Jonesin’ for Some 8-Ball

As many people know, the next version of Flash — codenamed “8-Ball” — is currently in beta and has been previewed at Macromedia conferences in the last several weeks. I have beta-tested versions of Flash in the past, but unfortunately, I neglected to register for this one. I am the worst kind of beta tester. I download the new builds and never end up providing much feedback to the development team. I’ll be the first to admit, I beta-test mainly to plan future content releases as opposed to actually helping fix bugs. I suppose it would be better to help out with the bugs and all, but as a major content provider, I figure just helping to push the technology is my contribution to Macromedia’s success.

Anyway… after seeing what’s in store with 8-Ball, I’m regretting more and more that I never signed up for the beta. It looks like the most exciting update to Flash since Flash 4 and the introduction of ActionScript. Here is what I’m really excited about so far:

  • Live Photoshop-like effects such as drop shadows, glows, and strokes
  • MUCH faster rendering and better processor management on both Macs and PCs
  • A better anti-aliasing engine for text (codenamed Saffron)… sIFR will benefit greatly from this
  • Fully alpha-maskable video, with much better compression as well
  • Much much more…

There are two videos I’ve seen which demo various parts of 8-Ball. Have a look:

Like this entry? You can follow me on Twitter here, subscribe via email here, or get the RSS feed if that's how you roll.

9 Responses:

  1. Josh Dura says:

    Thanks for the link Mike!

  2. Wow, this really looks like this is going to blow Flash mx 2004 out of the water.

  3. Jeff says:

    Yeah, I saw Moock’s a while back, this does look awesome. I was also thinking of how wonderfully sifr could benefit from this. I can’t get the first video to load though.

  4. yeah looks very impressive. I wonder when “8-ball” is planning on being released? I can’t wait as it has a lot of good features i have always wanted.

  5. mGee says:

    I hope that they at least make the mac panel system work like the windows panel system and allow for panels below the document window.

  6. Luca Deltodesco says:

    How much powerful is flash 8 gunna be in terms of scripting and programming, im making a 3d engine atm im adding collision into it (finsihed collision for sphere to sphere) but with only about 70 vertices and 80 fills (with cameras, frustum clipping and culling, collision and flat shading lighting, i get about 6fps on my high end computer)

  7. Bevan says:

    It is released ;0)

  8. Hey Bevan, explain. Surely you can’t mean the announcement of “Flash Platform”. That ISN’T the new fash version.

  9. Circa CFD says:

    8-ball.

    Flash MX 2005 ? “Much faster rendering”…

Shared
Humanity's deep future:

A group of researchers at the Future of Humanity Institute talk about where our race may be going and how artificial intelligence could save or kill us all.

Steve Jobs speaks about the future at the International Design Conference in 1983:

31 years later, it’s safe to say this is one of the most prescient speeches about technology ever delivered. Jobs covers wireless networking, tablets, Google StreetView, Siri, and the App Store (among other things) many years before their proliferation. A fantastic listen.

How to travel around the world for a year:

Great advice for when you finally find the time.

LiveSurface:

A fantastic app for prototyping your design work onto real world objects like billboards, book covers, and coffee cups. This seems like just as great of a tool for people learning design as it does for experts.

50 problems in 50 days:

One man’s attempt to solve 50 problems in 50 days using only great design. Some good startup ideas in here…

How to Do Philosophy:

If you’ve ever suspected that most classical philosophy is a colossal waste of time, Paul Graham tells you why you’re probably right.

TIME: Why Medical Bills Are Killing Us:

Stephen Brill follows the money to uncover the pinnacle of corruption that is the U.S. Health Care system. A must-read article if there ever was one.

DIY Dot Org:

A beautifully designed site full of fun and challenging DIY projects. I could spend months on here.

The Steve Jobs Video Archive:

A collection of over 250 Steve Jobs videos in biographical order

Self-portraits from an artist under the influence of 48 different psychoactive drug combos.

Water Wigs are pretty amazing.

David Pogue proposes to his girlfriend by creating a fake movie trailer about them and then getting a theater to play it before a real movie. Beautiful and totally awesome.

Jonah Peretti's letter to BuzzFeed’s employees:

If you’re wondering what a excellent blueprint for a modern media company looks like, look no further than Buzzfeed CEO Jonah Peretti’s latest email to his employees. In it, Peretti explains a lot of his company’s virtues, the most important being a relentless focus on always providing what’s best for the user. Vox Media (operators of The Verge) is the only other company I can think of which approaches this level of reform and execution.

The Covers Project:

I love this so much: a cross-referenceable database of cover songs, searchable by song or artist. Slowed down, acoustic covers — no matter the song — are so enjoyable to me that I wish it was a requirement to play one at every show. If you like them as much as I do, make sure to check out M. Ward’s Let’s Dance or Sun Kil Moon’s entire album of Modest Mouse covers.

“More and more people in this country no longer make or do anything tangible; if your job wasn’t performed by a cat or a boa constrictor in a Richard Scarry book I’m not sure I believe it’s necessary. I can’t help but wonder whether all this histrionic exhaustion isn’t a way of covering up the fact that most of what we do doesn’t matter.”
- Tim Kreider’s denunciation of the cult of busyness is excellent. (via jimray)