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#1 Hashim1  Icon User is offline

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ActionScript 2.0 VS ActionScript 3.0

Posted 15 September 2012 - 03:08 PM

Hey there, everyone. :)

There are two separate questions I'd like to ask on the topic of Flash and ActionScript. My first question requires a bit of a back-story, which is the reason for this extremely long post, and the second question should be quite a straightforward one. I understand that the following post is a long one, so you'd be forgiven for clicking the Back button on your browser right now, but I really would appreciate it if you could read the whole post, especially if you think you can help me out with my questions. Thanks in advance.

So, my first question to start with.

Basically, in my current course at college I'm doing a unit/subject in which we'll be using ActionScript 2.0 to create basic Flash games. Although I'm not required to learn the language - all the tutor for the unit will be doing is giving us AS2 code to copy-and-paste into Flash, without requiring us to understand it - but I want to do so anyway, for the following reasons:

a) As someone who is very interested in coding, I personally don't like the fact that I'd be ignorantly copying-and-pasting code without knowing what it does and how.
b) Because I think having a better understand of, and knowing how to code in, ActionScript will enable me to perform far better in my assignments, and ultimately create a better and far more advanced end game than most co-students in my class will be able to, which should in turn help me to get a higher end grade.
c) Having already self-taught myself Javascript to a certain level of competence, I don't think it will be too hard for me to learn AS2 what with the apparent similarities between the two languages.

My dilemma is this: having done a bit of research, I realise AS2 is an increasingly outdated language, and the only reason my tutor is using it for my course is simply because he always has, and is unwilling to update to AS3. Of course, I'm not at all keen on learning a seven-year old language, and so if I do learn ActionScript 2.0, it'll be purely for the sake of my current course, and I'll probably be looking to update to ActionScript 3.0 as soon as I possibly can.

However, and this is where my first question starts - if I do learn AS2 right now for my course and then decide in the future that I want to update to AS3 (which I most likely will), I will of course need to unlearn everything I'll know by then of AS2. I've heard, though, that the differences between the two versions of the language are quite vast.

So, my first question - if the above is true, how considerable are those differences between the two languages? How similar or different are the two in things such as syntax, default variables, logic, etc.? How hard will that unlearning process be for me? Even more usefully, has anyone here made that transition from AS2 to AS3 - if so, how hard did you find it, and how long would you say it took?

I hope everyone's following what I'm saying so far - if there's anything you're not getting from my above post, please do ask to clarify.

Now, my second question - as promised, far more simple and straightforward.

If I did decide to go ahead and learn ActionScript 2.0, what would be the single best online resource (a website, a certain YouTube channel, etc.) out there to learn from? Please bear in mind I will want to be learning in the best way possible and with the best coding practices.

I understand with the second question, there could a certain element of bias involved, seeing as I'm asking this question on a site whose own users publish tutorials (:P), so I'm counting on the objectivity and sympathy of you people not to be biased. :P

Thanks for your time in reading this post, and so much thanks in advance if you are able to help answer my questions and give me some insight on the topic - it really would be appreciated. :)

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Replies To: ActionScript 2.0 VS ActionScript 3.0

#2 BetaWar  Icon User is offline

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Re: ActionScript 2.0 VS ActionScript 3.0

Posted 15 September 2012 - 03:47 PM

I tend to disagree with you on the "unlearn" portion of your post. Instead of thinking of AS2 and AS3 as mutually exclusive (most be all one or the other), think of them as 2 separate languages. There is no reason you can't know and use both. There are a number of languages out there that change drastically over time, but that isn't to say you need to unlearn anything -- in fact that can be detrimental. Many companies don't use the newest and greatest of anything simply because of bugs, learning curve, and the fact that they already have an existing code base. It takes a lot of time and effort to update all the tools that are using older versions if a function is changed or removed in the base language. For instance, the company I am working for at the moment is using a 15 year old version of perl.

Besides, AS2 does have a few things considerably easier to implement than AS3. AS3 is just more of an OO language and better support for newer things. They both have their plusses and minusses.

It is true that the differences between AS2 and AS3 are vast. I pretty much consider them two completely different languages instead of different versions of the same language. Syntax and variables are pretty much the same, logic I would argue is the same regardless of any language. The transition took about a month to get used to the differences between AS2 and 3, though this is about what I consider normal when picking up a new language (after you have your first down pat).

