Adobe Flash, formerly known as Macromedia Flash, is a software program used to create and manipulate graphics and animation. It is one of the most common programs used for creating animated web pages, video players, and audio streaming applications. Flash files are traditionally in the SWF format, or ShockWave Flash, though many other types of files can be viewed or manipulated with this software.
1. Early History
* The history of Flash can be traced back to the 1980s, when high school student Jonathan Gay used an old Apple II computer to create computer drawing programs. He entered one of these programs, known as Super Paint, in the school science fair. After he won, his program caught the attention of local software developer Charlie Jackson. Jackson was in the process of starting a company known as Silicon Beach Software, which would produce programs for the Macintosh computer line. With little funding available to hire experienced developers, Jackson hired Gay to help create his programs. The Launch of FutureWave
* Gay worked at Silicon Beach through the end of college. He developed a number of computer games for the company, including the popular "Dark Castle," as well as an illustration program called Intellidraw. Using the animation and graphics skills he learned from developing these programs, Gay decided to launch his own company and create software for pen computers (an electronic tablet that users could "write" on with a special pen). He founded FutureWave Software in January 1993, and immediately created SmartSketch. This program would allow users to draw electronically on their computers, and had little success due to its late market entry. Flash is Created
* By 1995, the developers at FutureWave realized the potential for using SmartSketch as an animation tool. At that time, the Internet and the World Wide Web were relatively new concepts. Gay and his team added animation and Java features to SmartSketch, and renamed it as FutureSplash Animator. This program was the very first version of the Flash program we use today. Before shipping FutureSplash, Gay decided he would have better success by partnering with a bigger company. He spoke with both Adobe and Fractal Designs, and neither was impressed with the program. In summer 1996, the first units of FutureSplash Animator were sold to the public. Macromedia
* FutureSplash animator was such a success in the computer market that Microsoft approached the developers within just a few months of the program's release. Microsoft was planning their online version of MSN, and believed that FutureSplash would provide the smoothest and highest quality graphics. Disney Online also used the program to develop their website. By November 1996, Macromedia offered to purchase the program, and by December, Gay accepted. Macromedia shortened the product name to Flash, and hired Jonathan Gay as a Technology Vice President. Adobe
* Over the next decade, Macromedia released eight versions of Flash, each more advanced than the last. By 2005, the program was equipped to stream live music and video, and was widely used for a variety of animation and graphics applications. At the end of 2005, Adobe Systems acquired Macromedia, including the Flash program they had passed on more than a decade earlier. In 2007, Adobe launched a new version of Flash known as CS3, which began part of the Adobe Creative Suite package.
Inventor of Macromedia Flash
Adobe Flash, formerly known as Macromedia Flash, was introduced in May of 1996. Jonathan Gay was the creator of FutureSplash Animator, which later became Flash 1.0, and he remained main programmer for Flash until Macromedia's acquisition by Adobe in 2005.
Date of release: 1996 17 yrs. ago
Versions of Macromedia Flash (from first to latest)
* Macromedia Flash Player 2 (1997)
* Macromedia Flash Player 3 (1998)
* Macromedia Flash Player 4...