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Alessandro Crugnola on October 1, 2006 in firefox

My first Firefox extension! (FlashTracer)

Ok, it does nothing particular new, but it's my first one :)

What it does?
If you have a flash debug player version you will see in the firefox sidebar all the swf trace output while running any of the swf in a browser window.
I have to say thanks to jayjam (Giuseppe Montemurro) who talks about the mm.cfg file yesterday at the From A to Web Adobe conference. I'd never read about this cool feature of the debug players.. and so I decided to make it as firefox extension.
I took 1 hour to make the XUL and js files, while the .xpi package was driving me crazy!.. the documentation is really terrible for my point of view.

Download and install FlashTracer from the Firefox extension page.

UPDATE: A new flash tracer called fbtracer has been released. This new extension is integrated into Firebug. Read more here

P.S. If you're running the new 9,0,28 Flash plugin probably you noticed this extension wont work anymore. Adobe changed something and the plugin doesn't read as previously the mm.cfg file so I'm invetigating on it. In the meanwhile you should tell the extension to point to this file: C:\Documents and Settings\{user}\Application Data\Macromedia\Flash Player\Logs\flashlog.txt.
For mac osx it should be: username:Library:Preferences:Macromedia:Flash Player:Logs:flashlog.txt
Using this path the flash tracer works again.

For discussing about this extension please use the forum instead of the comments here :)


