When a flash developer and photographer moves to London

What to do if Flash dies

The internet is full of opinions about the Adobe announce that they abandon flash player plugin for mobile, so i’m probably the last one that writes an article.

Clarifications from Mike Chambers
I never believed that flash will have success on mobile browser, I never optimized my apps for mobile and I never use the mobile browser unless i don’t have a choice and the website i need doesn’t have an iPhone app, so I give them right here, it’s better they stop developing. However, i believe that this will have much more impact on the desktops also, in their place i wouldn’t say anything and just stop working on it. I think that clients will simply not want flash in their websites because there’s HTML5 which works on the mobile also.

So now, what to do if you’re a flash developer and invested a lifetime in it? You can’t get into photography for sure, I wouldn’t. You can switch to haXe like I did 4 years ago. I was using it to write flash applications and the workflow is simply amazing, the compilation time much faster than flash, the language is strictly typed so you can’t make errors so easily, and the language is 90% AS3, so it’s very familiar. It was a real joy in my development life, but also brought me from a small country like Romania to a big city like London, it was the most rewarding thing since i use it.
What I do now with haXe is write applications for anything: TV, PS3, web, phones…(the team in fact, not myself), all of them with the same base code and a crossplatform framework. I’m also planning to make my personal framework built by needs along the years for flash, to compile for JS, i succeeded to create a colored rectangle, haha. I do it because i’ll need to convert my IMAGIN photo gallery to HTML5 at some point in time.

Another great thing about haXe is the NME library which let’s you create with the flash API applications for C++ (iPhone, Android, Mac, Windows), Flash, HTML5. I honestly think that’s still hard to setup and I personally don’t use it yet, but things improve fast, i suspect that one day it will have an easy installer.
haXe can compile to flash, c++, js and neko, the NME lib uses them wisely to build for each devices and system. Hard work is done also for the haXe to Java compiler, so will soon have Java to build natively Android apps.
(Just a small note here, I want to build a native Objective-C target, I started it as a fun project to see what’s about this OCaml language in which haxe is written. However, it’s paused right now because…)

What i’m currently doing is porting Cocos2d for iPhone to haXe. You can see the progress here. I believe that doing games is the only thing that can make you rich over night, so that’s why i got interested in this area. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t build any game with Cocos2d yet, why i started porting it is for 2 reasons:

  • to understand better it’s inner workings and not just the API
  • because i love iPhones and native software on it. When i’ll write my first game will be for the iPhone, but then because i have this framework i’ll be able to easily port it to Flash and Android. About other platforms i don’t really care, but it’s good they are there. So yeah, when comes to iPhones i just hate to take unnecessary paths.

Almost my entire portfolio is built using haxe and you can see it here, if you decide to give it a try i can only say, Enjoy!

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