Category Archives: Open Source

Did your jEdit break this week, too? Here’s the fix

After using and touting jEdit for all my programming needs this year, I was left high and dry this week after Apple’s latest Java update seemed to cripple the app’s launcher. I could still launch the editor using the jar file within the app bundle, but this wouldn’t allow auto-launching or drag-and-drop opening (and the interface looked like crap).

Thank goodness Doug Letterman of Render Fast came to the rescue with a couple of solutions (one of his own creation, and one from the Apple support forums).

So if you’ve been putting up with inferior editors and clamoring for a solution this week, too, relax: jEdit is back on OS X.

And for what it’s worth, the developers of jEdit assure us a new version is in the works that will correct the issue “out-of-the-box,” but for now, this solution should get you back in the game. Happy coding!

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You just missed your chance at $300

Our contest to create a truly cross-platform ActionScript 3 editing tool came to a close last month, and a lot of you should be kicking yourselves right about now:

Thanks to an overwhelming response of exactly zero (0) submissions, it turns out that any one of our reader(s) could have entered a dead tarantula as their sole entry, and we’d have been forced to hand over the $300 prize money.

In fact, it could have been more — although we received no entries, we have actually been inundated with offers to “sweeten the pot” for the winning entry: First the kind folks at ActiveState ponied up a free license of Komodo IDE to the winner, and then several others came forth asking to help enhance the prize pool with cash donations and other goods.

Unfortunately, the actual contest results were abysmal — not a single entry submitted before the deadline, and no word from anyone registered as to whether they made any progress whatsoever. On the plus side, I did discover that running an open internet forum for developers may in fact be the best way to attract robots selling porn, home mortgages, porn and, um…. porn.

My guess is that we targeted the wrong audience with our call — we spoke to traditional Flash developers (who truly want the tool), rather than the Java or Mozilla-platform developers who are more familiar with the APIs and libraries necessary to produce it. At this point, I’m considering making this a “standing prize” and reaching out further to the open-source development community, but for now, my own work schedule makes it difficult to devote too much time to the cause (especially as I’m slowed down by sketchy ActionScript development tools on my platform of choice.

I’m up for suggestions on how to proceed, though, and I’m confident that eventually, we’ll have what we need in terms of a strong, platform-independent ActionScript 3 editor (without the overhead of Eclipse). While I’m partial to the aging but bendy jEdit myself, I can’t help but think OpenKomodo might be the “next big thing” — especially since it shares its Scintilla-based roots with FlashDevelop, SEPY and the (I think now defunct) SCiTE|Flash of Windows fame.

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Today’s the Developer Challenge entry deadline!

Participating in Turdhead.com’s Developer Challenge to create the ultimate ActionScript Editor? Please remember that all entries are due by midnight Eastern time tonight, and judging will begin later this week.

If you haven’t already, please send your completed plugin entries to plugincontest@turdhead.com. Good luck, and we look forward to seeing what you’ve accomplished!

For complete rules and guidelines, please see this post.

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ActiveState offers further enticement to create OpenKomodo AS3 solution

The ActionScript Editor Developer’s Challenge is in effect now, and already the stakes have been raised: Shane Caraveo of ActiveState has donated a full license of Komodo IDE (a $295 value!) to the top vote-getter who uses the company’s open-source OpenKomodo platform to create their entry.

This is great news, and we welcome ActiveState’s participation in this. The latest version of Komodo already has ActionScript 2 parsing using MTASC, and we can’t wait to see what the open-source development community can do with ActionScript 3!

Remember to sign up in the Developer forums before March 15, and get your entries in by April 15. Official rules are available in the forums.

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$300 prize offered for best plugin to support ActionScript coding

OK, I’m tired of waiting: It’s time to buy everyone a good ActionScript editor, and I’ve decided to foot the bill just to get things done already.

As you may have noticed during the last few months, I’ve spent a great deal of time customizing, expanding and generally bending the will of the jEdit text editor to make it do things my way (which, coincidentally, is a lot like the FlashDevelop and SEPY ways I learned in the Windows world). For the most part, I enjoy coding with jEdit, and it’s almost the perfect cross-platform, multi-language editor. Unfortunately, I have neither the time nor the Java experience to attain the one feature that I miss most from my days with FlashDevelop: Code completion.

It’s a simple feature I thought was silly when I first used it, but man, has it saved me time over the years (preventing typos, providing quick hints of little-used function parameters, etc). Thus, jEdit — along with every other Macintosh and cross-platform AS editor outside of Eclipse — remains a second-class ActionScript editor for me today.

So as of tonight, I’ve decided to remove my developer’s cap and instead take on the role of small-time benefactor: Thus, I will personally award $300 to the developer (or team of developers) who creates the best cross-platform ActionScript coding plug-in for one of two editors by April 15.
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