Goodbye and thank you, Flash Player, for all that jazz

July 27th, 2017

My adventure with Flash Player had started back in 2002 when I’ve explored the capabilities of this platform for the User Interface prototyping at Philips Research using Flash MX components and ActionScript 2.

 

 

One of my first commercial work was games development together with Sean Wood using Flash lite development for one Japanese mobile operator, later we’ve done together interactive maps app for Ayuquila river basin area for United Nations University.

My interest into the development of UI components using Flash platform had led to my collaboration with Judah Frangipane on Tree component with Drag and drop support.

Later I worked with Dmitry Leader on Re:mark application to be used by mentors for adding remarks to the reviewed documents, early days of the company that is now known as Grammarly.

Then we played with an idea on building audio player in Flash for ukrainian mobile operator Kyivstar and Anton Antropov.

In 2005 a group of ex-employees from Macromedia and Microsoft had established an startup in intriguing Ukraine to build on Web an user customized application built in Macromedia Flex 1.5 and later Adobe Flex 2, that’s how I did open an new chapter in my life with Flex UI framework.

I’ve spent with Flex UI framework almost 10 years of my development career, did a few talks at Ukrainian Flash User group, open-sourced InputAssist component, but after Adobe decision in 2011 to abandon the future development of Flex framework it become obvious that sooner or later every seasoned Flex developer has to move on.

Nowdays my choice of technologies for modern web application is React and Redux state container, Javascript with Ecmascript 6 touch, npm and many more.

Yes, we will say the final goodbye to Flash player runtime in 2020, but Web and UI interfaces will remain with us till the very end of our professional life.

FTE cannot display Thai characters under Windows XP English using default set of device fonts

May 5th, 2010

   Are you unlucky user of Windows XP English with clean install?

   If yes, then probably you cannot see Thai characters in Spark text components (e.g Spark Label) in the following demo:

Get Adobe Flash player

Code listing: http://gist.github.com/390993

    New Flex Spark Label to display text uses the new Flash Text Engine (FTE) introduced in Flash Player 10. And that’s true, FTE brought many very useful new features (text subscript, bidirectional text to name a few) that were previously impossible to achieve with older flash.text.TextField object, but I’ve learned recently that FTE can fail to display Thai characters under Windows XP clean install.

   Eric Y Muller explains the technical details at Adobe forums:, why FTE cannot use neither Tahoma nor Microsoft Sans Serif standard Windows XP fonts as device fallback to display Thai characters.

   The only workaround for this issue for the frustrated user would be to insert original CD with Windows XP install and install Thai language support using “Regional and Language Options” control panel. But this would impossible to achieve for the anonymous employee that works for trans-global corporation without admin access account %-)

   As for the developer of the Flash application we can always embed font into Flash app that contains Thai characters, but this will impact the overall bytesize of the resulting SWF file.

ps
   In 2010, Windows XP remains highly relevant OS. Various stat counters show that 52% 64% computer users use Windows XP. Thus it is very important for any Flash application to play nice under this OS without an hassle.