actionscript 3 and flex without flexbuilder on mac os x with trace()!

It was time to play with flex, but the price tag of flex builder was a little too high. And eclipse seemed too feature rich, a hurdle in itself, and a simple editor solution was more fitting for starting out. Fortunately others have done the work of getting their favorite editors to compile to the Flex SDK compiler (mxmlc, included in the free flex download).

Josh Buhler’s great description of how to get XCode and the Flex SDK set up on Mac OS X. So far so good. That was all I needed to get up and running, fumbling around with Flex.

Then I missed trace( ), the ActionScript developer’s best debugging friend. After looking around and around, I got the simple solution I needed in FlashTracer, a Firefox plug-in made by Alessandro Crugnola, aka Sephiroth. Simple plug-in installation. You need to install the debugger Flash player, which is located at [your flex sdk install location]/player/debug/Install Flash Player 9 UB.dmg. (It’s an older version,, but it’s what you need for outputing trace statements.)

I vaguely recall a way to get the trace output displayed using features of Mac OS itself somehow, but it’s been months since I heard how that works, and this works so, all is OK. Yes!



What I’d really like is a Mac version of FlashDevelop, my most very favorite ActionScript editor, recently updated for AS 3. But it’s Windows only, and running it in Parallels is a pain, because my brain just doesn’t switch quickly enough between Windows and Mac keyboard layout. Lazy me will have to dig into remapping the keyboard in Windows. Yuck.

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6 Responses to actionscript 3 and flex without flexbuilder on mac os x with trace()!

  1. axis says:

    I just switched to Mac from Windows wherein I lived and breathed Flashdevelop. They are trying to port it over but I need a quick fix. So – hopefully xcode will work πŸ˜›

  2. noah little says:

    I hear you, a Mac version of FlashDevelop would be yummy. Meanwhile, enjoy xcode! πŸ™‚

  3. James Deakin says:

    If you are on mac os x you might consider giving textmate a go. I have found it to be rather helpful with many and varied coding tasks and it has nice as3 bundle which you can hook up to MXMLC.

  4. noah little says:

    Thanks James. Indeed, Textmate is definitely a viable option, as I discovered just a few days after this blog entry. πŸ˜‰

  5. Installing textmate with as3 is something i’ve tried several times (I downloaded the as3 and flex bundles) but I just can’t get it to work.
    It seems weird to me that developing as3 on a mac is just not something Adobe wants to promote since there are only strange and complicated workarounds available and not a single official tool.

    • noah little says:

      Hi vj, I guess from Adobe’s standpoint it looks like the single official tool is Flexbuilder. Alas…

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