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Adobe AIR utilizes the ActionScript 3 programming language, which is not supported in Flash 8.
If you just wanted to run a Flash 8 SWF in a desktop window, without using any of the AIR-specific features like file system access, or custom chrome, then it is possible.
To do this, you would:
1. create a SWF file in Flash 8 (as usual).
2. write an application descriptor file referencing that swf
3. use the AIR SDK adl tool to test it
4. use the AIR SDK adt tool to package it into an AIR file
See the AIR developer's guide for steps 2-4.
Otherwise you can look into using the Flex SDK, which will let you create Flex applications and AS3.
I did quite a bit of research on that (as I also have Flash 8), and came up with I think the only solution:
Write the descriptor as if you are making an HTML application, and embed a flash object in the page, (your application).
Next, in your flash file, you can access those functions with: