Your Suggestions for Flash Enhancements

By sgrosvenor
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You and I (the users) of Flash are in an ideal position to voice any concerns of where we think that the Flash development environment could do with some bolstering up and attention; be you a developer or designer there must have been many times when you’ve thought the following:

1. Damn, I

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  • sgrosvenor

    I seem to be perpetually suffering from tonsilitis at the moment and as such feeling pretty under the weather (all go awww…). Don’t let that stop you from posting your comments to this thread as we could all make some noise about things that we’d like to see!

  • Redivider

    I’d like to see an option to export items directly from the Library.

    So a movie clip becomes it’s own FLA (or SWF, whatever you prefer), and bitmaps, sound and video would be exported in whatever format they were imported in (if possible).

    I haven’t given this all that much thought, so there may be some obvious reason why they don’t want to do this. But I’ve had plenty of instances where I was given an FLA file with a bunch of assets in it and expected to use those assets in other files and projects.

    And when you’re working on a project with other people who may need to modify a few graphics/animations but don’t want to deal with the whole flash file, it would be nice to be able to just export a movieclip as an FLA and give it to them, and then import it back into the library.

    Obviously there are ways to do all of these things, but it could be a lot simpler.

  • sgrosvenor

    It certainly sounds easy enough to do (don’t quote me on that :-) ), and from a portability and reusability point of view it makes sense.

    Perhaps this type of functionality can be added by extending Flash via commands or via a shell extension whereby the .fla in question is iterated through and all MCs are exported as a series of separate FLAs?

  • [Az]

    Not sure if it’s relevant to post here but I wish Macromedia would sort out Flash so that it doesn’t appear above everything else on the web browser. The wmode transparency workaround works for IE but not for Opera and Mozilla which means that any flash movies e.g. banner ads will always appear above dropdown menus. There must be some way to sort this

  • ldicarro

    Hooo boy. I could go on for days about this.

    These comments pertain to the Mac OS X version of Flash MX 2004 Pro.

    1. UI in authoring environment doesn’t work like other programs. ie: when you fill in a text box in the properties palette and hit return, the focus does not return to the window being modified. The focus just stays in the text box. Also, I think scrolling using the scroll wheel on a multibutton mouse should scroll the front-most window that the cursor is over, not the active window.

    2. While collapsable palettes are great, the palettes are still too clunky and it is hard to get them out of your way.

    3. MovieClip._focus = true or MovieClip._focus = false needs to be added to actionscript. If you can enable focus for an object or give it a listener, you should be able to turn the focus off and on.

    4. The Sound object should be consistent in how it reads time. Sound.duration returns milliseconds while Sound.start(n) requires n to be in seconds.

    Don’t get me wrong, I love Flash and think MX 2004 Pro is the best yet – just some of the inconsistencies are a little annoying. I really like discovering all the new things that each version of Flash can do.

  • joe_king

    Why can’t video be brought in without going through Sorensen Squeeze? I spend hours getting it the way I want and I still have to brint it through their compression? Even if you turn everything off it still jacks it up. Offer the option to import without squeezing! It’s a no-brainer

  • It’s worth pointing out that Macromedia have a “wish list” contact form where you can post feature requests here. Perosnally I think the forms-based design methodology in Flash Pro. should be in “standard” Flash, as I think it would make Flasg attractive to a wider audience of developers

  • Ron Phillips

    Two more formats I’d love to see supported: SVG and MrSID.

    SVG is a standard; it doesn’t do everything Flash can do, but it is search and accessibility friendly. There are times when I’d like to use SVG for the graphic portion of an app.

    MrSID is a compression scheme similar to JPG, except that it compresses MUCH smaller than JPG.

  • sgrosvenor

    All good points coming in so far, and a valuable point for the ‘wish list’ contact form on the MM site, i’d just love to compile a whole list of enhancements / requests that i can send off with weighting to those most requested to another route within MM

  • sgrosvenor

    Also, don’t forget the new feedback left hand side item that Sitepoint have added to both this Flash blog and all the other blogs for sending feedback directly to me and the respective authors regarding anything you’re not happy with, requests for articles (you ask and if viable you will get!)or anything else you wish

  • sgrosvenor

    These suggestions are perfect. Keep them coming!

  • 1. When I use F4 to hide panels, I wish the Tools panel would stay instead of having to use Ctrl+F2 to pull it back out.

    2. What would be really cool is to be able to float the main stage in it’s own window that can be minimized/maximized and always on top. The development panels would remain under the stage. Something like that. Basically, more seperation between design and development.

    3. Ability to change the main stage color surrounding the main movie area.

    4. More text editing – arched text, wavy text, text-to-path..

    5. Ability to use eraser and paint on imported images without having to break them apart first.

    6. Help content for Flash Communication Server development.

    7. Snippit storage for common scripts, including some pre-made standard ones.

    8. More help tutorials on the more complicated areas of scripting and development.

    9. A powerful pause function to use in scripting and more ColdFusion-like functions such as handling date with ease.

    10. Lastly, scratch and sniff. So you can assign a smell to an image where visitors can scatch the screen and smell it.

    Otherwise, it (MX 2004 Pro) has just about anything you could need for any task. Most powerful web development program on the market, next to Dreamweaver.

  • sgrosvenor

    Flash MX 2004 Special Edition, now including Scratch and Sniff; now that’d be really, really special!

  • Redivider

    Speaking of text-options, Flash really needs to have a STROKE option for text, as well as the option to place the fill over the stroke, as in Fireworks MX 2004. I’m tired of copying the text, breaking it apart, stroking each character, and placing it under the original copy so that the fill covers the part of the stroke that ends up on the inside edge of the text.

    Does anyone else do it this way? I get pretty much the same results as in FWMX2004, but with like 5 extra steps.

  • ekameleon

    I’d like :
    – A submit/upload Button or Methode
    – regex
    – full CSS & more HTML TAGS

  • Chris Velevitch

    Flash should be able to open, edit and compile MXML.

  • anton

    Browse / upload files button would be a #1 priority. If there would be one thing that would be this one. All the rest is not urgent. Also keep player at a reasonable size

  • jeff

    The feature I have needed again and again (and have found no workaround for) is in ActionScript to be able detect whether my flash movie is running in a browser, and, if so, see the DOM of the html page it’s running in. I have to make calls out to functions in the containing page, but depending on which DOM – a standards compliant one or a proprietary I.E. one – I might need to call alternate versions of the function. This will allow “object detection based ‘browser sniffing'”. As part of the DOM we could then see the userAgent string to be able to do a old fashioned “browser sniffing” – which can still be helpful when I.E. has an object implemented (so it passes object based sniffing) but they have a bug in their implementation so you have to know your in I.E. in order to supply a work-around.
    If full DOM read/write access isn’t possible then at least DOM reading. If even that’s not possible then a bare minimum of getting access to the navigator object, as well as the userAgent object.
    This would solve so many headaches!