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Any plans upgrading it for FF 3.5.2? I REALLY miss this neat little plug-in. :.(
Hi, great extension, thanks. At some point it seemed that it stopped working - I suspected Firefox 3.5 or a new version of Flash player to be broken. It took me quite a long time to figure out that Flash player do not log messages to the text file while ANY AIR application is running. Hope this saves someone's time :-)
Hi, it seems that it doesn't works with FF 3.5, can you check it? Thanks for the great extension!
Yeah it really works with lastest Firefox. I just updated to FF 3.0.10 from FF 2 and still using 'FlashTracer'. The only thing u need the flashtracer from this site(v2.3.1). The plugin located in the FF plugin site is older one (v2.2.0) and is not supported to latest FF.
Hi Alessandro, I have FF 3.0.10 & tried installing Flash Tracer from It doesnt seem to work at. I have Flash Player 10 on my system. I have create flashlog.txt in both C:\Documents and Settings\rajeshk\Application Data\Adobe\Flash Player\Logs & C:\Documents and Settings\rajeshk\Application Data\Macromedia\Flash Player\Logs but still doesnt work. Btw I created these folders & put a blank file as they were not there.
I have a problem with cyrillic symbols. Can you fix it?
Actually FlashTracer 2.3.1 works on Firefox 3.0.7 for me.
Does somebody still has an older executeable of firefox where Flashtracer works on or helps me downgrade my current version (3.0.7) that don't allow FlashTracer! All ideas are appreciated, thx, seb
Has anyone noticed that this does not work with Flash Player 10? The instructions for fixing the tracer are obscure. What does "tell the extension to point to this file..." mean? How do I "tell the extension" to point to the file? When I go to tools>addons>flashTracer the options button is grayed out. Sephiroth can you please clarify these instructions? Thanks.
Thanks, and why don't you update the Mozilla with v2.3.1? Currently it shows v2.2.0, which is incompatible with Firefox 3. Danny
Would be SO great if you made this work for the new Firefox version :-)
Hi, thanks for the tracer, but since I installed the extension the back and forward buttons are gone. Any workaround to have them back? thanks in advanced
Help, I can't get Flash Tracer to work with Firefox 3. When upgrading from Firefox 2 it tells me that the add-in isn't compatible and disables it. I use Flash Tracer all the time and would like to be able to use it Firefox 3.
Thanks Elango I was wondering why mine wasnt working and it was because of the adobe air media player thing
You say.... "If you have a flash debug player version you will see in the firefox sidebar all the swf trace output while running any of the swf in a browser window." but thats not true. Because some online flashgames like could block some traces. With this method: >>>char.atta:undefined enemy:undefined typ:undefined
Hi, Tracer stops working when you have an AIR app running. Is there any way we can use Tracer when running AIR application in the background?
:(, :(, i try each and every thing regarding flash trace setting but :(, tell me one thing where should i create mm.cfg file plz plz plz help me out waiting for reply SAk.
Hey Alessandro, kudos on flash tracer I have used if for about a year now, but I wanted to inquire if it will support policy logs as well? With the latest security updates to the players since April 08 I've had a few apps silently fail due to the new policy files. But since they fail quietly it's hard to trouble shoot.
Hi all I experienced bugs with flash tracer: when there are too many trace lines in the output, the tracer freezes and causes mozilla to hang up :( Works well when just a few lines, but if the log file is bigger then 10-15 KB then it just freezes :(
I am a bit baffled by the comments which say that Flash Tracer does not work with AIR. I am sure that the posters are [were] experiencing real problems, but I'd like to state that I continue to get marvelous results from using this combination: Windows XP Firefox 3.x Flex SDK 3.1 Since I am concurrently working on both Flex and AIR deliverables, I just leave the Flash Tracer window open all day long and watch trace statement output no matter whether I am testing a Flex or an AIR app. So, the reason for my posting is to ask if you could consider making a small change. The output from a trace statement in Flex adds no extraneouse NL, but in AIR it does. Since the real estate of a desktop gets very cluttered with all the windows we have open, the additional CR\LF annoyance is one that I would be so happy to see go away! Thanks, as always, for your indispensible plug-ins.
Thanks for clearing that up dan. I was worried when Flash Tracer stopped working this morning (Due to running an AIR app in the background) :D
Hi again. And once again thanks for a fantastic plugin. I do have another question about something different in the FF3 version than the FF2 version: I'm using filters, and previously I had one rule for "--" and a different one for "---" and that worked in FF2. In FF3 everything is caught by the "--" filter no matter which order the filters are defined in the list. Is this something that can return to the way it was?
FYI Tracer stops working when you have an AIR app running. You get error#2044 As soon as you exit the AIR app tracer starts working again.
mac osx 10.5.4. installed latest debug flash player 9.0.124, firefox info panel says: "using /Users/myname/mm.cfg however this file does not exsist. No idea what I would need to put in this file...? will it work if I make this file or is there an issue with the latest security in FFox that cant be bypassed? Tried reading through all the above comments but it wasn't clear; made my own cfg file, but that didn't seem to fix the issue. the display stays fixed on the words 'using: ...cfg' and does not show any trace feedback - thanks, seb.
I have the same problem as Dave. I've tried installing the debug version for a few days now. I had to create a folder in my App Data/Macromedia folder and I see that the log text file is being created however, nothing is being written to it. Maybe, it needs to be in Adobe folder. Very frustrating fo sho
I'm getting increasingly frustrated that I can't get this plugin to work. I have several trace() calls in a simple MXML app I've written - I've surrounded these with graphic function calls, so I know the trace() calls are being made. However, nothing shows up in FlashTracer. I'm using the latest version of Firefox and the latest debug flash player. I have also ensured that flashlog.txt is in the correct location (...{user}\Application Data\...) as specified, as well as making sure that flex-config.xml isn't causing the trace() calls to be stripped from the compiled SWF ( Very frustrating indeed.. I don't know what to do to get this working =(
Forgot to mention this: In the settings tab, I can browse and select the flashlog.txt file. It is placed in the default. I have not changed it from "C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\Application Data\Macromedia\Flash Player\Logs". If I click on OK and come back to the settings tab, the Select output file textbox is still empty! It is not retaining any values that I enter.
Hi, If I open Flash tracer, I get the following message- "using: C:C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\mm.cfg". I have done all the configurations required regarding mm.cfg and flashlog.txt. I have the flash debug player. When I run my module with a trace statement, it appears in the flashlog.txt. I am unable to configure flash tracer. Please help me!!
It's already FF3 compatible
Do you plan to update flash tracer to be compatible with FF3
Thank You!
[quote]try just to install the .xpi file directly[\quote] that did the trick - thanks. Travis - I don't think you can choose the path, it's predetermined by flashplayer. Try: C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Roaming\Macromedia\Flash Player\Logs\flashlog.txt
For Travis: you can find the "settings" dialog by clicking the "preferences" button placed in the bottom right corner of the FlashTracer Window.
