An Architect's View

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An Architect's View

Adobe Alchemy

November 18, 2008 ·

There's a lot of C / C++ code out there that does a lot of useful stuff - masses of tried and true, well-tested and often well-supported open source software. Now you can take any of that code and automatically convert it to compiled ActionScript code that will run on Flash Player 10. Check out Adobe Alchemy on Labs. This was demoed in the general session today at MAX. They initially showed a few libraries (such as OpenSSL) compiled to run on the Flash Player, then they showed image manipulation and audio playback (Ogg Vorbis) running in the Flash Player. Finally they showed Quake(!) and a 6502 console emulator running Super Mario... Whilst it elicited a bit of a "huh?" from many attendees, I think this is a very important piece of technology because it brings a large amount of pre-existing software to the Flash Platform. Oh, and the compiled code runs asynchronously** so that long-running C / C++ cross-compiled processes can run while the Flash Player contains to update the UI etc. ** OK, it runs across Flash frames so it doesn't block execution of other code (at least, that's my understanding).

Tags: adobe · adobemax08

1 response

  • 1 Brett Walker // Nov 18, 2008 at 5:38 PM

    Totally agree  this is the biggest announcement at MAX, and the biggest Flash news of the year. This provides a framework for extending the native codebase of Flash, all without asking an end-user to authorize that usage. It's not exactly an easy process for most Flash developers, but I can imagine online repositories of open source, ported C++ libs will quickly spring up. Also interesting is that Adobe mentions on their Labs site that Alchemy bytecode optimizations will eventually be making their way to the normal AS3 compiler, which means a speed boost across the board.