Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Open Source Flash Development

Who says this blog isn't multi-interest?

I have decided to do some Macromedia Flash development, and in my usual frugal vein I am using open source tools. Here is what I am using:

  • Eclipse IDE v3.3.2 (Europa)
  • Motion-Twin ActionScript 2 compiler (v1.14)
  • ActionScript Development Kit (ASDT)
  • Flashout (Eclipse Plugin) (v0.2.1.6)
Making this all work together is all nicely written up on the communitymx website here.

I encountered some problems, mostly version based, with getting the HelloWorld example to work.
  • The "New Folder" right-click command is apparently not enabled by default for the ActionScript perspective in Eclipse 3.3.2. To fix this, customize the perspective, choose the "General" shortcut category and check "folder" (and probably also "file".)
  • The "core" linked directory in the example will not be created. A newer version of Motion Twin uses "std8" instead. No biggie, but a difference.
  • And speaking of std8, the Eclipse preferences for Flashout want to know the "Directory of Macromedia's core classes." Give it the sdt8 subdir of the Motion Twin installation dir.
  • The Flashout.as file required for compilation contains code that is not compatible with the newer version of Motion Twin. The "TRACE" function is now "trace", and no I don't know why. Open Flashout.as with a text editor and replace every instance of TRACE with trace. I recommend Wordpad if you use windows, since it has a replace function and treats the carriage returns in the file with respect, unlike notepad. For future covenience (read: laziness) I put it in the std8 directory in the Motion Twin install dir.
One issue I have not gotten to work is the suggestion menus for the Flashout class while editing the ActionScript class files. I'm afraid that when I move to multiple class files that one won't recognize the classes in another. It seems to compile and work okay, but it would be nice if the compiler gave some indication that it knows what I'm talking about. Yes, I've tried putting it in the source directories for the project.

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