O'Reilly Open Source Convention - August 1-5, 2005 - Portland, Oregon
 Convention Coverage


ActionStep - An OSS Component Framework for Flash
Richard Kilmer, Founder, InfoEther, Inc.

Track: Emerging Topics
Date: Thursday, August 4th, 2005
Time: 11:35am - 12:20pm
Location: Portland 252

The ActionStep project was born out of the frustration with the Version 2 Component framework that shipped with Macromedia Flash Professional 2004. There are many problems with V2 components including poor quality code (it's buggy), poor development tools (Flash IDE is a very bad coding environment), and a really dreadful licensing policy (you can only use V2 components if you own the Flash IDE).

ActionStep is an open source implementation of the OpenStep Application Kit. One requirement of an AppKit implementation is a dynamic runtime, and ActionStep receives its dynamism from ActionScript 2.0, which is an EcmaScript-compliant language.

ActionStep includes a full (NS)Responder architecture and is heavily based on delegation rather than inheritance. The “separation of concerns” in ActionStep will enable theming that is purely coded in ActionScript without requiring a symbol library. With ActionStep, you will be able to compile into a base movie the ActionStep classes that you use + customized theming classes, and any other movie that you load that uses ActionStep will 'inherit' those themed components at runtime. This will enable VERY SMALL flash movies that provide the much vaunted Rich Internet Application experience.

A very recent development that makes this possible is the incredibly fast open source Motion-Twin ActionScript 2.0 compiler: MTASC. This compiler is all that is needed to develop for the ActionStep project. This talk discusses the design of the ActionStep framework, shows how to build Rich Internet Applications with it, and shows how to extend it with custom components.

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