Alright, I have to say it out loud that I haven’t had so much fun working on an IDE after Visual Studio 6. Flash Develop is definitely one of the best IDEs for professional flash programming out there. I’ve worked with Flex/Flash Builder, FDT and IDEAj but after spending some time with these IDEs, I believe they’re bloated with over-engineered features that don’t belong in the Flash environment. If there is anything that Flash Develop lacks against these IDEs, it is better Refactor support.
Anyhow, this post is not about which IDE is better. I’ve worked with Flash Develop for a long time now and there are some plugins that I’ve used to increase my productive time. These plugins make your development faster and much more robust. I thought I should make a log of these plugins and if they would help anyone using Flash Develop in their routine development.
Name: Ant Plugin
Anybody working on projects with multiple targets or components cannot avoid the power of ANT. ANT is the definite tool for automating builds and continuous integration. This plugin simplifies the process of integrating ANT in your project. You can drag drop your build targets into your project panel and build targets selectively. Highly recommended.
Name: NME Target
Haxe is amazingly simple to port your flash environment to and anyone coming from the flash world can pick it up fast. What makes it even better is the fact that FlashDevelop is the best IDE to develop in Haxe. If you’re working on an NME project,this plugin will help you immensely. The plugin will put multiple build targets to your FD toolbar. You can select a target like Flash, HTML5 or Android on the fly. The toolbar is customizable as well.
Name: Project Export
This plugin was one of the first Flash Develop 4 plugins I used and before I found the ANT plugin. It helps you with many regular tasks on any project. For example: Create Documentation,export your deployment directory etc. If you’re not ANT savvy, this plugin can ease some of those tasks.
Name: Export SWC
Building SWCs is one of the core components of Flash development. You do not need the FlashIDE for building an SWC anymore. This plugin makes it very easy to build an SWC from you current project.
Name: Quick Navigate and Navigation bar
I really missed the quick navigation of Visual Studio and these two plugins make it a snap to find and navigate through your code. The quick navigation dialog can find code, variables through string matching. The navigation bar adds visual studio like class and function/property dropdowns under your Flash Develop toolbar. Really handy!!
I always wanted to track time on my development environment for clients or my job. This plugins integrates with the SlimTimer service and logs your projects automatically. It’s integrated really well and does not get in your way. Highly recommended if you want to track your time and it is for FREE!!.
Apart from some plugins that I use for Flash Develop, there are some snippets that help me with certain requirements. So here goes:
Name: SVN Revision info generation
Name: Build Organization
cmd.exe /c “xcopy /Y $(OutputDir)$(OutputName) $(OutputDir)$(BuildConfig)”
Just put the above command in your post build field and it should automatically move your debug and release swfs in respective folders. Very handy!!
Let me know if you guys know of any other useful plugins or scripts.