Ok, so I normally don't post comments, but I really need to use this plugin and am stuck on the install. From what I read it is going to be fantastic once I get installed... So here is info you might need. 1.) Using Vista + Firfox + FlashTracer 2.3.1 2.) Installed Flash Debug Version 3.) Create mm.cfg in my user folder (C:/Users/Travis/mm.cfg). 4.) Placed the following contents in that file... TraceOutPutFileName=C:/Users/Travis/flashlog.txt ErrorReportingEnable=1 TraceOutputFileEnable=1 MaxWarnings=100 5.) Created the flashlog.txt in my user directory... (C:/Users/Travis/flashlog.txt) blank file. 6.) Opened up browser, see the flashtracer, but it keeps telling me it can't find the flashlog.txt file. Here is the exact error.... using: C:\Users\Travis\mm.cfg flashlog.txt file does't exists. Open settings dialog first. So... what exactly does "Open settings dialog first" mean? I right click on the SWF and select "Settings" but not sure if that is what you mean. I can't seem to figure this out. Please reply as soon as you can. Thanks, Travis.
try just to install the .xpi file directly from instead of using the FF update feature
The updated FlashTracer xpi install fails on because of an invalid hash. Could you re-upload please? Thanks - Nils.
Can you put up old versions of the extension? V2.3.1 does not work in FF2. v2.1.5 was the last one that did. Thanks!
Great! UTF problem solved in update! Non-latin characters got the life )) Thanx for this update. Once again - this extension is a Gem ))
"max lines" is sweeeeet! thank you!
Thanks M8, Your a life saver.... I could not live with out it.... You Rock ....
Hi Alessandro, I have erased modified all attributes of the file etc. I can see the trace if I open the file but the extension still says that. Maybe u am using a dodgy flash debugger? Im using FP9 Debug. I have search for other FP9Debug but I can find only this one.
Use the filters ( see in the second tab of the preferences panel )
Great add-on! Would it be possible to add search capabilities or line numbers? I use the filter capability to find debug statements but if I want to see things above or below that line it is extremely difficult to find it once you remove the filter. Thank you!
try to check the file permissions of the "floashlog.txt" file.
Hi Im getting this error: [Exception... "Component returned failure code: 0x80520015 (NS_ERROR_FILE_ACCESS_DENIED) [nsIFileInputStream.init]" nsresult: "0x80520015 (NS_ERROR_FILE_ACCESS_DENIED)" location: "JS frame :: chrome://trace/content/main.js :: readfile :: line 337" data: no] I have updated from 2.3 t o2.3.1 and still happening. I use ff3 Please anyhelp? It was good when i was using it with ff2 :)
I have figured out why my flash tracer was not working! I was using a time tracking tool called Klok which is written in Air, this was where the rogue trace statements were coming was somehow conflicting with my trace statements from the browser - but not the IDE. Phew, welcome back flash tracer - it's good to see you! looks like i will have to go back to using notes in outlook to track my time tho.
I'm using Firefox 3.0. How do I point the FlashTracer utility to the flashlog.txt? The preferences button is grayed out. Thanks in advance.
I have downloaded the latest version, but instead of my flash traces i someone elses, e.g: duration: 5.752816666666667; height: 241.6183 duration: 5.7694922222222225; height: 242.31867333333335 duration: 5.786171944444445; height: 243.01922166666668 any ideas?
I just downloaded it and am excited to test it. I really hope I can solve my problem with it.
Updated version 2.3.1 with the unicode fix and the maximum lines feature. you can find it:
Flash tracer is a fantastic tool and one that I have come to rely upon - i installed firefox 3 and quickly decided it was rubbish and uninstalled it and put firefox 2 back on my system. Since then flash tracer has stopped working, I have cleared my registry of all traces of firefox and reinstalled but it won't work. I have pointed it to the correct flashlog.txt file - which used to work, is there something i am missing?
thanks so much for the quick update for firefox 3, excellent tool!
Thanks, I'll try to investigate on the memory issue.
I'll also add the "max lines" options as you requested.
About the multiple tabs is impossible because every instance of flash just writes on the same .txt file.
I love the Flash tracer and wish I found it a long time ago!
    Some of the few problems I'm having:
  • When the trace instances are too numerous my browser (FF2) will lock up. This seems to happen fairly easily. Is there a way to limit the number of traces or have it clear itself when it gets to a certain amount?
  • Could it be possible to have a unique trace window for each tab in FF? I am getting trace messages from AIR apps as well in the browser window.
Thanks! Erik
hey, great work. one thing which is annoying is that when the log gets really long with a lot of traces, flashtracer almost always crashes firefox or at least makes it non-responsive so that only force-quit helps... my suggestion is to add an option to "auto-clear" the log after a specified number of traces / lines. do you think this could be a feature in one of the next versions of flash tracer?
One unpleasant thing since FLashTracer is updated - incorrect appearance of russian (And, I think other non-latin) characters. Default charset is utf-8. Log file appears is OK, but FT output is not. Is there any solution, or is it a bug?
Thank you for your great plug-in. But the new one(version 2.2.0)shows garbage character in Japanese(UTF-8). Like this: 実行しました in Windows and Macintoh. Before I upgraded to 2.2.0, no problems occurred.
I'm eagerly awaiting the FF3 version too. I'm actually holding off on installing FF3 at work JUST for this plugin! :D I have a comment/question about performance though: It seems that with a swf running in the browser and a lot of traces, the flash player gets kinda choppy and slow to respond after a long time of playing and a ton of traces. Hitting "clear" doesn't seem to help but reloading the page (i.e. restarting the flash player) does help. Is there a way to address this? Maybe a *clear* function that purges not just the trace panel, but also the output file and/or memory used by the plugin?
Flash tracer, which has been my savior for the past 1.5 years, updated itself today and stopped working ever since. I tried all kinds of tricks but failed. I have helped numerous developers to set up Flash Tracer during the time I benefit from it and every time it works like a charm... Not this time though... I can get traces in Flash Tracer if I am debugging inside Flash IDE, nothing if I have a Flash website open in Firefox. So I guess it might be a sandbox issue? I am on Mac OS X version 10.4.11, Firefox version If that makes a difference. My log file is saved at /Users/{user name with no weird characters} /Library/Preferences/Macromedia/Flash Player/Logs/flashlog.txt. I have mm.cfg file saved at /Users/{user name with no weird characters} /Library/Application\ Support/Macromedia/mm.cfg as well as /Users/{user name with no weird characters}/mm.cfg . Thanks Alessandro, for saving my life millions of times. Please don't give up.
Yes, I will update my plugins soon! :)
hi, i just downloaded firefox 3 final. hope you will update the firefox plugins soon! great work by the way. if mozilla is down take this one
In my case the issue is because of russian folder name for {user}. I have renamed profile to 'admin' and changed registry entries to match this new path, after that everything started to work. Russian charset is cp1251. I think that plugin converts it into unicode and then can't find log by this url.
I was not getting any updates until I created the configuration file myself. If you are having trouble with this you can go to to check it out.
In my case {user} in this path is in russian and it seems that extension doesn't work with unicode.
C:\Documents and Settings\{user}\Application Data\Macromedia\Flash Player\Logs\flashlog.txt

