November 18th 2008 | Jens C Brynildsen
The big shocker at last years MAX conference was seeing the game Quake ported to the Flash Player and playing back full screen. Scott Petersen have worked hard since then and FlaCC has now been turned into the Alchemy Toolkit that you can download and play with yourself (if you know your C/C++)
Alchemy (formerly called FlaCC) is a toolkit for converting existing code libraries to Flash Player bytecode. This approach allows for low level optimization with massive speed benefits and opens up a world of C and C++ code. This means that if you need to do something that there already exists a library for, you won't need to rewrite that code entirely to make it work with Flash. The theoretical possibilities are massive: games, video, audio - anything that requires altering data and is not tied to any kind of hardware.
The Labs site feature a video of well known Flash programmer Branden Hall describing how he was able to port the Vorbis OGG library using Alchemy in just a couple days. By porting a C++ library rather than rewriting the entire library, he not only saved time but also got a library that performs really fast and supports other formats such as Wave files. For now, the OGG library as well as a Cryptography library is available on Labs, but Adobe has opened up for community contributions. If you know a bit of C or C++ and want something ported, go to the Adobe Labs Alchemy pages today to get the Toolkit.
There's no GUI (as in the AIF Toolkit), so you'll need to know your way around the command line and how to use Make for compiling so this one is for the real programmers among us. The software is available for OSX (Darwin), Windows (cygwin) and Linux (Ubuntu) and contains the LLVM compiler, AVM2 libc, a set of Perl files as well as sample code and the required supporting libraries.