In the last four years I always used FlashDevelop for Actionscript 2 and 3 development but some time ago I decided to give a try to the Eclipse and FDT combo for various reasons:
Actually I’m using Windows but I’m hoping to switch to MacOS X as soon as possible and I would like to maintain my work-flow. Unfortunately FlashDevelop is Windows only.
- Advanced Refactoring
Advanced Refactoring add common refactoring tools like Rename Type, Rename Variable/Function, Rename Package and Move Type to the FDT 3 editor.
- Advanced Code Completition
This powerful feature auto-completes words and phrases during typing. The advanced code completion function is available for imports, types, members and lots of basic key words. FDT 3 code completion furthermore supports generators by using extension points.
- Improved Autocompletition
You can now use the auto-completion to generate whole methods. Insert a name into the body of a class and press <CTRL>+<SPACE> and a new method with that name will be created. You can also generate a constructor by the same procedure if the constructors name begins with the class name.
- Organize imports
FDT 3 enables your editor to organize and to perform all necessary imports for a complete package or even for your whole project by a single shortcut and certainly adds missing ones automatically. Thereby, moving classes and packages or renaming them becomes quite easy.
- Live Error Highlighting
The integrated ActionScript parser allows detecting and visualizing lexical and syntactical errors continuously while typing new code to the editor frame and for more, a semantic analysis is performed permanently to check types, members and declarations of both the current file and the whole project. Different kinds of problems can be tagged with “error”, “warning” or “ignore”. FDT 3 offers the opportunity to add problem generators to FDT 3 by using extension points.
- Live Templates
Templates provide a fast way to write typical coding structures. FDT 3 analyses the surrounding code and suggests variables matching the template like types and members.
Quickfixes are available for many syntactical and semantic problems. This covers a wide range of e. g. non terminated statements up to undeclared variables. FDT 3 will automatically add the semicolon where necessary or define a variable with the correct type.
An integrated and extensively configurable formatter will format the source code when you demand it by shortcut. All source code that is generated by FDT 3 will automatically be formatted as well. The formatter can be configured specifically for each project.
While testing this combination I decided to document everything for a future reinstalling and is not a bad idea share it with everyone, so here it comes this series of posts on Eclipse and FDT integration in your development work-flow.
1) Install Java Runtime Environment
You can choose between Sun Java SE or Oracle JRockit (if your processor is Intel):
- Java SE Runtime environment
The Java SE Runtime Environment contains the Java virtual machine, run-time class libraries, and Java application launcher that are necessary to run programs written in the Java programming language. It is not a development environment and does not contain development tools such as compilers or debuggers.
Download from: http://java.sun.com/javase/downloads/index.jsp
The JRockit JVM is a high performance JVM developed to ensure reliability, scalability, manageability, and flexibility for Java applications. The JRockit JVM delivers a new level of performance for Java applications deployed on Intel 32-bit (Xeon) and 64-bit (Xeon, Itanium, and SPARC) architectures at significantly lower costs to the enterprise. Furthermore, it is the only enterprise-class JVM optimized for Intel architectures, providing seamless inter operability across multiple hardware and operating configurations. The JRockit JVM makes it possible to gain optimal performance for your Java applications when running it on either the Windows or Linux operating platforms on either 32-bit or 64-bit architectures.
Download from: http://www.oracle.com/technology/software/products/jrockit/index.html
2) Install Eclipse 3.5 (Galileo) Platform Runtime Binary
These drops contain only the Eclipse Platform with user documentation and no source and no programmer documentation. The Java Development Tools and Plug-in Development Environment are NOT included. You can use these drops when you don’t need the entire SDK. Basically is a full working minimal Eclipse. I prefere to use this version and then install Java Development Tools to add ANT support. No useless stuff.
- Download from: http://download.eclipse.org/eclipse/downloads/drops/R-3.5-200906111540/index.php#PlatformRuntime
- Put the “eclipse” folder in C:\ or in any other path without spaces in the name. I used C:\.
- Edit the file C:\eclipse\eclipse.ini and replace the content with this (if you want you can customize the memory settings):
- If you installed JRockit you need to add also this line at the beginning of the file:
"C:\Program Files\JRockit Real Time\jrrt-3.1.0-1.6.0\bin\javaw.exe"
- Create a shortcut to your “C:\eclipse\eclipse.exe” file and use it to launch Eclipse.
3) Plugins installation
For every plugin is provided an Update site. To use it you need to launch eclipse and go to Help -> Install new software… and click on the Add… button.
Then insert the plugin name in the Name field and copy and paste the location of the Update site (provided under the plugin name in this post) in the Location field.
Then you have to select the desired update site from the combo-box labeled Work with:.
The available software will be listed. Select the software that you want to install and click the button Next >.
Click another time the Next > button.
Accept the license agreement and click Next > button.
Now the plugin will be install. Wait until it finish.
At the end the plugin will ask to restart eclipse. Click yes and after restart the installed plugin will be active.
The quickest way to import all the Update Sites is to download the file below to your desktop and go to Window -> Preferences -> Install/Update -> Available Software Site and click on the button Import… then select the downloaded file. All Update Site will appear in the list.
If an Update site is not provided, you need to go to the Website of the plugin and download it, then place the jar file manually in the “c:\eclipse\plugins” directory.
Note: Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux are supported by every plugin.
- ANT (included in Java Development Tools aka JDT)
Update site: Galileo – http://download.eclipse.org/releases/galileo (included in Eclipse)
Select Programming languages -> Eclipse Java Development ToolsApache Ant is a software tool for automating software build processes. It is similar to make but is implemented using the Java language, requires the Java platform, and is best suited to building Java projects.
- FDT3 (Development Tools for Flash)
Update site: http://fdt.powerflasher.com/update/
Update site beta version: http://fdt.powerflasher.com/update_beta/FDT 3 is the most powerful development environment for serious Flash and AS2/AS3 programming. With its highly efficient and time-saving features, FDT 3 will enhance your coding workflow and increase your productivity enormously.
Try out FDT 3 and discover pure coding comfort.FDT is an amazing plug-in for the already mighty platform Eclipse. Thereby, it is platform independent and usable on nearly every system.With FDT 3, Eclipse turns into a powerful Flash and ActionScript editor with a workspace-wide incremental builder providing expend features like live error highlighting and quickfixes without compiling. Advanced code completion speeds up your workflow as well as auto code generation for variables, functions or even classes. The integrated formatter allows comprehensive and complex code customizing at any time. By the refactoring function, renaming of functions or classes at high project level becomes quite simple.
For more, FDT integrates the Flex SDK Debugger into the Eclipse Debugging Perspective to provide the same debugging comfort as known from JDT and FlexBuilder
See the list of all FDT features and take a look at the descriptions and the demonstrations of FDT’s power.
Other posts in the serie:
- Eclipse 3.5 and FDT 3.2 for Actionscript development - Part 1 - Installation (June 26, 2009)