February 15, 2002
Flash 6 Beta posted
Hope everyone had a happy v-day, but put away those candy kisses and chocolates, it's time to get ready for Flash 6.
The word on the street is that Macromedia will announce and possibly release the official version on March 4th. Macromedia pushed out a public developers beta at the end of January, and for a week or so the beta was available for download to anyone who came to the regular Flash download area. A Very Bad Idea(tm) that was eventually fixed after an uproar in the Flash developer community.
Flash 6 beta released 1.31.2001 for Win/Mac (including OS X):
The first thing you need to do is to make sure your Flash sites work with the new beta. Chances are your Flash detection scripts are failing to account for versions newer than 5 -- I've hit several sites already that didn't recognize the Flash 6 plug-in and prompted me to upgrade. ;)
Should you see any problems with your existing Flash installations or the deployment kits, I implore you to submit a bug report.
Here's a fairly non-informative Flash 6 beta FAQ.
Ok, now for the fun stuff -- what's new in Flash 6?
Once you've installed the Flash 6 beta, check out the contextual menu selection "Settings..." by control-click-and-hold on a Flash movie and choosing that selection. Looks like Flash 6 has capabilities for handling audio and video input, and also allows control over a local content storage cache.
One developer noticed and reported that Flash 6 allows the on the fly loading of .jpg files:
Another enterprising sleuth took a look at the beta plug-in with a hex editor and extracted the following new ActionScript terms (below). I'd warn that Macromedia has a history of adding features that don't make the final cut, usually because the feature had problems or that they ran out of time to sufficiently test the feature. It's fun to speculate, and in any event, we should all find out next month.
New Flash 6 ActionScript ?: