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Debugging Flash and Flex in Eclipse – Arthropod and LogWatcher


In my search for ways to enable simple debugging when working in Eclipse with both FDT and FlexBuilder, I managed to find two viable options: Arthropod and LogWatcher.

Arthropod is an AIR application that enables enhanced logging for AIR, Flex and Flash applications. I am surprised there was not more fanfare made of this recently, as it was just released and got a mention on The Flash Blog. Arthropod allows you to use a simple bundled class to write trace statements to the running AIR application. This means, in theory, I could avoid having to switch back and forth to the Flash CS3 IDE to compile and debug with trace() statements. What I like most about Arthropod is how simple it is to use. Import one class, fire up the AIR application, and you are ready to go.

The second option I have come across is LogWatcher. I found this one on Josh Buhler's blog a while back, but never got around to installing it. LogWatcher is a bit more integrated into Eclipse/FDT, as it puts a panel in Eclipse that reads the continuous output of the debug Flash Player. You'll need to set the debug Flash Player to output all trace statements to a text file, but simple instructions can be found here.

Between the both of these options, it looks like I can finally stop having to switch to the Flash IDE to debug my projects.

Bartek Drozdz said,

June 11, 2008 @ 11:05 am

I am a big fan of Arthropod… since last monday :)

I would definetly recommend it. As you say, the nice thing about its simplicity.

Eric said,

June 11, 2008 @ 1:37 pm

You might have tried nTail for Eclipse it sounds very similar to LogWatcher, I’ve been using it for a while to watch traces.

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