I don't believe there is a single best resource for anything. DIC has a number of Flash tutorials, most of which cover AS2, but there are some for AS3 as well. Actionscript.org has a number of tutorials for both. Kirupa.com is also a good resource.

Hopefully this makes sense.
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#3 Hashim1  Icon User is offline

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Re: ActionScript 2.0 VS ActionScript 3.0

Posted 16 September 2012 - 10:03 AM

View PostBetaWar, on 15 September 2012 - 03:47 PM, said:

I tend to disagree with you on the "unlearn" portion of your post. Instead of thinking of AS2 and AS3 as mutually exclusive (most be all one or the other), think of them as 2 separate languages. There is no reason you can't know and use both. There are a number of languages out there that change drastically over time, but that isn't to say you need to unlearn anything -- in fact that can be detrimental. Many companies don't use the newest and greatest of anything simply because of bugs, learning curve, and the fact that they already have an existing code base. It takes a lot of time and effort to update all the tools that are using older versions if a function is changed or removed in the base language. For instance, the company I am working for at the moment is using a 15 year old version of perl.

Besides, AS2 does have a few things considerably easier to implement than AS3. AS3 is just more of an OO language and better support for newer things. They both have their plusses and minusses.

It is true that the differences between AS2 and AS3 are vast. I pretty much consider them two completely different languages instead of different versions of the same language. Syntax and variables are pretty much the same, logic I would argue is the same regardless of any language. The transition took about a month to get used to the differences between AS2 and 3, though this is about what I consider normal when picking up a new language (after you have your first down pat).

I don't believe there is a single best resource for anything. DIC has a number of Flash tutorials, most of which cover AS2, but there are some for AS3 as well. Actionscript.org has a number of tutorials for both. Kirupa.com is also a good resource.

Hopefully this makes sense.


I see what you mean by considering them as two different languages, you make a lot of sense. I suppose it was a mistake of mine making the assumption that I will need to unlearn the older version of the language if I learnt the new one, but of course, as you explained, that's not necessarily the case. Thanks a lot for the input. :)

Can anyone else add more input?
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#4 Hashim1  Icon User is offline

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Re: ActionScript 2.0 VS ActionScript 3.0

Posted 17 September 2012 - 03:00 PM

Bump up my post. :)
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#5 GabeTHEGeek  Icon User is offline

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Re: ActionScript 2.0 VS ActionScript 3.0

Posted 08 October 2012 - 09:32 AM

View PostBetaWar, on 15 September 2012 - 03:47 PM, said:

I tend to disagree with you on the "unlearn" portion of your post. Instead of thinking of AS2 and AS3 as mutually exclusive (most be all one or the other), think of them as 2 separate languages. There is no reason you can't know and use both. There are a number of languages out there that change drastically over time, but that isn't to say you need to unlearn anything -- in fact that can be detrimental. Many companies don't use the newest and greatest of anything simply because of bugs, learning curve, and the fact that they already have an existing code base. It takes a lot of time and effort to update all the tools that are using older versions if a function is changed or removed in the base language. For instance, the company I am working for at the moment is using a 15 year old version of perl.

Besides, AS2 does have a few things considerably easier to implement than AS3. AS3 is just more of an OO language and better support for newer things. They both have their plusses and minusses.

It is true that the differences between AS2 and AS3 are vast. I pretty much consider them two completely different languages instead of different versions of the same language. Syntax and variables are pretty much the same, logic I would argue is the same regardless of any language. The transition took about a month to get used to the differences between AS2 and 3, though this is about what I consider normal when picking up a new language (after you have your first down pat).

I don't believe there is a single best resource for anything. DIC has a number of Flash tutorials, most of which cover AS2, but there are some for AS3 as well. Actionscript.org has a number of tutorials for both. Kirupa.com is also a good resource.

Hopefully this makes sense.


Im gonna refer you to my forum post because it's kinda similar http://www.dreaminco...ript-questions/

AS3 is more powerful and you should ALWAYS UPDATE your skills. There are so many resources. Check out my post and if you have anymore questions feel free to ask questions.
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