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I'm wondering if it's possible to use ActionScript without having Flash. The reason I'm asking is I used to own Flash 8, but it's been a while and I've gone through a few computers and I no longer have flash. Now, a few years later, I'm better at programming and I'd like to do some ActionScript programming. Since ActionScript is open source, I'm wondering if there's a way to program in it and create functional Flash applications like games and stuff.

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FlashDevelop is an open-source IDE for developing Flash applications –  alterionisto May 12 '12 at 11:00
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closed as not a real question by gnat, MichaelT, GlenH7, Martijn Pieters, Dynamic May 19 '13 at 23:03

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2 Answers

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Yes you can develop Flash/Flex applications without using Flash Professional CS#. You'll want to download Flashdevelop, a very feature-rich IDE.

You'll also need to download the Flex SDK. The Flex SDK is free to use and has all the packages that you would find while using Flash Professional CS#. It also allows you to compile Actionscript into a SWF or SWC (yes, you can compile it outside of Flashdevelop, but I think FD makes it so easy that you might as well use it).

Then you'll want to configure Flashdevelop so that it can compile your Actionscript. After you do that, you can create a AS# project in Flashdevelop and compile it into a working SWF. The only downside to doing this is it isn't as easy to create elaborate Movieclips.

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You can argue that what I'm going to suggest is more like "using Flash without ActionScript" than "using ActionScript without Flash", but I feel it's in the spirit of your question, looking for alternatives to Adobe proprietary software.

Recently I came across a language called HaXe, which is a quite recent, open-source programming language, aimed at developing multiplatform, multimedia applications. It has its roots in ActionScript 3 and reportedly can utilize existing Flash API, so I believe you could easily get up to speed in it with a prior knowledge of ActionScript. What's interesting is the fact that it can be compiled/translated to run on several different platforms, including Flash, JavaScript and a sort-of associated with it NekoVM, among others. It also uses FlashDevelop as an IDE.

Didn't yet have time to use it in practice, but I'm looking forward to it.

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+1 for Haxe, although I might add that it's roots are definitely not in ActionScript 3. Haxe is the younger brother of MTASC, both being derived from MotionTypes. –  back2dos May 12 '12 at 13:03
Awesome, I will look into this! –  ohblahitsme May 15 '12 at 7:20
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