Problems with ant in Eclipse

Published by Manfred Karrer on Thursday, 15 of March , 2012 at 12:20

I used a small ant task after a compilation in Flash Builder. That is done pretty easily with the builder feature in eclipse.

Basically this worked fine, but sometimes it was not executing the ant task. The ant task was also not executing when started manually in the ant view. As this task was just for convenience I never found the time for investigating the problem further. Now for some other task where it is essential to get it run, I needed to find out why it seems to behave instable.

I am not totally sure if I found the real reason (there are some bug reports around this topic if you google for it), but at least I could manage it to make it working again. I suspect that when switching the workspace in Eclipse you need to set the ant home path newly (>preferences>ant>runtime). I did this when comparing the differences between a working Eclipse instance with a non working one. After changing the ant home path to the other Eclipse installations path (I use the ant directory inside the plugins directory of your Eclipse installation), it was working fine. After changing it back to the original path it was also working fine. So I assume that the ant home path got somehow corrupted when switching the workspace (or for some other reason), after setting it again, it seems to solve the problem.

Nasty stuff, but after a long search for the problem I am glad to get it (hopefully) running stable .

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Category: Ant, Build, Eclipse, Flex Builder

Unity will support Flash platform

Published by Manfred Karrer on Monday, 28 of February , 2011 at 16:22

Great news!: Unity will support the Flash platform in future!
Wow that is really an exciting move!

I have had recently a look to Unity in search for alternatives to Flash, and was wondering why they are not supporting the Flash Player. They already supports a lot of different platforms, but Flash was missing. I thought the technical limitations and differences would be a too hard barrier.

But now they released the news that they are working on the support for exporting Unity projects to the Flash platform as well as to Android, IPhone (and the rest of the I… derivates), XBox, Mac/PC desktop apps and their Unity Web Player (Linux Player is in development). It is becoming a real tough multi-platform tool! This could have a deep impact, as Unity seems from technological point of view much more advanced then Flash and the main barrier for using it in the web, was the low player penetration of the Unity Web Player. So it was locked to the special cases where the installation of a new plugin is no problem for users, but unfortunately for 90% of the mainstream clients and projects this is a no go. But with this strategy they will get in one move the support of the 99% penetration of the flash player (ok, with the latest player version that is not correct, but people don´t care so much about an update of the Flash Player then about a new installation of an unknown plugin).
And Adobe is getting a real strong competitor, so hopefully they are forced to pay more attention to performance and development environment. The current Flashbuilder is compared to the tools available for Java or .NET not very competitive, to express it friendly. I have not worked with Unity yet, but will use the next opportunity to try it out.

I am also wondering how much they can cover outside the classical 3D world? Flash has started as a pure animation tool and has become a main player for web application development. I bet the inventors didn´t expect this. So why should not Unity become a tool also for classical applications, 3D comes free if needed, and it seems that 3D will become more and more an intrinsic part of up to date software. 3D-TV sets and Mobiles are currently the hot thing and I think it´s only a question of (hopefully not too much) time, until 3D displays are common also at desktops. 3D content will be the missing link then.

Unity is just ready to take off!

Looking forward also to the new Flash Player (Molehill) which brings GPU-accelerated 3D to the Flash platform.

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Category: Flash, Flashplayer, Flex, Flex Builder, Unity3D

Some nice tools and resources

Published by Manfred Karrer on Saturday, 9 of May , 2009 at 09:07

My wishlist for a CSS inspector has had been already fulfilled: http://code.google.com/p/fxspy

A great code formatter as Eclipse plugin for Flex Builder: http://code.google.com/p/flexformatter
Download: http://sourceforge.net/projects/flexformatter/

HP has published a security analysis tool for Flash content. It´s also a decompiler to inspect the Actionscript code: SWFScan

Good overview about security issues in Flash:
http://www.owasp.org/index.php/Category:OWASP_Flash_Security_Project
http://www.adobe.com/devnet/flashplayer/articles/secure_swf_apps.html

A great resource for open source flash/flex tools and projects: http://www.flashchemist.com/104-free-opensource-apis-libraries-and-tools-for-the-flash-platform.html

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Category: Actionscript, Compiler, Flash, Flashplayer, Flex, Flex Builder

Wishlist: CSS Inspector/Live-Editor for Flex

Published by Manfred Karrer on Tuesday, 28 of April , 2009 at 20:11

At styling and changing my blog theme, i really fall in love with Web Developers (Firefox addon) CSS tools.
Just rollover or select an element and see the css used. Edit it live and see immediately the changes.
How nice would it be to have something inside Flex Builder?
For re-styling or adopting Flex projects this would be a great helper-tool, specially if you edit custom components from other developers.

If you feel this would be a nice feature, vote for it on the Adobe Bugbase.

You probably have seen already the Flex Style Explorer. It gives a good overview of the different styles of the standard Flex components.

BTW: Did you know that parts of Flex Builder are open source (the derived stuff from Eclipse)? You can download it at Adobe.

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Category: Flash, Flex, Flex Builder