Adobe Flash is a program developed for the creation of animation, commonly for integration with websites. Its ability to add interactive animations and video to web pages has made it popular among web developers. The most popular use of flash today is for displaying streaming video via Flash Player plug-ins (i.e. Youtube). It is also used to create games. Flash was originally created and distributed by Macromedia until their 2005 merger with Adobe.

Games and Advertising
Because of Flash’s ability to incorporate video, animation, and audio into an all in one compressed file, online Flash games have become increasingly popular over the past decade. Flash games include, but are not limited to, RPGs, FPSs, and side scrolling. A popular use of flash games can be seen in online advertising. These ads request that the user perform a certain task, such as mouse clicking, in order to win, and upon completion the user is redirected to the website of the advertiser.

Graphics in Flash
Flash includes the use of vector graphic animation, as opposed to raster graphic animation. Vector graphics are saved as mathematical equations. This allows for scaling without loss of quality in animations. Vector file sizes are also smaller than rasterized ones, which cuts down on load time while viewing a website.

Flash Programming
Adobe flash uses a programming language called ActionScript to control animations, user interaction, and functions. ActionScript 1.0 was the first type used in Flash 5, but has since been replaced by ActionScript 2.0, and 3.0. 3.0 is the most recent and is used in Adobe CS3 and CS4.
An example of a flash website can be seen here www.forrestholt.com
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Versions of Flash

Macromedia

Flash 1 (1996)
Flash 2 (1997)
Flash 3 (1998)
Flash 4 (1999)
Flash MX (2000)
Flash MX 2004 (2003)
Flash 8 (2005)

Adobe
Flash CS3 (2007)
Flash CS4 (2008)



http://www.anandvardhan.com/2008/07/25/adobe-flash-version-history-from-futuresplash-to-flash-cs3/
http://netforbeginners.about.com/od/f/f/flash.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adobe_Flash
http://www.adobe.com/products/flash/?promoid=BPDEE