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Difference Between Actionscript 2.0 and Actionscript 3.0

Actionscript 2.0 vs Actionscript 3.0

Actionscript is a coding language that was developed by Adobe for use with Flash for creating animations and even simple games. As Flash evolved over the years, so did Actionscript. The latest improvement is the move from AS 2.0 to AS 3.0. Rather than simply trying to improve AS 2.0 by adding new features and doing performance tweaks, Adobe decided to overhaul AS 2.0 to come up with 3.0.

The resulting software, though still very similar to AS 2.0, has a lot of changes that some user loved while others hated. Probably the most celebrated change in AS 3.0 is the speed increase. The general perception is that AS 3.0 is around 10 to 15 times faster at executing scripts compared to AS 2.0. Although some may dispute these numbers, all are in agreement that AS 3.0 is certainly faster than AS 2.0.

Another change in AS 3.0 is the strict adherence to good coding practices. With AS 2.0, you can probably cut a lot of corners when it comes to coding in order to finish faster. That is no longer possible in AS 3.0. Global variables have also been minimized in AS 3.0, forcing people to use OOP (Object Oriented Programming) which may look cleaner and easier to debug but is certainly time consuming to code. As a result, it is probably much faster to code small projects in AS 2.0 since you can quickly come up with functioning code if you deviate from correct way. But when you do bigger projects where you’ve got thousands of lines of code, you would probably have an easier time with AS 3.0; certainly easier to debug.

The main problem that a lot of users have with AS 3.0 is the steeper learning curve that it has. It is more difficult for newbies to learn since it takes a lot more steps in order to come up with your simple application. Despite that, newbies are encouraged to learn AS 3.0 since AS 2.0 is already old and companies would probably start migrating from it in the near future.


1. AS 3.0 is more like a rewrite of AS 2.0 than an incremental upgrade

2. AS 3.0 is much faster compared to AS 2.0

3. AS 3.0 requires much stricter coding compared to AS 2.0

4. AS 3.0 focuses more on OOP compared to AS 2.0

5. AS 3.0 is better for big projects while AS 2.0 is easier for small projects

6. AS 3.0 is a bit more difficult to learn than AS 2.0

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