Will wait for further releases.
All my FF extensions can be found here: Currently both FlashTracer and Flash Switcher supports FF 3 beta 5, as soon as ubuntu will release the next update of Firefox I will also update those extenions.
Is there an answer to the question asked sometime back concerning how/where to download your FF 3 version? FF 3 is now a solid RC and I would like to be able to have my favorite FlashTracer AND the newer browser, but I can only find links to 2.1.5.
Hi Alessandro ! Thanks for this great extension, very useful. Is there a way to get/export the filters settings to use it in team development ? I searched about but don't find any file :-(
Can't modify Warnings settings - every time I access the Options page it resets to 100
Thanks for fixing the permissions issue.
Is there a way to exclude a line from displaying using patterns ? I have a trace filling the window which I would like to filter out. I tried using pattern like "!(keyword)" without success. Using v 2.2.0 with FF3b5.

First, thanks for the extension: one of the most useful ever - in fact one of the best reasons to stick with FF (as a Mac user)!

One problem: I understand that the Mozilla add-ons site is not the friendliest developer environment, but it does have a couple of advantages

  • it's a central location for new users to find your stuff (and hence your amazing work on Aviary if they follow the associated links to your site)
  • it bypasses the issue of xpi secure updates
  • (the kicker) I don't get a 403 error telling me i don't have permission to download the xpi!

I realise that it's aggravating to have to republish your work every time they push out a new beta when in fact it's usually nothing more than a one-character change to the compatibility variable, but if you published instructions on how to edit the manifest manually I'm sure people would be happy to do so and save you the trouble until they *finally* release v3 officially. I also realise that there are a variety of other solutions (xray, thunderbolt, etc) out there, but frankly Flash Tracer is my favourite for simply seeing what I need to see at runtime.

Many thanks again though - I can't tell you how much you've helped in the past :)

Great ! What is the URL to this new release ? The update doesn't seems to work? Thanks.
I've just updated it also for Firefox 3 beta 5. Now the refresh interval is faster and also white spaces should be ok.
You're right, I've to check that extension. I'm quite busy at the moment, but I will asap
Me here again. I'm echoing what others said in that tabs and newlines are ignored. Why is that? It's screwing me up pretty bad, and I can't find an old version to roll back to. Please do fix soon!
The filters in the new flash tracer seem to have a bug. I'm having no issue setting up regexs for strings containing a hash or an @, but trying to do the same using a colon not only doesn't work, but it causes all the other colored filters not to work either. I'm using the basic regex .*:.* I've also tried escaping the colon (even though I shouldn't have to) to no avail. The filters are really awesome, but please fix this issue as its the main thing I want to filter!
Hi. Since the update, the settings aren't being saved. So when I uncheck "show warnings", it doesn't have an effect, and when I reopen the settings panel, the box remains checked. Thanks though for an invaluable tool.
Hey, Since the update , i can't find a button for WORDWRAP. And i think i remember the tracer didn't ignore whitespace, i thought i remembered seeing tabs and indents. Would be great if you could place those features in again. Thx a thousand.
Hi, I want a small addon to resize the tab in firefox that is to "fit the tab with title" as in tabmix plus. (i donot like tabmixplus. i want toly this feature) Kindly help with an addon
Since last update (2.1.5) flashtracer seems to update the output panel pretty slow. When I hit a button inside flash it seems to take 1-2 seconds, until the trace output appears in the panel. Do you have an idea?
im getting the same error when trying to update to 2.1.5-- Firefox could install the file at because: Invalid file hash (possible download corruption) -261 this is a great tool - would be nice to get the proper update - cheers!
When I try to update flash tracer to v.2.1.4 in my firefox Same here on osx FF
Hi, When I try to update flash tracer to v.2.1.4 in my firefox I get an error message stating there is an invalid hash with the download. My setup: Ubuntu 7.10 64-bit. Any idea what is wrong? Thanks!
This 'almost' 2orks in firefox 3 beta, but the shortcut ALT+A doesn't work. Can you fix that for the next version ? For mac users who can't change the settings (ie. turn off warnings) restart firefox after changing.
I ran into a problem with installation on WinXP, and ended up with an unusual fix: I followed the steps to create the flashlog.txt and mm.cfg file. My flashlog.txt file was filling with traces, but the flashtracer panel was empty. I had a "home" environment variable set because I use cygwin... the path was "/home/username" which is meaningful to cygwin but is not a windows-style path. I changed the path to "C:\Program Files\cygwin\home\username" and now flashtracer shows output. Perhaps flashtracer shouldn't use that var on Windows? Or perhaps it should be a config option for the addon?
Whenever I click OK to update my options (e.g., after setting the log location to C:\Documents and Settings\\Macromedia\Flash Player\Logs\flashlog.txt) I receive the error below. Does anyone have a fix for this?

[Exception... "Component returned failure code: 0x80004005 (NS_ERROR_FAILURE) [ns1Properties.get]" nsresult: "0x80004005 (NS_ERROR_FAILURE)" location: "JS frame :: chrome//trace/content/tracer.js :: getMMFile :: line 329" data:no]
Whenever I click OK to update the options (e.g., after entering the path to my log file) I receive the message below. Any guidance would be appreciated.

