as3Query – Actionscript Port of jQuery

This is older, from january, somehow I missed it but… nitoyon has created an AS3 port of jQuery. jQuery is my favorite javascript tool besides javascript itself. Mootools, prototype, and others like mochikit are all great but jQuery was the first to do lambda chain decorating and others followed suit.

But having this power in as3 is a great thing! $ selectors, common access methods to properties, methods, etc. All good stuff. Again this shows the fun in as3 or ES4 based languages like Actionscript because people are porting all sorts of libraries to it. If this performs I may just start using it daily TODAY!

For instance setting the stage align for use in full screen:

$(stage).attr({scaleMode: "noScale", align: "TL"});

That is too fun… The only thing not cool about this is all the spam at nitoyon‘s blog : )

How about a functional Tweener call:

function animate(f:Boolean):void {
				// Select 'RoundRect' elements using CSS selector
				$("RoundRect:" + (f ? "odd" : "even"))
						rotation: 90,
						scaleX: 0.5,
						scaleY: 0.5,
						time: 0.6,
						delay: 0.3,
						transition: "easeOutCubic"
						scaleX: 1,
						scaleY: 1,
						time: 0.5,
						delay: 0.9,
						transition: "easeOutElastic",
						onComplete: function():void {
							// restore the rotation and call again.
							this.rotation = 0;

Stuff to see and try

AS3, Convert Python Code to Flex AS3 with flex-pypy

I have officially been sucked into the Python vortex. I recently have really been digging IronPython, Jython and good old plain Python but have not ventured here yet. Google (They employ Guido), Microsoft (IronPython) and Sun (Jython) are all becoming infected pythonistas as well. But this is just too cool, Python to AS3 code with flex-pypy. This project is very young but could be fun, source at Google Code.

Haxe has a similar premise where it can compile to Flash6-9 versions of actionscript 2-3 which makes for a system with better reach. Python code for this is lots of fun and very flexible. Python is becoming a baseplane language and one great language for transcending platform lock-in.

Check out this snippet pulled from here (click to see sample game)

#/usr/bin/env python
This simple example has very little to do with the pygame
chimp example, except that it will act the same (more or less)
and it uses the same resources, only they got converted to
mp3s, pngs.

#Import Modules
from pypy.translator.flex.modules.flex import *

class MyRect:
def __init__(self,x,y,w,h):
self.x, self.y,self.w,self.h = x,y,w,h

SCREEN_W = 468

class Game:
def __init__(self):pass

def init(self,screen):
self.screen = screen
screen.layout = ‘absolute’
screen.setActualSize(SCREEN_W, SCREEN_H)

screen.addEventListener(‘click’,chimp_whip) = load_sprite(“py_background_png”);

self.chimp = load_sprite(“py_chimp_png”);

self.orig_y = self.chimp.y

img2 = self.fist = load_sprite(“py_fist_png”)
self.move = 1
self.spin = 0
self.hit = 0
self.hit_move = 1

self.sfx = {}
self.sfx[‘whip’] = load_sound_resource(“py_punch_mp3”)
self.sfx[‘nohit’] = load_sound_resource(“py_whiff_mp3”)

def loop(self):
img = self.chimp
if self.spin:
self.spin -= 1
img.rotation = self.spin*24
img.x += self.move * 8
if img.x > SCREEN_W-img.width:
self.move = -1
if img.x < 0: self.move = 1 if self.hit: self.hit -= 1 self.fist.y += 6 * self.hit_move if self.hit SCREEN_W - img_halfw: newx = SCREEN_W - img.width if newx img.x and e.stageX < img.x+img.width: game.sfx['whip'].play() game.spin = 20 else: game.sfx['nohit'].play() def flash_main( x=1 ): game.init(castToWindow(x))[/sourcecode]

Good Usable RIA Applications in Flash and Silverlight

Flash and Silverlight allow developers to make amazing tools, they allow creative expression and they also are usually a bad user experience many times.

Lots of that is changing as more applications are made and frameworks like Flex and Silverlight progress. Much of the needed performance is now available for Flash/Flex in AS3 and the AVM2 virtual machine that runs it, making full applications much faster for all actions that might have been a drag in AS2 and vector based application’s of the past. Some great tools were made with this still that were usable like gModeler a flash based UML modeling tool but the performance boost will make these applications even more usable for mainstream.

