14 August 2007

Favorite AS version - part II

Few weeks ago I posted about favorite AS version.I was trying to answer the question what is most used version among programmers. My first conclusion was that over 95% of people are using AS2. I was using number of threads on forums as representative number.

However, one of readers, known as 5566 said that this idea can't really show this relation because AS2 threads exists much longer on forums and this is true. I tried to compare number of threads from date AS3 has appeared, but it was impossible for me to do that on Kirupa forum.

How about my poll? Well, My poll shows different story. Here are the results:
  1. ActionScript 2.0 (10 votes) 66%
  2. ActionScript 3.0 (5 votes) 33%
  3. ActionScript 1.0 (0 votes) 0%
Representative sample is too small for right conclusion, but I can say that favorite ActionScript version between programmers is ActionScript 2.0 for sure. Numbers are approximately: 60 % - 80 % uses AS2, rest is learning AS3.

I'm sure this relation for AS2 and AS3 will change in near future as more and more people learn AS3, but I'm not convinced that AS2 will be forgotten so fast as ActionScript1.0 is.


Eric said...

Most people prefer to eat fatty foods and watch tv rather than exercise (myself included), yet you'd be hard-pressed to find a medical doctor who advice the former over the later and, arguably, ill-advised to follow such a doctor's advice.

Just as the effects of the former behavior may take years to manifest, so too can the decision to embrace a deprecated technology like AS2. Adobe makes it very, very easy to resist by ensuring backwards-compatibility in Flash Player, but it would be inappropriate to conclude that doing so validates the decision to use AS2 for future projects.

Quite the opposite, in fact. Adobe has big plans for the Flash Player and it's permutations (ie AIR), and while AS2 apps may still run, they aren't likely to take advantage of this big plans, or will do so to a significantly lesser degree than an AS3 app.

Questions like the one you posed, and conclusions and inferances like you drew, typically stem from either a fear of change or a lack of knowledge, or both. And that is ok, but it is important to be honest about the reasons for asking, and clear with one's self about what the real goal is.

I will bet $1 that 99 out of 100 examples that demonstrate ANY superiority of AS2 over AS3, are based not on functionality or performance considerations, but on the developers' desire not to type as much, nor preferance for typing certain reserved words or API method and class names.

If the objective is to DEVELOP, or PROGRAM, then these are very, very valid concerns (although I might suggest looking at higher-level offerings like Ruby or even SmallTalk, where there is much less nuts-and-bolts coding required).

For most folks, the objective is to develop or program APPLICATIONS or MOVIES or RIAs (or similar), and most of the time, performance, functionality, and maintainability easily trump programmer comfort.

I would suggest that before clinging (even on a sub-conscious level) to AS2 rather than migrating to AS3, you might ask yourself whether you really desire a pleasant process more than the results afforded by using AS3.

Rest assured that AS4 and beyond will only continue the trends exhibited in the AS2-to-AS3 evolution, and moving from AS2 to AS4 is likely to sound like even less fun.

The sooner you jump in, the sooner you will acclimate to the change, and the sooner you can do the things you want (assumably) to do, both now, and in the future.

Good Luck!

flanture said...

Hello Eric,

thanks for your 417 words comment, I have never expected something like that even in my wildest dreams. Thanks again for feedback and your valuable opinion.

However, I have read your comment several times and after all I really don't see your point. What's the rush? Where from your AS2 rejection comes from?

First, I don't think AS2 is deprecated technology. If most people still use it, benefit from it I must be honest and just say that AS3 is next step, but I can not say that AS2 is deprecated.

Second, I think it is better to use stable and good working stuff in life than to run after every new thing that wind blows around my street.

I don't reject AS3. In fact I'm right now learning both AS3 and AIR just a little bit, but that's not the reason to leave behind everything before that. Why are you using AS3 for DEVELOPMENT and PROGRAM? It is very old technology right now, don't you think? Maybe you are already on AS4?

I'm not an expert. I don't have fear of change, but I do have lack of knowledge. But if I follow every new technologies, I will never learn anything !

Why are you comparing AS2 and AS3 in performance? It is ridiculous! Off course AS3 is way ahead of AS2 (3 > 2)!

I know you like "delusional self-important blatherings", Eric and as it seems I might become fan of those as well :)

Thanks again for your opinion.


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