Flashforward 2006 is underway with capacity crowds filling the Convention Center in Seattle, Washington. Primary sponsor Lynda.com‘s Lynda Weinman opened the proceedings with a warm welcome, proclaiming “The Web is back” with Flashforward enjoying the caliber of venues, attendance and success that hasn’t been seen since prior to the .com crash.
The day’s first keynote speaker was Adobe‘s Chief Software Architect, Kevin Lynch, who provided an overview of the new Adobe-Macromedia merger and vision for Flash’s future with the promise that “We won’t screw this up” eliciting a loud round of applause from the audience.
With the help of a few of his project engineers, Lynch reported that Flash Player 8 adoption has been the fastest to date with over 50% of users upgrading in just a matter of months. With an impressive demo of using green screen footage in After Effects exported to native video with alpha channels to Flash 8, the powerful new video integration was shown to be fast, easy and seamless.
Also shown to the eager audience was a sneak peak at an alpha development version of Blaze, the code name for the next Flash authoring application. With this build, will come the next significant evolution of ActionScript. AS3 has terrific improvements over its predecessor with a ground up rebuild of the engine producing amazing speed benefits among others. Other demonstrations for the next version of Flex Development, the application builder tool and the introduction of the Apollo Project aimed at bring Flash into application hosts outside of the restrictive browser-based apps used today.
With Flash in its tenth year, Lynch explained that Adobe made its move to acquire the technology in time to benefit from what it sees is the next revolution that will change the face of the Internet. Seems Lynch and his friends at Adobe agree with Lynda that “The Web is back”. Let’s just hope they keep their promise and don’t screw this up.
Check out demos and beta versions of Adobe products at labs.adobe.com