Flash Is Now A Platform, AIR Gets An Upgrade, And Adobe Puts A Catalyst In Gumbo

Realizing that Flash is a better name than Flex for a platform, Adobe is now referring to everything it does related to Flash (including the Flash Player, Adobe AIR, Flex developer tools, and Flash media servers) as the Flash Platform. That’s what I’ve been calling it anyway, so I’m glad they finally caught up.

Beyond the marketing shift, Adobe will be making some more significant announcements at its MAX developer conference this week. Here’s a summary:

1. Release of Adobe AIR 1.5. The Adobe AIR client now has better performance and memory handling, but most importantly it supports Flash Player 10 and Webkit (which is what the mobile browsers in both the iPhone and Android are based on). Flash Player 10 means more 3-d graphics. This version of AIR will also include an encrypted database that should appeal to developers of enterprise apps.

2. Flash Catalyst and Gumbo. Adobe is reaching out beyond its core base of developers with a new set of tools. Catalyst (previously known as Thermo), streamlines the hand-off between graphic designers and developers. It creates a two-way bridge between files created in Adobe’s Creative Suite products such as Photoshop as Illustrator, and Web apps built in Flash or AIR.
Adobe will be making some announcements at its MAX developer conference this week. Catalyst basically converts everything back and forth. In a similar vein, Gumbo (aka, Flex Builder 4) will try to appeal beyond core Java developers to script kiddies of all stripes and sizes. It will be available as a preview release

3. Mobile Flash. Flash will be demoed on Windows Mobile.

4. A 64-bit Flash Player For Linux. A preview will become available at Adobe Labs.

5. Dynamic streaming comes to Flash media server. The server software can now deliver Flash video at different quality, depending one the bandwidth and device of the viewer.