Many of you may remember back in the day when we held a competition called IronFlash. The idea was to give a group of teams an afternoon to come up with the coolest thing they could in Flash. They were allowed to bring in media assets acquired the day before. Each year we ran this, more and more teams weren't able to get a project running before time was up. This problem corresponded directly to the increased complexity of Flash over time. The release of AS3 essentially killed this event and many others like it. 

At our FlashinTO user group meetings during the Flash 6 days, it was common to have a group of people sitting around trying out code ideas and working together to build a project. This doesn't happen any more. Now we see a divide between "those who can code" and "those who want to be able to code", where the latter are not confident enough in their skills to even think about public coding.

The Flash crew at Adobe have acknowledge this divide. The Flash community is split between the uber coder and the dabbler, the enterprise developer and the banner designer. There are also lots of people somewhere in between. This is a challenge that Adobe needs to resolve.

In the meantime, Ted Patrick has just released two libraries that help achieve this simplification. Of course in his comments some have made it clear that they think these libraries are a bad idea for numerous coder-centric reasons. But I can see how these would be great for many of the developers I encounter on a regular basis.

Tubes is a simple messaging system for targeting instance names or broadcasting messages to all listeners in the application. The most interesting project however is FDOT. Ted has gathered a bunch of great projects into the FDOT library and then put simple wrappers around those. An example given is:

Load.json( 'test.json' , load , { method:'post', data:{ a:1 } } );

This loads a json file, defines a callback handler and sets the parameters. Super easy. You can also do load.text, load.swf, load.image, etc. They all work the same way.

I really hope this ideal of simplicity continues to push through Adobe. I love AS3 and I think the deep capabilities it gives to developers are awesome. But I also miss the days when someone could pick up programming in Flash in a few days or weeks vs a few months or years. Flash needs to be both of these things. I think Ted is on the right path here and I expect to see good things in the future as a result.