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October 01, 2006

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.

Current Rating: 3.48 (23 votes) Rate It (1="Worst", 5="Best"): 1 2 3 4 5


Great work!
Very cool - I really like the clear function but when I hit it I wasn't receiving output until I reopened the sidebar
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
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.
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 :/
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
You can activate it in the View -> Sidebar -> FlashTracer
wow! kool stuff! grazie mille for all your work! tnx!
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 ;)
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!
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
Any chance this will work on Firefox on OSX? I read on the Firefox extension page that it's Windows only.
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.

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
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?

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