over the past ten years, flash has developed from a fun little animation tool into one of the most popular (and often times most beautiful) methods of displaying content over the internet.
a really cool site made recently (for sony, i know-lame) in flash can be seen here. this was made with a few open source flash tools. (if you find the ball video with jose gonzales soundtrack- now that is awesome…)
Flash operates off of something called the Adobe Flash Player, which was recently updated to version 9. (you may download this version here) In order for some-one to view content created in flash, a user must download and install this player in their browser.
Unfortunatley, this platform of displaying content is not open. Adobe keeps the source code that runs this player secret. Though not very interesting to most any user of the internet, this fact makes it near impossible for developers to cooperate on and improve the Flash Player itself.
Perhaps more interesting to people interested in using flash for their web projects, the software that is used to create flash documents is also a closed source, proprietary piece of software, (and a rather expensive one, at that). You may download a 30-day trial copy from this link.
Regardless, however, of how Adobe (and Macromedia before it) chooses to distribute its software and cooperate with the community that uses it, there is a very strong community of flash developers and designers who embrace the open source ethos of knowledge sharing and cooperation.
There are many sites which dedicate themselves to supporting flash developers and designers. A very short list (or, more accurately, a good jumping board) of good flash knowledge sharing sites are :
There are also many other exciting topics in the field of open source flash. The most exciting two (in my humble opinion) both happen to be supported by google. The first project was created by Zeh Fernando, a flash designer from brazil who has created and shared a very complex and easy to use Tweening engine (download here). A good number of the best flash developers in the world, (and the rest of us), use Zeh’s tweening engine on a daily basis to control almost any property of an object. Yay!
The second project I am very interested in is Papervision3D, the creation of Carlos Ulloa. In collaboration with many others, Carlos and the Papervision 3D team have created an engine used to control objects in a 3d space. (download here) This stuff is awesome, and there are tons of really cool examples of what it can do.
These projects, among Very many others, contribute to the flash community in a way that no closed, proprietary systems could, and I am happy to use them.
Other promising things in the world of open source flash are MTASC, and HaXe. These projects seek to replace the actionscript 2 and 3, respectively, compilers. With MTASC or HaXe, flash developers are able to create and compile their flash documents without having to buy the flash IDE.
With all that said, I am a strong supported of open source and flash. If you ever need help with how to do something in flash, or want to view the source of a document created in flash (provided I haven’t made it for a client who doesn’t want to share), please let me know. I’d be glad to help. There will also be more in the future on this page about other best open flash projects.
My most recent project is a jewelry site I made for a friend. It can be viewed here at antitechnologos.com. Her jewelery is Awesome, and I had a lot of fun making it. Comments welcome!