replicate Shockwave just yet, but there’s a lot of pressure form the development community so who knows?

    01 Oct 2007, 22:41

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