Why I love the ActionScript 3.0 Platform Reference

Six years ago, when I started managing the Flex documentation, we almost immediately started worrying about future proliferation of the ActionScript API content. You see, we were republishing very similar content to a new location for each product and each version. For example, http://livedocs.adobe.com/flex/2/langref, http://livedocs.adobe.com/flex/201/langref, and http://livedocs.adobe.com/flex/3/langref, while they have different Flex content, all have virtually identical content for the flash.* packages.

At that time, we anticipated customers would have trouble locating the ActionScript API content for their product/version and/or google into the wrong version and miss seeing up-to-date information. And this has turned out to be true.

Obviously, the right thing to do is create one version of this content covering all the Adobe products that feature ActionScript APIs. However, it turns out that this is a non-trivial task, given all the products that use ActionScript, including Flex, Flash Pro, LiveCycle, LiveCycle Data Services, Flash Lite, FMS, and ColdFusion.

So I hope everyone realizes just how happy I am to say that we have released the ActionScript 3.0 Platform Reference and that it includes content for all released Adobe products that feature ActionScript APIs.

Now you have one-stop shopping for all your favorite Flex APIs, including DataGrid, ComboBox, and Button, as well as Flash, AIR, and ColdFusion APIs.

So when you get a minute, please open and bookmark ActionScript 3.0 Platform Reference. It has an updated look and feel, including content filtering by product, runtime, and version, so you can exclude classes for the products you don’t use.

Stay tuned to this blog and other Adobe Learning Resources blogs for more details on the ActionScript 3.0 Reference for the Adobe Flash Platform and tips on how to get the most out of it.

And remember that we’re running on help.adobe.com these days, and no longer use livedocs.adobe.com.

Thanks,
Randy Nielsen

13 Responses to Why I love the ActionScript 3.0 Platform Reference

  1. Matthew Fabb says:

    The new AS 3.0 Reference is really great, although one thing that I noticed was removed with the new version from the beta is that there no longer is an option to choose Flash Player 10.1 or AIR 2.0. These options were useful when working with the Flash Player and AIR betas.

  2. Randy Nielsen says:

    Matthew, I should have noted that there are two versions of the Platform Reference: The one that includes classes for final products (which is what I describe in this post) and one that includes classes for any products in public beta (which, at the present time, includes Flash Player 10.1 and AIR 2.0). The URL for the Beta Platform Reference is http://help.adobe.com/en_US/FlashPlatform/beta/reference/actionscript/3/index.html.Good catch!-Randy Nielsen

  3. Nshen says:

    the link “Show Inherited Public Properties” in the document dont support google chrome .

  4. Stephen Gilson says:

    Hi Nshen,I have seen that issue in Opera, but not in Chrome. So I can look into it, can you please tell me:- Which version of Chrome you are using?- Which OS and platform (Mac, Windows, Linux)- Which language or locale you useThanks,Stephen

  5. Nshen says:

    Chrome version is 4.1.249.1042windows xpChinese

  6. When looking for Flex API references, it was always easy to google something like “Flex 3 ComboBox Livedocs” and it would almost always come up.Unfortunately with the switch to “help.adobe.com” similar searches are not bringing up the API reference.Searching the language reference for “ComboBox” or “Flex ComboBox” or even “mx.controls.ComboBox” does no bring up the ComboBox API docs.

  7. Duncan says:

    It’s great to have it all in one place, nice work.However, it’s still so slow at searching and at loading pages that I often search via google instead.Also, it would be really useful to be able to search for a class name and just get results from the language reference – without the other adobe.com content. Even better would be to be taken directly to the class page if the class name is correct.Just a thought 🙂

  8. Brian Kotek says:

    To confirm, none of the links to show/hide inherited items work in the API docs when using the latest Chrome release.

  9. Stephen Gilson says:

    @brian KotekBrian, what version of Chrome, OS, and platform (Mac, Windows, Linux) are you using?Stephen

  10. Compared to other language docs, I’d agree that Actionscript probably has the most explorable/usable of the languages I’m used to. Kudos.

    But there was one improvement I’ve been wondering about for some time. Why isn’t there a Package/Class live text filter? I feel like I spend a lot of time scrolling up and down needlessly, where I could simply type in a couple characters. I’ve mocked an example here: http://hinish.com/uploads/ref.png

    Also in the mock, I mention the header area. There are three vertical stripes and the third seems to be empty all the time. Does it have a purpose/use?

    Again, great job on this overall.

  11. I should probably specify that not the whole strip is empty but the middle section of it that I’m wondering about.

  12. hsTedd says:

    I see the intent of the AS3 Platform Reference, but it’s hands-down the worst, slowest help system I’ve used in many, many years. I’ve used it remotely from Adobe web site, run it locally, used IE/Firefox/Chrome/Opera … and it’s so painfully slow I use it only as a last resort. It’s sad, but I use Google to find assistance I need, totally avoiding the AS3 Platform Reference if I can. I don’t know what going on with the ‘scroll bar’ in the browser (caching?), but it’s infuriatingly lame. Maybe it will be useful someday, but it definitely isn’t now.

    • Christian says:

      I dont know how it can be loved like a new achievement, when programmers go to google first instead of using the built in help system. My advice: stop hyping yourself and instead complete your work and AFTER its done present something useful. Thanks in advance