Flash, Flex and ActionScript

The fall of Flash

The world has changed since the times when Flash websites were popular. Expelled from the fast-growing market of mobile devices, and surrounded by powerful open technologies, Flash has been slowly displaced by these compatible alternatives.

It is hard to miss the not-so-good sides of Flash. Technically, it was a plugin that required a significant amount of memory, and that came with frequently exploited vulnerabilities. And from a usage point of view, the unskippable, slow-loading website intros are better left in the past.

However, Flash had a good side as well, which may have influenced the current state of the Internet more than we may think.

The legacy of Flash

It was typical to see in my web Flash projects elements like:

  • Advanced animations.
  • Interfaces that adapted themselves to user choices.
  • Asynchronous loads of information.
  • Single page applications with dynamic interfaces.

Aren’t those features present in most modern, current web applications as well?

When I coded custom dashboards based in Flex and the powerful object-oriented ActionScript 3.0, we called them Rich Internet Applications. Today, advanced Javascript is giving the characteristics of the RIAs a new life, and our day-to-day websites, online services and single-page web apps, practically follow these same design principles.

Before the term “responsive design” was even coined, I was already creating pages that would rearrange themselves to fit in any screen. We were already applying some material design principles before the term even existed.

It seems we were in the right direction. And I can still make good use of all that I learned with that kind of applications, as at the present time, I can re-create pretty much anything that I coded with Flash using a compatible Javascript approach. And that would work in any device.

The future of the Internet has never looked so good.

Do you need advanced features as part of your web application? Contact me and let’s discuss them together.