At the keynote here at Adobe MAX Europe we were shown some of the upcoming features in Flash 10, codenamed Astro. First up is a new text engine which supports bidirectional script. This is great if you want to, errrm, embed some right-to-left text within some left-to-right text; it will all word-wrap correctly. The next feature was more interesting to me: editable multi-column text which flows correctly and allows sane text selection across the columns. Does Adobe plan to take over more and more of the role of HTML within our browsers?
The other Astro feature we saw was new 3D imaging APIs. You will be able to rotate and transform live video – now where have I seen that before? Astro will also support a graphics programming language called Hydra, which you can use to create custom effects, transformations and blends. You can try out Hydra by downloading the Adobe Image Foundation Toolkit, available as a technology preview. The same technology is used in After Effects.
It seems that the Flash team is determined not to be outdone by, you know, those other guys.