Open Source Flash Development

Over the past few months I have been experimenting with creating flash animations using completely free software for Linux and Windows. Here is what I’ve been using:

You’ll need Java installed before you can install Jedit or Ant. I set up Java and jedit according to my last two posts. To install Ant on Ubuntu Linux type this in a terminal:

sudo apt-get install ant

or you can download it from their site. If you download it, you should make sure your PATH system variable includes the ant bin directory, you have an ANT_HOME variable set to the folder ant was installed to, and a JAVA_HOME variable set to the folder java was installed to.

There are precompiled binaries of MTASC available for Windows, MAC, and Linux.

Swfmill only has binaries for Windows and Mac, so you’ll have to compile it yourself on Linux. On Ubuntu you’ll first need to install build-essential, libxml2-dev, libxslt1-dev, libfreetype6-dev, libpng12-dev, checkinstall. You can do this by typing:

 sudo apt-get install build-essential libxml2-dev libxslt1-dev libfreetype6-dev libpng12-dev checkinstall

Extract the swfmill-0.2.11.tar.gz file with this command:

tar -zxvf swfmill-0.2.11.tar.gz

Then navigate to the src folder and type:

sudo checkinstall -D make install

This will create and install a debian package of swfmill.

To use Alcon you have to import the Debug class into your actionscript project then you’ll be able to send messages to the swf console with the Debug.trace() command. I’ve created a webpage embedded with alcon that loads the swf files I’m debugging in a popup window.

In my next post I will describe how to create a simple test swf using this software.

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