*This post is long overdue. As well as being long, and overdue. *Apologies for the long ranty post, but please read
This community has been largely ignored by @Adobe(I mention here in case someone actually reads G+ and cares)Background
Hey, I'm the guy who started the Flash Platform community on Google Plus. You may know me as Matt Thomson, or sometimes as MJT in forums or live conferences. You may not care who I am.
I am a humble Flash Platform defender, and AS3 coder from Australia. Yes the flash timeline and x/y co-ords are all upside down. I sometimes make applications and interactive websites. Lately I have been focussing on making games. I like to think that over the last 5+ years I have been highly aware of all developments in the Flash Platform, and its place on the web/mobile/marketplace/etc.
I try to moderate the page as best I can (keeping spam and obvious thoughtless advertising out) but I am only 1 person. Sometimes I cannot be available for a few days at a time. When posts are not moderated, they appear to the person who posted them, but sit in a moderator inbox for manual approval. It can be hard to make decisions about whether a post is genuine, or if they have spammed it to 20 community pages looking for cheap attention.History of this page
When google released the communities feature to G+, I created this page. About one month after creating the community, it had grown to be the biggest flash related community (and I believe still is) on G+. I tried asking adobe staff and evangelists for their help and or blessings for this community.
I went through all the channels at adobe to try and gain approval for an 'official' page. I made a few of them moderators as recommended by (community manager) but I never see them on G+. They seem to ignore it and stick to only facebook and twitter.
Not that twitter isn't cool, just that you can only post a link or small sentences. It's not ideal to discuss and inform people like you can do with G+.
Facebook (actionscript groups, vector graphics groups, etc) are mostly made up of people posting ridiculous actionscript questions that they should have googled, or at least done some basic tutorials on flash coding. Adobe's main pages on facebook fail inform people (and often deliberately hide) stuff about Flash.
I am trying to make this google plus page a place to discuss interesting ways people are using flash/air, learn about new frameworks and examples, timeline and animation, video and sound wizardry. There are lots of blogs and websites out there that discuss this stuff, but for the general public who can easily be misinformed, its nice to have a social media presence that isn't full of ads and spam.
It takes some manual handling of submitted posts to achieve this so that it appears somewhat official or reputable, and people see the content right there and not banners/adds/sponsors and all the other fluff you have on facebook. I hope google keeps this platform relatively clean of advertising.Goals
I try to post relevant news and official information about anything flash/air/player and anything really cool that I see around the web, so when people ask "Why Flash" I have a page to link them to that is clean and has good examples of solid Flash work. Too much of the awesomeness is hidden in small groups behind github pages, and the general public does not know about it (too busy still drinking the 'flash is dead' Steve Jobs hype).
These same public who are using apps written in air and wouldn't even know it because adobe doesn't promote their own product. This seems like madness if you were to use this business model in any other industry. Adobe really needs a kick up the ass to realise they have such a rich platform and community, and they seem to only be interested in chasing after Creative Cloud subscriptions.
We don't all want a creative cloud package, we don't want to pay per month for flash pro, as many of us (developers) don't even use it anyway. And as far as code editors are concerned, The code window in flash (better in recent releases) is laughable compared to free options like FlashDevelop, or any other favourite IDE. Yes we realise that there is Flash Builder, Flex Builder over the years, etc, etc, but they are a mess, and really should BE
the editor in Flash Pro as one product, not several.
The community is writing tools and frameworks that don't get the attention the deserve. Sure, there are a couple of pages scattered around the adobe sites with links to adobe gaming sdk's and stuff. But from a company top level standpoint, you are not showing the world how awesome this flash ecosystem is.
Having said all that, Flash Pro and the timeline, as well as its vector drawing tools are simply the best there are for creativity and animation. Sure you can do some pixel animations in photoshop (but there are so many free sprite tools for this out there that are frankly much better), and you can design vector logos in Illustrator at awesome quality and send them to a 3d printer on the moon, but for many things Flash is the best tool.
Why is it so hard to find Flash on the adobe site/store? Why is it being hidden like some red-headed ugly stepchild? All because of what one man said before he died ?
