Hi,
I am new to linux and was wondering if there is any application which I can download or purchase which will help me edit flash projects in linux.

Cheers,
Vishal Khialani

I dunno if there is any linux application to edit FLA files. But you may try using Wine Project to use Windows version of Flash.

I'm not aware of any linux software that deals with flash, certainly nothing that will open .fla's. There are some attempts to make a linux port of Flashdevelop (a free Windows/.NET based IDE for the Flex 3 SDK), but I don't think they've got very far with it yet.

As Vishesh has already said, you could try using Wine to run one of the flash IDE's. Flash mx2004 will probably work well under wine, flash 8 might also work, but I have serious doubts that CS3 or CS4 will work properly.
The windows version of Flashdevelop might also run under wine.

Another usually overlooked alternative is the Adobe Flex3 SDK, which can be used to create flash content in Linux using pure AS3 or AS3 and mxml.

The flex3 SDK ships with some multi-platform command line tools, the bin folder of the SDK contains binaries for windows, mac and linux. To get it, all you need to do is download it from Adobe and unzip it somewhere on your system. And that's it, you're ready to start developing flash in Linux!

The only pre-requisites are that you need to have java installed on your Linux system...But that's not really a stretch, if your machine doesn't have Java, open up your package manager and download and install it from your linux distros repository.

To use the SDK in linux, you simply use a text editor like gEdit, vi or emacs to create your mxml and/or actionscript 3 files and then use the 'mxmlc' command-line tool in the bin folder of the SDK to compile your .swfs.

Here's an example of compiling a .swf in Linux:
Picture this if you will....
1. You've used your favourite text editor and created an actionscript file called myFirstFlex.as and saved it in in a folder at /home/your_name/Documents/AS3code
2. You also have the flex 3 SDK unzipped to a folder at /home/your_name/flex3SDK.

To compile the actionscript file into a .swf you'd need to open up a shell and enter the following:

/home/your_name/flex3SDK/bin/mxmlc /home/your_name/Documents/AS3code/myFirstFlex.as

This runs mxmlc (the adobe AS3 compiler), passing your .as file as a parameter. mxmlc will then attempt to parse and compile your actionscript file into a .swf.

If any errors are found in your actionscript, mxmlc outputs some very handy error messages. So all you need to do is reopen your AS file in your text editor, fix the problems in your code and run mxmlc again.
If (or when) there are no errors, mxmlc will output a .swf with the same name as the input file, so in this example it would output myFirstFlex.swf.

And that's about it. It's not particularly complicated!
There are a few people out there on the web who have created plugins for gEdit and various other linux text editors which allow syntax highlighting of AS3 and MXML. So if you'd like some syntax highlighting in your favourite text editor, try doing a search (e.g. 'gEdit AS3 syntax highlight') and you should be able to find something!

Since I've been using my Linux PC more and more and seeing as I seem to be messing with flash rather a lot, I have been meaning to make a start on a wxWidgets based IDE for the Flex 3 SDK using either C++ or Python. But I've got a feeling it's going to be on the back-burner for a little while as I have much bigger fish to fry at the moment!

Anyways, hope this has helped.
Cheers for now,
Jas.

In my opinion nothing beats the full flash suite.

You need all the little perks like the timeline and everything.

In my opinion nothing beats the full flash suite.

You need all the little perks like the timeline and everything.

Going slightly off-topic from the OP:
The timeline can be handy for quick and dirty stuff, but personally I prefer not to use it as far as possible. Especially since the advent of AS3/Flex!

If I ever need to use the timeline (which is rare!), it's about the only time I'll fire up one of the Flash IDE's. Other than that it's Flashdevelop (on windows) or the Flex SDK (on Linux) all the way!

Thinking back to my previous job back in the days of AS2, having to debug all of those nasty third party .fla's with hundreds of layers containing nested movieclips and actionscript buried here, there and everywhere.....ugh! {shivers} Not a pretty time!

Coming from a C++ background, I much prefer dealing with classes and scripting everything myself.

As I've said, the timeline can be a handy tool from time to time. But from what I've seen, even in professional production code; it is frequently overused and/or abused, resulting in horrific, mind meltingly convoluted spaghetti-like sources. So personally, I'm more than happy to leave the timeline behind!

But that's just me! heh heh! ;)

I just can't imagine not begin able to have the drag and drop components/especially custom ones... papervision3d, yahoo astra components etc. I wouldn't have a clue how to do this with just code.

Also creating layers on the fly to help organise your work flow. And the quick buttons for motion tweening etc.

Well that's just me.

[offtopic]
Jason can you build a fully navigational website in just one frame? I've always wonder this.
[/offtopic]

I'm not aware of any linux software that deals with flash, certainly nothing that will open .fla's. There are some attempts to make a linux port of Flashdevelop (a free Windows/.NET based IDE for the Flex 3 SDK), but I don't think they've got very far with it yet.

As Vishesh has already said, you could try using Wine to run one of the flash IDE's. Flash mx2004 will probably work well under wine, flash 8 might also work, but I have serious doubts that CS3 or CS4 will work properly.
The windows version of Flashdevelop might also run under wine.

