Using Eclipse for ActionScript Development

In my never ending quest for a decent code editor on OS X, I have recently installed Eclipse with the ActionScript 2 plugin. I haven’t used it enough yet to have an opinion on it, but I wanted to get some input from other developers.

Have you used Eclipse for ActionScript, Flash or Flex development? If so, what do you think? Are you still using it? Did you like it? What don’t you like? What is missing?

Post your comments in the comment

35 Responses to Using Eclipse for ActionScript Development

  1. I have done some tests, but the real cool features like code refractoring are not supported yet. Its a start and I’m looking forward to see the further development. Everybody should support this project. It could be the(!) as2 editor in future, if macromedia won’t implement some usefull functions to their ‘editor’.

  2. anon says:

    Using eclipse with AS2 with built in CVS control is unmatched for group development. The project window in Flash MX 2004 is a load of hooey.

  3. David Risner says:

    Unfortunately there are no options yet in the editor for changing tab sizes nor for using spaces instead of tabs and the indentation engine seems to be lacking.Hopefully these things will be corrected in future versions, so it will be usable for more people.

  4. persist says:

    I like the outline window ability the most. It makes documentation easier, but documenting complex Flash apps is still a fair bit of work. I wish the Flash IDE had some type of UML automation.

  5. Abdul Qabiz says:

    > In my never ending quest for a decent code editorI am also going through same phase. I am trying all editors and comparing them.Eclipse is really cool tool but we need a mature Flex/AS2 plugin for it.Until we have nice plugin in Eclipse I would be using VIM, its really cool because of its simple commands and its simple and fast.

  6. I’m sticking with SEPY, on Win and Mac (SEPY for Mac was released recently, if you didn’t already know). The Eclipse plugin just isn’t quite baked enough yet.

  7. R Blank says:

    I’m a recent convert from PC to Mac and I’ve been looking for a good AS editor.I had a lot of trouble getting SEPY on the Mac to work. And I found SEPY on the PC to be very buggy when I used their AS2 and XML tools.I recently found SubEthaEdit, which in version 2, supports AS 1 and 2 coloring. It also supports collaborative editing which is neat. But it lacks many of the features of SciTE or SEPY on the PC — even things like folding would be very nice. But it is stable and the syntax coloring is correct.I look forward to trying this Eclipse out and seeing how it handles.-r

  8. Ralf Bokelberg says:

    I’m using eclipse for the most of my projects, be it actionscript, php, lingo, html or xml. Ant-Integration, Error- and ToDo-Markers, CVS-Integration, Local History, extendable help running in my default browser, regExp-Search and Replace are a few of the valuable tools eclipse provides.A validating editor and refactoring are the things i’m missing the most. Changing a public interface of a method in a big project is no fun, when you have to do it by hand. Agile development and Flash could be best friends if we had a editor/system like the java jdt plugin.Ralf.

  9. flashape says:

    sepy on the mac has been kind of a disappointment so far, but i dont think it’s an actual official release yet. sucks becasue i love it on the pc. anyway, im suprised no one has mentioned TextMate ( It’s pretty cool and has a “test movie” plugin for it.

  10. Melvyn Song says:

    Well, the enterprise projects i have worked on has always been coded using Eclipse. But it sort of feel weird using it to code AS 2 stuffs.. I am still in search of a good AS scripting software. Haven found one yet. The adv Eclipse has over others is that if we are working on a project we can actually just hit ctrl enter and it test it immediately.I would prefer if the eclipse scripter can actually have more space.. it makes me feel a bit comfortable.

  11. Mike, Robin and I have been busy recently building a Flex prototype lately on OS X using Eclipse & the oXygen plugin for it – this combination allows us to do everything we need for our MXML with the exception of absolute UI positioning within a canvas that Flex Builder would allow us to do, we have used FB once or twice for that with Virtual PC. Once we’d sorted out what we were doing with oXygen we found that we really haven’t looked back as the combination of it and Eclipse gives us exactiy what we need, particularly the easy integration of Eclipse and CVS which we use quite a bit. While I’ve got the ActionScript plugin for Eclipse all of the ActionScript that we’ve written for this project (we’re using the Interation::Two MVC framework) has been done in Flash ’04 Pro.

