AS3 Enum preprocessor: progress report

AS3 EnumsRecently I have been working on an AIR-based project for an AS3 language preprocessor that adds enumeration (enum) support to the language. Today I’m releasing a web-based demo of the project. It can take an enum definition, parse it and either generate an AS3 “enum” class, or report an error if mistakes have been made in the source. The resultant code can then be imported into FlashBuilder etc, allowing the use of enums, rather than lists of numeric constants, in your code. Continue reading “AS3 Enum preprocessor: progress report”

Why JavaScript is a toy language

I recently wrote an article on why HTML5 is stacking up to be a bad idea and why an Virtual Machine-style solution to web content would be so much better. In that article, I made the claim that JavaScript is a toy language and suggested that few people would argue against this. I have since learned that a lot of people would actually argue against it, claiming that it is a good language really.

To my mind it is self-evident that JavaScript is a toy programming language, but clearly it isn’t self-evident at all. So why do I make this claim and how can I defend it? Read on for the answer… Continue reading “Why JavaScript is a toy language”

HTML5 must not become the future of the web

HTML 5 LogoIn the beginning there there was simple HTML, which sought to define documents in an abstract way, leaving the browser free to render it as it saw fit. Whilst a great idea in theory, it didn’t work in practice as designers of web sites wanted their sites to look the same on every browser, rather than be at the mercy of the browser’s rendering engine.

Fast forward twenty years and things are very different. These days the humble HTML page has been pummelled into submission and supplies the designer with pixel-perfect rendering via CSS, JavaScript and a range of ACID-tests that encourage all browsers to behave the same. Yet beneath all this, the HTML at the heart of the page remains largely unchanged. Even the near-mythical HTML5 – which will likely take twelve years to become fully adopted – seeks to add just a few tags to the HTML specification. Continue reading “HTML5 must not become the future of the web”

AS3 static inheritance: developers beware! (revisited)

A while ago I wrote an article on the oddities of AS3 with regards to its lack of static inheritance. As part of my AS4 proposals series, I started writing a proposal for introducing static inheritance to AS4. In the process of writing it, I delved deeper into this topic and found that AS3 static inheritance is a truly strange beast indeed. It can be summed up neatly (though probably confusingly) as “for a class B that inherits from a class A, public static methods of A are inherited as protected static methods (which cannot be overridden) by class B” Continue reading “AS3 static inheritance: developers beware! (revisited)”