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Flash Player 11 Feature Requests

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Flash Player 11 Feature Requests

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I have the following feature requests for the Flash Player.

1. Implement web workers (except ours is with compiled bytecode). Copy Chrome’s implementation, but instead of an AS class, we can give it an an Interface, much like Loader.content works. That way, we can sequester it in it’s own ApplicationDomain and SecurityDomain for security reasons, support both embedded and dynamically loaded code, and ensure it doesn’t negatively affect the elastic race track (much how Shader has a synchronous and asynchronous operation).

You can read more details on their suggested implementation here. Apparently people get really offended when you call it a “thread” vs. a “worker”. Wow, dude, no one cares, we just don’t want our GUI to lock up, we don’t care what you ask us to call it.

2. Give us access to video thumbnails for both streaming and progressive. Netflix and iTunes ability to do this really enhances usability; Amazon’s inability is lame. I realize I could load bytes via the new NetStream API or do some fancy server-side encoding ability, but that’s not solving the use case in an easy to use API. I understand the future of Flash Player since 9 has been to create low-level API’s. If NetStream can already do this within reason using the net NetStream.loadBytes, great, otherwise, let me know.

3. Continue making the GPU and/or OpenGL access in Flash Player as transparent and built-in as possible. If things like cacheAsBitmap, cacheAsBitmapMatrix, and scrollRect
“just work” to take advantage of these features, great. If I have to blit everything, set the GPU on, and abandon the DisplayList API, that’s a failure.

4. Native JSON.encode and JSON.decode.

5. Native OAuth with proper Authorization headers done by Flash Player. Every Flash Developer I know hates using it, yes has to because that’s where the world has moved. Debugging it makes you want to go crazy… if it was in Flash Player, native, and QA’d by y’all, at least we’d have a fighting chance.

New TextField API? Dude, we have larger problems. Mobile performance, lack of threads, JSON still not native in the Flash Player, and a long list of JIRA bugs & smaller feature requests people have been voraciously voting on. In my consulting, I’ve seen some amazing TLF usage. That has been the exception to the rule; the forcing it down people’s throats via the broken implementation in Flash CS5, and the god awful horror it is when attempting to embed fonts in Flex 4.x SDK doesn’t get me very excited in “creating a happy medium”.

Do the above. Win. If you don’t do anything, at least make Mobile faster.

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