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Share Flash IDE (CS4, CS5 etc.) Profiles With Amethyst

Named build configurations for Flash projects

One of the neat things about Amethyst is that it can share named sets of properties for building and debugging projects with the Adobe Flash (CS3/4/5) IDE.

This is pretty simple to do. First create a project in the Flash IDE and tailor its properties in the File/Publish Settings Dialog. This creates a named profile. You can create additional profiles by clicking the buttons at the top right of the dialog. You can then export the selected profile as an XML file on disk. In the screenshot below, for example, you can see that I’ve created a profile called FlashIDERelease. Its exported XML file will be called FlashIDERelease.xml.

Now, in Amethyst I import the Flash project using the Project Importer. To do this select File, New, Amethyst Project Importer. Select Convert Flash IDE Project in original location and click Next. Browse to the top-level project folder – that’s the one containing the Flash IDE’s FLA file. Give your Amethyst project a name, then click Next and Finish. The project is now imported into Amethyst and can be shared with the Flash IDE.

Now let’s import the properties we saved earlier. In Amethyst, select Project/Properties and click the Flash IDE tab. Click Import Profile, browse to the XML file you saved (in my case that’s FlashIDERelease.xml) and click Open.

The profile is now imported and will be applied to the current Visual Studio Build configuration selected in the Configuration drop-down list of the Properties dialog. To make these settings active, click the Enable Profile checkbox.

The profile includes source and library paths and configuration constants (for conditional compilation) among other settings. Only the most common settings are listed in the Properties pages. If you want to tweak other settings you can do so either in the Flash IDE or by clicking Edit Profile XML in Amethyst to load the XML into an editing window.

The configuration which I saved does not permit debugging since the Permit Debugging checkbox was unchecked in the Flash IDE when the profile was exported. That’s OK since I have imported the profile into my Amethyst Release configuration which is not used when debugging. But let’s suppose I now want to create a Debug configuration which does permit debugging. To do that, I select the Debug build name in Amethyst’s Project Properties and enter a new name for the profile – here I’ve decided to call it: FlashIDEDebug. Now I just check the Permit Debugging option.

The end result is that I now have two Flash Profiles (FlashIDERelease and FlashIDEDebug) and two Amethyst Build configurations (Release and Debug). When I select the Amethyst Release configuration the FlashIDERelease profile is activated. When I select the Amethyst Debug configuration the FlashIDEDebug profile is activated.

Now, when I’m in Amethyst I can Press CTRL+F5 to run my application and F5 to debug it if the Debug build is selected in the Visual Studio toolbar. But when Release is selected, I can run but not debug since the active profile excludes debugging information.

In real life, of course, you might have several alternative builds, each of which could have many different settings applied. However, this short tutorial should give you a quick overview of how to use Amethyst with the Flash IDE in such a way that profile settings are shared between them.

This video provides more guidance:

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