As I mentioned a few days ago, my company, SapphireSteel Software, is working on a new IDE called ‘Amethyst’ for developing Adobe Flex and AIR applications right inside Microsoft Visual Studio. Adobe Flex is a framework for programming web browser and (via the AIR runtime) desktop applications using the ActionScript language. Typically, the user interfaces of Flex and AIR applications are rendered using Flash graphics.
The version of Amethyst which we have released today is primarily an editing environment for ActionScript and MXML (a type of XML that defines the layout of a user interface). It has code colouring (more than 70 individual coloured elements), automatic and customizable code formatting, bracket matching, undo/redo, auto-commenting and uncommenting of marked blocks and more besides. It is fully integrated into Visual Studio 2008 and can even be used with a free version of Visual Studio. Amethyst PE (Personal Edition) is free and will remain free. Later betas will add extra features including debugging and code completion.
Next year we will launch Amethyst Professional. This will have many high-end features including a drag-and-drop visual designer. See the Amethyst PE announcment for more details and a link to download the software.