KillerSites Blog

Why Flash CS3 makes Flash important again – and this time, it’s for real!

May 1, 2008

Up until Flash CS3, I think Flash had been slowly drifting into becoming a niche market technology. But now, Flash CS3 (and the Flash player 9) puts Flash back into the game as an important player.

… This means that it now makes more sense for web developers to learn Flash technology. I go over some of the details below.

A little background

I won’t go into the long history of Flash, since I’ve briefly covered it elsewhere. But let me just quickly recap that Flash started out as a way to create lightweight interactive animations on the Web.

And then the people in charge of Flash, tried to position it as an alternative to HTML.

… This did not work out too well.

The death of Flash ‘Intros’

At one point there was this Flash ‘intro’ fad, where web designers forced people watch a Flash animation before they could actually see the website! This we know now, was simply a crazy bad idea.

Once the Flash intro fad died in 2001, Flash slowly slipped into a niche. Most websites didn’t need animations and Flash was not really easier to work with than HTML and CSS.

Flash CS3 breaths life into Flash

Now all bets are off, Flash CS3 and the new ultra fast Flash player 9 make Flash (once again) a very important technology on the Web … and now, even on the desktop!

Flash is actually useful – for real this time!

Now Flash has a whole bunch of improvements that make Flash an interesting addition that can complement HTML/CSS based websites. Flash also provides useful tools that will make developing great Flash based web sites much easier than before.

… In my opinion, Flash development was too time consuming in the past to be compelling enough for people to want to switch over.

So what are the improvements to Flash CS3?

I won’t go into too many nerdy details here, but I think I can reduce it to these key points:

  1. Flash development tools now have all the features that programmers expect to have in an IDE.
  2. Actionscript 3 is very powerful and has a rich API that takes a lot of the work out of your hands.
  3. The Flash 9 engine is blazingly fast – it almost feels like the Flash applications are running at native speed!
  4. Flash now has the Flex framework that allows you to easily build interactive database driven Flash applications very quickly.

For a Flash designer, these developments may seem boring. But the fact of the matter is that this could spur interest in Flash … making both Flash design and Flash programming skills, much more valuable.

Because of these new Flash developments, I’ve decided to create a whole new section on with a bunch of Flash tutorials and articles.


Stefan Mischook