[Exception... "Component returned failure code: 0x80004005 (NS_ERROR_FAILURE) [ns1Properties.get]" nsresult: "0x80004005 (NS_ERROR_FAILURE)" location: "JS frame :: chrome//trace/content/tracer.js :: getMMFile :: line 329" data:no]
Bjoern, I was having the same problem. It seemd that a space was somehow added on to the end of the filename in my path designation. I removed it, restarted firefox, and voila! FlashTracer now works. whew.
Why flashtraces ignores whitespaces? i can't use \t or multiple spaces. trace(" yo haha"); have this output in flash tracer: yo haha OR trace("\t\t\tTest"); Test The flashtracer is a great tool, but this sucks because my debug output isn't formated like in the flash IDE. is there any config to change this behavior?? thx alot in advance
Did you try to restart Firefox after setting up Flashtracer ? Tomorrow I will try to send you a screen capture of my settings.
Strange behaviour on Mac. Have the latest Versions:

Flash Debug Player 9.0.r115

My Path for output file is, as instructed:
Macintosh HD:Users:BGR:Library:Preferences:Macromedia:Flash Player:Logs:flashlog.txt

No, error message in Flashtrace but nevertheless no traces shown in the Sidepanel.

Looked in the log folder. Flashlog.txt was created and filled by the player. But flashtracer also creates a flashlog.txt. With nothing in it. Exact the same name and suffix in the same Logs folder.

So Flash Player traces in the first flashlog and flashtracer trys to read from the empty file.

Any ideas? I have two accounts, one admin and mine.

I definitly need your tool because its really great!!!

