I´m gonna give my opinion about the future of Flash, Flash CS4, relating last posts seen in MXNA and FoolAsAGoog.
The issue begins with Corban Baxter making reference to posts of Reflektions and Aral Balkan. Corban talks about "the magic of Flash", he says it is finishing his golden days with the new version of Actionscript. What is it the magic of Flash? You should ask him, I think it is related to the skill of Flash so developers and designers can work together.
Corban talks about the difficulty of migrating to Actionscript 3 for designers, specially about OOP. He also talks about the new community of developers that Adobe is building (Flex). Finally he says that we will see less designers migrating to developers in the future.
Lee Brimelow answers him in Flashblog. I think he is not as clear as other will be. It is not so hard to recognise that Flash CS3 is thought for developers, all of us know!
He also talks about future aims of Adobe, one of them is not to improve the Actionscript Flash Editor cos programmers use the Flex one. Well, I know some of them using FlashDevelop or Eclipse.
For those like me coming from Design there is nothing new here. If I were the head of Adobe, I would be very happy of building such a big community of developers because in the long term they will have a great influence in the tecnological development of applications in companies and therefore in the penetration of Flex against his competitors (Ajax, Silverlight). This is called Marketing, and I think this movement is good for Flash and for Adobe: Air, Flex, Flash CS4, Thermo... All of them are coming. How many Java developers are migrating (or learning) Flex? I could not say!
What´s up with Flash designers?
I tend to think that migration process is changing. Before we had Flash designers becoming Flash developers. Now I think the jump is too high, even more knowing a designer should learn OOP. So it could change from Java developers to Flex (Actionscript 3).
On the while, we are looking forward to hearing for Thermo. We don´t know even how the design community will answer about it. I don´t think it will replace Photoshop although it can be a good tool (for example for better skinning of Flex applications).
So, there´s a new concept called Devigner, I don´t know who exactly was the first to use it, perhaps Ryan Stewart, althouht he talks more about the Flash workflow. Whoever it was, the ecuation is this:
Devigner = Developer + Designer
Wich percentage is there of developer and designer? I couldn´t say. The separation between Design and Developing is becoming bigger. A devigner seems to me a developer who can design a bit. On the contrary we wil have a desigloper as they say in Adobe Forums.