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Posts tagged with: debugging

Debugging Flash/Flex Apps in Google Chrome (and killing the cache)

Since switching over to Google Chrome as my default browse some months back, I have had one persistent (see also annoying) issue: I have been unable to get the Flash Debugger to run properly in Chrome. I initially tried a number of fixes, none of which seemed to resolve the issue. Eventually, I gave up, and simply started using FireFox for debugging. Fast-forward a few months, and I am now ready to bail on FireFox due to memory usage issues (my Macbook AIR has almost gone up in smoke a few times thanks to these lil problems). To add to the fire, I have also been dealing with the HUGELY bothersome (and very common) issue of the browser caching my .swf files while I am debugging (i.e. I run debug, and the file displayed is a cached version, so I end up trying to resolve bugs that may not even exist anymore). So this morning, sitting in a cafe in Little Italy (San Diego), listening to the rain falling softly on the concrete outside, I decided it was high time I tackle theses issues. Luckily for me (and you), the solutions came quickly, and I now have Google Chrome debugging my flash builds, and running the latest build every time no less!

Debugging in Chrome:

Aaron West wrote a nice blog post outlining the how to make sure Google Chrome is using the debug version of the flash player here: http://www.aaronwest.net/blog/index.cfm/2010/4/27/Configuring-Chrome-with-Flash-Player-Debugger . Aaron did a very nice job of explaining the changes necessary to make force Chrome to use the debug player, so I will not reiterate them here; however, I will add one thing (which turned out to be the missing link for me): In order to find the correct Flash plugin to disable, you may first need to click the “Details” link in the upper right-hand corner of the screen. Doing this will expand the list of plugins (in my case, there were 2) and allow you to disable the correct one.

Plug ins

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Disabling Caching:

I saw a number of fixes for the caching issue, some of them better than others, but none quite as elegant as I would hope (i.e. a setting in Chrome to simple disable caching). Then I came across a blog post by Andre Gil’s (sorry for the spelling, I don’t know how to make the fancy accent over the e), which outlined a very nice solution in which Andre had written a small application that essentially gives you the option to launch Google Chrome with the cache disabled. You can get the app, and read about its’ use in the section titled “Cache Problems” of the following post: http://blog.somepixels.net/2010/05/how-to-develop-and-debug-flex-on-google-chrome/

 

That’s all folks. Now get back to work, and happy debugging!

 

**Update**

I am still having some issues with caching. Currently, I have found that I most often have to do a hard-refresh in Chrome in order to force it to load the latest build of the .swf. I will be working on finding a solution for this and will update once I have it!


Creating Your First Chumby Widget – Part Two: Getting Connected

If you missed part one of this series “Creating You First Chumby Widget – Part One: Setting up Your Files,” I suggest you take a moment and browse through it before starting this section. For those of you who have already completed part one, welcome back! In this part of the series I will walk you through the process of updating the firmware on your Chumby device, enabling SSH, and finally connecting to your device over SSH.

Get Yourself a Chumby:
Now that everyone’s caught up and has a working application that they want to publish to the Chumby, there is just one more thing you need: A Chumby device. This may sound like common sense, but I feel it’s important to note that in order to properly test your application, you will need to get a Chumby device. At the time of this writing there are no Chumby emulators available, so the only way to fully test your application is to get your hands on a device. That being said, not all Chumby devices support Actionscript 3.0, so before deciding which device to buy, you will want to make sure that it supports Actionscript 3.0. You can find a list of Chumby devices that DO support Actionscript 3.0 HERE.

Update Your Firmware:
In order to run AS3 based applications on your Chumby device, you will need to make sure that you have the latest developer firmware installed. You can get the latest firmware for your device at the links below:

Enable SSH:
I know to some of you SSH might sound like some hard-core technology reserved for uber-nerds and computer science majors, but fear not, by the end of this tutorial, you too will be able to wield the pure power of SSH to allow you to test your application on your Chumby device as well as getting trace output and other debugging info.

The first step to connecting to your Chumby via SSH is to enable SSH on the Chumby Device (logical, right?). You can find out just how to do that at the links below:

Connect to Your Chumby Over SSH:
Now that SSH is enabled, let’s put it to work. The first thing we are going to need to do is open our SSH client, and connect to the Chumby. If you are unfamiliar with using an SSH client, or have no idea what I am talking about, check out my post “Connecting to Your Chumby Device Over SSH,” which explains what an SSH client is, where to get one, and how to use it to connect to your Chumby. If you are already a master of the command line, and know how to use SSH, you still want to briefly review the steps in the tutorial that outline how to connect to your Chumby using an SSH client.

Next Steps:
I know this may seem like a lot of work, but were almost there! I promise you, once you get through setting up and testing this first application, this will all be a breeze. In the part three of this series, we will finally get down to the fun stuff: Getting your application running on the Chumby!

Creating Your First Chumby Widget – Part Three: Testing Your Application on the Chumby