Speed. Flash developers want it… BAD! Being held back during coding by an IDE feels like a physical impairment. It’s also one of those ‘html vs flash’ kinda discussions within our own subscene of flash devs when talking about Flash Develop versus FDT. It’s .Net versus Java. It’s Windows versus Mac.
Well, enough about that. They’re different tools each with their own benefits and downsides. It’s up to you (or your team) to choose which one best suits your needs. I like FDT since it’s the most complete toolset for developing ActionScript projects and I’m kinda in love with it. She’s like my private butler, taking care of all the dumb stuff I don’t want to be bothered with. It’s therefor my weapon of choice. But still, the butler sometimes feels a bit slow. It’s probably because of the big of toolboxes she need to carry around and because she’s tired because she’s working for me continuously (yep, that’s the automatic building).
So what can you do to improve the speed of FDT?
- Use SWC-files instead of loose class files where possible. FDT needs less resources to build them, since it doesn’t need to read the inner workings of your methods.
- Increase the memory that is assigned to Eclipse. Click here to find out how to do so.
- Disable ‘build-automatically’. This is an option under ‘project’ in the menubar. I don’t recommend doing this unless FDT has gotten really slow. For instance, refactoring might result in buggy behaviour if the project isn’t build before performing refactoring actions. Still, automatic building is what makes FDT great, but it’s also the thing that uses the largest part of your resources.
- Place a SSD drive in your computer or create a RAM disk and put FDT on it. This will result in an enormous gain in speed.
- Danger: the following action will reset all your FDT settings, but you will regain a whole lot of speed! Close FDT and after that delete the hidden ‘.metadata’ folder from your workspace folder. This will remove all your workspace settings. When you restart FDT, this settings folder will be regenerated with default settings. That kinda sucks, so I’ve sent a feature request to Powerflasher to have a ‘clean workspace’ function in FDT. Anyway, deleting this folder will give you back a blazing fast FDT.
Finally, you can change your launch preferences, to get faster building: