Arbitrary Thoughts

Introducing ActionScript Blocks (ASBlocks)

Being in the time of changes, I as many others have taken a good look at my toolbox and taken up to review if there was anything in there I 1) could take out and hang back on the wall or 2) should put in my toolbox which wasn’t already there…

No need to worry, this is not another rant in the direction wether Flash/Flex is dead or not, Im merely sharing one of my more recent findings…

The ASBlocks project is a framework written in ActionScript3 AND Java to read and write ActionScript3 source code (classes, interfaces, functions and namespaces).

ASBlocks comes in 2 distinct flavors; ActionScript3 and Java. This means if you are looking to build a tooling application in Adobe Flex/AIR you can use the ActionScript as-blocks framework project. If you want a high powered, multi-threaded application backed by Java, use the jas-blocks framework project. Both frameworks implement the same ASBlocks Document Object Model (DOM). So shifting back and forth only has the learning curve of knowing each language.

Basically, all of this is referring to the processing and parsing of programming languages, relative to Input and Output from one processor to another in the compile or language processing chain. This project could be used to bridge the gap between Flex and other output technologies than AVM Bytecode (ActionScript Virtual Machine Bytecode) which is the current output since practically the only target runtime supported at the time of writing by Flex is Flash Player and AIR (Other AVM’s exist than Adobe Flash Player as you can see documented in other of my posts).

Now, things like ASBlocks can help change the landscape of runtimes being targeted by Flex, once you have an AST (Abstract Syntax Tree) for ActionScript in Java, its fairly straight forward to start using the AST to target various runtimes, such as e.g. HTML, CSS and JavaScript.

Flex’s MXML is by far the superior domain specific language for UI representation available for production today, and backed by a strong language such as ActionScript, it continues to make Flex a really interesting platform for building UI, regardless of speculations against the future of Flash Platform.

When Adobe donates Flex, Falcon (NextGen Flex Compiler) to Apache, its interesting and we will see more of this kind of topic as the maintenance and further development of Flex is put in the hands of the Global Developer Community, which I expect will help to speed up the evolution of Flex as well as spark of a new generation of DSL’s for abstracting complex UI patterns…

Check out ASBlocks…

ASBlocks is incepted and developed by Michael Schmalle, owner of Teoti Graphix…



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