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Its bigger because of the additional features added in flex 3. The framework size is bigger in flex 3.
However, you can make use of the framework cache in flex 3 to significantly reduce the size of your swf. Take a look at http://livedocs.adobe.com/flex/3/html/help.html?content=rsl_09.html
But if I choose to use FlexSDK 2 in the Flex 3 enviroment, should that still increase the resulting swf file?
No that should not increase the swf size.
In that case you should get swf with similar size as with flex 2.0.1.
But are you comparing with Flex 2?
I have both Flex 2 and Flex 3 installed on my Dev Machine, I have imported the same project into each install of Flex using the SDK 2.0.1 HotFix 3.
If I run (compile) my project in Flex 2 the size is fine (239K), but when I run(compile) my project in Flex 3 the swf file size is 381K
Thats a huge difference, and I dont know why its so much bigger.