Powerflasher FDT Review

Today Powerflasher released there Eclipse plugin FDT (Flash Developer Tool). I would have claimed it “No more errors while compiling”. I had the chance to beta-test FDT and my workflow has been changed very much. Now I feel comfortable which is very hard to say for a Flash developer 😉

Workflow:
After installing set and edit the preferences (Window->Preferences->FDT).
Select “New Project->Flash->New Flash Project”. In this project the core-classes (documents & settings\…) are automatically linked in the new project. Then you can create a new directory for your classes. Right click the directory in the Flash Explorer and select “Source Folder->Add to Classpath”.
Run
Select “Run->Run …” in your menu. You will see two new entries: FDT -Flash Support and FDT – MTASC Supoprt. The FDT – Flash Support is for automatic compiling within the Flash IDE. The FDT – MTASC Support, who would have expected, is for compiling with MTASC. The classpathes you defined in your project will be added to the MTASC arguments. In my examples the MTASC Arguments are:

“-swf site/test.swf com/moglimedia/package/TestClass”

(“site” is a subfolder in my project). In Miscellaneous select “Start SWF after compilation” and select the swf which you recompile or compile with “-header” from scratch. After all settings press “Apply” and “Run”. If all went fine all is compiled and the SWF should be loaded in the SWF Viewer.
SWF Viewer: CTRL-F11 – the new CTRL-Enter
I would recommend to change the SWF Viewer Tab to “Fast View”. Right-click the SWF Viewer tab and select “Fast View”. Then you can drag the fast view icon e.g. to the top left. Fast View
Now you can start the last “Run” with CTRL-F11: the swf gets compiled and is opened in the fast view SWF Viewer which opens automatically. Resize the window to your needs. If you finished the preview just click anywhere in your code or press CTRL-W.

Logging
For logging I use the Powerflasher SOS, a Java based socket server gui with nice little features. Which is very helpfull is the colored output so you see a visual difference between e.g. debug-, warning- and error-logs.

Shortcuts

  • F2:: Select the current class in the Flash Explorer
  • F3:: Show the implementation of a methid, attribute or class
  • F4:: Open/Show type declaration
  • CTRL-O:: Open QuickOutline
  • CTRL-SHIFT-o:: Organize Imports (I love it)
  • CTRL-F11:: Start the last run (Eclipse)
  • CTRL-SHIFT-r:: Open Resource (Eclipse)
  • CTRL-m:: File-Fullscreen (Eclipse)
  • ALT-CURSOR Up/Down:: Move lines or block (Eclipse)

Pricing
FDT will cost 199€. Open Source developers who participate in an Open Source Flash project which is hosted on OSFlash.org or Sourceforge will get an FDT license for free.

From my point of view FDT is currently the best way to develop Flash applications. Their claim “pure coding comfort” figures!

What I miss:

  • Refactoring (move classes and all import in other classes change automatically
  • UML from custom classes and UML2classes
  • Better debugging with breakpoints

5 comments to Powerflasher FDT Review

  • I also miss ‘generate getters and setters’

    I cant seem to find it anywhere.

    Its a nice product, but a bit expensive. Although i think the offer for free copies for OSFlash developers is a good one, and should hopefully see the number of open source projects increase pretty quickly.

  • John Giotta

    You can create a template for getters and setters.
    It’s very easy

  • Sönke

    can you explain how?

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