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From Gordon Smith <gosm...@adobe.com>
Subject Falcon update
Date Fri, 13 Jul 2012 20:53:06 GMT
Greetings, Apache Flex community!

Some of you already know me from my previous work on the Flex SDK (beginning with Flex 1.0),
and my occasional comments on this list regarding the architecture of the Falcon compiler
that Adobe has been developing for the last two years.

I've been watching as you put the finishing touches on the 4.8.0 parity release. Congratulations
on being close!

I've also been working hard for the last several months to get Falcon ready to donate to Apache.
The ActionScript functionality is complete except for integrating last-minute bugfixes that
we continue to make in our mainline. I'd estimate the MXML functionality as being 85% complete.
As you know, after Adobe's refocused its priorities last fall, we froze the MXML work to concentrate
on completing ActionScript to shipping quality, but the MXML support hasn't regressed. As
an example, Falcon can compile the SDK's non-trivial CheckinApp test, except for the Repeater

The main things left before donation are revising the build script to meet Apache standards
and satisfying Adobe's Legal department. I can't make any predictions on a donation date,
but things seem to be moving along nicely. We'll donate various test suites later; they require
more legal scrutiny than the code does.

After donation, I'll be working on Apache Falcon one day a week as an Adobe employee. My goal
will be to get Falcon to the point where it can compile the Flex SWCs and then compile Mustella
tests that link against those SWCs, run, and pass. I'll also be happy to work on high-priority
bugs that the community identifies, such as when you try Falcon out on your own apps and find
compilation problems. But I will helping to reach parity with the old compiler, not with evolving
Falcon in entirely new directions. Of course, you are free to do that! (I'd suggest doing
it on a branch until we reach parity.)

The areas of Falcon that need the most work are

* states (mostly implemented)
* databinding (partly implemented)
* reporting MXML semantic problems (partly implemented)
* Repeater (not implemented)
* ASDoc (not implemented)

I'll be concentrating primarily on the first two in order to reach the goal I mentioned. I
hope that some of you will be interested in working on Falcon so that it reaches its potential.

I ask for your understanding as I come up to speed on Apache procedures and standards.

Gordon Smith, Adobe compiler team

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