A number of tools can be used to write and edit ActionScript code, then we will introduce the most common and present in the market.
Adobe Flash Builder is the primary tool for creating projects with the Flex framework or projects that consist mainly of ActionScript code. Flash Builder also includes a full-featured ActionScript editor, as well as resources for visual layout and MXML editing. It can be used to create Flex or ActionScript-only projects. Flex provides several advantages, including a Rico set of pre-built UI controls, flexible dynamic layout controls and built-in mechanisms for working with remote data and link external data to user interface elements. However, due to the additional code required to provide these resources, the projects that use Flex can have a larger SWF file size than their counterparts in non-Flex.
Choose the Flash Builder if you need to create data-driven applications and full of features for the Internet with Flex. Use it when you want to edit ActionScript code, edit MXML code and have an application visually, all within the same tool.
Many users of the Flash Professional to create projects that use a lot of ActionScript using Flash Professional to create visual assets and Flash Builder as editor for ActionScript code.
In addition to the graphics capabilities and the creation of animation, Flash Professional includes tools for working with ActionScript code. The code can be linked to elements in an FLA file or in external ActionScript-only files. Flash Professional is ideal for projects that involve significant animation or video. This is valuable when you want to create for yourself the most graphic assets. Another reason to use Flash Professional to develop your ActionScript project is to create visual assets and write code in the same application. Flash Professional also includes pre-built user interface components. Use these components to achieve smaller SWF files and use Visual Tools to design them for the project.
Flash Professional includes two tools for writing ActionScript code:
Actions panel: available for working in an FLA file, this Panel allows you to write ActionScript code attached to frames on a timeline;
• Window Script: the Script window is a dedicated text editor for working with ActionScript files (.as).
As the ActionScript files (.as) are stored as simple text files, any program that can edit plain text files can be used to write ActionScript files. In addition to the Adobe’s ActionScript products, several programs of third-party text editing with ActionScript-specific capabilities. The developer can write an MXML file or ActionScript classes using any text editor program. Creates an application of these files using the Flex SDK. The project can use Flex or be an application just ActionScript. Alternatively, some developers use Flash Builder or ActionScript editor from another company for writing ActionScript classes, in combination with the Flash Professional to create graphical content.
Among the reasons for choosing an ActionScript editor of another company are:
• The user prefers to write ActionScript code in a separate program and design the Visual elements in Flash Professional;
• The developer uses an application for non-ActionScript programming (such as creating HTML pages or applications in another programming language);
• The user wants to create Flex or ActionScript-only projects using the Flex SDK without Flash Professional or Flash Builder.