From AS3 to C#, Part 1: Class Basics

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This article is for the AS3 developer who’s decided to switch to Unity and doesn’t know the first thing about programming in C#. It’ll walk you through the basics of C# to get you oriented and productive.

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From Flash to Unity

Today marks a big change for JacksonDunstan.com and the Tip of the Week e-mail list. After writing about AS3, Flash, and AIR for five years and 317 articles, I’m going to start writing about C# and Unity3D. Today I have posted two articles. The first talks about why I’m switching from Flash to Unity and the second is the beginning of a series of transitional articles entitled From AS3 to C#. Read on for the first article.

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Should You Bother Giving Variables a Type?

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Many modern strongly-typed languages have introduced a way for you to not have to type a variable’s type. In C#, you can use var instead of the actual type. In C++, you use auto. AS3 has a similar feature with it’s “untyped” type: *. In those other languages, var and auto are syntax sugar that the compiler replaces with the actual type. Will the AS3 compiler and/or Flash Player do the same for us? Today’s article finds out if it’s safe to skip the type and just use *.

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Faster Functional Methods for Array and Vector

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Four years ago I tested the functional programming-style methods of Array and Vector: every, filter, forEach, map, and some. In that article I showed that these functions are much slower than doing the same task through traditional loops. Today’s article seeks to improve the performance of the functional methods while retaining readability by using ASC 2.0′s [Inline] metadata. Can homemade versions of these functions beat the built-in ones from Adobe? Read on to find out!

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Making describeTypeJSON 50x Faster than describeType

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The hidden describeTypeJSON function is faster than the XML-based describeType function by default, but we can make it even faster. Today’s article describe just how this is done and achieves a nearly 10x speedup!

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describeType vs. describeTypeJSON

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flash.utils.describeType has been around since Flash 9 and is the standard way to find out interesting information about a Class type, including its metadata/annotations. However, there’s a hidden function called describeTypeJSON that provides an interesting alternative. Since describeType is notoriously slow, could describeTypeJSON be the speedy alternative we’ve been looking for? Today’s article puts them to the test!

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The Right Way to Check An Object’s Type

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There are lots of ways to check the type of an object in AS3. These include the is operator, the deprecated instanceof operator, the constructor field, and a combination of getQualifiedClassName and getDefinitionByName. Which is fastest, cleanest, and most effective? Today’s article puts them all to the test to find out!

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Custom AS3 Annotations

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You’ve probably seen built-in metadata tags like [SWF] and [Embed], but have you ever wondered how you could add your very own, custom tags? Today’s article shows you how to add custom annotations to your AS3 classes and methods. Mark old methods of your library with [Deprecated], file format classes with [Version], or anything else you’d like. Today’s article shows you how.

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Get More out of Four Bytes than a Boolean

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A Boolean in AS3 takes up four bytes of memory to store a single bit of information. It takes up 32x more memory than it needs. We can make better use of this memory and today’s article explains how.

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When getSize() Lies

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flash.sampler.getSize() is a handy tool for figuring out how much memory a class instance uses. However, it is often flat-out wrong. Today’s article tries it out on a variety of classes to find out which ones it works on and which ones it doesn’t.

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