[thelist] flash MX files and flash 5

Chris Johnston chris at fuzzylizard.com
Wed Apr 7 10:17:38 CDT 2004

Jono wrote:

>The problem is that she cannot open the Flash MX file with Flash 5.  What
>she needs to do is  convert her Flash MX file to Flash 5.  If the Flash MX
>file uses any new features, it is most likely not possible because Flash 5
>does not support a lot of the new features found in MX. Flash 5 will not
>open Flash MX files.
This is correct.

>Macromedia makes each version of Flash, as far as I can remember,
>non-backwards-compatible.  Not sure why?  Flash MX can't even open a Flash
>MX 2004 .fla file.  Imagine how well it would go over with users if Adobe
>made Photoshop non-backwards-compatible, they'd never hear the end of it.
>Unfortunately, Flash has no competition, so Macromedia doesn¹t really need
>to take the issue into consideration from a competitive stand point.
That is not entirely accurate, and the analogy with photoshop is not 
accurate either. Yes, it may be true that the flash file format is non 
backward compatible, however, you can always save a .fla in a backwards 
compatible format. A Flash MX file can be saved so that it can be opened 
in Flash 5 and even Flash 4, I believe.

However, the problem is not with any animation that may exist within the 
.fla. The problem lies with the actionscript. This is the reason that 
the file format itself is not backwards compatible. Each successive 
version of flash has contained a different version of actionscript as 
the language has evolved and matured. Flash MX 2004 contains a complete 
rewrite of the language called Actionscript 2.0.

If there are any aspects of a Flash file that depend on features of 
Actionscript, than it is these parts of the that are specifically 
non-backwards compatible. This is where the analogy with Photoshop 
breaks down, there is no programming language included within photoshop 
on which the photoshop files depend. However, even within photoshop, you 
can not open a photoshop 5 psd in photoshop 4 without some penalty if 
that psd file uses some of the new layer or type features within 
photoshop 5.

As to the original problem, the best solution is to download a trial of 
Flash MX, open the file using that and try to save it to the Flash 5 
format. However, if there are any parts of the file that depend on Flash 
mx specific aspects of actionscript, you may need to rework parts of the 
scripting in order to make it work.


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