What’s up with the open-source Flex SDK project?

Last June we announced that with the release of Flex 3, the Flex SDK would move to an open-source development model. In the meantime we rolled out our Jira-based open bugbase at http://bugs.adobe.com/flex. But we’ve also been busy on a lot of other open-source infrastructure. Fortunately, you don’t have to wait much longer to see it! Here’s a rundown on what’s coming soon.

We’ve set up a Subversion repository to hold the code. You’ve already been able to see the ActionScript code for the runtime libraries such as framework.swc and rpc.swc in our SDK downloads. But now all the Java code for the author-time command-line tools will be available in the repository as well. This includes

* the ActionScript 3 compiler
* the MXML compiler
* the fdb debugger
* the swfutils library

The swfutils library provides Java classes that can read and write the SWF file format for Player 9, including the ABC blocks that contain the AS3 bytecode.

All this code is being made available for your use under the Mozilla Public License, so start thinking about what you could do with it!

We’ve built a website for the Flex SDK open-source project that explains

* how to get the code
* what’s where inside the project
* how to build and test it
* how the project is governed
* how you can participate

Of course, it also provides downloads of daily builds.

If you want to be just a passive observer, you can watch as we develop Flex 3.0.1 and Flex 4. The Subversion log will let you see what we’re doing. You can subscribe to a “Commits Forum” to receive an email notification every time someone commits a change into the repository. Alternatively, you can get a periodic digest or just read the forum. If you notice a change that you care about, you can diff two versions of a file to see exactly what changed.

If you want to be an active participant, you can

* file bugs and enhancement requests
* submit code patches that fix bugs and implement enhancements
* request committer privileges

Anyone can submit a patch via our bugbase once you’ve agreed to some legal stuff. The project team will evaluate your patch and decide whether to apply it to the repository.

By the way, patches don’t have to be to code. The Language Reference documentation (“ASDoc”) is generated from comments in the source files, so this is patchable too.

Committer status is of course a privilege, not a right, and we won’t be granting it to just any schmo who asks for it. But we’d love to find the right developers who are passionate about Flex and have the skills and judgement to work on the code without close oversight. The best way to be considered for committer status is to submit useful, high-quality patches!

Finally, in addition to the Commits Forum, there will be a new Flex SDK Developer forum and one for discussing how the project works.