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Hey all, I’m a game programmer (mostly DirectX and XNA), and I was looking to get into flash programming to get some of my past work onto the web. The biggest problem I have with Flash (I’m using version 8), is the IDE. There is no type sense, no debugger, no error/warnings. After using Visual C# for a while, I can’t subject myself to that kind of torture. I imagine that you developers are using a 3rd party IDE or other tool, which ones?
you can use eclipse, it has a actionscript plugin.
you can run flash files in debug mode in flash 8 using ctrl+shift+enter, but the easiest way is to debug the old fashioned way, by just printing out values(using the trace statement in flash)
Almost everyone does actually use the flash IDE. Third party tools would be hard to come by because of all the graphic integration involved in flash, but if you don’t care for that side of things you could look up Flex which is basically just actionscript.
But yeah, there are error/warning windows. If you aren’t getting them maybe they’re turned off in the window menu? There is also a debug mode, but I generally do my debugging just by using trace() to print stuff to the output window.
There is a commercial Eclipse Plug-in called [FDT](http://fdt.powerflasher.com/flashsite/flash.htm) – we use it at the internet company I am currently working for. It is very powerful and has a number of nifty features that will make your development make a lot easier (Full Code Completion, Live Error Highlighting, Quick Source Navigation …)
For personal projects I work on my MacBook and use [TextMate](http://www.macromates.com/) together with an [ActionScript3 Bundle](http://www.flashalisious.com/2007/07/30/installing-as3-and-flex-bundle-for-textmate/), [XCode](http://www.apple.com/macosx/features/xcode/) and the [Adobe Free Flex SDK](http://www.adobe.com/products/flex/sdk/)
> I imagine that you developers are using a 3rd party IDE or other tool, which ones?
In my work as a professional Flash developer, I don’t need to use anything other than the Flash IDE. I use a lot of custom components, class libraries, stuff like that, but once you get used to it, the Flash IDE works just like you need it. The trace() command is great for debugging, but it’s true not all “errors” in Flash are reported so you have to know what you’re doing.
Admittedly I have the same problem when I’m asked to do something in Visual Studio… I’m not used to it so it seems unweildy to me. But, give it time, Flash will grow on you.