Flash and Action Script

Flash News! We hear this word daily on english news channels in the television. Media uses the word “flash” for publishing important events, important news etc. Among computer professionals, the term flash is used to refer to software which is used to create animations.

Flash is now named as Adobe Flash. It was earlier called as Smart Sketch, Future Splash etc. before went on to be popularly called as “Macromedia Flash”. It was and is used to create various multimedia application plug-ins and add-ons which is used for creation of animations which are meant for web pages. Flash is mostly used in the creation of games and also in the creation of animated advertisements. This software can also create interactive things which can be used in web pages. Flash on the other hand, recently labeled as a tool in creation of “Rich Internet Applications” (RIA).

Flash was originally created by Macromedia and got its first version released during 1996. However, software is maintained by, Adobe Systems, after taking over Macromedia during 2005. Prior to 1996, the idea of developing flash was taken from a drawing application program named “Smart Sketch” developed by Jonathan Gay. The application failed to impress markets and an improved version of it known as “Future Splash” replaced for Windows and Mac OS. Macromedia acquired Future Splash and renamed it as “Macromedia Flash” and released it.

Flash in general, makes use of Action Script, which is an object-oriented language. It takes its basic syntax from C, C++. We can create the animations in a way we want using this programming language. A person can be recognized as professional Flash designer, if he knows to write and handle Action Script as well as creation of animations.

Flash supports bidirectional streaming. It also provides animation using vector and raster graphics and also deals with still images. It is designed in such a way that, it can capture the user inputs from keyboard, mouse and microphone and even from the advanced devices like digital cameras etc.

Adobe flash has two kinds of software in it. For professionals, it comes with an editor which enables one to create and test and modify the animations. This software needs to be purchased from online or from a vendor. The other software is the Flash player. This one is available for free of cost and is available for free direct downloading and installation. Flash player acts as a plug in for web browsers and it is compatible with most of the web browsers which are available today. Today, the rapid growth of internet has resulted in enabling of internet based contents on the mobile too. This of course, in turn brought flash player which is compatible with the small screen. Flash player which is meant for mobile devices is known as “Flash Lite”.

Adobe is now selling flash under the name “Adobe Flash Creative Suite” which has reached version number 5.5 now. However, the basics are same for all flash animations and we will look into Macromedia Flash MX 8 which was released during 2005, which was almost a last version before Adobe took charge of Macromedia and brought out “Creative Suite” series.

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