Ruffling the Gaming World: Reviving Flash with Ruffle's AS3 Support

Reviving Flash: Ruffle Brings Hope to AS3 Support


Flash, once a popular platform for web content and games, faced an uncertain future with the rise of mobile devices and the push for open web standards. However, a project called Ruffle is bringing hope to Flash enthusiasts by providing support for ActionScript 3 (AS3), the programming language used in Flash applications.

The author of a recent post on the Ruffle GitHub page expressed excitement about the progress Ruffle has made in supporting AS3. They mentioned how many people, including themselves, spent countless hours playing Flash games during their school days and were saddened by the decline of Flash in the gaming industry. Ruffle, with its support for AS3, aims to pick up the pieces of gaming history left by Flash’s demise.

One of the benefits of Ruffle’s development is the preservation of informational websites that rely on Flash. The author cited an example of an online exhibit called “Slavery in New York,” which contains valuable historical research presented through Flash elements. Ruffle allows these works to be maintained and grants users access to the extensive research that would otherwise disappear.

However, the author also expressed some concerns about Ruffle’s compatibility with certain Flash elements, specifically video galleries. They mentioned being unable to watch videos on the exhibit site, despite hearing audio playing at times. They questioned if anyone with more knowledge could shed light on this issue.

The conversation on the Ruffle GitHub page expanded beyond the scope of Flash games and historical exhibits. Some commenters reminisced about their experiences developing with Flash and the advantages it offered, such as being ahead of its time and providing a safe and scalable environment for developers.

The demise of Flash was also discussed, with commenters reflecting on how Steve Jobs’ criticism and Adobe’s decision to abandon Flash contributed to its downfall. The security vulnerabilities and performance issues associated with Flash were acknowledged as valid reasons for the shift away from the platform.

Nevertheless, some expressed a desire to see Flash revived, highlighting its accessibility, cross-platform capabilities, and its role in producing low-bandwidth and scalable animations. They lamented the current state of web development, with JavaScript, HTML, and CSS often feeling like a mess when compared to the ease of Flash development.

While Ruffle provides hope for the future of Flash by supporting AS3, some commenters noted the challenges of implementing Flash in a new runtime. In particular, Rust, the programming language used for Ruffle, has its own limitations and may not be an ideal match for Flash, especially in terms of its object orientation and inheritance hierarchy.

Despite the obstacles, Ruffle’s progress in supporting AS3 is seen as a significant development for Flash enthusiasts who miss the platform’s capabilities and the vast catalog of Flash content. Whether Ruffle sparks a revival of Flash or simply serves as a tool to preserve existing works, its arrival brings a glimmer of hope to those who fondly remember the era of Flash.

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