Category Archives: ECMAScript

What is the future of ActionScript?

Ecma just recently announced that the long standing EcmaScript 4 proposal is dead in favor of focusing on the EcmaScript 3.1 proposal. According to the announcment, they will eventually work on EcmaScript 4 again, but under a revised plan. ES4 as we know it in ActionScript 3 appears to be dead. Specifically concepts like namespaces and packages will be dropped entirely.

So what does this mean for ActionScript 4? Will Adobe actually remove features to keep it compliant with Ecma?

Ecma has been split for a long time on the direction of EcmaScript. there are two camps, Microsoft has been pushing the EcmaScript 3.1 arguing that EcmaScript 4 is too much for the web (whatever that means). The other camp is lead by Mozilla and Adobe pushing for the evolution of EcmaScript with the ES4 proposal. I agree with the idea of EcmaScript Harmony. Ecma should be unified. But its unfortunate that the “standard” is now behind the ActionScript implementation.

Speaking at FlashBelt

I’m once again speaking at FlashBelt this year.  I’ll be speaking on the topic of E4X, the new technology for working with XML in ActionScript 3.  I gave a talk on XML at FlashBelt a few years ago and talked a bit about the future of XML in ActionScript including E4X.  Well, that future is finally here.

Patterson Consulting is also a development sponsor of FlashBelt this year.  Its a great conference and I’m glad to be able to participate.  See ya there!

Adobe makes Huge Contribution to Mozilla

Adobe announced today that it will contribute the source code for the ActionScript Virtual Machine (AVM) found in Flash Player 9 to the Mozilla foundation as open source.

What does this mean?

Mozilla is planning to use this VM as the new JavaScript engine called Tamarin in Firefox (probably version 4 due out sometime in 2008). Firefox’s JavaScript engine is called SpiderMonkey and the plan is to eventually integrate Tamarin into SpiderMonkey. This change will make Firefox fully compliant with ECMAScript 4.

And since the AVM will be open source, advancements don’t have to come from Adobe. Mozilla or any number of other contributors could add improvements to the code base. this is good for the future of Flash Player.

Check out the Press Release for more information.

ECMAScript for XML (E4X): Overview

I just published a new article at Community MX earlier this week.  The article covers the new E4X specification published by ECMA International.  E4X stands for ECMAScript for XML.  ECMAScript is the language ActionScript is based on; therefore the likelyhood of this new XML funtionality making its way into future versions of Flash is very good.