Adobe announced their plan to open source Flex, I'm very excited about this news! Just got back from Toronto today so just blogging some resources to check out, will certainly blog more about this move when I've had a chance to review it all.

Adobe is announcing plans to open source Flex under the Mozilla Public License (MPL). This includes not only the source to the ActionScript components from the Flex SDK, which have been available in source code form with the SDK since Flex 2 was released, but also includes the Java source code for the ActionScript and MXML compilers, the ActionScript debugger and the core ActionScript libraries from the SDK. The Flex SDK includes all of the components needed to create Flex applications that run in any browser - on Mac OS X, Windows, and Linux and on now on the desktop using “Apollo”.

Developers can use the Flex SDK to freely develop and deploy Flex applications using either Adobe Flex Builder or an IDE of their choice.

License: http://www.mozilla.org/MPL/MPL-1.1-annotated.html

The source code for the Flex framework is already available within the free distribution of the current Flex 2 SDK. By this summer, Adobe plans to put in place most of the infrastructure (public bug database and public daily builds) required to run the Flex SDK as an open source project. We expect to complete the transition to a fully open source project (source code for the compiler, infrastructure for community contributions, etc.) by the end of 2007.

FAQ: http://labs.adobe.com/wiki/index.php/Flex:Open_Source:FAQ

Robert Scoble has some great video interviews with the Flex team about going open source.

Posted
AuthorPeter

I'm absolutely blown away by this new project Luke Bayes and Ali Mills (of AsUnit fame) have just released! AsProject is a cross platform open source ActionScript development tool set that supports both ActionScript 2.0 and 3.0 and leverages tools like MTASC, Swfmill and AsUnit using rake tasks to automate the build process.

Its distributed over Ruby Gems, so the only thing you need to get started is Ruby and Ruby Gems installed -- everything else gets handled for you and you're literally doing open source actionscript development in minutes. This is really huge, open source Flash development wasn't rocket science before but this sure lowers the threshold for anyone still doubting to give it a try.

Best practices development at your finger tips, I love where the community is going with these open source initiatives!

watch the video demo

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AuthorPeter
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Last year I released a first version of the Belgium zipcode components -- I've made some improvements and have since ported it from Flash to Flex 2. As a little early Christmas present to my loyal blog groupies I thought I'd release the source code for this latest version. What has changed?

- Its now been ported to an AS3 component for use with Flex 2 - Faster reverse lookup (zipcode by city) - Dutch and French version are integrated into one component

Right-click the demo below to view source and download the code.

[flash]/blog/wp-content/uploads/2006/12/belgiumziptest.swf,370,305[/flash]

The component is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5 license.

If you use it in a project, please do drop me a line - I'd love to see it in action!

Posted
AuthorPeter

Its been several months since I first announced FlashExtensibility.com, but have finally found the time to get it up and running! The idea behind this site is to provide an open source repository of JSFL scripts, everyone can get involved and share their work. Right now I've got experiments up that I did for a couple of Flash conferences. Some of the examples are still work in progress or just a proof of concept -- feel free to play around with the code, debug and/or add features.

Looking forward to seeing this develop into an active community site -- if you're at all interested in extending the Flash IDE, make sure to get involved!

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AuthorPeter
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At this years Multi-Mania we had an interesting panel discussion on open source Flash with Edwin van Rijkom, Christophe Herreman , Serge "Sergio" Jespers and myself -- excellently moderated by Aral Balkan. I've always considered myself a bit of an open source disciple though it might not have come across that way from the discussion (I blame it on the bouncy balls). In practical terms I use open source tools to help me with my development workflow not replace it. For example Eclipse as an ActionScript editor, AMFPHP as a Flash Remoting gateway, AsUnit for unit testing and occassionally the ARP framework and Screenweaver for building desktop applications.

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AuthorPeter

If someone told this to me a year ago I would *never* have believed them. Its just incredible to see the possibilities Flash Player 9 is opening up! Darron Shall (of FlashVNC fame) and Claus Wahlers have set up an open source project building an emulator for the Commodore 64 in Flash. Over the last few days they've made incredible progress and they've now got the basic display code and a basic keyboard implementation in place, meaning you can actually run BASIC commands.

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AuthorPeter
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Just noticed Martin Smestad Hansen has released his FunkyTools to osflash.org, great stuff! Remember him talking to me about it at Spark and they're really cool productivity tools to automate some of those tedious task we all have to deal with when doing Flash projects. Particularly like his png2swf command that let's you browse for a folder and it converts all PNG's in there to an SWF. The other tools he has up at the moment is a must have if you're doing Flash banners, one creates an invisible button with the correct stage dimensions and the clickTag in place and the other one creates a border around the stage with a given color and width.

Thanks Martin, looking forward to seeing more of those! :D

Posted
AuthorPeter

Aral Balkan was his usually energetic self and did a great job representing the open source Flash movement at Spark (along with Nicolas Canasse, John Grden, Luke Hubbard and the rest of the community of course). His first session was on the "Open Source Flash Revolution". After briefly covering the history of how osflash.org came about he went on to cover some of the amazing open source projects they host and how to go about creating SWF content without touching the Flash IDE (though you still can if you want to). If you're handling everything through code (loading external assets etc.) you can use the MTASC compiler, if you want to embed assets into your SWF there is Swfmill to help you accomplish that.

Other things worth mentioning are ASUnit (that does a great job with unit testing for ActionScript projects and integrates with the Flash IDE), Screenweaver for creating desktop applications, screensavers etc. (version 4 will have support for Mac), LuminicBox FlashInspector for logging your application and of course Xray which is indispensable for debugging your Flash projects.

Macromedia appears to be very supportive of the movement, with their own "Flash JavaScript Integration Kit" hosted as an open source project on osflash.org and the extremely liberal licence they're using for their examples on labs.macromedia.com. They also benefit greatly from the active open source community that is willing to share, and of course its good publicity to slowly try and "re-educate" the flash-bashing slashdot crowd ;)

As you would expect there were a few reservations though, and as expected the legal situation of some of the projects hosted there was discussed at the open source panel. A few things became apparent from that discussion:

- The open source Flash community does not want to hurt the commercial interest of Macromedia - Just because no objection was made to certain open source technology before does not mean Macromedia will not take steps to protect its intellectual property later on. - We need a point of contact at Macromedia to get official feedback on the position they take regarding certain open source developments.

Of course as with any company legal departments are a slow moving machine, as Mike said it is not their intention to spread FUD.

Personally I would love to see some sort of official statement from Macromedia (before everything is handed over to Adobe) that highlights some clear guidelines on what open source developments they accept, maybe even encourage, and to what they take objection.

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AuthorPeter
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