Actionscript Viewer 4.0 : Review

Sat, Sep 20, 2003

Actionscript Viewer 4.0

Well, the weekend seems to be a good time to look at new softwares; this time I got "ActionScript Viewer 4.0 (ActionScript Viewer 4.0)": and the first thing that came to my mind is "Wow! every teenagers dream is here". Had James Bond been a Flash Developer, he would have been presented ASV 4.0 by "G" long back. On first looking into it, I could see that it had totally stripped the well dressed SWFs naked; I could see everything, the audio files, the bitmaps and more importantly the Actionscript.

The Timeline, Frame, Library, Instance Names, Actionscript, Special Tags are helpful enough to show you how a SWF was constructed and what do they contain. AS2 Mode for Actionscript is another cool feature to view SWF 7 files, just click on the "ActionScript" section and view each and every script for all frames, symbols. The Classes used can be seen, just copy them and study them yourself; you can see how other developers script and learn from them. You can also use the File > Save SWF data as Text ... and have all scripts in a single text file complete with the location of the scripts on the frame of the individual MovieClips etcetera.

ActionScript Viewer is a SWF decompiler and resource extractor that lets you view ActionScript embedded in Flash movie files, extract resources and browse the internals of SWF files. ASV is at its fourth incarnation at the time of writing this review. The current version of ASV supports ActionScript in Flash 7 published files and below. The ActionScript are decompiled and converted to text format, which you can then view on screen and are easy to understand, copied and pasted.

ASV have an easy to use interface which displays lists of frame labels, instance names, library symbols; provides a timeline view with context sensitive preview with many options. "ASV can extract most of the resources from SWF files and displays all the necessary information to help you reconstruct a FLA file you have lost. ASV even tries to help reconstructing a FLA file by generating a JSFL command file for Flash MX 2004 to rebuild the FLA".

JSFL for Rebuild-Data Extraction : One of the cool and striking feature I noticed was that of ASV's ability to generate a FLA file using JSFL. ASV extracts and saves resources, a readme file and a JSFL command to a folder of your choice, with the intention of helping the reconstruction of the FLA file for the current SWF. Though there are limitations to this, this feature should be able to help you to get a head start for rebuilding many SWF files and can even rebuild some SWF files without any problems. The FLA file for the SWF may not be rebuilt 100% accurately, depending on the content of the SWF file.

ASV works better with Actionscripts in the SWF file have been compiled by Macromedia Flash 3/4/5/MX/MX2004/MX professional 2004, it learnt from reliable sources that it does not always gives a reliable output when Actioncript at Obfuscated by other tools.