An earlier version of Flash Player 8 I tested is version 8,0,0,325. It once refused to play some of my movies that run well in Flash Player 7. However, the new pre-release is OK!
One exciting new feature of the new ActionScript is the support of E4X along with regular expression object.
As announced earlier by Macromedia developer communities, the new Flash Player, code-name Maelstrom, comes with the following new features:
(pasted from Mike Chambers)
Now, to summarize the features shown:
Three key themes:
– Greatly improved ActionScript performance
– A new feature that we’re working on called "Bitmap Caching" which essentially freezes a MovieClip at run-time as a bitmap, with all vector data still maintained, and allows the player to greatly cut down on processor stress by just shifting pixels around the screen instead of recalculating every vector at every frame. When vector data changes, the cached MovieClip is recalculated.
– Further optimizations in the Mac Player. You’ll notice in the keynote video that the demos were all done on the Mac – on purpose.
– A new "Filters" API that allows Flash users to apply effects like drop shadow, blur, glow, bevel, etc at run-time, without adding file size. They also have full control over these effects at run-time, which means you can fully animate the effects.
– New precise control over pixels. Not much shown here, just hinted at. 🙂
– A new text rendering engine – arguably among the best in the industry.
– A new video codec, among the best in the industry. Superior quality without adding file size.
– Support for the alpha channel in video. This is super-cool. Users will be able to overlay video with transparency (even semi-transparent objects like water, fire, or smoke) on any other Flash asset, including interactive elements.
We’re being a lot more secretive about what we’re working on in 8ball so we’ve only showed a few interesting things thus far. We’re still holding back on some big things. We don’t want to give you sensory overload. 😉
– Blending modes
– Full UI for filters (see above)
– Improvements to Undo/Redo (watch Josh’s video very closely)
– Enhanced stroke properties (caps and joins like Freehand/Illustrator)
– Object-based drawing option (makes Flash treat shapes more like Fireworks/Freehand/Illustrator/Photoshop, etc. Toggle’s on and off in the tools panel)
– Enhanced gradient properties including control over the direction of a radial gradient
See http://www.macromedia.com/software/flashplayer/public_beta/ for more information.