So you’re a developer who is super comfortable with ActionScript and Flash, but now you’re looking to jump Adobe’s ship or at least dip your toes after seeing HTML5 armada slowly gaining in strength.
Well I’ve been currently going through that transition and found a good gangplank for anyone else out there looking for a jumping off point.
- CoffeeScript – Lots of useful shortcuts and fancy features. Reminds me of Ruby in terms of readability. Quite a large learning curve especially coming from ActionScript.
So for me I found it was easiest make the transition from ActionScript to TypeScript mainly due to the similar syntax and being the easiest to setup.
I also looked at these IDEs to try and find the one that worked best with TypeScript.
- Sublime Text – The whole experience was very DIY. Required plugin for TypeScript support. Auto-completion again didn’t live up to my expectations. Took a lot of fiddling to get it exactly as I wanted. Has nice editor shortcuts. USD $70 for license, super expensive for what is essentially a barebones text editor with some fancy short-cuts and plugins, however it is free for “evaluation” purposes. Very minimalist for those who are easily distracted by lots of nice icons and buttons.
I settled on WebStorm found it to be the easiest to use coming from using FlashDevelop as my exclusive Flash IDE. Also managed to get a free license (for a year) through my university after getting a faculty member to fill out their form.
Found a few useful extras along the way. CreateJS library which provides a very similar structure to that of ActionScript, things like a stage, addChild, and etc. really helped the transition. Also I found a great little module in Node.js called “live-server” that provided me with a close alternative to the “LiveEdit” feature of WebStorm that worked with TypeScript.
I’m going to do another post soon explaining how to get TypeScript, WebStorm, CreateJS, and live-server all talking to each other in a way that really accelerated my workflow.