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From Alex Harui <aha...@adobe.com>
Subject Re: ActionScript and Apache Flex
Date Tue, 10 Jan 2012 23:50:53 GMT

On 1/10/12 3:26 PM, "David Arno" <david@davidarno.org> wrote:

> I assume you mean here that the mxmlc compiler uses code also found in the
> asc compiler? 
Yes.  Actually, these days, it shortcuts that a bit, but that was
essentially the original architecture.
> I didn't think asc existed as a separate executable that is
> called by mxmlc. When Adobe contribute first mxmlc and then falcon to
> Apache, we will - I assume - have the full code base to the complete AS3
> source -> bytecode compilation process. Am I mistaken in this?
ASC is a separate executable but MXMLC doesn't call the executable.  MXMLC
just links in some of the same files that go in the ASC.EXE.  When we check
in MXMLC, Apache will have code that converts AS3 source to bytecode.  We're
still sorting through the IP issues of whether that can be the same files
that are in ASC today.
>> I don't understand how the compiler can affect the language.
> The compiler turns the language into bytecode. If we have control of a
> AVM-targeting compiler, then we are free to define the specification of the
> language that it compiles.
> So presumably if we want to extend AS3 (with user-defined generics for
> example), then we'll have to rename the language to ApacheFlexScript or some
> such?
I would want changes to the language to be called something else.  Wouldn't
you recommend the same if you modified a Java compiler to handle different
langage constructs?  You can't go to an AS3 reference and find those new
>> IMHO, language evolution is not within the domain of responsibility of
> this project.  
> I completely disagree. We now have an excellent opportunity to enable the
> community to dictate the future of the language, based on our needs, rather
> than the business needs of Adobe. In fact in the future, should the
> community choose to, we might even divorce the Flex from the Flash runtime,
> at which point even the low level contraints of the AVM built-in classes
> would be removed. Exciting times IMO. :)
Yes, we can diverge from ActionScript, but we cannot change the definition
of what ActionScript is, and we can't change the VM.  Also consider that
Adobe has made no promises to fix issues in the VM caused by bytecode
sequences not generated by Adobe compilers.  But I agree, it is exciting

Alex Harui
Flex SDK Team
Adobe Systems, Inc.

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