Wednesday, April 02, 2008

JavaScript vs. ActionScript

Today on the Google LiveCycle Developers list, a message came across which requires some additional clarification. The message claimed the following:

Hello all,
I don't know if this has been discussed before but thought I'd bring
it up. The JavaScript in LiveCycle isn't ECMA script it's actually
Action script like with Flash.
While the claim is errant, it does deserve some attention to discuss the differences. LiveCycle ES itself is a server product and is Java. If referring to
the LiveCycle clients, there are two main types of clients that can be used
with LiveCycle, although there are no limits as LiveCycle ES is a service bus which facilitates the consumption of services and does not constrain clients use of the services in true SOA manner (note: any service policies still must be observed). The two most common types of clients are Flex/AIR clients and Acrobat/Reader.

Acrobat and Reader implement a virtual machine based on JavaScript version
1.5 of ISO-16262 (formerly known as ECMAScript), JavaScript in Adobe®
Acrobat® software implements objects, methods, and properties that enable
you to manipulate PDF files, produce database-driven PDF files, modify the
appearance of PDF files, and much more. You can tie Acrobat JavaScript code
to a specific PDF document, a page, field, or button within that document,
or a field or button within the PDF file, and even to a user action as you
an with HTML pages. This is fully documented in the supporting
documentation. See:

Flex and AIR applications are in fact compiled into SWF's (commonly known as
Flash). These do implement the Actionscript Virtual Machine based on
ECMAScript. The current version was added in Flash Player 9 as ActionScript
3.0 with the advent of a new virtual machine, called AVM2 (ActionScript
Virtual Machine 2), which coexists with the previous AVM1 needed to support
legacy content. Although a bit different, it is very close to being ECMA
262 compliant.

ActionScript is run inside the Tamarin Virtual Machine. It is a just in time compiler intended to implement the fourth edition of the ECMAScript standard, commonly referred to as JavaScript 2. Tamarin was initially developed by Adobe Systems for its ActionScript Virtual Machine (AVM) used in Flash. The code was donated to the Mozilla project on November 7, 2006. The contributed code is tri-licensed under the GPL, LGPL, and MPL and will continue to be developed in Mozilla CVS, as the rest of Mozilla source code.

The contributed code is approximately 135,000 lines of code making it the largest single donation of code to Mozilla project besides Netscape itself. Tamarin will be included in future builds of Mozilla and by default, FireFox. There is a separate project to integrate Tamarin and SpiderMonkey is called ActionMonkey. Tamarin will also continue to be used in the future versions of Flash.

Adobe wrote LiveCycle before acquiring/merging with Macromedia, there was
no ActionScript support in any product to my knowledge.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

LiveCycle 8.2 Pre-release program

For cutting edge LiveCycle developers, Adobe is inviting a select group to test the latest build (8.2) prior to the official release. You can register here:

Here are the new features:
  • Improved development and authoring tools, including process record and playback, and validation of process definitions
  • Improved end-user experience including 508-Compliance, single sign-on support, and many LiveCycle Designer enhancements
  • Improved process management tools such as business calendars, out-of-office support, and customized e-mail notifications
  • Improved installation with two turnkey options (JBOSS and WebLogic) as well as command-line installation
  • Improved administration and platform maturity with improved backup and recovery support (hot backup), expanded platform, database, and JVM support
  • Improved Web Service support within XFA-based forms
  • PDF/A Support

Greg Wilson has posted a great introductory video here.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Adobe MAX 2008 Call for speakers

Adobe has launched a call for speakers and topics for MAX 2008. You can submit here:

Adobe is seeking to have top quality, cutting edge presentations submitted for MAX 2008 in North America, Europe, and Japan. Adobe MAX 2008 dates are as follows:

MAX 2008 North America
San Francisco, California
November 16-19, 2008

MAX 2008 Europe
Milan, Italy
Dec 1-4, 2008

MAX 2008 Asia
Tokyo, Japan
TBA - 2009

Remember - MAX 2007 sold out. Remember to check back here for early bird registration. Also - if you are interested in sponsoring MAX in 2008, please go here. There are limited opportunities available. Likewise, the MAX 2008 mailing list can be subscribed to here.