Adobe Labs; ActionScript 3
Exciting things are happening at Adobe/Macromedia. (I think. You may be better set to interpret them than us).
First, we mentioned this winter the arrival of Adobe Flex. This caught attention in the programming community as AJAX mania took over. This month, there's a new release: Flex 2.0 beta 3.
Second, Adobe is, depending on your perspective, seeing the Open Source train coming, or jumping on the Open Source Bandwagon. Either way, they have radically altered the way they release software, and you get the early peeks as well as the freebies to go with it. Adobe Labs
is where you'll find them.
And the biggest early peek is Actionscript 3. 3.0 promises to be a dramatic leap forward; much advanced (and much faster) than the unloved version 2. It comes with ActionScript Virtual Machine 2, which apparently is so different that AVSM 1 will remain to handle legacy code. Meanwhile, AVSM 2 is reported to be extremely fast, while Actionscript 3 is much more like a modern programming language, and reportedly demands more coding discipline.
While that sounds scary to designers, the payback is supposed to come in the use and reuse of modules. Shipping with the beta flex package is ActionScript Libraries
and Flex Data Services. And, there's lots more. Check the Mike Chambers Podcast and others.
All of this will end up running in the new FlashPlayer 9, which is now available.