And lets not forget that the SWF format is easily distributed, can bundle resources like fonts, music, and art assets, and is reasonably straightforward. You can put mp3 music or video in there, or stream it, and have it play the sound the same on all browsers. Seems hard to do that with HTML5
All of this stuff is being added back into the browsers again, 3 different codecs for audio, different CSS for different browsers, Jquery and bloated stuff to cover up all the cracks in this approach, and all to tell us that "Flash was a plugin, HTML5 is open and somehow magically doesn't use system resources". I see benchmarks and examples all the time of people doing When people are doing things in HTML5 now that we did 10+ years ago, we have to smash our heads on the desk.
When HTML5 games, video, apps get to the maturity of the flash content we have had for some years, it will perform just the same. Bad developers write lazy code, which is responsible for the majority of flash crashes/performance and drama that people make up. Damn even Google went forth and put flash player in by default, and then on top of that rewrote (PPAPI/NPAPI) it again themselves. Even google knows this and made significant time and resource investments into this.
You are not even leveraging Flash Pro as a market leader for content creation. You muddied up the waters and people dismiss flash based on the name, and have no idea why they are even saying half the stuff they say.
You hear things like "I want the app done in HTML5. My son did a weekend multimedia course, and he knows a lot about this stuff." or "I read in the New york Times that Flash was dead, and it ate the batteries of an iPad"
And lets not forget the biggest improvement for years: OPENGL in the browser. Console comparable games in the browser
in all browsers, right now!! and we don't even hear much about it.
Even Unity who had a export to flash feature dropped it... Whether that was because of lack of motivation from adobe, or because they wanted to push their own browser plugin, who knows.
And from the corporate side you have a solid video streaming and delivery service, server, product, and player installed on billions of devices. Get your act together and work out how to monetize that better. Or at least tell the world how awesome flash video delivery is, and the big companies who use it.
You could even go one step further and do something really dramatic and risky like.....
_ wait for it_
Launch a streaming advertising service, that embeds the ads in the stream. You know so adblocker cant filter them out by IP/DNS etc? You could compete with the biggest advertising forces, or partner with one of them. Like youtube ads, or adMedia, or whoever they are, I am not up to date with who the big ad networks are.
Imagine if you could guarantee views of ads in a stream, instead of some ridiculous amount of people who block them (OR SEE THE SAME AD 10 times in a row!!). You could also do this with your specially purposed RTMFP protocol and offer multiple ways to deliver, sever - client or multicast/anycast/p2p, etc
For developers, they could offer a product to clients and not have to spend huge $$ on adobe server software and dedicated machines. (of course they could still do it inhouse)
Imagine if you made Flash Pro free, embraced the community, and made millions on advertising, giving a way to monetize the flash platform.
Is this technically feasible, or am I missing a critical technical point here?
We all realise you make little to nothing from AS3 language and Flash Pro. Not compared to the cash cow that will always be there(photoshop), but we need more from you @adobe. Where is your CEO? why doesn't he believe in one of your most widely used programs and content. (damn there is a lot of content and POTENTIAL still out there with flash)
In short: Lets try to do adobe's job for themAdobe of the past+Lee Brimelow
- This guy is awesome and was always helpful and available. His tutorials on www.gotoandlearn.com
were where many of us got a start. It is sad that he is no longer part of the flash evangelist community, but I bet Lee still codes AS3 like a naughty boy when the boss is out of town. Please come back Lee :) Or your alter-ego MaXhibit would also be fine.+Thibault Imbert
- This guy was also awesome. He had the website www.bytearray.org
JS is fine, but just wish we could stop hiding from the legacy flash roots as if it were a regrettable one night stand. Flash/AS3 got these guys to where they are, and made them respected in the community, it's sad to see them leave.transition
When Lee was the evangelist for flash, you could ask a question and he would make sure to either know, or find out. The current person Chris Campbell is pretty good, but nowhere near as visible. Not to mention they played hot potato with these roles for a while, and no one wanted to answer the hard questions about flash's future.
