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Prodigal Mac: Finally!

At long last, Flash for X By Kevin Schmitt
Of course, I'm going to take all the credit.

It seems that only a mere couple of weeks after my somewhat controlled rant at Macromedia, something got done. The powers-that-be over there finally said, "You know, that Kevin is absolutely correct. Start the port of Flash over to OS X right now!" And here we are, less than one month later, and they're already done. All is forgiven! Praise be!

Well, not quite. As much as I would like to think that I had anything whatsoever to do with Macromedia getting their collective tails in gear (or that anyone there has even heard of me or read anything I've written, for that matter), Flash's impending availability on Mac OS X is only a baby step. Granted, it's absolutely a step in the right direction for Mac users, but it's nonetheless just the first step towards making nice with the Mac community.

Now, I've read what you've probably already read about Flash MX's feature set, interface improvements, workflow enhancements and strides in the area of interactive video, and I must admit that it all sounds good on paper. And, just between you and me, I've also seen a number of screenshots from the MX beta (running on OS X, of course) that visibly demonstrate that the Flash interface and workflow have been vastly improved. What we'll have to wait until March 15th to find out, however, is if Macromedia has made more than a token effort to optimize Flash for speed on the Mac platform, a shortcoming that is still my No. 1 Macromedia beef until they prove otherwise.

I'm not as optimistic as I probably should be that we'll see any real improvements, though. Macromedia's optimization for OS 9 and earlier never kept up with the Windows versions in the speed area, and judging from the downright pathetic performance and instability I've seen in the Flash 6 Player Beta on OS X, the situation hasn't gotten any better. Granted, it's a beta, and I'll of course wait until the real thing ships before I pass final judgment, but seeing as how Macromedia has positively drooled over Windows XP and the .NET initiative of late, something tells me that the last year hasn't been spent making sure Mac OS X users will be satisfied.

On March 15, we'll all find out. And at that time, the only question left for Macromedia will be, "where's everything else?" Baby steps, baby steps...

Of course, stick with Creative Mac for full coverage on the long-awaited debut of Flash MX on Mac OS X.

Kevin Schmitt has been working with just about every aspect of digital media since before anyone really knew what to call it. An award-winning animator, artist and multimedia
producer, he is currently the head honcho of Kevin Schmitt Digital Design, located in the enormously bustling megalopolis of Charlottesville, Va. By all means, drop him a line at dmn@kevinschmitt.com.

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Though the fame, riches, and notoriety of being a DMN contributor are both tantalizing and substantial, Kevin Schmitt still stubbornly insists on continuing his work as the Director of Interactive Services at EFX Media, a production house located just outside of Washington, D.C. Feel free to follow his updates and contact him through Twitter if you have something to share - he's ready to believe you!
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