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From Yi Tan <>
Subject Re: Suggestion : Adopt a package manager like Ruby Gems for Flex as a first class citizen of the SDK
Date Fri, 13 Jul 2012 13:48:37 GMT
Hi all,

I've been following this maillist for months. I seldom post, because my
English is self-taught. I try my best to express myself simple and clearly.

This post does make me feel a bit sad when seeing 6 of 12 replies against
adopting a package manager in Flex.

Programming has already become a social activity. In a community with
decent tools, programmers share, learn with each other and eventually be
able to make better software in much less time. This is the trend I really
hope Flex/ActionScript could catch up with, because the major part of my
daily job is coding in AS.

/* 1. Why a package manager matters */

A real story: we are working on a game app by using AIR for iOS. To reduce
memory consumption, I need something can make skinnable interface from
little bitmaps snippets (oh, no Flex framework, it's too enterprise to be
fit in real-world apps). So I googeled and found a few scale bitmap AS
classes. After comparing them, I chose's one ( . A few days after using that class, I
found it is not well-thought, there was no need to duplicate the original
bitmap data. So I wrote my own. The funny thing was when I am about to push
my version of ScaleBitmap onto github. I found there is a newer version
of's already on github and it did exactly the same thing as I
did :(  ( Because that blog post is
newer, it ranked lower in google search result, and I missed it. So I
wasted half day building a same thing and writing test cases for it.

If flex has a decent package manager, programmer can share and maintain
code libraries in a centralized-managed place. And that will also be the
best place for all AS programmers to find out is there already some smart
guys done what I'm going to do.

/* 2. Why Ruby, Python, JS, Perl... whatever script language need */

The answer is so obvious: AVM can not do that job.

AVM is designed to performer heavy multimedia tasks under limited
resources. It is the best in that filed, but it's not a general purpose VM.
There is no CLI, no REPL, no script ability in AVM.
So when you need something that can talk in command line on-the-fly, you
have to look on other scriptable virtual machine, and thus other languages.

For this point, I would recommend nodejs. It's built on V8 engine, reads
javascript, which is familiar to ActionScript 2, and npm is just so easy to
Also for Ruby-friendly people, coffee-script is awesome.

/* 3. What a decent package manager should be */

at least:
- It should let people publish their libs in a few simple steps
- It should let people search other people's libs in a few simple steps
- It should let lib owners maintain there libs in a very easy way
- It will be great if it can be integrated with github



On Fri, Jul 13, 2012 at 4:46 PM, John Fletcher <> wrote:

> 2012/7/12 Jeffry Houser <>:
> >  It does not affect my point.  But, as I understood it; most people use
> Ruby
> > today for the server-side of a web site (or other application).
> Probably true. It's most commonly used with Rails, which is a
> server-side framework built on top of Ruby.
> > I can
> > install any given application server on my local machine, that doesn't
> make
> > it less of a server..
> True. But in this case we're only talking about the part that really
> isn't a server. It's like depending on Java, as opposed to depending
> on Tomcat (a server technology built with Java).
> But this is all academic. I think most agree with you that we don't
> want to introduce other dependencies. But if someone could write this
> tool in ActionScript (not sure if that's feasible) then you would
> probably have a lot of support on your hands.
> John

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