OSFlash: Week in Review

Every week, I'm going to post an update on the latest news from the Open Source Flash world and the OSFlash initiative.

Since this is the first edition, there is quite a bit to report on. Here are some of the most interesting goings on in the Open Source Flash world:

ActionStep and MTASC presented at OSCON

Both ActionStep and MTASC (see Hacks, UnitTests) were presented at OSCON, the O'Reilly Open Source Conference, in Portland, Oregon at the start of the month. It's great to see Flash developers using open source to reach out to the larger open source development community.

ActionStep is the open source Flash component framework based on NextStep/OpenStep and MTASC is the open source ActionScript compiler which, in many ways, kick-started the new era of open source development tools.

Congratulations to Nicolas Cannasse and Richard Kilmer on their successful presentations.

Java to ActionScript with J2AS

Ralf Bokelberg has started an open source project called J2AS for converting Java to ActionScript. The consensus appears to be that the application is pretty darn cool!

SAM-UI: A new IDE for Flash development using Swfmill and MTASC

SAM-UI is an alternative to FAMES and provides a standalone IDE for working with Ant, Swfmill and MTASC to create Flash applications.

Towards an open source Flash debugger with OFD

The OFD project aims to document how the Flash Debugger (and remote debugging) work in order to build an open source debugger. There is already a lot of information contributed by OSFlash members on the structure of the SWD format as well as debugger communications like these bits of Flash trivia: The Flash IDE listens on port 7935 when remote debugging is enabled and a 0x3F tag is added to SWFs compiled with debugging turned on.

Flash-JavaScript Integration Kit updates

Check out the web site of Macromedia's Flash-JavaScript Integration Kit as it has been updated with lots of documentation and examples. Mike Chambers and Christian Cantrell are also asking for developer feedback on a potential big move in the next version that would change the Flash to JavaScript communication mechanism from gesture to FSCommand.

There are many other exciting projects going on on OSFlash and I wish I had time to list them all here but that's what future posts are for! :)

And just to whet your appetites, I know of at least two open source projects that are in the process of being set up that will be creating a lot of buzz in the Flash community and will fundamentally alter how you create Flash content. Stay tuned, I should be able to talk about them next week!