It struck me recently that there are a lot of ways to convert variables of many types to a the String type. The ease of doing this is one of AS3’s strengths over languages where it’s error-prone, possibly insecure, and just plain difficult. The C language is the most obvious example of this and, since then, seemingly every language has enshrined string conversion in ways ranging from global String() functions (AS3) that take any variable to adding toString() to the base Object type (Java, AS3, others). AS3 seems to have chosen “all of the above” and there are now many ways to convert to a string. Below I’ll look at them from a performance standpoint and see if the everyday, run-of-the-mill boring string conversion can be improved by choosing one option over another.
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I was reminded about the flash.sampler API by Grant Skinner’s recent post about it. While only available in the debug player, it can still tell us some valuable information about what goes on in the release player. Today I’m using the getSize function to find out how much memory overhead various classes impose, even when they are empty.