Our contest to create a truly cross-platform ActionScript 3 editing tool came to a close last month, and a lot of you should be kicking yourselves right about now:
Thanks to an overwhelming response of exactly zero (0) submissions, it turns out that any one of our reader(s) could have entered a dead tarantula as their sole entry, and we’d have been forced to hand over the $300 prize money.
In fact, it could have been more — although we received no entries, we have actually been inundated with offers to “sweeten the pot” for the winning entry: First the kind folks at ActiveState ponied up a free license of Komodo IDE to the winner, and then several others came forth asking to help enhance the prize pool with cash donations and other goods.
Unfortunately, the actual contest results were abysmal — not a single entry submitted before the deadline, and no word from anyone registered as to whether they made any progress whatsoever. On the plus side, I did discover that running an open internet forum for developers may in fact be the best way to attract robots selling porn, home mortgages, porn and, um…. porn.
My guess is that we targeted the wrong audience with our call — we spoke to traditional Flash developers (who truly want the tool), rather than the Java or Mozilla-platform developers who are more familiar with the APIs and libraries necessary to produce it. At this point, I’m considering making this a “standing prize” and reaching out further to the open-source development community, but for now, my own work schedule makes it difficult to devote too much time to the cause (especially as I’m slowed down by sketchy ActionScript development tools on my platform of choice.
I’m up for suggestions on how to proceed, though, and I’m confident that eventually, we’ll have what we need in terms of a strong, platform-independent ActionScript 3 editor (without the overhead of Eclipse). While I’m partial to the aging but bendy jEdit myself, I can’t help but think OpenKomodo might be the “next big thing” — especially since it shares its Scintilla-based roots with FlashDevelop, SEPY and the (I think now defunct) SCiTE|Flash of Windows fame.