Francis Hwang on Fri, 26 Apr 2002 15:42:02 +0200 (CEST)

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[Nettime-bold] <nettime> Flash as programming language

Christopher Fahey wrote:

>Any programmer who giggles at the idea of Flash as a programming
>language is uninformed. Your comparison of Flash to Quicktime is
>ridiculously uninformed.
>ActionScript is a robust, object-oriented, ECMA-262-compliant
>programming language, roughly identical in syntax, structure, and
>sophistication to JavaScript. I'm not saying that JavaScript is the most
>powerful language in the world, but you cannot deny that it IS a
>programming language.

Speaking as a programmer: I would never say that Flash isn't 
programming. But it's a sort of programming I don't ever want to do 
again -- in the same way that I'd rather not code any JavaScript or 
Visual Basic ever again, either.

Like a few other people on this list, I've been programming for a 
while, and while you quickly learn that languages are on some level 
all the same -- I've coded in Pascal, Scheme, C, C++, Java, 
JavaScript, Ruby, Python, Perl, Visual Basic, ColdFusion, etc. -- you 
also learn that that similarity can get really boring. I got to a 
point about a year ago where I realized that I was basically solving 
all the same low-level problems, only using different symbols to do 
it. Life's too short.

These days, I look for languages and techniques that allow me to 
leave the low-level stuff in the past and build bigger, to think more 
about the bigger picture instead of the petty details. For me, that 
involves using object-oriented languages and techniques. (And as a 
side note: the term "object-oriented" has a drastically different 
meaning in the tech-arts world than it does in the 
software-engineering world; here I use it in the software-engineering 
sense.) From what I understand of ActionScript, it is not a language 
that will let me use those techniques.

Yes, Flash is a programming language. (If you want to use a geek term 
here, you can say ActionScript is "Turing complete".) But so is 
assembly language, and who wants to use that stuff?


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