ActionScript is the programming language for the Adobe Flash Player run-time environment.
It enables interactivity, data handling, and much more in Flash content and applications.
ActionScript is executed by the ActionScript Virtual Machine (AVM), which is part of Flash
Player. ActionScript code is typically compiled into bytecode format (a sort of programming
language that’s written and understood by computers) by a compiler, such as the one built
into Adobe Flash CS3 Professional or Adobe® Flex™ Builder™, or that is available in the
Adobe® Flex™ SDK and the Flex™ Data Services. The bytecode is embedded in SWF files,
which are executed by the Flash Player, the run-time environment.
ActionScript 3.0 offers a robust programming model that will be familiar to developers with a
basic knowledge of object-oriented programming. Some of the key features of ActionScript
3.0 include the following:
■ A new ActionScript Virtual Machine, called AVM2, that uses a new bytecode instruction
set and provides significant performance improvements
■ A more modern compiler code base that adheres much more closely to the ECMAScript
(ECMA 262) standard and that performs deeper optimizations than previous versions of
■ An expanded and improved application programming interface (API), with low-level
control of objects and a true object-oriented model
■ A core language based on the upcoming ECMAScript (ECMA-262) edition 4 draft
■ An XML API based on the ECMAScript for XML (E4X) specification (ECMA-357
edition 2). E4X is a language extension to ECMAScript that adds XML as a native data
type of the language.
■ An event model based on the Document Object Model (DOM) Level 3 Events