4 Replies Latest reply on Dec 18, 2008 5:27 AM by Newsgroup_User

    What?  Another upgrade?!

    edacc
      This is totally BS! Macromedia is ripping off people by posting new version every 6 months. How do you expect company uses your tool to develop application and the tool and language change every 6 months!?

      My application uses flash (AS 2.0) to perform part of the UI. However, we have decided to stop using the flash as the UI because it is "open source" that people can decompile it easily. Macromedia doesn't bother to solve this problem at all. More importantly, it is no way for us to train our developers to learn AS 3, or AS 4, or AS 5 every 6 months and rewrite the whole app again and again.

      Our application involves lot of coding on the UI side, so Silverlight is the way to go. We have enough for marcomedia, no more upgrade BS!

        • 1. Re: What?  Another upgrade?!
          Level 7
          edacc,

          > This is totally BS! Macromedia is ripping off people by posting
          > new version every 6 months.

          It sounds like you're frustrated, and I can empathize with that in
          general ... but even so, it's important to clarify a few things here. Flash
          8 was the last version of the authoring that was officially released by
          Macromedia. Just prior to Flash CS3, Macromedia was acquired by Adobe, so
          the entity in question here is Adobe.

          I realize you might be exaggerating out of frustration, and that's fine,
          but Flash CS3 was released in April of 2007. Six months after that would
          have been October 2007, but Flash CS4 only just hit the stores this year (in
          the last few months).

          > How do you expect company uses your tool to develop application
          > and the tool and language change every 6 months!?

          Again, six months is stretching it ... but the good news is, each new
          version of the authoring tool is effectively backward compatible. Even in
          Flash CS4 -- the current version, as of this writing -- you can save source
          files as Flash CS3-compatible FLAs, and you can publish SWFs in ActionScript
          3.0, 2.0, 1.0, and even pre-Flash 5 ActionScript (the slash-syntax kind).
          There really isn't anything in the latest release that should stop you from
          continuing the application you had started.

          > My application uses flash (AS 2.0) to perform part of the UI. However,
          > we have decided to stop using the flash as the UI because it is "open
          > source" that people can decompile it easily.

          Flash proper isn't open source, but there are open source way to produce
          SWF content, such as FlashDevelop (flashdevelop.org), which lets you legally
          create AS2- and AS3-based content without spending a dime. As far as
          decompiling goes ... unfortunately, there isn't really a way to protect
          against decompiling for anything. Java can be decompiled, .NET can be
          decompiled, the list goes on. This is part of why companies have EULAs (end
          user license agreements), and why most closed-source EULAs expect the end
          user to refrain from reverse engineering or decompiling the software.

          > Macromedia doesn't bother to solve this problem at all.

          Adobe. But yes, they couldn't solve the problem if they tried. Just
          like Microsoft couldn't really keep people from decompiling MS Word.

          > More importantly, it is no way for us to train our developers to learn AS
          > 3,
          > or AS 4, or AS 5 every 6 months and rewrite the whole app again and again.

          Why rewrite it? If you started writing it in AS2, keep right on doing
          that! :) The latest version of ActionScript is 3.0. There isn't an AS4
          yet, and there probably won't be one for a while. Whenever it arrives
          (might be years), it will most likely be very similar to AS3. The big
          difference came between AS2 and AS3, because AS3 requires a new virtual
          machine (AVM2) that ships with Flash Player 9 or higher.

          But again, don't worry about the new language. Keep working on your AS2
          app in AS2.

          > Our application involves lot of coding on the UI side, so Silverlight is
          > the
          > way to go. We have enough for marcomedia, no more upgrade BS!

          Competition is good! Just don't be surprised when Microsoft decides to
          change the Silverlight APIs on you. I bet my hat it'll happen sooner or
          later. ;)


          David Stiller
          Adobe Community Expert
          Dev blog, http://www.quip.net/blog/
          "Luck is the residue of good design."


          • 2. Re: What?  Another upgrade?!
            millerthegorilla
            I agree with the response but it would be nice if there were some sort of obfuscation tool available for actionscript code. Some of the c++ ones that I used to use were pretty effective in preventing reverse engineering after decompiling.
            • 3. Re: What?  Another upgrade?!
              Walter Elias Level 2
              There are obfuscation tools for ActionScript. Do a search, you'll find them. The free ones I've tried can sometimes interfere with the AS running properly. Never tried the commercial ones, but I've heard from others who use them as a precaution, and no complaints.

              But nothing is foolproof. Someone seriously intent on stealing code can steal your code, as David Stiller said.
              • 4. Re: What?  Another upgrade?!
                Level 7
                millerthegorilla,

                > I agree with the response but it would be nice if there were
                > some sort of obfuscation tool available for actionscript code.

                There are tools like that available from 3rd parties. But it's a
                cat-and-mouse game, not unlike anti-virus software. Why? Because once
                someone's obfuscation tool becomes popular, there's a certain community of
                very adept programmers that likes to crack the code. Once an obfuscator is
                cracked, it's cracked.

                > Some of the c++ ones that I used to use were pretty effective
                > in preventing reverse engineering after decompiling.

                It's like putting a better bolt on your door. Yes, that stops petty
                thieves, but it doesn't stop anyone with a will to break the door in. More
                importantly, obfuscators have the potential to make your SWF(s) unstable.
                Last month, or so, I was involved in a thread on this forum in which a whole
                collection of someone's SWFs failed to work in Flash Player 10. She was
                frantic, for good reason. What had she done wrong? Did Flash Player 10
                have a major display bug? The answer ended up being that she had obfuscated
                her SWFs with one of the 3rd party tools back when they were made (migth
                have been Flash Player 8) ... and for whatever reason, Flash Player 10 no
                longer read those files. Fortunately for her, the same 3rd party offered an
                upgrade to the obfuscator and she was able to re-encode. But that's luck of
                the draw....


                David Stiller
                Adobe Community Expert
                Dev blog, http://www.quip.net/blog/
                "Luck is the residue of good design."