QueTwo's Blog

thouoghts on telecommunications, programming, education and technology

Is Flash a real programming Language?


While waiting at Detroit Airport for my flight (thanks to Northwest for delaying yet another of my flights!) the gentlemen sitting next to me noticed me going through my presentation for 360|Flex this coming week.  Apparently a web-designer in England, he mentioned to me that he didn’t realize that the Flash platform was powerful enough to do anything other than graphics. 

Now, I’ve run into similar misconceptions all the time when I work with ColdFusion, but it never really occurred to me that people would think that the Flash player was under-powered for any business task.

The Flash Player has an excellent runtime for managing large amounts of data, and still render this data wonderfully to the screen.  The ActionScript 3 language, an addition to the Flash Player in the past two years, allows for ECMAscript style coding (similar to C++, Java and JavaScript), and a typefull language (meaning each object that is created in memory is tagged with type metadata, allowing the compiler to best manage the data held within it).  DataGrids with 10,000 rows?   No problem!  Managed Arrays (known as ArrayCollections) with 100,000 typed objects?  Doesn’t break a sweat.

For example of the power behind the new runtime, take a look at the companies that are creating Flex and Flash applications : http://www.flex.org/showcase.  Companies such as Blue Cross Blue Shield are using this client-side power to help interact with their customers.

I’ll be posting more this week — during the conference. Stay tuned to the latest on the keynotes and parties! 


4 responses to “Is Flash a real programming Language?

  1. Mike Britton February 24, 2008 at 2:12 am

    It’s good you’re spreading the word about ActionScript. Keep fighting the good fight!

  2. Nutrox February 24, 2008 at 2:19 am

    Flash isn’t a programming language, it is an IDE. ActionScript is a programming language. 🙂

  3. zwetan February 24, 2008 at 8:20 am

    I’m not a title nazi, but your title is really misleading

    flash is not a language, it’s a platform.

    for the language in itself, ActionScript 3.0,
    to really show its power you should put it in context
    with the AVM2 and the ECMAScript 4 draft specification.


  4. quetwo February 24, 2008 at 1:41 pm

    @Nutrox & @zwetan –I agree with both of you… The point of the article was more to catch the eyes of those who really don’t think of Flash as anysort of platform (and therefore don’t really know about ActionScript as the real language behiend the scenes.)

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