Hi orgicus, did you change the path correctly like I said 2 comments before yours ? For me its working ok. (Replace "username" by your home folder name)
Hi, I've installed Flash Tracer on Firefox and I'm using Flash Player on a MAC. I've used the Flash Tracer before on Firefox, on PC and a slightly older version of the Flash Player this summer and I had no problems. Now I don't see my taces in the Flash Tracer, I tried to change the path for the log and I ran into this: [Exception... "Component returned failure code: 0x80520012 (NS_ERROR_FILE_NOT_FOUND) [nsILocalFile.lastModifiedTime]" nsresult: "0x80520012 (NS_ERROR_FILE_NOT_FOUND)" location: "JS frame :: chrome://trace/content/tracer.js :: readfile :: line 168" data: no] I've read the posts above and changed the path to the file to the default one and I still get the error. At least now I see the log file updated :) Is there a way to see the traces in the panel, not in the log file ? Thanks
Hi, first of all - thanks a lot for your wonderful extension! But sometimes the flash tracer ( Mac OS X ) swallow traces. I've play around with your script and found out, that the reason for this is the modification condition! You've checked for lastModificationTime but this seems not to be enough with OS X. There for I change it and check it now over the fileSize and it seems to work perfect :) I've also changes the timeout values. So now the interval runs every 100ms if changes happens and otherwise the interval time is set to 500. Please let me now if you need the changes.... THX and best regards netTrek
Please change the path to the log file to : Macintosh HD:Users:username:Library:Preferences:Macromedia:Flash Player:Logs:flashlog.txt
I have the same problems (mac intel), [Exception... "Component returned failure code: 0x80520012 (NS_ERROR_FILE_NOT_FOUND) [nsILocalFile.lastModifiedTime]" nsresult: "0x80520012 (NS_ERROR_FILE_NOT_FOUND)" location: "JS frame :: chrome://trace/content/tracer.js :: readfile :: line 168" data: no]
Hi, the flash tracer don't work with my browser, I don't understand, I've followed all instructions !
Thanks Alessandro for your great tool. I struggled a little to make it work with flash player 9.0.47 debug but I found a solution on: in a post by muriel that I reproduce below: 1. creating a mm.cfg file in C:\Documents and Settings\ with the following content: TraceOutPutFileName=C:\Documents and Settings\\Application Data\Macromedia\Flash Player\Logs\flashlog.txt ErrorReportingEnable=0 TraceOutputFileEnable=1 MaxWarnings=0 2. manually create an empty flashlog.txt in C:\Documents and Settings\muriel\Application Data\Macromedia\Flash Player\Logs I would be good to indicate also in you r P.S. to create the mm.cfg file with appropriate content if it does not exist. Thanks again.
Dear Mac users,
I found the solution, obviously, the path was not good, here is a good path. Please adapt it with your username :
Macintosh HD:Users:username:Library:Preferences:Macromedia:Flash Player:Logs:flashlog.txt
Is it a still working add-on?! I have firefox and flash debug 9,0,47,0, but the output is just blank for all my swf file. Please help, thanx!
I am also having the same problem as Francois on my Intel Based Macbook. I have the thing working fine on my PC at the office and would love to have it working on my PC. If I open the flashlog.txt file, the traces are working properly, and where I could use a -tail from the terminal, I much prefer the Flash Tracer. Any ideas as to why I only see [Exception... "Component returned failure code: 0x80520012 (NS_ERROR_FILE_NOT_FOUND) [nsILocalFile.lastModifiedTime]" nsresult: "0x80520012 (NS_ERROR_FILE_NOT_FOUND)" location: "JS frame :: chrome://trace/content/tracer.js :: readfile :: line 168" data: no] When I use it? Would love to get this working on my macbook! Thanks!
I love your extension, it's a god send. At work on G5 Firefox 2.005 it works like a charm. At home, power book pro Firefox 2.006, on the other hand, I'm getting this error message as soon as your extension starts: [Exception... "Component returned failure code: 0x80520012 (NS_ERROR_FILE_NOT_FOUND) [nsILocalFile.lastModifiedTime]" nsresult: "0x80520012 (NS_ERROR_FILE_NOT_FOUND)" location: "JS frame :: chrome://trace/content/tracer.js :: readfile :: line 168" data: no] Do you have any idea of what's going on? Thanks
Superb plugin - very useful and I'll recommend it to anyone who needs to use similar. However, I concur that there is a memory leak - and quite a serious one - at least on Firefox The memory gradually creeps up whilst not doing anything at all (which, I would guess, was checking for updates to the text file?) and when updates are done the memory creeps up quite seriously - even a meg or so every couple of seconds! If I can help with being more specific let me know. Thanks, will still be using it!
You can see the source of all the Firefox plugins you've installed. Just browse to the plugins directory and watch at the plugins code.
Can you post the source? I'll like to see how it works. Thanks.
Right, this extension rocks! Thanks!
Thanks Omar (June 5 2007) That worked for me
my comment before: sorry, i've found the option.
How to change the font size of the output panel? It's unreadable small (ff 2.0.4 os x)
Hi, I would like to to use the flash tracer. I dowload the plugin and the flash debug. I create a empty files: C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Macromedia\Flash Player\logs\flashlog.txt and gave the right path in options of flash tracer And I have this message when I open the swf file in Firefox [Exception... "Component returned failure code: 0x80520012 (NS_ERROR_FILE_NOT_FOUND) [nsILocalFile.lastModifiedTime]" nsresult: "0x80520012 (NS_ERROR_FILE_NOT_FOUND)" location: "JS frame :: chrome://trace/content/tracer.js :: readfile :: line 168" data: no] I dont khow really what do to. Thanks
One thing i hope you implement is having it placeable in the status bar. So it can sit down there along with firebug =)
Hi, This extension has been a godsend to me. I use it every 60 seconds or so, all day long! I have one feature request: it would be great if the panel stayed scrolled to the bottom. Then, as traces were added, you could see them in real time. Perhaps this could be an option? Thanks, Jim Kremens
Hi, I cannot make my flash tracer works because with a swf with depuration allowed the player inside the browser ask me for the machine for depuration, I have choice localhost but nothing and If I put my local Ip, ask me again and again... Thanks for the answer
I all, if someone has a problem to view the trace log in the panel, i found this workaround to fix the problem: find the mm.cfg file in OSX - MacHD:Library:Application Support:Macromedia:mm.cfg Windows XP - C:\Documents and Settings\username\mm.cfg Windows 2000 - C:\mm.cfg Linux - home/username/mm.cfg open it and remove this line: TraceOutputFileName=MacHD:Users:username:Desktop:flashlog.txt or the same for different OS.
I've noticed it doesn't display latin1 characters (����������).
(see comments two up) I've reinstalled Firefox but this extension still doesn't work. Anybody?
Is there going to be a unix/linux version?
Hi there, I love this add-on (on my Mac). I keep trying to intstall it on my PC (xp pro sp 2/Firefox but after I restart, Flash Tracer does not show up in my sidebar options. If I click on the Flash Tracer options under Add-ons nothing happens and the window freezes. I've done this about a half dozen times. Any ideas? Thank you.
