Flex Builder trace() issues

I’m having a few issues with Flex Builder and Sephiroth’s FlashTracer Firefox extension at the moment. The first issue is that the Design view in Flex actually traces things like:

-> Begin call to AS: getGlobalPoint(Canvas1,-1,-1)
<- End call to AS: getGlobalPoint, Result = 494,409 -> Begin call to AS: showConstraints(false)
<- End call to AS: showConstraints, Result = null -> Begin call to AS: getGlobalPoint(Canvas1,-1,-1)

Which can clutter up the FlashTracer console. Not only that, it also causes the FlashTracer to choke on the number of lines it is displaying which in turn causes Firefox to crash. Not an ideal way to debug an application.

I set out to remedy my problem this morning. And I managed to stumble across a Java version offering the same functionality as FlashTracer. Flash Tracer (imaginatively named ;-) can be found at it’s Google Code home. As I’m running the Firefox extension in it’s own window, this fits well with my work flow at the moment. So the fact that it’s not integrated into Firefox doesn’t matter for me so much.

Does anyone have any tips for getting Flex Builder to stop its incessant chitter chatter of trace outputs?

Still related to the flashlog.txt file, I’m completely baffled as to why running an Air application locks the log file and stops any other process from writing to it. So when debugging, be sure to close down all your Air apps. Very handy, certainly aids with my workflow when I’m trying to create things in Flash. Thanks Adobe. And I’ve logged a wishlist request and asked a few questions using the usual channels so will hopefully receive a good reason for the file being locked (I’m assuming it’s not just for kicks).

I just realised that the latest version of the Firefox plugin is only 2.2.0 yet on Sephiroth’s page there’s a 2.3.1 version. I’ll install that and see if it resolves the crashing issues).

UPDATE: I just came across SOS Max via Wezside’s blog Ahhh, you’ve gotta love Google! The SOS Max debugger looks very good and I think it probably trumps both FlashTracer and Flash Tracer.

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13 comments on “Flex Builder trace() issues
  1. Joeflash says:

    > Does anyone have any tips for getting Flex Builder to stop its incessant chitter chatter of trace outputs?

    1. Don’t use any trace statements in your code.
    2. Do a release build.

  2. I was asking for ways to stop Flex Builder itself (the design view mostly) from spitting out hundreds of trace statements. Obviously I’m aware that not using trace statements in my code will stop any log lines appearing. And a release build still outputs trace statements, care to elaborate on how this disables trace statements?

  3. I’m now back using FlashTracer from Sephiroth as it can limit the number of lines displayed from the log to 100. Before it would just accumulate lines until the browser crashed. Also, the other java Flash Tracer wouldn’t remember to the path to flashlog.txt which was a bit of a pain to write in everytime.

  4. wezside says:

    @Jason
    If you can change the location of the standalone Flash Player Flex Builder use for launching, just point it to the normal player as oppose to the debug player. That gets rid of the traces in Eclipse FDT.

  5. @wezside – just to be clear, I’m talking about the traces that occur from within Flex Builder when using the Design view. Any ideas about how to change the standalone player that Flex Builder is using…?

  6. wezside says:

    @Jason
    I don’t use FlexBuilder but a quick search and I found this link which I think is what you are looking for: http://www.morearty.com/blog/2006/05/08/how-flex-builder-launches-the-flash-player/

  7. @wezside – I think we’re still on different pages on this one. I’m talking about not even leaving Flex Builder, but going from source view to design view within it. Upon doing this, the SOSMax logging window goes crazy with a whole bunch of Flex Builder generated traces.

  8. Lori Hutchek says:

    Hi Jason,

    Did you ever find a solution to this? The traces have been driving me crazy too!

    Thanks,
    Lori-

  9. @Lori – nope, best I can do is try and stay out of the design mode. It’s only when you go in there for the first time that all the trace madness starts!

  10. Monkey says:

    Hi Guys! Great to hear that u are using (or at least have tried once) Flash Tracer (http://code.google.com/p/flash-tracer/). I have published new version of it today and it has some new cool features that you might love! Please try that and don’t hesitate to write me if you want some new feature or a bug fixed. I promise to react fast.

    Here’s what was added
    * Automatically creates mm.cfg file
    * Automatically detects flashlog.txt file location
    * Comma separated filtering for multiple keywords support added
    * Allows to set max limit of bytes loaded from the end of flashlog.txt
    * bugfixes
    * Minimum requirement is now Java 1.5

  11. Mick says:

    Hi Jason,

    I had those problems even in source view. But you can turn that off in the created mm.cfg file: TraceOutputFileEnable=0

    Cheers Mick

  12. Hi Mick,

    If make that variable 0, I won’t be able to see any traces…?

  13. Mick says:

    Hi Jason,

    for me that’s not the case … but I test my movies in firefox, so it seems not to affect the flashplayer itself.

    Mick

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