Flash Player Update 3 Beta 1
Flash Player Update 3 Beta 1 (build 18.104.22.168) is now ready for download here. This is probably the first time we have done a dot release as big as this one. We've been extremely busy over the past few months since Flash Player Update 2 (build 9.0.r45), so now it is finally time to talk about the improvements we have made. There are tons of them, so I'll use this post to summarize those I know something about and I have been working on. Stay tuned for more detailed posts of mine explaining the technical details behind these and how you will be able to leverage them:
- Mip map support for all bitmaps for Flash 9 or newer content. This improves the quality and rendering performance of downscaled bitmaps. Perfect for thumbnails and such. Even better, Papervision 3D content now automatically looks better and should be slightly faster when large textures are used.
- Multi-threaded vector renderer. Now we take advantage of up to 4 Cores/CPUs for vector rendering.
- Multi-threaded bitmap filters. Same as above but this applies to bitmap functionality specifically instead of the core vector rasterizer only.
- Multi-threaded video decoding. The VP6 video codec will now run in a separate thread if a multi-core system is detected which leaves the main thread to do rendering and post processing of the video. With this true 1080p video is now possible on most modern dual core machines. Also, the responsiveness is improved with this change. The Sorenson codec on the other hand did not get this change for technical reasons.
- Full-screen mode with hardware scaling. Probably the biggest new feature in the Flash Player Update 3. This leverages DirectX on Windows and OpenGL on OSX. There is an new API to control the behavior which was required since we could not change current behavior and we wanted to give the maximum flexibility possible. I know you are probably eager to use this feature, we will post more information on this on labs.adobe.com soon (Update: Link to labs page is active). I'll also will give you much more technical details in an upcoming blog post.
- Less tearing in the new full screen mode. We now have some code which will try to do VBL syncing. It's still a work in progress but we hope we can fix the remaining issues.
- Going into full screen mode has a zoom transition effect. The beta does not work perfectly right now, but we want to get feedback if this is acceptable to end users. We will not expose an API to access/control this, either we'll leave it in and fix the remaining bugs or it is out. Also you might notice that this even affects the current full screen mode, something we will remove in the final release.
- The Linux plugin now uses the XEmbed protocol. This is work in progress. The downside is that konqueror and Opera do not support this right now, so the Flash plugin will not work until these vendors update their plugin support. Also we are seeing decreased performance because GTK lacks somewhat in the the basic graphics API department. I'll explain in a later post.
- Tons of performance tweaks and bug fixes. Looking the the current bug database statistic we fixed 371 bugs since 9.0.r45. Fixed really means fixed, it does not include duplicates, unreproducible bugs etc.
- Much more.