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Amethyst 1 (Edge Release 3) Available

by Huw Collingbourne
Leading to Amethyst 1.1
Monday 11 October 2010.

The third ’edge’ release of Amethyst 1.x is now available. Edge releases are interim builds between major ’point’ updates of the software. They incorporate new features and bug fixes in response to feedback from our users. They are intended to provide the fastest possible response to issues reported to us.

Note: Edge releases are not as fully tested as formal ’point-update’ builds and should be regarded as experimental.

This release now contains all the changes we plan leading up to the official Amethyst 1.1 release.

Downloads and more information from the Amethyst Release History Page.

As always, the official (pre-edge-release) version of Amethyst Professional is available on the Amethyst Download Page

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Amethyst and WebORB

by Huw Collingbourne
Keep up to date with the latest news
Friday 8 October 2010.

If you are interested in Flash and you are interested in .NET you are probably interested in the ongoing work to integrate SapphireSteel’s Flash IDE, Amethyst, with Midnight Coders’ integration/runtime server, WebORB for .NET.

Did you know that Midnight Coders have a free newsletter that will keep you up to date on all developments via email. The latest newsletter has been posted online, complete with Amethyst-related news. But the fastest and surest way to get the Midnight Coders newsletter is to subscribe and have it delivered into your inbox: http://www.themidnightcoders.com/company/newsletters.html

For background to the technology partnership between SapphireSteel Software and Midnight Coders, see: Midnight Coders and SapphireSteel Software Announce Partnership to Integrate Flash with .NET in Visual Studio.

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Amethyst 2nd Edge Release Available

by Huw Collingbourne
New features and improved VS2010 support
Monday 4 October 2010.

The second ’edge’ release of Amethyst is now available. Edge releases are interim builds between major ’point’ updates of the software. They incorporate new features and bug fixes in response to feedback from our users. They are intended to provide the fastest possible response to issues reported to us.

Note: Edge releases are not as fully tested as formal ’point-update’ builds and should be regarded as experimental.

This latest edge release enhances the features of Amethyst for Visual Studio 2010, bringing it to parity with Amethyst for VS 2008 (some features, such as SmartTags were not available in our initial release for VS2010 due to the significant re-coding needed to support Microsoft’s new WPF-based code editor).

Downloads and more information from the Amethyst Release History Page.

As always, the official (pre-edge-release) version of Amethyst Professional is available on the Amethyst Download Page

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ActionScript in Action - new column in FFD Mag

by Huw Collingbourne
And it’s free!
Friday 1 October 2010.

In this month’s Flash&Flex Developer’s (FFD) Magazine you will find the first in my new series of columns on programming ActionScript.

FFD Magazine is a really great resource for anyone involved in developing applications using ActionScript and Flash with our without the Flex framework.

In my new series, I plan to cover a range of topics which will be relevant to users of all levels of expertise at ActionScript coding. In this month’s article, I look inside that most misunderstood of ActionScript classes: Object. At first glance, it looks pretty simple. A second glance will show you that it’s more complicated than it appears. In ActionScript the base Object class may contain an associative array which is a sort of ’hash’ or ’dictionary’ - a potentially large data structure of key-value pairs. My article explains the pros and cons of associative arrays. And in next month’s article I’ll start work on a library of routines to make the processing of keys and values a whole lot easier.

The magazine this month has many other articles too including: The Sothink SWF Decompiler, Visualizing your Data with BIRT and Flash, Monetizing Your web Game and many others. FFD Mag is a high quality PDF publication. It’s free and you can download a copy here: http://ffdmag.com.

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Visual Studio ActionScript & MXML Editor in Amethyst

by Huw Collingbourne
New tutorial
Monday 27 September 2010.

I’ve just uploaded a short screencast to give a very quick overview of a few of the fundamental features of Amethyst’s editor for ActionScript and MXML

This is the latest in a series of videos providing help on using Amethyst. Others in the series include videos on debugging, IntelliSense, refactoring, snippets and the visual designer. Refer to the Amethyst Tutorials Index.

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Amethyst ’Edge’ release now available

by Huw Collingbourne
Latest build of our Flash Platform IDE
Thursday 23 September 2010.

SapphireSteel Software today launched the first post-launch ’edge’ release of Amethyst, the Flash Platform IDE for Visual Studio.

During the beta testing of Amethyst we regularly released ’edge’ builds between our major revisions in order to let us respond quickly to bug reports and feature requests from users. The first commercial release of Amethyst shipped at the end of August and we have decided to continue making edge releases between major ’point’ updates of the software.

Today’s edge release (Build 1.0.1.989 ) adds one major new feature - configurable profiles for projects shared with the Adobe Flash (CS4/CS5) IDE. This can be found under Project/Properties. If you wish to try it out you should start by importing an existing XML profile (exported from the Flash IDE). You can then set options such as Debug/No Debug or add conditional compilation directives in the Amethyst Properties page.

