Convergence options for Ecmascript/Actionscript?

Claus Reinke claus.reinke at talk21.com
Tue Aug 28 13:45:30 PDT 2012


Hope this isn't politically inappropriate here;-)

1. Flash is dying as a browser plugin, but otherwise still alive,
    especially with compilation of Actionscript to native code [2,3].

2. Adobe has been growing support for HTML/Javascript options.

3. Actionscript is based on an old ES draft standard that failed to
    reach consensus, partly because its changes were considered
    too much at once. [my impression - I don't have a reference]

4. Lots of Actionscript developers find themselves having to
    grow accustomed to the world of HTML/Javascript

One consequence of 4 are blog posts about "Javascript technology
X, for Flash developers". When I read such blog posts (eg, [1], with
side-by-side comparisons of AS and JS code), I get the feeling that
the transition would be much easier from AS3 to ES6, where things
like modules and minimal classes exist. There is an opportunity here,
if those parts of the standard are sufficiently stable to recommend
transpiling (until real ES6 implementations come along).

One consequence of 3 is that there should be a vibrant community
of AS developers who have practical experience with features similar
to those considered for ES6, in a Javascript-like language. Yet I
do not see any experience reports or spec feedback based on that
here on this list. Wouldn't it be very helpful to invite such input?

I don't expect Actionscript developers want to lose any of their
language features, but there might be profit (for both AS and ES
developers) if Adobe could try to align AS4 to ES6 so that the
common language subsets have common syntax and semantics.
Such a hypothetical AS4 would be a typed version of ES6, making
it easier for Adobe's tools to support both, and making it easier
for developers to use or maintain either.

Are there any Adobe folks listening here? Does anyone have the
contacts to raise the question with them? Do you agree that there
is potential for useful exchange of information and joining of
efforts if the wall between AS and ES could be lowered?

And no, I'm not a Flash/Actionscript developer. I just keep
encountering cross-references, and thought I'd bring up the topic.

Claus
http://clausreinke.github.com/

[1] http://jessewarden.com/2012/08/backbone-js-for-flash-and-flex-developers.html

[2]
http://www.mikechambers.com/blog/2011/11/11/clarifications-on-flash-player-for-mobile-browsers-the-flash-platform-and-the-future-of-flash/

[3] http://blogs.adobe.com/conversations/2011/11/flash-focus.html
 



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