  12. I’ve been using Eclipse for all my projects ( mostly AS2, Java and jsp ) for the last year, and it’s definitively the best IDE I’ve ever used.I’ve always missed the functionallity of the Java editor in my AS2 projects. So, I’ve been using the AS2 plugin for the last few days, and although it’s only a start, I think it’s very promising.

  13. Sam Robbins says:

    Well everyone knows that I’m into Xcode for my As development but just wanted to state the fact again! I tried out the Eclipse plugin, TextMate ans Subetha 2.1 in the past week(s) and they still don’t give me the features that I have grown to love in Xcode. Until SE|PY improves greatly on mac or another product comes out I’ll have to say that Xcode hands down just make my everyday work much easier.

  14. Isaac Rivera says:

    It’s no secret either that, like Sam, I use XCode for my AS2 Development and like him, I don’t think there is a better OS X tool for the task. However, I try every new editor available for Mac just in case. The Eclipse plugin is an interesting and promising addition to the growing OSX arsenal.Now I have a question…”to get the “base Types” like String,Number … create a new folder named ‘base’ to your projectroot. Link this folder to your flash classes folder e.g. (C:\Ducuments and Settings\{yourName}\Local Settings\…\en\Configuration\Classes)”How do you do that on a Mac? An alias won’t work. Perhaps a *nix symbolic link?

  15. ilya Devèrs says:

    Although I use a pc mainly at work, at home I do everything with my Mac.I used Eclipse on PC, but found the free version of oxygen lacking support for schema autocompletion, and the AS editor not so nice. On the PC I use SciteFlash for my AS work and on the mac I am still looking around. But this thread is very interesting.. my 2c.

  16. ed h says:

    For AS2 development with Eclipse, I use the following features and plugins:- javascript plugin (for syntax hilighting)- CVS integration (I wish they had Subversion integration)- “Compare With…” (comparing file diffs and entire folder diffs)I also use Eclipse for Java development, so it cuts down on the # of tools I use.Ideally, I’d love to see an actionscript plugin support:- refactoring (Eclipse-style).- codeCompletion (any declared var, function or class in an entire project, including the doc in context).- ctrl+click – linking from instances to owning class file.- javadoc-style generation (visdoc integration?).All that, and if AS3 supported Inner Classes and bubbling Mouse Events, I could die happy (but then I’d miss out)…

  17. I was using SciTE for long time but recently shifted to SEPY and still on it. SEPY is really good with its class browser, xml reader, file browser, etc.

  18. Jon Bradley says:

    I use Eclipse primarily for XML development – it’s much more suited for that in my opinion. I’m still with SubEthaEdit.Eclipse is decent, but the lack of the tab settings and some other features keep me from using it for AS2 development.If I’m not using SubEtha, I’m using XCode anyway. 🙂

  19. Isaac Rivera says:

    Soooooo…Any hints on how to “…create a new folder named ‘base’ to your projectroot. Link this folder to your flash classes folder e.g. (C:\Ducuments and Settings\{yourName}\Local Settings\…\en\Configuration\Classes)”on a mac?

  20. Hans Omli says:

    I use Eclipse for any remote POJOs when doing Flex projects. I’ve also played around with CFEclipse a bit for some ColdFusion stuff, and will likely consider it for my next CF project.What is missing… I’d use Eclipse for AS2 and MXML in a heartbeat if solid plug-ins were available. (To be fair, I haven’t tried the new AS2 plug-in or Oxygen yet, but…) For now, I’m using Flex Builder–purely in code view, btw–for any MXML or AS2.

