Debugging remote Flash / SWF applications

Anyone who has done any flash/flex work knows that it can be a bit capricious when it comes to running locally in the IDE vs. remotely on the server. There are some remote debuggers that you can use (explained next), but there is also a simpler strategy that allows you to see all the trace() and error messages that SWF is outputting without that. I found this tutorial which started me on the path, but it’s outdated and what it describes no longer works for newer Flash players. However, after some more searching I came across a page on Adobe’s site that explains how to do it. Basically, Adobe simplified the configuration. The log file path is fixed, depending on your OS. Once it’s set up, you can actually see any SWF’s output to the file!

In terms of remote debuggers, there are several:

  • Monster Debugger: They seemed almost more interested in pushing their game to demonstrate the debugger, than the debugger itself. It’s an AIR app, so you’ll need to have that installed to give it a try.
  • OFD (Open Flash Debugger): Not sure about this, but I include it here.
  • Flash Develop IDE: An open-source IDE hat also sports a debugger.
  • Flashbug: If you use FireFox, you can use the Flashbug add-on, like firebug for JS.