Putting things into perspective

Actionscript 3 was released in 2006. By 2010 it was declared dead (that’s 4 years after it was born), 4 years later people keep saying that is dead.

That means AS3 has been dead half of its life.

Ridiculous right?

When I read comments from Flash detractors, the most common arguments are:

a) It is buggy
b) It is unsecure
c) It is old/ancient technology

Well, the bugginess of any software is debatable, because every complex software made by the man has bugs. Yes Flash has bugs. Some are nasty, some are common and others are circumstantial, but the truth is if the top grossing social games are made with Flash (and those are very complex projects), then the bugginess is not that bad that may prevent those companies from making money, so it shouldn’t stop you either (if you know how to google).

“Flash is unsecure”, this one is funny. When Jobs made his letter in 2010 he claimed that Symantec released a report in 2009 that addressed 23 vulnerabilities of Flash. What Jobs didn’t say was that the same report addressed 27 vulnerabilities of Apple’s QuickTime.

3 years later, Symantec reported 387 documented vulnerabilities in iOS. That’s almost 17 times more vulnerabilities than Flash in 2009. So, please tell me about security and hypocrisy.

Ancient technology. Javascript was released in 1995, it hasn’t evolved that much since then. In 1994 Flash had a couple of actions, by 2000 AS1.0 was released and it was virtually the same as JS, 3 years later AS2.0 was released and in 2006 we got a new version of AS3.0. By 2013 or 2014 we were supposed to have it’s 4th iteration, but we all know the story.

So, how can you call ancient technology a language that was born the same year Twitter was founded? That’s beyond me.

Even more, if AS3 is so terrible why HAXE, Typescript, Playscript or Apple’s newborn Swift are so similar to AS3?

Also you have to consider that Flash 2010 and Flash 2014 are worlds away in terms of performance and power (actually if you are not a Stage3D user, you won’t have a plausible idea). Just to mention a few points: in 2012 we got the new compiler ASC2.0, we got Stage3D (GPU accelerated graphics) for mobile and we got AGAL (an assembly language for shade programming), 2 years later we had 10 versions, yes 10 versions of Adobe Air which included a new iteration of the assembly language, AGAL2 and a lot of more features.


If you can name another technology with a similar amount of progress in the same time frame (including paid frameworks) you will use only one hand.

Yes, Flash is no more the “must have” technology for web development, we all know that it became a niche (games, video, ads and very specific web apps). Despite the fact that in 2014 any website with ads uses Flash (even those who claim Flash is dead, oh the irony) everything indicates that it will be replaced eventually (they promised that 4 years ago but nor Flash is dead nor HTML5 is ready) by HTML5 for browsing. But that doesn’t mean the technology is dead, that it is not for the masses anymore or that it is not present in mobile devices.

In April 2014 Adobe reported that Adobe Air (part of Flash Runtimes) received more than 1 billion of installs across all its platforms since Adobe Air 3.8 (released last year). Today, just 3 months later they reported 1.8 billion of installs (I have contributed with almost a million of those installs). It almost doubled its numbers in only 180 days.

So, as you can see. Everyone has an agenda. Everybody is trying to sell you something, even I. Do whatsoever is ok for your business but do not disrespect our work just because you think is “cool”.

And if you are an Adobe Air developer, I salute you sir or madam, it’s a pleasure to share the same boat.