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Foreword

Foreword

On March 13, 2002, Macromedia unleashed one of the most important software releases in the history of the Internet, Macromedia Flash Player 6, which would quickly become the fastest adopted piece of software in the history of computing. With nearly three million downloads and installations every day, this rich client rapidly became a core component of nearly every Internet-connected computer.

Unknown to the end users downloading the new player at the time, and even to the existing one million-plus Macromedia Flash designers and developers, the player contained a series of new player capabilities centered on enabling communications and collaboration on the Internet. The new player combined the rich media and user interface prowess of Macromedia Flash with the ability to communicate and collaborate in real-time—sharing audio, video, data, and user interfaces. As one Macromedia employee commented at the time, “It's as if we were distributing hundreds of millions of next-generation communications devices, and then later suddenly turning them on.”

In July 2002, Macromedia launched Macromedia Flash Communication Server MX, delivering the final piece of the puzzle that would enable the creation of revolutionary communications applications. Quickly, designers and developers around the world jumped in to use Macromedia Flash Communication Server MX, exploring its power and experimenting with the combination of media, applications, and communications that it makes possible.

This book is the first in what I'm sure will become a library of knowledge and content about Macromedia Flash Communication Server MX. It is an important book, and one that articulates the capabilities and power of this new technology in an approachable, hands-on manner.

I've been involved with the Internet for more than 12 years, and have experienced its growths and transformations. There are few Internet technologies that truly have changed the nature of computing media and applications. E-mail and the World Wide Web are certainly examples. My own introduction to Macromedia Flash Communication Server MX last year left me with a deep feeling of awe; one that convinced me that this technology would almost certainly help shape the Internet in as broad a way as these past “killer applications” have.

Dig in, read up, and build some cool stuff. Your work will certainly help change the face of the Internet.

—Jeremy Allaire
CTO, Macromedia

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