Digital Magpie

Ooh, ooh, look - shiny things!

Setting Up a Flash Development Environment

I’ve been playing around with PushButtonEngine and Flash over the last couple of days, and though it may be useful to document how I’ve hooked this up to my existing Eclipse install. I’ve started off with a fairly vanilla Eclipse Java installation, v3.4.2, with the subversion plug-ins and Oxygen XML for eclipse. The 2 options that I’ve looked at for Flash development are

  • AXDT - an open source plug-in; and

  • FDT - a commercial offering from a company in Germany.

I’m going with FDT at the moment as it seems much more feature complete, it comes with a 30-day trial period so I guess I’ll have to decide if it’s worth the money after that, the biggest problems it has are a lack of documentation and poor support from the parent company, on the upside there seems to be a vibrant and helpful community of users. It’s also massively overpriced, but that seems to be par for the course with small German software vendors (EJ Technologies, I’m looking at you…).

I’m using the the build files described in a previous post, and have set up a custom schema for editing PBE level files. The other neat tool that I’ve found is the Monster Debugger, which has a nice logging UI and the ability to inspect objects at run-time, it can also dynamically invoke methods, to a fairly limited extent (Flash IDE’s are about 30 years behind Lisp in this respect, even the JVM can do limited hot code replacement).

I should probably do a round up of useful links as well, as the Flash community in general seems to be really helpful and there’s loads of good stuff out there.