Why I Love ActionScript 3.0

When ActionScript 2.0 was released – and later Flash 8 – it was exciting to see the new capabilities of the Flash player. But, the improvements of ActionScript 3.0 over ActionScript 2.0 are incredible. When I jumped in and started playing around with ActionScript 3.0 I discovered many significant changes, all for the better. The following is a list of improvements that, for me, were exciting to see:

  • Improved Object Oriented support (internal, public, private, and protected class types).
  • Improved event model; all events require listeners.
  • MouseEvent.MOUSE_LEAVE (detect mouse exit from stage) – enough said.
  • Performance – See PaperVision3D.
  • Improved compile-time and run-time error reporting.
  • DisplayList and MovieClip re-parenting and auto-depth management.
  • int and uint Classes for non-floated numbers.
  • XML is a built-in datatype
  • Intervals replaced with Timers
  • Built in “drawCircle” (or “drawOval”) method added for run-time elliptical shape-generation.

There’s a lot more as well, but these are just a few improvements that I was very pleased to see.