I tried using the above method of changing the log file path to "C:\Documents and Settings\{user}\Application Data\Macromedia\Flash Player\Logs\flashlog.txt" and the file is being written to; however, the data is not being sent back out to the firefox flashtracer window. Thanks for any help you may be able to provide and for building such a helpful tool!
I have windows XP pro, Firefox 2.0.03, Flash player debug version 9,0,45,0, and i have changed in flash tracer addon the route to C:\Documents and Settings\*-user-*\Application Data\Macromedia\Flash Player\Logs\flashlog.txt, and i'm not able to make it work, I've tryed in my 3 pc's, so i don't know what i'm doing workg. Thanks in advance
Windows Vista Flash Player Firefox Had to do 2 things to get it to work. 1- change the path to C:\Users\{UserName}\AppData\Roaming\Macromedia\Flash Player\Logs\flashlog.txt (the "AppData" folder is not a visible folder in Vista. In order to see this folder and files you must Click the "Start" button on the taskbar >> Click Control Panel >> Click Folder Options >> Click the View tab >> Select "Show hidden files and folders". This will allow you to see the folder and select the file) 2- Change the type to UTF-8
Quick question, when you say "Configure Extension to point to ..../flashlog.txt" do you mean the output or something else? If you mean something else, how do you configure that option.
well, it seems mozilla removed my extensions because I haven't updated after the release of Firefox 2.0! damn.. Anyway I'm updating it right now (just added a couple of ui things like floating window option). I haven't tested on OSX yet. If you wanna try download from here: flashtracer_2.0.0.xpi
Help! I was kinda addicted to your plugin, but the URL where it used to be ends up at a 'add-on not found' page right now!
first of all kudos to u r superb work! I use Flash Debug version 9,0,28, Firefox 2 on Windows 2003 and 2000. It works ok on my 2003 machine (after using the XP patch technique)but not on my 2000 machine .. is there anything that can be done about this ??
mmhhh you're right about the current sacrifice, but what about a new window instead of a new tab?
I have a suggestion for this if it is not already in the works. It would be greatly appreciated by this developer if you could pop-out the Flash Trace view much like how the Live HTTP Headers extension works. Currently in order to see a good readable portion of the traces coming in, you have to sacrifice a good portion of the rest of the browser. In some cases you might want to monitor simultaneously what is being traced and manifesting in the swf. Thanks, jwopitz
It does not work after I've updated to Firefox My destination link is: C:\Documents and Settings\[USERNAME]\Application Data\Macromedia\Flash Player\Logs\flashlog.txt Why it happens?
Thanks very much, this is very helpful.
finaly i got it working with the 9.0.28 debug version. i'm pretty sure it will make my working day a lot easyer ;) what helped me was changing the flashlog.txt path as metioned by JabbyPanda ... and changing the format to utf8 !! my textpad was configured like that i guess.....
Hi DammedUserName, Please create an empty flashlog.txt file at C:\Documents and Settings\[username]\Application Data\Macromedia\Flash Player\Logs folder as well More info: ps Dear Alessandro, thanks for your response, I should read this post more carefully before asking questions :) BTW, your ImageCube component at the left side of this page produces *a lot* of debug trace messages that are happily now displayed by your Flash Tracer plugin :)
PLEASE help me!! i want that cool plugin too! i cant get it work?! i installed the debug version 9,0,28 on fireFox 2,0,0,1. i changed the logfile path. i had no Logs folder there, i created on. but no trace output jet?!! i installed your cool plugin switcher. are these versions debug plugins too? they dont work either. please help me !!!!! same problem as Bernardo Kuri ....
I keep getting this error when configuring your extension under Firefox v2.0.0.1: [Exception... "Component returned failure code: 0x80004005 (NS_ERROR_FAILURE) [nsILocalFile.create]" nsresult: "0x80004005 (NS_ERROR_FAILURE)" location: "JS frame :: chrome://trace/content/settings.js :: saveConfig :: line 149" data: no] What can one do to fix this? I've tried deleting the flashlog.txt file before I click on "OK", but that doesn't work. Thanks!
The location of the flashlog has changhed, but the flashtracer works fine also with 9,0,28.. Please read the Post Scriptum of this post to see the location
With the release of Flash 9.0.28 debug player your extension does not seem to be working anymore I am currently searching harshly for Flash 9.0.16 Debug player online...
gr8 work... i was frustrated by opening the text file to view trace in text file
The new flash player version doesn't allow to select where to place the log file, so read the post P.S. and be sure to use that path in the flashtracer options.
Hi, since installing firefox 2 the tracer is no longer working, I have debug 9 player installed, any suggetions? This is a fantastic plugin, thanks for doing a great job.
I can't seem to get it to work. I am certain I have the correct version of the Flash Player installed, but I don't see any trace statements in the Flash Tracer panel. Any ideas?
izam, yes FP 9.0.28 does break the plugin because the security fix that even made that release necessary was what made the plugin work in the first place! If you want to revert to the old player, check out the C:\Program Files\Adobe\Flex Builder 2\Player\debug directory of your Flex Builder installation (assuming you have it installed and at that path) to get the old player.
I'm quite sure you have a big memory leak in your extension! I'm using Firefox and memory goes up like anything if I activate your plugin and do heavy tracing. FlashTracer everything's fine.
Hmm my system does not have the flashlog.txt file. Is there something I need to turn on first to get this to work? Thanks
Has broken this plugin by Andrew Muller , Nov 16, 2006 Alessandro, worked fine until I updated to debug player. Anyone else have the same issue??
From the 9,0,18r60 version something has changed in the way the flash player write the debug. I can see it write it into "C:\Documents and Settings\user\Application Data\Macromedia\Flash Player\Logs\flashlog.txt", but I cannot find any reference to this file anywhere.. In the meanwhile you can set the path to that file in the FlashTracer options
Hi all, Thanks for this, but has anybody manage to make it work in a Intel Mac? In my powerpc it works fine. There is an intel version for the debugger and I can see the mm.cfg file but the player does not seem to touch the file at all. Meanwhile I am here programming with my MacBook and debugging with a PowerBook.
I fear they changed something in the way the player read the mm.cfg file or something else.
Hi Alessandro, Great work, however the extension doesn't work with the public .28 (fullscreen) release, like as you noted in the .18 release.
Hi Very good job & usefull ! But it doesn't work with the last flash player version (9.0.28). I can't debbug it. Anyone have an idea plz ? Thx a lot Bye_
I noticed that the last flash player 9,0 r18d60 the debug informations are not written to the flashlog file
I also have the following info set:

