MAX is Adobe's annual conference, where they announce their new products and acquisitions, and give us all an idea of their current strategy. Last year they announced Flash's 3D API, codenamed Molehill (now called Stage3D); AIR for TV; Edge, their new HTML5 animation tool; and more. There were also puppets. This year, long-time Activetuts+ writer Franci Zidar is at the event and will be filling us in on the details and sharing lots of photos. The second day's keynote was aimed at developers - that means Flash and HTML5 news. Read on to find out more...
The Future of Flash
Editor's note: Mouse-lock at last, hooray!
Flash's Stage3D (previously codenamed Molehill - check out an introductory tutorial here) provides GPU acceleration for 3D and now through Starling Framework for 2D graphics within Flash Player.
The next iteration of Flash Professional (codenamed Ruben) will also let you create sprite sheets from vector animations to get GPU accelerated animations and provide some other GPU acceleration focused improvements.
Check out Unreal Tournament running in the Flash Player (sadly not ported to AS3!)
A lot of the focus at MAX this year was on alternative technologies to Flash for rich media delivery. My guess is that you are already better off building sites requiring simple multimedia experiences with these other web standards since you'll have a much easier job deploying them for mobile devices or they might, to some extent, work on them by default.
Adobe has also proposed two new features for CSS called CSS Regions and CSS Shaders. Regions allow the creation of scalable text regions of any shape that let text flow through or around them depending on screen size and Shaders create great looking effects and transitions for HTML elements.
Here's some more info on CSS Shaders, including videos of them in action: http://www.adobe.com/devnet/html5/articles/css-shaders.html
So for anyone who finds this fragmented solution too much to handle, you can resort to new technologies like jQuery Mobile, PhoneGap, jQTouch, CSS3, HTML5 and others. All of these are incorporated in the new Dreamweaver so you can build websites for multiple platforms test them at different resolutions and orientations (landscape and portrait) and even deploy applications directly to Android or iOS.
Get Your Hands on the New Toys
For more information about everything announced on Day Two - as well as download links for AIR 3 and Flex 4.6 pre-release - head to http://adobe.com/go/maxday2