Category Archives: Eclipse

Flash Catalyst at Web 2.0 Expo

Kevin Lynch did a great keynote featuring Flash Catalyst at the Web 2.0 Expo in San Francisco.

I particularly like presentations like this — no nonsense, just a quick overview of interesting product features applied to a real world application.

Of course there were some “here’s one I made earlier” moments but still quite impressive how quickly you can go from a design to a functioning prototype. I’ve been a bit ambivalent about Flash Catalyst (previously known as Thermo) in the past but its shaping up to be a great product.

I’m not quite convinced Flash Catalyst should become a separate tool, if I’m not mistaken its also built on an Eclipse code base (not that you could easily tell) and at the moment it looks more like a Flex Builder design view on steroids. In any case, good to have a tool like this to move away from the default component look and feel and bring some creative expression to the Flex framework.




Silverlight and the Adobe Creative Suite

If you’ve followed the announcements at MIX09 its hard to deny Microsoft is making some good progress with Silverlight. I was just browsing the session recordings and thought this one was interesting to post up on my blog: “Silverlight and the Adobe Creative Suite”.

I’m happy to see Microsoft realizing that Adobe’s creative suite software is where designers live and don’t make the mistake of trying to force them into a different workflow, so particularly Photoshop and Illustrator import are great features to see implemented.

Get Microsoft Silverlight

I was assured by Microsoft employees any resemblance with Adobe product features is purely coincidental, as I’m sure is the case at 10:30″ where she converts some imported graphics into a working horizontal slider.

When I have the time over the next week or two I’ll do some testing of Silverlight 3, unfortunately the tools shown here only run on Windows but the third party Eclipse Silverlight plugin should come to my rescue (if I can finally get it installed on my Mac that is).

At this time I don’t see any compelling reasons to use Silverlight over the Flash Platform but things are definitely getting closer. If Microsoft ends up with a good development story on Mac I can see myself potentially starting to use it. Long term though, when it comes to enabling creative expression and their commitment to cross platform Adobe still has the edge.

Now with a third party Visual Studio plugin for Flex also out in the wild, I think we’re seeing the beginning of a consolidated effort towards bridging various RIA technologies for the web and the desktop in the different tool sets.

Macromedia likes mondays …

What a way to start the week! The aggregators are flooded with all the exciting news, but I’ll just add a quick overview here:

Macromedia Labs goes live — a place where developers can get hold of alpha builds of software and see what technologies the engineering team is playing around with. It also has a wiki, an RSS feed and the latest docs on things like ActionScript 3.

Flex Framework 2, Flex Builder 2, Flex Charting components 2, Flash Player 8.5 public alpha versions are available for download.

Flash Player 8.5 is incredibly fast, Claus Wahlers ported the DENG CSS 3 parser to ActionScript 3 and 20kb CSS file parses 12,5 times faster than in Flash Player 8 (without using any additional optimization).

That kind of makes up for not being able to go to MAX — at least I’ll have some more time to experiment with the new goodies 😉

FDT, the future is bright for AS2.0

Can’t believe I only heard about this recently, the amazing guys at are working on FDT, a Flash Development plugin for Eclipse that simple rocks! Looking at the demos they’ve got up it will include some of the following features:

– FlashANT integration
– Problems panel that seems to work as you type flagging up any lexical, syntactical and semantical errors
– Easy MTASC compiler setup and SWF viewer
– AS2.0 class wizard that easily creates your class (you can even have it implement an interface and automatically generate the required methods)
– Quickfix feature that can declare variables for you, create classes you references but don’t exist yet
– Organize imports can add import statements to your class or when you move classes to a different package will fix the reference throughout your project.

Be sure to check out the demo videos:

I’ve probably only seen the very basics of what this Eclipse plugin can do, can’t wait to see it released! It’ll without doubt be an absolute lifesaver for those of us doing AS2.0 development. Let’s see how Zorn will compare to this 🙂

Eclipse here I come …

I’ve recently given up on PrimalScript as my default AS editor, its been good while it lasted and its definitely a great tool for AS2.0 projects but over time some minor annoyances started to creep in. Particularly the difficulty in hooking it up to CVS or Subversion, lack of code folding and line wrapping really did my head in. Keith however blogged a little sneak-peek on PrimalScript 4.0 which looks very promising so I might well change my mind again later this summer.

In any case, after trying a few other obvious alternatives (SEPY, SciTE, etc.) I started using Eclipse again. Its been installed on my system for quite a while now for experimenting with MTASC integration but haven’t really used it for any actual Flash development until now. Gotta love it, what an incredible framework especially if you take the time to install some extensions.

With the announcement of Macromedia building its next generation Flex IDE code-named Zorn on Eclipse you really need to go check it out!