I am not sure I agree entirely with you here.

Whilst I believe that Open Source software has so much to offer, I cannot believe that an Open Source version of the Flash IDE would provide such a rich feature set AND work as well as the IDE without a significant investment in time and effort. If you think about the time and effort invested into the IDE itself to get where it is today, how many open source projects with IDE's have that sort of longevity or investment? Eclipse, the various flavours of OS and Open Office spring to mind, but I think one of the driving points behind this factor is the demand for these tools. Even with it's popularity, I don't think Flash has the same level of demand.

I think you are speaking from a programmers viewpoint. The Flash IDE is not just for programmers and has primarily evolved from a visual tool. Whilst some of the programming features may not be upto scratch with other systems out there, look at the way the actionscript panel works - it has always been aimed at getting stuff working and making it easier for non-programmers to achieve some of their ideas. As ActionScript has got stricter, the ActionScript panel has possibly not kept up with this. But, Adobe recognised this and came up with Flex Builder, which is aimed at developers. On a tangent, I personally feel that Flex Builder takes a lot of ideas from Dreamweaver, but because of Eclipse, has a better underpinning of tools for developers. However, it is not possible to satisfy everyone, especially hard core developers, animators, etc. who often pick big holes in the IDE, (and other tools), because the IDE works for the majority. Already there are alternatives that offer what people are looking for. Look at Flash Develop for the PC - I know that this is not Cross Platform, but there are tools for Mac users & Linux people that do similar stuff. And there are other tools which enable people to produce SWF's that can be used in projects too - Moho is an animation tool that has had IK for a while and exports to SWF, I guess Adobe realised that some of the animation stuff needed work, because we are getting IK in the next version...

What I do think is with this opening up of source / formats is that there will be more opportunity for developing specialist tools which cover some of the IDE's functionality, but I can't see a Flash IDE killer coming, although it would be nice to see some good quality Linux flavoured tools - personally I am not in a hurry to get rid of my Flash IDE, but I am not in a hurry to use Vista, so would welcome the chance to switch to Linux - not dissing Mac's, but pricing is an issue for me here.

Anyway, a lot of what I have said is only an opinion, so I may be totally off base, but my point is that the IDE may have it's faults, but it's still probably the best tool out there for combining animation, graphics, video and stuff, but like you I also prefer to use other tools to write code unless I am spiking stuff that requires both graphics and code.

Glen Pike
01326 218440
www.glenpike.co.uk <http://www.glenpike.co.uk>

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