Contol > Test Movie: Is its time over?

I say yeah. I love it, but I think it should be changed to compile. After seeing an onDemand demo for Forms, it’s really “left over” terminology. If we want respect from developers, I think it’s time to change it. I don’t want to, but it really makes no sense when you look at where Flash MX 2004 Professional is compared to where Flash 3 was.

7 Replies to “Contol > Test Movie: Is its time over?”

  1. We have been using the term ‘compile’ for awhile already, haven’t we? I don’t see any reason against incorporating it in the IDE… but you really think it would bring us more respect? :)

  2. Depends on whom you’re trying to curry respect from: the knowledgeable or the misinformed and gullible….

    If you’re talking to a developer who has done her homework in terms of learning about Flash’s capabilities and seriously took the trial version out for a test drive, I doubt it matters much whether it’s “Test Movie” versus “Compile.” She isn’t anyone’s dummy and will know exactly what’s going on.

    I was one of these developers. I started out as a C/C++ coder and learned Javascript in the ancient days of Version 4 (as in IE 4, Netscape 4 and Flash 4). Once Flash 5 came out with the ECMAScript-based Actionscript, I realized that Flash had become a viable application development platform, and a much better one than DHTML, where I had to manage two or three separate development branches for each of the browsers. For me, it was literally like comparing Assembler to C (different versions for each platform versus essentially a common codebase for all). I decided then and there it was time to learn the new Actionscript and ditch DHTML for all but the most simple tools.

    However…for the pointy-haired bosses and CTOs that make their decisions based more on news articles and Powerpoint presentations than actual in-house research, “compiled bytecode” and “Flash Virtual Machine” sound much more impressive than movies and players, as in: “Oh, I get it. I just bought my 13-year-old a MP3 player. Didn’t that press release say Flash runs on some handheld devices now? It only has a monochrome LCD display and doesn’t do much else than play music. We’re going with Java servos and assembly line code instead…” :)

    Overall, I agree with Jesse that it’d make more sense for Flash (particularly in the MX 2004 Pro and Flex incarnations) to drop some of it’s more archaic design-oriented jargon, especially if MM’s trying to shift its sights to the application development market.

  3. Good point, reasonable, but let me play devil’s advocate and imagine a conversation I’d get if I tried to evangelize this internally…. ;-)

    Me: “Hey, let’s change ‘Test Movie’ to ‘Compile’ and get all kinds of strange new respect from real programmers…!”

    Someone in marketing responsible for making sure we hit our numbers: “But X% of customers are designers and would be scared away by such a technical term. Additionally, changing menu items is expensive in breaking third-party books, and tech support will occur approximately $Y in costs from answering ‘Hey where did “Test Movie” go!?'”

    Me: “Well, suppose it was just Flash Pro that had the technical terms then…?”

    Someone: “Forking the UI introduces problems A, B and C…”

    Me: “Okay, well, suppose there was a splash screen that let you choose a designer or developer orientation and changed menu and dialog names accordingly?”

    Someone: “Besides the development and testing costs in the English version, this would create X extra interfaces across all the localized versions. Additionally, people switching roles would have extra learning costs.”

    Me: “Okay, I give up, I’m going to go get a burrito, see ya.”

    Can you give me better arguments to the imaginable objections on this change? I think you’ve got a good point here, except I’m not sure how to navigate it through to general agreement yet. Got time for a thought experiment for me here…? 8)

    tx, jd/mm

  4. I’ll buy you that burrito, and 2 for me.

    Honestly, this posting was spawned from internal frusratation at the resistance I encounter educating developers, not designers, about + with Flash, including work.

    I kind of snapped when I saw all the work that went into making the Forms feature for Flash. You gals and guys are doing so much insane work to bring Flash up to par with other IDE’s, cause … that’s what it really is now.

    You make a lot of good points that I certainly didn’t think about. I guess I just look at my aresenal, and feel very alone sometimes and look to my equipment and say, “What can I do to make this more powerful.” Since I’m dependant on the very technology I not only espouse, but base the majority of career on, it gets very diffucult when so many people have tarnished my first impression before it’s even made. Thankfully, a lot of the people that actually initiate conversations with me about it are very respectful… mostly amazed. I love that, but we’ve alread got them, I want more.

    In conclusion, it is really diffucult to explain what this was spawned from as I’m not at liberty to say, but the mere fact you reply with input says a lot of positive things. Besides, I have the ability to make my own compile button in the tools menu using JSAPI anyway, so if the costs are too prohibitive + the negative ripples it creates, I’ll just post an MXP for those who want it. …so, I guess thanks for the options, hehe!

  5. How about “Compile and Test”? Still has test, so most people will see the link, and it doesn’t have “movie”, so it doesn’t sound like a video editing exercise.

    Just a thought.

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