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Flex 2.0, Action Script 3.0, Zorn / Flex Builder 2.0

Posted by aleks76 | December 14, 2005 .

Macromedia is planning to release Flex 2.0 package in the first half of 2006. These releases suppose to streamline the development of the Flash based RIAs. So far the Alpha version of the products were released with the exception for the Flex Enterprise Services (Remote Object and Web Services, etc).

Zorn and Flex Builder are practically identical. Zorn plugs into Eclipse where Flex project can be developed within Java Project. Flex Builder although looks exactly like Eclipse is a stand alone application. I had some difficulties with creating new Flex Project in Eclipse using Zorn plug in while the same operation in Flex Builder went through fine.

AS code compiles into a .swf. This is a first major difference from the previous version where Flex Server took the responsibility for compiling swf files. From now on Flex server supposes to be only responsible for providing Enterprise Services to the .swf precompiled in Zorn.

There some problems with debugging. Zorn will not mark the error files in the Navigator (like Eclipse does) window so you don’t know which file to open to find the error. The work around is to open Problem console and double click the error messages.

IntelliSense is a bit better (comparing it to Flex Builder 1.5). You can easily see all class members even when referencing in another class (huge problem in Flex Builder 1.5) but IntelliSense doesn’t work when typecasting.

Action Script and MXML syntax went supposedly through major overhaul but I still cannot declare overloaded messages in Action Script (this really sucks).

On the bright side you can use override keyword to add functionally to the base classes.
The AS 2.0 Event model had been changed. AS3.0 uses DOM model and you can not declare event objects as {type:”type”, data:”data”} like we used. All events must inherit from flash.event.Event class. For more changes between AS2.0 and AS3.0 please visit
AS2.0 vs AS3.0

Overall AS3.0 and Zorn are looking great and should help make RIA much easier to develop and deploy when the final product hits the market.

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7 Comments so far
  1. Mark Anders  December 14, 2005 8:43 am

    Actually, Zorn IS Flex Builder. Zorn is just the code name for Flex Builder, which is packaged 2 ways — as a plug in and standalone. We packaged it like this to provide both a turn key solution and to enable existing Eclipse users to include Flex Builder functionality.


  2. Shunjie  December 14, 2005 10:41 am

    I was hoping for like donkey months (or years) for code folding. I am glad it will be implemented in the next version. Although it has nothing to do with performance or anything, nothing beats the sight of seeing your codes clean and organised compare to a huge chunk of #$#$#@& code and stare right at you after weeks of development..haha

  3. aleks76  December 16, 2005 2:27 am

    Does anybody has any info on the release of Flex 2.0 Beta. And how can I get my hands on it?
    AS 3.0 doesn;t allow private constructors. Will this be addressed. HOw about abstract classes?

  4. Jarrod  December 16, 2005 6:28 am

    aleks76, has the Flex 2 Alpha. I don’t know about a beta though, or if it’s even ready.

  5. AndyC  December 17, 2005 1:34 am

    I think you had to apply some weeks ago to go on the Beta program. I guess there may be a public release later. The alpha expires in a couple of months so expect some news before then

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