Some great examples of user friendly apps where the flash or the silverlight element doesn’t blind the developer from usability. These applications might really have a market for general users of applications from advanced depending on feature set as long as they are usable.

buzzword (Flash/Flex/AS3)

Is a word processor that is really well done. This is made with Flex and everything from validation to the toolset is very usable and clean. I use Google Docs and haven’t looked back for about a year but this application is a nice change to web editors for documents at the current state. It included all the usual basic functionality and great new zoom, revision history and sharing tools that web office tools like word processors has come to expect. Be sure to try this one.

scrapblog (Flash/Flex/AS3)
scapblog is a bloggy/presentation that is a great template editor and the tools are broad and expected from users including great integration with the web for photos and video at major sites such as photobucket, flickr, etc.

Google SearchMash (Flex/Flash/AS3)

This is a Flex 2 (actionscript 3) application that is very fast and usable in vector.

Sample Textured 3d Vista demo(Silverlight 1.0)

This demo showcases the speed of Silverlight and a usable OS like interface that performs well. It showcases Silverlight but also has great usability in expected user actions and results.

tafiti (Silverlight 1.0 demo)

Tafiti is a search tool that uses SIlverlight and live search to represent search results in a rich way. They did a pretty good job with usability and especially considering the Silverlight 1.0 lack of good input controls. Little bit laggy.

The point is solution developers should use technology but most importantly make it functional and usable to what users expect. RIAs will succeed very well as long as you can select text, hit back buttons, deep linking, use menu systems, integrate services, have all the features of apps not in vector engines like Flash or Silverlight and to make it mainstream friendly they need to have a low bar of entry and just work. RIAs have an advantage right now as office apps move to the web and photo apps as well, many of these apps above would appeal to general computer users in addition to advanced users.

Flash9 AS3 Lisp Interpreter

Well, one thing is for sure AS3 is inspiring programmers and Solve et Coagula made a Lisp interpreter for Flash9/AS3 as proof. Silverlight has some programming advantages over Flash due to the fact that many languages can be used for it and the DLR. But AS3 is a very fun language and inspires lots of great libraries through it’s simplicity. AS3 is based on the Javascript2 ECMA spec and it proves well that it might really take off and is worth your time to learn, you can make toys at least.

Try the AS3 Lisp intepreter 

Use the commands available here 

Some notes from the author:

AS3 Lisp Source

So I got asked a few times to post the source for the AS3 Lisp. I have and it’s here. Please keep in mind:

  • I wrote this a year and a half ago and didn’t know AS3 or Lisp very well
  • I never intended to release the source so I apologize if anyone is offended by any class names, variable names, function names or comments (such as a function call named getGUI.LoadInterface();)
  • I have since figured out a way better way to handle symbols in the system and it would really clean up a ton of stuff
  • Some one over at YCombinator News noticed that closures don’t seem to work and for that I apologize, if I were rewriting this (which I kinda am just in a different form) I would definitely make closures works since I now realize how important they are to Lisp

IronRuby Released, and the Dynamic Language Rising

Microsoft has been busy pushing the DLR (Dynamic Language Runtime) and there is many interesting developments from C# 3.0 to IronPython and now Microsoft released IronRuby public alpha.

Will these languages be treated like J# and JScript.NET? We shall see.

If they perform better than their counterparts it might make python and ruby coders able to take on more platforms and capabilities.

It is still only pre-alpha and missing much but like, it can have an impact when platforms and languages merge.

Earlier this year, Microsoft assured developers that it would be continuing to build languages on top of the Dynamic Language Runtime (DLR). Considering that IronPython had been a success in terms of implementation, the company decided that it would make an attempt at bringing Ruby into the world of .NET. With the help of Ruby expert John Lam, today the company announced that a pre-alpha build of IronRuby is now available. You heard it right, this release is pre-alpha—many Ruby features and libraries have not yet been implemented.

One very interesting aspect of all these DLR languages is that Silverlight Alpha 1.1 supports IronPython. Will it support IronRuby? Silverlight is very fun to code in C# and can be coded in Python as well. This over just AS3 in Flash. However, AS3 is very fun and is based very closely to the Javascript2 spec. Javascript can be argued that it is the most dynamic language and functional language there is that is so widespread in, Javascript 2 could be a big thing. Languages seem to be converging on this point.

For IronRuby fun ScottGu has a great blog post on getting started with IronRuby.