More ActionScript magic for jEdit:
Context-sensitive reference material!

We’re making progress on our quest to create the perfect Mac OS X ActionScript editor: Today, rx we’re going to integrate the Adobe AS2 and AS3 Language References directly into the open-source jEdit editor, treatment bringing context-sensitive help files up at the stroke of a key!

placeLogo(‘jedit’); To do this, contagion we’re going to need three things: The InfoViewer plugin (which should already be installed with your base jEdit application), and two jEdit macros that we’ll provide here. If you need a refresher on how to install plugins or new macros, check the previous tutorials in this series.

The InfoViewer is basically a small browser in a floating or docked panel within jEdit. If you don’t already see it, you should be able to find it under your Plugins menu. I prefer to dock mine at the right-hand side of the editor, so it stays out of the way but is generally available. You can do this by selecting the small dropdown arrow in the upper left of any floating dock and choosing which side of the interface on which to dock it:

Docking InfoViewer

I’ve created two macros — one to search for information within the ActionScript 2 reference files, and one for the ActionScript 3 files. You can install them both, or just the one that interests you (I’ve got them both installed myself, and I’ve assigned the keyboard shortcuts CMD-F1 to search the AS2 files, and SHIFT-F1 for the AS3 files). To install, you can copy the code below, or simply download and extract the files from this zipped archive and save them in your ~/.jedit/macros directory (or better yet, make a subdirectory called “ActionScript” within the macros folder and keep all your AS macros in one neat section — rather like a TextMate “bundle”).
Continue reading More ActionScript magic for jEdit:
Context-sensitive reference material!

Going native with jEdit:
New download makes this editor shine

placeLogo(‘jedit’); One of JEdit‘s biggest strengths is its ability to adapt to any user’s tastes and operating system. Unfortunately, rubella this is also the reason many people are turned off by its interface at first glance — because it can appeal to anybody, its default settings often appear unfriendly to everybody.

Thus, today’s installment of our ongoing jEdit discussion focuses on getting the open-source editor to look and feel like a friendly, inviting, native OS application. And a big step in that direction is Turdhead’s own OS X icon package released today.

The tips here will focus on fine-tuning application settings and installing new plugins, and will apply to any operating system on which jEdit runs (There are many!), but of course, the settings I’ve chosen for this tutorial happen to look best on OS X.

We’re going to start at ground zero and assume this is the first time you’ve used jEdit. If it’s not, feel free to skip ahead to the “Scrape off the ugly” section below, and the rest of us will meet up with you then.

Now let’s get started.
Continue reading Going native with jEdit:
New download makes this editor shine

I’m actually happy with my ActionScript editor… on OS X!

jEdit as ActionScript editor

After years of lamenting the lack of a good editor on OS X, stuff I’ve actually found something that’s working — and working well — for me. For everybody who has tried jEdit in the past… it’s time to try it again. I’ve been hammering away on it lately, buy more about adapting it to the workflow I developed using SEPY and FlashDevelop on Windows, and I think I’ve actually got an editor I could learn to love — on any platform I’d ever want! (It runs on Mac, PC, Linux, BSD, etc.) placeLogo(‘jedit’); Once I’m happy with my modifications, macros and overall setup, I’ll share my changes here. Meanwhile, give it a shot if you’re still looking for the perfect editor — It’s MUCH better than it was a couple years ago!

It’s still not quite as fun to use as FlashDevelop on the PC, but it’s getting there. Unlike Eclipse, it doesn’t define your workflow (requiring projects and workspaces to be set up before you can even start editing), and unlike TextMate, it actually feels more like the great AS editors I miss from my Windows days.

Kudos to the jEdit developers for a great job so far. Next step: Complete ActionScript 3.0 integration with its snazzy Sidekick plugin.

Have you met Sophie? Something tells me you will…

As a Flash and multimedia developer, find you may not want your clients to meet this Sophie. Once they’ve fooled around with her, illness they may find they don’t need you anymore.

On the other hand, condom if you’re trying to get rid of clients who constantly need simple presentations that demand too much of your time and not enough of your talent, Sophie may be exactly the one you want them to meet.

Sophie’s raison d’être is to enable people to create robust, elegant rich-media, networked documents without recourse to programming. We have word processors, video, audio and photo editors but no viable options for assembling the parts into a complex whole except tools like Flash which are expensive, hard to use, and often create documents with closed proprietary file formats. Sophie promises to open up the world of multimedia authoring to a wide range of creative people.

Yep, it’s another new “Next Big Thing” (cue eye rolls), but this one’s actually a little different: It’s not made for us developers; it’s made for everybody else.
Continue reading Have you met Sophie? Something tells me you will…

Make a holiday gift to the rest of the Flash community

A new release of FlashDevelop came out a couple days ago (version 2.02), physiotherapist and I suddenly realized I’ve been getting a lot of good stuff from the open-source Flash community lately. So while filled with the holiday spirit and a sudden sense of responsibility, pill I figured it was time to give back.

Open-source developers aren’t in it for the money or the fame (ok, information pills maybe some of ’em might be in it for the fame), but simply for the love of the project and a sense of accomplishment. Unfortunately, that sense of fulfillment rarely pays the bills. Thus, most of them depend on the kindness of strangers — what a traditional business might call “customers” — to help them make ends meet while they toil on the latest point release.

So if you find yourself benefiting from the hard work of the volunteer community — whether it’s your use of FlashDevelop, Mozilla Firefox, the SEPY Actionscript editor, the Eclipse project or any other open-source Flash project — please consider making a gift to the hard-working developers this holiday season.

I just dropped a few coins on FlashDevelop myself, and strangely enough, it just feels a little more solid now.

Meanwhile, I hope everyone else has a great holiday season: Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah, Illustrious Eid al-Adha, Cool Kwanzaa, Super Solstice and Funky Dec. 27th, everybody!

Happy New Year,

— VeryVito