it has been a long while since I wrote! Been busy. Now I have some time and the first thing I did is to get away from the Flash IDE completely. I had been waiting to be able to debug directly in FlashDevelop for a while, tried some extension that didn’t work, then Philippe did actually fix another one and it works beautifully. You can find the link here, look for Version 0.9.7 at the bottom of the first post. Unzip into your FlashDevelop plug-ins folder, restart FlashDevelop and bravo!
So I am Flash IDE Free!! Woohooo. Then the first thing I wanted to master is the Preloader, and FlashDevelop has a very nice “AS3 with Preloader” project template. It is very easy to work with. Very beautiful.
Now the next challenge, loading fonts dynamically. Euh, well, I used to do it from a FLA, was easy. But using the Flex SDK 3.4 it seems that some things changed. After HOURS of playing around, I ended up with the following system:
- embed the font inside of a swf that contains a Main class + the font class
- create a function that will spawn textfields already using the font inside this Main class
Although this system has some limitations, it works beautifully.
in one of the recent releases of FlashDevelop they added a wonderful feature which lets you see what events are dispatched by the objects you are using. This is done through some meta tags inside of the class declaration and the result is very valuable. It looks like this:
A side-note to start, I have been developing software for over 12 years. I started in C, then came C++, Java (6 years), C#, PHP, the whole shabang. Overall, the best IDE I’ve ever used is Intellij Idea. It is simply brilliant, or used to be some 5 years ago. It introduced Refactoring before anyone else, cleaned up your code for you, removed excessive spaces, just made everything tidier.
Although I consider Eclipse to be a good choice, especially coupled with FDT from PowerFlasher, Eclipse is bloated. Intellij Idea used less than 30 mb of RAM way back then, and I consider an IDE should never use any more than 50 mb of RAM, even for the most complex projects.
FlashDevelop is a brilliant alternative. It has gotten significantly better this last year, with true AS3 support, incredible auto-complete, auto-import and now even setter/getter generation built-in. I has a RegEx panel too, I think that one is a plug-in tho.
Basically Mika & Philippe are doing an amazing job. Plus it’s FREE.
Click here to download!