Crunch Mode Blog - A State of Mind by Developers at D2Soft Technologies

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Why Flash has bad press: most developers suck

This is a quick post about my thoughts on developing for the Flash platform.  I’ve been coding with Flex since 2008 to build the Nimbb Player.  Over the last few years (and probably many more), there’s been a lot of negative comments regarding Flash development.  Actually, in the news, Flash has very bad press.

And this should not be a surprise to anyone: Flash was first targeting artists and designers that have very low programming experience.  This caused many badly written applications in Flash, often killing CPU usage when looping through spaghetti code.  But we can’t blame those people; after all, Adobe made it easy for anyone to write a Flash application and that’s why Flash became so widely used on the Net.

When Flex was introduced as a way for "real" programmers to build applications running on Flash, my guess is that Adobe thought it would improve the overall quality of Flash applications.  After all, programmers should be better at writing code than artists and designers.  Unfortunately, it seems that not all programmers are equals: most Flash/Flex programmers suck.

How do I know this (and I’m not even looking at the code here)?  For my Flex development, I run the debug versions of Adobe Flash on a computer.  The debug version has the particularity of displaying a debug window when something’s wrong in the code (read: crash).  Without proper error trapping in your code, you’ll see this window way too often to your liking.  The thing is, when surfing online with the debug version of Flash, you will see the debug window, like, all the time.

Even the most popular video players on the biggest websites are full of those crashes.  A quick try/catch should fix anything, but it looks like that those programmers are either unaware of basic programming lessons or in a crunch mode that don’t even give them time to think properly.  That’s a shame to any programmer.

If you run Adobe Flash debug and run Nimbb, you will not find a single debug window (if you do, something’s completely wrong, let me know!).  Yes, it’s possible to write nice code that do not make Flash look like a broken technology.