ActionScript signals, events and interfaces

Signals is a great new ActionScript Framework which offers an alternative to Flex Events. Whilst it has a nice set of features that give it advantages over Flex events, there is one claimed benefit that I find difficult to accept. This selling point, popular with signals fans, is that an interface can specify a signal contract for classes implementing that interface. Continue reading “ActionScript signals, events and interfaces”

AS4 Feature proposal: Type inference

AS4 draftThis is the first in a series of articles I plan on creating addressing important features that I feel are missing from ActionScript 3. They are features that I’d like to see added to a future version of ActionScript, which I’ve assumed would be called ActionScript 4 (AS4).

This first article is on type inference. Continue reading “AS4 Feature proposal: Type inference”

“Doc?” – a great Flash/ Flex developer tool (and its free)

Doc? logoDoc? is  AIR-based API reading tool. It can be used to build up an indexed set of ASDoc-generated API documents that are held locally on your computer, rather than having to be accessed online. To create a library, one points it at the index.html of all the online (or offline) API sources you use and then you leave it to trawl the sites, generating a local copy of each for you.

As a free application, this ability to create a library of offline API documents would be enough to make me recommend Doc? to every Flex/ Flash developer. However, it has another feature up its sleeve that just makes it an awesome product: it has plugins for Flex/Flash Builder and Flash CS3/CS4. These plugins allow you to rapidly access the API documentation for a class you are trying to use. Continue reading ““Doc?” — a great Flash/ Flex developer tool (and its free)”

Your choice: whine about Flash crashing, or help make it better

In recent months, there has been a lot of criticism of the reliability of the Flash runtime. One of the keys to reliable software is testing. To that end, Adobe is asking folk to help it make the upcoming flash runtimes (Flash Player 10.1 and AIR 2.0) as reliable as possible. So if you are a Flash developer or designer, or are simply someone that enjoys flash-based games, BBC iPlayer, TweetDeck etc, why not help combat those criticisms by trying out the beta versions of Flash and AIR?

Download the Flash Player 10.1 beta 2 here and AIR 2.0 beta 2 here.

Install them and try your favourite content out with the betas.

If you find a bug, be sure to let Adobe know.

Finally, why not help spread the word by passing on details of this beta test drive via your own blog or twitter?

I want to add some more here in response to the comments so far. I thought long and hard over whether to get involved in this beta bug request as only this morning I was looking at a bug – ClassReference in nested CSS file compiled to SWF causes error – that was closed as “deferred” two years ago. Stefan Richter had highlighted it as an example of how Adobe mess up with bugs at times. The problem remains unfixed and Adobe’s communications were crap with this bug as they didn’t explain why they chose to ignore it. However, in the end I decided it would be wrong to focus on such negatives at the expense of the great stride Adobe have made toward openness.

They have a open bug reporting system. A lot of the flash development environment is open (the whole of Flex Framework for example.) Part of opening up to the community involves inviting the community to give back to the project, both in terms of bug reports and bug fixes. Adobe have frequently highlighted the fact that people are welcome and encouraged to not only report bugs, but to help fix them too. So to those that complain bugs remain languishing unfixed for long periods of time, I have a simple question for you: have you tried contributing to the openness of Flash by helping fix that bug?

ClassReference in nested CSS file compiled to SWF causes error