Macromedia Flash MX

Flash MX is a multimedia tool from Macromedia and part of the MX series that came out in early 2002. This family of software includes Dreamweaver MX, Freehand MX, and a large selection of other Macromedia products.

Flash MX is a new version of the popular web software Macromedia Flash which bases its graphics on vectors. This means that when you create something in the program, it doesn't actually map out pixels and store makes a mathematical equation that states what angle and where a line should be, what colors are at what places, and allows the computer to interpret the equations and redraw the picture. This helps to reduce the size of a file greatly, infact many images that would take up to 4 or 5 megabytes in BMP format will only take up 5 or 6 kilobytes in SWF format, which is the file format used by Flash MX. Another benefit is that when the image is resized, it won't become pixelized or blurry, because the equations are simply readjusted to match the indicated size (this only works if you created the image using Flash though).

Flash MX offers the same things as the previous versions, Flash 4 and 5, but also offers many new things. Extras include prebuilt Objects such as Combo Boxes and Dropdowns. The organization is also greatly improved. The menus and windows are arranged so that they don't get in the way, and there are different arrangements for every resolution above 1024x768. There are also new ways to arrange layers, symbols, and other commonly used things. Compatiblity is increased, more file formats can be imported, and ActionScripting actually makes sense now.

In general, the user-friendliness is greatly improved. The abilities of the product are still limited in similar ways though, so I don't suggest upgrading unless one has an extremely hard time with the old Flash, or one who has a fast computer and cash to spare.

The Macromedia Website ( features new websites designed with Flash MX. Macromedia Showcase features the newest Flash creations and some examples of highly talented design can be found there. ( also explores the scripting and gaming possibilities with Flash.

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