TraceOutPutFileName=C:\Documents and Settings\esturdivant\flashlog.txt

with the flash 9 debug player installed. No information is ever seen in the FlashTracer sidebar or output file. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.
Hi, I'm having trouble using this extension, and I would really like to, it seams to be really useful. I have Flash debug player, I've installed the extension, I can see it in the sidebar, but it is empty. My mm.cfg file looks like this:


In the FleshTracer Options i tried to set the Select Output File to: C:\temp\flashlog.txt (although it was suspicious that the button label is Save, and it asked me if I want to override it, so maybe this is not what I was thinking it was , the file from where the extension takes the content). My sidebar is blank (except for the header and footer), no traces are displayed. The C:\temp\flashlog.txt has all the trace texts.

Could you please help me? I couldn't find any setup/install instructions.

An example of chinese site with trace enabled? in the Plugin options, which encoding have you selected?
First thanks for you the best work! I'm chinese,and it couldn't support trace chinese , how i can do it
This works nicely for me on OSX. I had trouble installing the debug player. There were 2 admin accounts, mine and the company's. Had to have it install it with the first account, then everything was fine.
Mac version of this please! :-)
Hi, Does it work with Debug Flash Player that comes with Flex Builder 2 ? (9.0f18d60). I think this is the only one debug version of player for OSX (Intel).
Try to look into your mm.cfg file (under user directory) and look at it's content. trace must be enabled
Hi there! thanks for the extension, however I can't make it work :( I've got the Flash Player 9.0.16 debug version (I have a Debug item in the right-click menu). I don't see anything traced, and nothing is shown on the log file neither. Am I missing something? I even tried publishing my movie with "remote debugging" enabled, without luck. Thanks a lot! :)
Fantastic job Alessandro. This is as big to SEPY as far as workflow imo. Thanks again.
Bello ma purtroppo non vedo un ca*** in my Flash Tracer window (ff and V9 debug player). I have a mm.cfg and the trace messages are appearing in flashlog.txt ok. Does Flash Tracer only work if you set TraceOutputFileEnable=0 in mm.cfg?
Just to add the chorus of requests for a Mac-compatible version: I've got it installed on my Win box and it's flippin' sweet! Thanks a lot for (yet more) amazing work
yes indeed. the next update will have also a "lock position" checkbox. Thank you all again for all the suggestions :)
Is it possible to have the lastest trace at the top of the window? Or could you have the window update, (anchored) so you can always see the most recent output?
Great tool, Thank you
Mac OS X compatible version...? Great work!
I noticed that Flash Tracer catches even the traces from movies running in IE. Let Flash tracer running and open a flash page in IE to see what I mean. Is this a feature? :)
Hi. Wonderful job. Thank you. A few idea:
  • the Display warning doesn't work for me, if I turn it off, then doesn't trace anything at all
  • a word wrap checkbox would be great
  • search in traces
  • filter in traces, ( usually I trace like this:
    "[] - method() :: Message"
    So if I can filter out like only with traces begin with "[]", to receive only traces from that class, that would be great improvement.)
  • for me, the background of the sidebar is not white, which makes readability worst. maybe if it can be set from a config file. the font too, a monospace font can be better.
Thank you, and keep on doing.
afterthought from Greg WyGonik is also a great tool that use the MM.cfg file (.NET framework required) :
Great tool, something we were expecting for a long time, especialy when working with server side technology. Now if you want to avoid other people to see your debug when it is online, just check 'Omit trace actions' in the publish settings :))
I don't think there is a universal mac debug player yet. There is a PPC v8 debug player and instructions on how to implement something similar using the terminal here: Also out the options for setting MaxWarnings=0; in mm.cfg to allow for more trace messages
I would love to see this in OS X as well. You should be able to grab the Mac debugger from here:

FP9 has it's own link. FP8 can be found in the "Macromedia Flash Player 8 Update for Macintosh" ZIP.
Thank you all for the suggestions :) An update version has just been released, with suggested fixes and the possibility to show also the runtime warnings. Now I will test also on my OSX. But does anyone know where to find the debug player for osx?
Probably it worth noting that user must point FlashTracer (via its browse dialog) exactly to flashlog.txt and not any other file to make it work. The usual location of this file on Windows systems is: C:\Documents and Settings\[username]\flashlog.txt
good job!

newer thought about using the debugversion of the flashplayer outside the flash ide. its horrorfying me how many webdevelopers (including myself) simply forgot to remove their trace statements from the public .swf's.

thanx for making me think about that security issue indirectly.

Any chance this will work on Firefox on OSX? I read on the Firefox extension page that it's Windows only.
When I hit the 'clear' button, it seems to take a while, before the trace statements are showing up, again. Otherwise, it's working with a flash 8 movie in the 9.0.16 debug player. :) S
thank you, it was so obvious that I'm ashamed now... This tool already helped me find a hard-to-find bug in an upload script!
this is such a useful tool. Us developers will need to be careful that we remove all trace messages when apps are finished now that such a tool exists ;)
wow! kool stuff! grazie mille for all your work! tnx!
You can activate it in the View -> Sidebar -> FlashTracer
Hi Alessandro, this is a great idea! Unfortunately I can't test it because (altrough I installed the debug version of the flash player and your extension shows in my extensions window) I can't see where I can activate the extension. It doesn't show in the Tools menu or in the context ual right-click menu. Maybe I missed something? Thank you! Emi
I'm not sure about the debug versions that show "view redraw areas" in the left-click menu: with my flash player 9 (not debug version) that option was visibile but the extension wasn't working because it wasn't the debug version...I could remember a wrong thing...but I remember this particular :/
Thank you for the suggestions. I've an updated version in progress which let you to show also players warnings and which creates the log file automatically. I will also put your suggestion in the firefox extension page.
Notes to other newbies and developers about the FlashTracer extension for Firefox.
  • I believe one can verify that the debug version of Flash player 9 has been successfully installed by ALT-clicking (left-clicking for right-handers) some Flash content. The debug version adds "View redraw areas" to the shortcut window displayed by Flash player.
  • What would be helpful is a demo "trace" .swf file that we less savvy users can use to validate that the FlashTrace extension is working. That is to day that normal Flash content does not seem to display any trace'd information...(?)

By the way, my use of the "Preview" function to preview this post evidently triggered a "please wait before posting" interlock. I hadn't posted, only previewed, yet now I can't post this until I wait...
Cheers & thanks, Ric SFO
Very cool - I really like the clear function but when I hit it I wasn't receiving output until I reopened the sidebar
Great work!

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