Adobe released the numbers on Flash9/AS3 capabilities/penetration of the market and AS3 is now even more ready for primetime at 91%.
AS3 and the new Flash9 virtual machine AVM2 is ready to be used and performance gained from it. When you develop AS2 in Flash9 it uses the older, clunkier AVM1, this does not give the performance benefit that using AS3 and the new virtual machine will give you.
Currently AS3 apps are about 6-10 times faster than the AS3 counterparts. Also, AS2 code and the community is drying up and moving to AS3 where it is much more capable and ready for better performance of things like pseudo 3d engines like papervision, sandy and away3d and it can handle all types of binary manipulation and sockets that lead to very coo apps like emulators, pdf creators, compression tools, and of course with more performance, better games and more room for more content.
Flash9 AS3 penetration as of June 1, 2007:
|Flash Player 6||Flash Player 7||Flash Player 8||Flash Player 9|
This is as of June, it is September and most likely due to their projections that we are at 92% which is almost critical mass.
But ok, cmon, is it really worth it in performance?
Well back in late 2006 Carlos Ulloa did some early benchmarking which you can see here. As it turns out AS3 versions of the same effect from AS2 are at minimum 6-20 times faster. What can you do creatively with that much more power?
My recommendation, get your AS3 learn on. See what BIG SPACESHIP thinks of AS3 here. Big Spaceship just recently got added to thefwa’s hall of fame – one of three agencies all time.
For future reuse of code and knowledge and to get the most performance out of our creative projects, it is the best option NOW. Your competitors are moving to it and already making more compelling offerings, how long are you going to hack it with just AS2 skills?
The trajectory of the flash player penetration should complete to around 95-96% by teh end of the year judging by the current player and flash 8 penetration trajectory, Flash9 has gone from 85% to 91% in 3 months, it slows down to about 2% a month once it hits 90% until a critical mass of around 98% for each player. Essentially by 2008 everyone should have moved on to AS3, if you haven’t, well…