Congratulations on getting to open beta with Flash Catalyst!
I know its late in the game to mention something like this but why didnt Abobe just update Flash Professional?
It seems that the arguments for flash Catalyst center around the following:
1) smooth workflow between Photoshop & Illustrator, especially because of the same layer view
2) No coding required to create components out of artwork
3) Can create FXG and FXPs to be used in Flash Builder
4) Can create multi screen aplications
1) 2) and 3) could all be solved by adding a new types of symbols to Flash Professional's 3 currently available symbols(MovieClip, Button, Graphic)
1) could be solved by adding a new Sprite symbol.
Flash Professional needs to be updated to keep up with and match the structure of AS3 anyway.
Sprites were added in AS3 and now wireframe components are being added to the code structure, why not just at that on the design side as well?
Sprites are essentially MovieClips with out a timeline.
So if you created a new Sprite symbol and opened it up in the timeline, you would only see one frame with folders and layers.
A Sprite symbol is essentially organized the in layers and folders and would just like a photoshop file.
And if you really want it to look like a Photoshop layout, then you just move the timeline view over to the right.
This would solve problem 1. Designers could import their artwork into Flash Professional as a Sprite and it would be a seemless experience.
Obviously I'm not saying that a bitmap is a sprite. But I am saying that layers of bitmaps and could be organized inside of a Sprite. And the designer could turn any of the assets into a Button, MovieClip, Graphic, Sprite, and hopefully other Classes and WireframeComponents available in Flash.
2)&3) could be solved by adding a new Symbols for the new Wireframe Components. The Button symbol already has a template with 4 states. Why not update Flash Professional to visually represent more Classes and Component Classes, instead of just the MovieClip Class and the Button Class. Even better, maybe there could be a way to make a template for creating our own wireframe components. Just assign a base class for the wireframe class and a base template, and the introspection view will display accordingly.
States of the component would be listed out at the top instead of frames, just like the Button Symbol used to be. Different layers could be designated for specific graphical parts of the component. The designer would be free to add their own layers if necessary.
In previous versions of Flash, everything was a movieclip and everthing had a timeline. Thats not the case anymore. The timeline is for intropecting MovieClips, but this view could be different when intropsecting different types of symbols such as Sprites, Buttons, Wireframe Components, and even Custom Wireframe Components(extensible).
These new Symbols and also Sprites could export to FXG very easily.
The multi screen applications in 4) look pretty similar to the Slide Presentation Template. Why not just make a new MultiScreen App Template and youre done. these MultiScreenApp Templates could exporte Screens to FXG or export the whole Template to a FXP.
I applaud the work done on the new wireframe components and FXG. Great Job!
But, just cant understand why you cant update Flash Professional with new types of Symbols(Sprites, new Buttons and wireframe Component Classes) and a new MultiScreen App Template.
Flash Professional needs to keep up with AS3 and also needs to export FXG and FXP.
Why doesnt Adobe focus on on this rather than create a new Tool? These features need to be added to Flash Professional anyway.
Isnt there more of a disadvantage to having 2 tools for designers that do the same thing?
I'm sure this issue has been debated before. Can anyone point to me links that have the arguments for creating a separate tool instead of updating?
Has anyone ever suggested that Flash Professional should keep up with AS3?
Has anyone ever suggested making Sprites a new symbol in Flash Professional so that it could be more seamless with Photoshop?
Has anyone ever suggested make Wireframe components in Flash Professional like the Button Symbol in Flash Professional?
Has anyone ever suggested updating Flash Professional so that it would export FXG and FXP?
What is your opinion on this?