Let it be known that removing these sort of authorities from their positions did more damage and caused so much uncertainty for many of us. This period lasted a couple of years, and clients would come to developers thinking they had some inside tip from a wall street journal about flash, when really all adobe had to do was come out and say "look at all the products, videos, games, and stuff you are consuming. ITS ALL MADE IN FLASH"Current moderators of this page+Tom Krcha
is the only one I have ever seen on here. He is a wealth of knowledge for flash/gaming/networking, and awesome tutorials and interaction with people. Where is he?+Michael Chaize
came by on very rare occasion, but then wasn't in the teams relating to flash any more. Or something. He just isn't here anyway.+Renaun Erickson
This guy is cool too, but I am not sure of his current status. Seems to be doing Flash evangelism, but not sure if this is his primary focus. Leaving his as moderator because of his useful posts on gaming SDK and related stuff. Thanks Renaun. All you have to do is be visible once in a while and we will like you :)Chris Campbell
doesn't have G+ as far as I can tell, and when I asked him on twitter, didn't get much commitment, other than to ask +Liz Arroyave
I asked Liz, and she gave me few names (none of which I have seen on g+)
Early on, I added +Teerasej Jiraphatchandej
, as he seemed to be actively involved in flash conferences and meet ups, and I thought it was good to have Flash being promoted in multiple languages (Thai?). He seemed to have some sort of official connection to adobe or at least respect in his local area. He is also active and frequently on G+. I will leave him there as he is so far the most supportive contributor.
I have removed some of these adobe staff to make room for more moderators who care about this community. Their evangelist teams have changed so much over the last couple of years, its hard to nail down who works where at adobe any more.Invitation to help moderate+Stephane Beladaci
: You have been consistently vocal about adobe/flash etc for years. I had not previously asked you because I initially thought you were slightly hostile. It turns out you were just angry at the situation. You are one of the biggest supporters (more than anyone at adobe management) of Flash Platform. Would you be interested if I made you a moderator of the page? +Sergey Gonchar
- You have restored my faith in people in this community. Thank you for all you do for flash conferences and organising it all. Thankyou for sharing your 3D knowledge with us. If you would like, do you want to help moderate this page? Or any of your peers that would like to?+John Barrett
- You are always cheerful and positive with flash meetups. It also helps if we can get more timezones covered( I believe you are in Hawaii). Flash is global, and adobe seems to think it exists in only a couple of offices (SanFran- the head of the beast and NewDelhi-where the code is written??)+Helen Wohlin Lee
- You are everywhere I look, for a long time. At all the online conferences, forums, facebook, etc. You are always welcome to help moderate if you have the time and energy. I believe you are in Stockholm?+Ariel Nehmad
(or any of your peers) - You have been awesome in the flash scene, working endlessly on your product Flare3D (imagine Unity IDE for Flash). You do so many presentations, and I worry that you will never see the greatness your product deserves. You also live in Argentina if I am correct? Does that mean you speak spanish? Would you or one of your colleagues like to help this page?+Joseph Labrecque
- You are always positive and helpful, and welcome to help too, but I fear that you like absinthe too much :)+As3GameGears
- Thank you for consistently putting out new ANE's and for not spamming. Your posts make it through to the community because It seems like you actually care about how and where you share your product news.
Not sure how many moderators
it will let me have, I think its 10, but there are a bunch of other people I am having trouble thinking of all their names. If you are a devoted supporter of flash platform
, and have any interest in promoting it, please let me know
There is also a thriving Japanese (and probably many more) scene, that we see fantastic work from, like awesome visuals and audio, stuff on wonderfl.net
, an awesome RPG gaming scene, but never seem to communicate with the rest of us. I worry that there is awesome content being made and we are simply unaware of it. If anyone has any contacts in these areas, please suggest them to me. (maybe +Andy Hall
knows someone ?). It would be good to see more of what they are doing.
There is also a skype chat (yes skype) with many people in there, who often have great discussions about 3D and related tech. There is a link somewhere to it, Sergey would know where.Final
If anyone at adobe wants to make this page official, or become a moderator, please contact me. I am more than willing to co-operate, but you seem to not share the love for flash that the rest of us do. You don't have any structure that those outside can understand, or keep up with, and you seem to never be interested in Google +.
Oh, and adobe, if you have any jobs going for Flash Evangelists and I can work remotely (and I haven't tarnished my reputation by now) please let me know :)
I can keep a pretty good mental note of 500+ UFC fighters, but its hard to keep track of adobe staff. So please let me know if I missed someone, of if anyone is no longer working for Adobe.
Any corrections, problems, or thoughts, please let me know.