Advanced JavaScript debugging support for AIR 1.5 apps from Aptana

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Paul Colton of Aptana announced JavaScript debugging support for Adobe AIR 1.5 applications using the new Adobe AIR Development Plug-in for Aptana Studio (beta). Our team has been working closely with the Aptana team to help bring this feature to life by exposing new debugging interfaces from the AIR 1.5 runtime.

Improved support for debugging has been one of the most popular feature requests from JavaScript developers building AIR applications since our initial release (this capability already exists in Flex Builder for Flex developers using ActionScript). With the AIR beta plug-in for Aptana, developers can now set breakpoints and step through code with insights to variables, functions, return values and more. We are thrilled to be able to share this news with Aptana.

This is a beta release and the Aptana team is looking for feedback from the community. A screencast is available that provides an overview of the new functionality. As part of the announcement, Paul wrote:

That’s why today we’re pleased to announce a huge step forward in the ease of creating Ajax and HTML apps for Adobe AIR: Today’s release of the Adobe AIR Development Plug-in for Aptana Studio (beta) features, you guessed it — JavaScript debugging for Adobe AIR apps along with support for Adobe AIR 1.5 which Adobe announced earlier this week.

We previewed the JavaScript debugger for Adobe AIR apps yesterday to a group at Adobe MAX in San Francisco and got applauded for providing this critical utility to the AIR community. Like with other debugging environments you’re familiar with, just click to set a break point in the gutter, then step through, into and out of lines of code while viewing variables and introspecting objects.

Note that the JavaScript debugging interfaces added to AIR are not specific to Aptana and can be integrated into other tools as well. Also, another valuable tool for lightweight debugging of AIR applications is the AIR HTML Introspector included in the frameworks directory of the Adobe AIR SDK. By including a single .js file in your JavaScript-based AIR application, it is possible to introspect DOM properties and functions, edit attributes and text nodes for DOM elements, view XMLHttpRequest objects and their properties and more. It does not, however, allow you to set break points and step through code like the Aptana plug-in described above. To learn more about the AIR HTML Introspector, please view the Debugging with the AIR HTML Introspector in the Adobe AIR documentation.

Related links:

  • Aptana’s Adobe AIR plug-in page with installation instructions
  • A screencast that demonstrates the debugging capabilities within Aptana Studio

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