Yesterday at the 10th flashconference in Stuttgart I was amongst the lucky ones who could witness the first public presentation of Source Binder by Visual Minds from Hungary and I can say that I was deeply impressed. What is Source Binder? In short: it is a lightweight framework for node based editing built in Flash. Oh yes - somehow it looks like this is the year of the node for Flash.
Node based editing means that instead of writing code you assemble a set of building blocks each with a specialized functionality on a canvas and "draw" the control flow or the dependencies by connecting those blocks with connector "cables". This allows you to create dynamic or interactive pieces in Flash without even having to know Actionscript.
The really great thing about Source Binder though is that it is infinitely extensible. The toolbox of available elements is not limited by what the developers put in but everyone can add new functionalities to it themselves. But it gets even better - instead of having to conform to a certain SDK and program classes especially for this tool Source Binder can simply attach to any Actionscript library out there - all one has to do is to use a wizard in which you declare some simple wrapper classes which tell Source Binder about the available methods and properties.
Currently there are already two popular libraries included: Papervision and the Wow physics engine. In his talk Balázs Serényi demonstrated how to build a 3d physics simulation with just a few mouse clicks. The clou was that the simulation was controlled with a WiiMote since SourceBinder also can make use of WiiFlash. And talking about physical computing: the wonderful Arduino Board is also available as a module already.
Still - if you are inclined to it you even are able to write Actionscript right within the tool (if you want to add extra functions to existing modules for example) and it will be compiled on-the-fly.
And the amazement doesn't stop here - of course you want to know what kind of output Source Binder produces. Well, there are two options: you can have a swf that you can just use straightforward or you can get real Actionscript. And I think here we are really onto something. Source Binder could be the missing bridge that Adobe burned down when AS3 was introduced and which left everybody who was (just) a happy AS1/AS2 on-the-side-coder and who was not able to pick up hardcode coding as easily back in slowland. Source Binder will allow people who are not programmers but still want to create fast AS3 based dynamic Flash to do exactly that. Sorry for sounding like a broken record, but I really see a new world opening up here
Source Binder is currently in a closed alpha but you can register on the site to apply for an account. Did I already mention that it will be free and AFAIK open source?