Flash Development Tool

Peter recently introduced me to the Flash Development Tool (FDT), an upcoming commercial plugin for Eclipse from the team at Powerflasher that looks very promising indeed.

Carlo Blatz from Powerflasher was kind enough to invite me to the Beta for FDT and I can't wait to test it out for myself.

FDT looks to be modelled on the excellent JDT (Java Development Tool) that ships with Eclipse, providing the same ease of use for Flash projects. It looks like it will be directly competing with the open-source ASDT (ActionScript Development Tool) and Macromedia's upcoming Zorn product. From the demos, it appears that FDT Is currently a much more mature tool than ASDT and, no doubt, will result in the ASDT team redoubling their efforts. Competition is a good thing :)

Eclipse is, without a doubt, the environment in which much Flash development will be carried out in the coming weeks and months and this is a good thing. For Flash development, I see eclipse-based plugins complementing the Flash IDE as the Flash IDE evolves to embrace (or re-embrace) design, animation, mobile development and (hopefully) game development and providing a total solution for RIA development in the form of Zorn (and the currently existing, mature, but unfortunately fundamentally flawed and definitely not future-proofed Laszlo/Laszlo IDE.) It will also be interesting to see the Eclipse-based tools take on the Visual Studio-based tools in the coming year.

One thing I know is that, as developers on the Flash Platform, we have a wider range of tools today than we have ever had and, with new tools emerging every day, we are, quite frankly, spoiled for choice. I love it!