Another usually overlooked alternative is the Adobe Flex3 SDK, which can be used to create flash content in Linux using pure AS3 or AS3 and mxml.

The flex3 SDK ships with some multi-platform command line tools, the bin folder of the SDK contains binaries for windows, mac and linux. To get it, all you need to do is download it from Adobe and unzip it somewhere on your system. And that's it, you're ready to start developing flash in Linux!

The only pre-requisites are that you need to have java installed on your Linux system...But that's not really a stretch, if your machine doesn't have Java, open up your package manager and download and install it from your linux distros repository.

To use the SDK in linux, you simply use a text editor like gEdit, vi or emacs to create your mxml and/or actionscript 3 files and then use the 'mxmlc' command-line tool in the bin folder of the SDK to compile your .swfs.

Here's an example of compiling a .swf in Linux:
Picture this if you will....
1. You've used your favourite text editor and created an actionscript file called myFirstFlex.as and saved it in in a folder at /home/your_name/Documents/AS3code
2. You also have the flex 3 SDK unzipped to a folder at /home/your_name/flex3SDK.

To compile the actionscript file into a .swf you'd need to open up a shell and enter the following:

/home/your_name/flex3SDK/bin/mxmlc /home/your_name/Documents/AS3code/myFirstFlex.as

This runs mxmlc (the adobe AS3 compiler), passing your .as file as a parameter. mxmlc will then attempt to parse and compile your actionscript file into a .swf.

If any errors are found in your actionscript, mxmlc outputs some very handy error messages. So all you need to do is reopen your AS file in your text editor, fix the problems in your code and run mxmlc again.
If (or when) there are no errors, mxmlc will output a .swf with the same name as the input file, so in this example it would output myFirstFlex.swf.

And that's about it. It's not particularly complicated!
There are a few people out there on the web who have created plugins for gEdit and various other linux text editors which allow syntax highlighting of AS3 and MXML. So if you'd like some syntax highlighting in your favourite text editor, try doing a search (e.g. 'gEdit AS3 syntax highlight') and you should be able to find something!

Since I've been using my Linux PC more and more and seeing as I seem to be messing with flash rather a lot, I have been meaning to make a start on a wxWidgets based IDE for the Flex 3 SDK using either C++ or Python. But I've got a feeling it's going to be on the back-burner for a little while as I have much bigger fish to fry at the moment!

Anyways, hope this has helped.
Cheers for now,
Jas.

Hi,
Thank you all and especially Jas for the update. I did download salasaga and I am downloading the flex builder to try it out.

Cheers,
Vishal Khialani

Hi,
Thank you all and especially Jas for the update. I did download salasaga and I am downloading the flex builder to try it out.

Cheers,
Vishal Khialani

No probs vishal.
One small point, just in case there's any confusion... I was talking about the Flex 3 SDK, not Flex builder!

But now that you mention it, I completely forgot about Flex Builder. I heard a year or so ago that Adobe were working on a linux port of Flex builder, but I'm not sure if they've released it yet. The last thing I heard was that they were due to release an alpha version as a plugin for eclipse on Linux, but that was probably over a year ago..I hadn't thought to check back to see if it's out yet...Completely slipped my mind!

If Adobe have released the flex builder alpha, by all means give it a shot. If not, then just get the Flex 3 SDK and stick with the command line tools it provides instead!

Actually I'll check the Adobe site now.....
Oh, ok!
A quick look at the Adobe labs site reveals that they released the alpha in august, last year...Doh, I really should try to keep up with the rest of the world!

Hmm, in that case I think I'll give flex builder for Linux a go myself! heh heh! ;)

oh and to iamthwee:
In the flash IDE, it is possible to build complex content (like a website) using one blank frame with nothing but actionscript in it.

As long as you have all of your assets in the library and have the linkage settings set to 'export for actionscript'. Where necessary you can add some actionscript files for the classes associated with your library assets. You then import your custom AS classes into the actionscript in the one and only frame of your .fla and dynamically create everything at runtime. It's been possible to do things this way since AS2 ( circa mx2004/Flash 8).

It may be a tad extreme and depending on the complexity of the project, it may or may not be more time consuming than doing things the more traditional way, but it is possible!

Doing things this way in the IDE is more or less equivalent to the way you'd work using the Flex SDK. You create classes for all of your assets and then you use one main AS class to pull everything together for your final .swf.

At the end of the day, I guess it depends how you want to work.
If you're more of a designer than a coder, if you're on a tight deadline, or if you just can't be arsed to code everything; then the more traditional flash programming in the IDE (timeline, layers, nested clips and actionscript all over the place) is more appropriate.

If you're more of a coder/control freak, then you can do everything in code (either in the IDE, in FlexBuilder, the Flex SDK, Flashdevelop or any other third party flash creation software)

Going off-topic again:
One thing that impressed me recently in Flash CS3 was the functionality enabling you to create tweens/animations in the timeline and then convert the tween on the stage into AS3 code. Which then allows you to remove the nasty timeline animation and use the generated code to do the animation instead...Very neat stuff!
Had a quick play with this on one of my friends PC's.

Anyways, I'm rambling now...Time to shut up methinks!

Cheers for now,
Jas.

commented: cheers for the info +22