• 4:02 pm, 6th November 2005
  • flash
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Flash Player 8.5, Flex 2, ActionScript 3

Macromedia has recently announced the beta release of Flash Player 8.5 hot on the heels of Flash 8. The new version of the player comes as Macromedia focuses on Flex 2 and ActionScript 3 – further building on the so-called Flash Platform. I have no experience with Flex to comment on the news of a new release. I do however question announcing a new version of ActionScript only a few months after a new and much hyped version of Flash is shipped. Let’s just hope Macromedia do what they did with Flash MX 2004 and the ellipsis update and include ActionScript 3 in the Flash 8 IDE in 2006.

The majority of the work I do in Flash relies heavily on ActionScript. I come from a programming background and would like to see ActionScript become more type safe and more robust. In the Macromedia Labs overview of ActionScript 3, Macromedia suggest the new virtual machine for executing ActionScript will be around 10x faster than the current virtual machine in Flash Player 8. This is great news. Traditional programming elements are also being introduced such as an integer data type, built-in delegation and runtime error reporting.

I’m really looking forward to see what ActionScript 3 offers. Unfortunately Flash is often seen as simply a useful tool for prototyping applications. It would be a great thing if Flash was seen as the platform for the final product.

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