FITC Toronto 2010

In the midst of Toronto FITC. As usual, sessions are hit or miss. So far, only one has kept my attention throughout the full hour. Last year was very good, but I fear this year is following the lines of 2008's quality.

So far, the underlying theme that I'm noticing is that there finally is a real drive towards mobile apps. Even though everyone here seems to be pushing the "other mobile platforms" so you can develop with Flash ... I'm starting to realize that I'm going to have to start learning Objective C.

I was also able to talk to a couple of the FDT Developers today - specifically Michael Plank - and I brought up my problems with FDT not being able to change the format of the method params to include a $, and also that whenever I close and re-open my class folders in the Explorer, all the sub folders that were open become closed. He seemed genuinely surprised at that one, so hopefully will be able to fix it in a future release.


Pointroll API classes for FDT

The Pointroll Ad Server requires an MXP extension on Flash in order to give it access to the Pointroll API. This makes things work great when working directly from Flash, but when working from FDT, it does not give access to the custom class files and methods. It also makes FDT think that calls to these methods are errors.

I was recently doing a banner ad using Pointroll, and all the so-called errors were annoying me. So I did a little research, and found where Pointroll (and, as it turns out, a bunch of other extensions) store their classes.

In case anyone else is having this issue, they are located here:

PC – C:\Documents and Settings\ [USER] \Local Settings\Application Data\Adobe\Flash CS4\en\Configuration\Classes\PointRollAPI_AS3

MAC - HD/Users/ [USER] /Library/Application Support/Adobe/Flash CS4/en/Configuration/ Classes/PointRollAPI_AS3

You can then add a Linked Library to the FDT project, so that you have access to whatever you need within the Pointroll API.


FDT gotchya with F1, Help and searching the Actionscript Dictionary

Since I got FDT, I've been having trouble with the Help menu. I have been used to FlashDevelop, where you select a property or method in your code, click F1, and the entry in the Actioncript Dictionary comes up for reference.

I set up my Key Binding in FDT to do the same - to bring up the Help Search. However, after I clicked F1 in my Help search menu, it refused to search the "Actionscript 3.0 Language and Component Reference", even though it was checked off in my Search Scope. It only searched the "Local Help". Several sites suggest I re-import the help menu in a certain way for CS4, or to update my help in the FDT preferences. However, even after I did this, and even though I could that see these help folders were indeed in the FDT file system, it refused to search them. It was really frustrating, and I resorted to having it do a custom Google search in that window in order to get up the language reference.

I had given up, but decided to do a quick Tweet requesting help. Special thanks to hfug and the Hawaii Flash User group for responding to the request. He suggested some of the import fixes I had read before, and sent some screenshots showing the Dictionary was indeed imported into FDT. The imports fixes hadn't worked in the past, but I noticed a minor thing in his screenshot - He was showing the Help Contents, and not the Help Search. My Contents were also showing the Dictionary, so I figured if I could at least bring up the Contents with F1 instead of the Search, I could then manually select the method I was looking for. I searched the Key Bindings to see if I could do this, but the only other options listed under "help" in the Key Bindings brought you to an FDT Help webpage. So I removed the Key Binding all together.

And for some reason after that, when I clicked F1, the selected method was brought up in the help panel as if it was searched for.

No idea why....


Comparing versions in FDT

During some research on FDT tips, I found out from here that FDT saves local histories of your files. And using these, you can compare versions. To get to this, Right Click on the file > Compare With > Local History.

I haven't tried it yet, but you can apparently also restore deleted files here as well.


fl.* package in FDT

While doing some coding using components recently, I noticed FDT was having trouble finding the fl.controls.comboBox, which didn't make a lot of sense to me. I was unable to data type my variables, and had no access to the component methods. I ended up just data typing it as *, which is something I hate to do.

After a bit of research, I found out that FDT cannot distribute the fl.* package, as it falls under some other licensing agreement (or something along those lines).

Luckily, I found a few people who have set up the fl.* package as a swc, so it can be set up as a linked library in FDT, which makes life a lot easier. Some of the swc files dont include certain components, but this one at apdevblog.com seems to be working for me so far:

http://apdevblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/02/fl_package.swc


FDT Preferences Backup

I'm a backup freak. And it pleases me to announce that I finally found where the FDT preferences and custom templates are stored so I can back them up in case of disaster.

The first time I set up FDT, I spent a few hours making custom templates, and setting things up the way I wanted - Only to have it all disappear a few days later for some unknown reason.

Then it happened again last night.

But I found a commonality. I had deleted the default Workspace folder which I thought was empty. Turns out there are a bunch of invisible files in there which I found with OnyX.

I pulled the folder back using Time Machine, and my templates magically restored.

Wish it was a bit more obvious to find.


FDT Tip

Just switched over to FDT from FlashDevelop because I was sick of using Windows on my Mac. So far I'm preferring FlashDevelop, but as I get around the little differences, FDT is slowly winning me over.

One thing that was annoying me was it wouldn't auto-fill my local variable names without typing "this." first. But a post I found Flash Mech gave a great tip to set up FDT's Code Assist to act more like I am used to in FlashDevelop.

Essentially, change your Auto activation triggers for AS in your Code Assist Preferences to:

abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz_$.:

This covers you for:
_ : property names
. : after every dot notation
: : data typing

I have also added in $ because I like to name my method scoped variables starting with a dollar sign.