I write this here because Flash (as many other Adobe products) doesn't have a bug tracker where people can post bug reports (yes, I know there is a form for reporting bugs and feature requests, but you cannot search for already reported bugs so that's useless).
I use Flash to develop AIR applications, and the digital signature thing is so unstable and unreliable that it makes it practically impossible to use Flash for deloping AIR applications for any reasonably SERIOUS purpose.
I don't care too much about digital signatures, but AIR obliges you to use them, so I'm not going to spend a lot of money for registering a "real" digital certificate with some authority (or whatever they are called). I use the certificates you can create from within Flash.
I don't know whether "real" (paid) certificates are supported as badly as those created from within flash - I hope not, because that would be a huge shame. However, that the certificates you create from within flash are managed so poorly and create so many problems, is a big shame too.
Here's the issue, that I guess every flash developer in the world is experiencing.
I created a certificate and I use that certificate to export all my AIR applications. Then, every once in a while, with no reason, the certificate stops working. Flash will fail to publish any AIR application with it. It will CRASH every time I try to publish an AIR application.
So I am obliged to create a new certificate from scratch, and use that one. Then Flash stops crashing and I can publish any applications. Of course I had to waste a lot of time before I realised it was because of the certificate. Now that I know it, every time flash starts crashing and doesn't let me publish any AIR application, I create a new certificate.
But even so, this is still a HUGE issue. Every time I'm obliged to do so, I cannot publish an update to an application that will be recognized as such. If I release a new version of an application and I'm obliged to publish it with a different certificate, and then deliver my new version to my clients, they won't be able to install it. When trying to install it, the installer gives them a GENERIC error message and doesn't give any option to install the application. That's one thing that s**ks by itself (it should say "You already have an application with the same ID but a different digital signature. (bla bla bla) What do you want to do? Don't install; Replace" or something like that).
So almost EVERY TIME I release a new version of an application of mine, I am obliged to tell my clients: "Here is the update. Try to install it. If it fails, uninstall your current version and install this new one".
That is a shame. Needless to say, that will make them lose any data saved in the local store. Or I have to instruct them to how to back up the content of the local store, uninstall the old version of the application, install the new one, and restore the old local store content.
All that just to upgrade an application.
This is just one (probably one of the biggest and most stupid) of a lot of issues that make it completely impossible to use Flash to deploy serious, professional applications.
Adobe should take this kind of issue very seriously and fix them.
If they're not able to provide a decent support for digital signatures, then they should provide the option to publish software without them. That may be unsafe, but at least one could deploy software that WORKS.