Posts Tagged Flash Develop

Trying FDT for a month

Ya I will be leaving my beloved Flash Develop to try out FDT for a month. I have been hearing a lot of good things about it and the programing department has been pushing to get everybody on Eclipse. I have tried Flex Builder before (ok, it was version 2) but I was not very impressed. Every thing seemed complicated for nothing. What I really like about Flash Develop is that it is so simple. To get you going it take 10 minutes and it is more user friendly than Eclipse (it takes less step to do something simple like start a project).  Also it is easier to get Animators who are more designer in spirit to use it.

But I at least want to give it a try, so that is what I will be using (almost) exclusively for the next month. The month after I will try Flash Builder 4 and compare it. That way I will be able to make a good decision about wich editor to use.

I have started using FDT today and I have already bumped into two problems: first a simple trace doesn’t trace in the console even in debug mode (in the FCHS console and the FDB console whatever these are). Secondly the SWFViewer doesn’t seem to be the Debug player so I don’t see the runtime errors. These might be related problems and should be easy enough to fix, but it should be more obvious than it is right now.

If you know any tutorial about FDT, send them my way, I want to know everything I can about it during that month; I will read everything!

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Compile time variables in Flash Develop

That is something that I have been wanting for a long time but I just found out how to do it.

So what is a compile time variable?

It is a variable that you can do conditions on at compile time (if) and the compiler will only include a set of lines in the resulting swf. This can be usefull for debugging purpose or when you have multiple languages or versions in a site. Let’s look at an example:

if (CONFIG::LANG == "en"){
  _pageHolder = new PageHolderEn();
} else {
  _pageHolder = new PageHolderFr();

In the previous code, if the compile time variable CONFIG::LANG is equal to “en”, than the line “_pageHolder = new PageHolderEn();” will be included in the final swf, otherwise it will be the other line. You can give a Boolean, int and String value (and probably other types too) to the variable.

So how do you set the value of that compile time variable?

Well there are a couple of examples out there about how to do so in Flash CS4 IDE or in Flash(Flex) Builder, but none in Flash Develop so that is what I am going to explain here. First if you do this in Flash Develop, it means you are either doing a Flex project or an ActionScript project (meanin you are compiling with the Flex compiler (is it still named like this?)). So once you have created your project, go in the Project Properties and in the Compiler Options tab, look for the Additional Compiler Options. Here is a screenshot of what it looks like:


What you need to add in there is this:


Where CONFIG::LANG is your variable name and “en” is the value as a String.  For the variable name it seems to always be starting with CONFIG::, I don’t know if that is a convention or if that is needed so that the compiler knows its a compile time variable. I will need to do more reasearch on this. If you wanted to set the variable to a boolean you’d do this:


And same principle for a int, you’d put just the number without the quotes.

Now in Flash Develop, the project properties are stored in a file with the .as3proj extention so if you don’t want to have to change the Additional Conpiler Option you can just copy the project file and rename it. In the new file change the compile time value and depending how you want to compile, you open the right project file.

Well, it’s as simple as this.

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Update on the SEO contest

I have set my self up for Flex application development and thanks to this post about how to use Flash Develop and Flex, I was able to do so quickly.

Yesterday I had simply created the HTML pages that would hold my application, today I created the application itself. It is quite a simple application and it is clearly a Flex one because of the skin of the components ( a button and a textarea). This will serve as a base for what is to come. The next step is to create the deep-linking. It has already some kind of deep-linking in the sense that you can go directly to this Fleximagically Searchable page. This page loads exactly the same swf than the page at the root of the domain, but I pass it a variable using SWFObject to tell it to load the content. If Google find any searchable content in any of those two pages, it means it comes from the dynamically loaded content because I removed everything in the HTML code except for the title of the page.

From what I did yesterday I am already getting some results, the new domain name I bought is scoring a ten (it is the tenth page for the term Fleximagically Searchable) and all the pages before it are blog posts (including one from this blog) that will not count in the contest so I guess I have my chances. Let’s see how it all evolves.

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Flash IDE, FlashDevelop, SE|PY

While searching around for answers, I stumbled a couple of time on developers who didn’t use the actionScript editor that comes with Flash. As a matter of fact, before Flash CS3, the default editor wasn’t packed with options and was kinda simplistic. I was working on a project where I was up to 1000 lines of code so I said to myself, that’s right I need something that has more options. So here are the options I found:

SE|PY: It’s the first one I found, I guess it’s been around the longest. It’s kinda cool, and really easy to customize. It was made by Alessandro Crugnola from . If you’ve done Flash for some time, you surely ended up on this site one day. This is a good interface, but it has two major down sides: it looks kinda old and it is not in development anymore.

FlashDevelop: I think FlashDevelop is the most promising interface out there. It looks great and has most of the feature that SE|PY has. It’s kinda hard to change the syntax color of the code, but that’s mostly it. It has a great structure for adding plugin so it might become really good in time. Another point I didn’t like was that for help about actionScript code it sends you to adobe liveDocs on the web which is awfully slow.

Flash IDE: This is the default interface that comes with Flash. Up to Flash 8 I would say that you need another interface if you do a lot of actionScript coding. The thing is, that in Flash CS3 Adobe really put some time on the ActionScript editor and made it the better than even FlashDevelop. It now has code folding, and can fold mostly anywhere, not just functions (like in FlashDevelop). Help is easy and fast and it is integrated with the rest of the Flash interface.

So there it is, my review of the ActionScrip editors out there. My big winner is the Flash CS3 editor, but you have to watch closely for FlashDevelop development because it might become really interesting.

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