Making the case for ActionScript – my take

Peter Elst posted his thoughts about ActionScript and where it’s going. I agree with him and prefer to have simplicity we had once with ActionScript and Flash Platform.

I wrote my two-cents as comment to Peter’s post, that’s how it goes:

Nice post.

We have witnessed how Flash Platform evolved over the years, it has got more attention by people but at the same time, it has lost a lot of attention of those attached initially (as Keith said above).

Jeff Raskin, in Humane Interface, said something like that – complex tasks would require complex user-interactions but that’s no excuse to make simple tasks complex.

I believe, that’s what has happened. It’s not any more simpler to do simple things.

Adobe must think why they are doing it and for whom they are doing. If ActionScript is going to be clone of Java or C#, then why a new language – why not just use one of those?

There must be a philosophy behind a language and platform, what is that behind Flash Platform and ActionScript?

I had more fun in old days than now, just enjoyed the company of everyone (designers, developers, trainers, etc). It was because of simplicity that brought all of us together. I agree a lot of bad implementations were result of ease of doing things in Flash, but hey – there were far more good stuff then than now. A lot of innovation, cool stuff and apps to showcase. How much do we have now?

  • debabrataacharjee

    I totally agree with you Abdul. We had real great time with the early versions of flash platform. I think the curve is demising now. The more I am working on flex now it’s taking me away from it. I have developed more interest for other languages/technologies and finding myself losing that passion for actionscript. I think it’s time to think about the entire philosophy behind this technology. Things may change but the inherent philosophy should not change. The growth and enhancement should be guided by that philosophy. If it’s just a clone than we have lots of other options around us to achieve our job which are tested against time.

  • akeem

    i also agree on this. i’ve been working in multimedia since photoshop 1.0, used early versions of flash and must admit that now i’m trying to do most things without flash simply because it takes far more code for just simple things. also huge projects i’ve coded in the past are simply inimaginable right now – it would take weeks for a hole programmers team – no client wants to pay for this – nor has the time to wait…

  • stefblog

    Totally agree. I remember when lots of developers, designers, used to say that Flash was a toy. Well, at least it was something you wanted to play with 😉

  • RR

    I don’t mean to be disrespectful, but what’s wrong with flash today? It is being given more structure and organization and is also spawning frameworks like flex. As a developer with background in java/c#/javascript/ I’m loving the flex framework, it’s combining paradigms from areas that were very disparate before, but at the same time it is easy to use. I really enjoy working with the API (very similar to JDK), and the structure and similarities with existing programming frameworks. I feel it is a mix of java and javascript, allowing us to be rigid like java, but at the same be dynamic and unstructured like javascript. Java Swing/SWT,, jsp, jsf all suck compared to developing UI in flex, but the backend can still be java or .net or php etc… Flex has been an empowering and fun framework for me to work with, and for me personally it has cut down development time by 3 folds. On top of that it works great with javascript, html, so there’s lots of ways it can be pushed. So I can’t complain, but I fail to understand how you say it is not fun anymore? Are you talking about the design aspect, making animations, going insanely imaginative with the UI? I have to admit I’m not a maverick with UI design.

    • Thanks for your comment. I don’t mind new features as those are in other platforms and languages. I don’t want Flash Platform to lose it’s simplicity. That’s what I meant above by “complex tasks would require complex user-interactions but that’s no excuse to make simple tasks complex”.