  21. iS says:

    I use Eclipse exclusively for Java and PHP dev. UML modeling with roundtrip (Java only), automatic error checking and showing (with tips), refactoring are great time savers.I also love they way the interface can be configured to improve productivity, based on that tasks you need to do at the moment.It took a long time to get a decent PHP plugin (with parser/debuger), so there is hope that one day a good AS2 plugin could emerge.It would make a lot of sense for Macromedia to support or even develop its own AS2 plugin. Much more economical than to try and do a pale imitation that would only do AS2.Commercial UML plugins would need to be modified to support AS2 or Macromedia could write its own since the UML2 library is a very good foundation.CVS is there.Doc generation is there (path to any docgenerator like as2doc).Test units could be imported to this environement and so could plugins like logers.If MM releases a command line compiler, it could also be used right in Eclipse.In the meantime, SEPY is a good tool that keeps improving, so we can still do some work without too much hassle.

  22. anon says:

    What about Netbeans?

  23. I use PrimalScript for all my AS2 coding. Its the best editor I’ve found so far. I tried out Eclipse but wasn’t impressed. Simple things like ctrl + tab doesn’t switch between documents. Its gotta have the basics to be usable.DP

  24. Rich Paul says:

    but primalscript is PC only, yes?

  25. Jimmy Mandez says:

    What about AS2 in Visual Studio .NET??? Would anybody use that?

  26. Isaac Rivera says:

    LOL! Its amazing how PC talk soon takes over an attempt at a cross-platform discussion. The whole point of the thread let me remind you all was in searching for “a decent code editor on OS X, I have recently installed Eclipse with the ActionScript 2 plugin.” and “Have you used Eclipse for ActionScript, Flash or Flex development? If so, what do you think? Are you still using it? Did you like it? What don’t you like? What is missing?”And not “What is your favorite AS Editor?” specially if that editor is PC only.Isaac

  27. Sal Orlando says:

    Nobody else uses BBedit for AS?

  28. Paul Marcotte says:

    Issac,here are the steps I followed:1. open terminal2. cd to the root folder of your project3. type ln -s ~/Library/”Application Support/Macromedia/Flash MX 2004″/en/Configuration/Classes basethis will create a sybolic link folder in the root of your projecttry it out.Cheers,

  29. spif says:

    I know this is an old post but just wondering if any mac users have been able to somehow hide the .DS_Store files in the project views?I can’t find the option to hide specific files in the prefs… should I look somewhere else?thx

  30. sreekanth says:

    Dear Flash Gurusi want to change the color of circles which are placed in the symbol with instance name “black”, these circles have instance names ranging from L1 to L50. the following code is working fine within the symbol (instance name “black”). but i want to access these instances from main movie.for (i=1;i<=50;i++){v=new Color(this[“L”+i]);v.setRGB(0xff0000);}thanks in advancekanth

  31. spif says:

    For hiding system files I should have RTFM.It’s there, hidden, but it’s there.

  32. Paul Randall says:

    Hi Guy’s,Not posted on here before but it looks like you are a friendly bunch of folks.Anyway. I wondered if any of you are using Xcode for PHP work.Basically I just started playing around with version 1.1 and it seems to higlight the syntax OK and even allows for code auto complete. One thing I found is that if you start typing in the name of any variables without the dollar sign it will bring up a menu of them as you type in it’s but it won’t do it if the dollar sign is there. Really annoying if you ask me. I wondered if this is fixed in version 1.5. Basically I am thinking of upgrading but want to know whether it’s worth it or not.Thanks in advancePaul

  33. Anonymous says:

    >I use PrimalScript for all my AS2 coding. Its the best editor I’ve found so far. I tried out Eclipse but wasn’t impressed. Simple things like ctrl + tab doesn’t switch between documents. Its gotta have the basics to be usable.If you’d taken only 5 more seconds to test it out or god forbid read the documentation… It’s CTRL+PageUp and CTRL+PageDown (also, you can chage this to whatever you want).Eclipse is a great IDE. It’s true that it can be a little slow during some operations. But it has so many great features that make it a dream to use.

  34. Andreas Haller says:

    I am also using Scite|Flash ( on Windows. What i like about it, is that it starts very fast and it also has a Test-Movie option.