Note: Edge releases are not as fully tested as formal ’point-update’ builds and should be regarded as experimental.

Downloads and more information from the Amethyst Release History Page.

As always, the official (pre-edge-release) version of Amethyst Professional is available on the Amethyst Download Page

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New Ruby Code Colorscheme

by Huw Collingbourne
A walk on the dark side
Monday 20 September 2010.

We are pleased to bring you a user-submitted colour scheme. Thanks to Keith Gable for the WekeRoad Ink scheme for Ruby In Steel.

Keith tells us that his Ruby colors are based on WekeRoad Ink from http://studiostyles.info/schemes/wekeroad-ink with the font set to 10pt 9x18-ISO8859-1 (a port of the Linux/Unix font to Windows from http://www.ank.com.ar/fonts. The scheme is tested only with Ruby In Steel so there is no guarantee that it will look good with other languages such as C# or ActionScript, though the user can tailor the scheme to taste.

Note that Amethyst also comes with some color schemes which can be applied to ActionScript, MXML, C#, VB and Ruby. For more information on creating and editing color schemes see: Customize the Colours of the Ruby In Steel IDE and ActionScript Code Coloring.

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Code Navigation with Amethyst

by Huw Collingbourne
Class View, Object Browser, Navigation Bars, User Tasks and more...
Tuesday 7 September 2010.

Amethyst comes with a powerful set of tools to help you navigate your code and manage large and complex project. Our latest screencast provides a quick overview.

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Amethyst - One Week Later

by Huw Collingbourne
What people have been saying...
Saturday 4 September 2010.

It’s been less than one week since Amethyst was launched and we are pleased to say that it has generated quite a bit of interest.

The launch, and our announcement of a technology partnership with Midnight Coders, has been covered everywhere from Infoworld and InfoQ to some of the more influential technology Blogs, as well as international sites such as Le Monde Informatique. Flash and Flex Developer’s Magazine also has two in-depth articles on Amethyst in this month’s issue.

For a more comprehensive guide to the press coverage of Amethyst, see the SapphireSteel Software forum.

I was especially pleased to read very favourable comments from some prominent Adobe people. We’ve always felt that Amethyst is a natural complement to Adobe’s own software. It brings Adobe technologies - Flash, Flex and AIR - into Visual Studio: an important IDE which has been something of an Adobe-free zone up to now. Amethyst also works in conjunction with Adobe’s own software, allowing Flash developers to do timeline-based work in the Flash IDE, for example, while programmers can work on the same codebase using Amethyst’s advanced editing and debugging features.

Here are what two Adobe evangelists had to say about Amethyst this week...

"If you are a Visual Studio user, Amethyst may be exactly what you need to bridge the worlds of Flash and .NET. On a personal note, I’ve been in regular contact with the SapphireSteel folks as Amethyst has evolved. This project, especially the Amethyst Designer, was an enormous undertaking on their part. And so to Huw Collingbourne and the crew at SapphireSteel, congratulations on reaching this milestone, and thank you for this important contribution to the Flash and Flex world."
Ben Forta (Adobe Director of Platform Evangelism)
http://forta.com/blog/index.cfm/2010/8/31/SapphireSteel-Releases-Amethyst

"This is really great news for all the Visual Studio fans that want to do Flash/Flax development with their favorite IDE. Amethyst IDE brings really incredible feature set of Visual Studio to Flash/Flex world. I really love how it handles component AS3 in a separate file, I hope something similar was available out of the box with Flash Builder! Really, really incredible!"
Piotr Walczyszyn (Adobe Platform Evangelist)
http://www.riaspace.com/2010/09/amethyst-visual-studio-ide-for-the-flash-platform-released

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Amethyst Launch in FFD Magazine

by Huw Collingbourne
Lots of Amethyst information this month!
Tuesday 31 August 2010.

The issue of Flash & Flex Developer’s Magazine has two features on Amethyst this month.

SapphireSteel Software’s Amethyst, the Flash Platform IDE for Microsoft Visual Studio, was launched on the 30th of August. If you would like to know more about Amethyst, the September issues of Flash & Flex Developer’s Magazine is a great place to look.

This issue carries two in-depth features on Amethyst. The first of these, called Introducing Amethyst, provides an overview of the core features of Amethyst Professional such as: the visual Designer for Flex, IntelliSense, refactoring, code formatting, code browsing and debugging.

The second Amethyst feature is an interview (with yours truly) which goes into some of the background of Amethyst: how did we manage to integrated a Flex-based Designer into Visual Studio? Why would Microsoft developers want to use Flash instead of Silverlight? What is special about the Amethyst Cylon debugger? (and much more...)

The magazine comes as a free PDF download. Available from the FFD Magazine web site.

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