Download (direct link):
3. Ask other people in the Flash community if they can reproduce this problem on different computers. If you don’t have a Flash friend handy on your instant messenger client, post your problem to one of Macromedia’s Flash newsgroups (listed at www.macromedia.com/ support/forums/) or a Flash user forum such as UltraShock.com. You can also share problems with other Flash MX 2004 ActionScript Bible readers at www.flashsupport.com.
Every once in a while your computer just needs to be rebooted. This just seems to be the way of things. If you are working on your Flash document and encountering unexplainable errors, try restarting the computer. Developers have spent countless hours trying to discern a problem in their code when the problem was merely that the computer needed to be restarted. It sounds simple. But sometimes simple is what works. So keep this in mind — especially when your movie works one moment and then stops working the next with no significant changes to the code.
If Flash crashes while you are authoring a Flash document, it's a good idea to reboot before
you resume working on your file.
Chapter 8 ¦ Error Handling and Debugging
You can find these and other resources described in the “Finding Help in the Flash Community" section, later in this chapter.
If you determine that there is an error with the software, you can report bugs or feature requests at www.iriacromedia.com/support/eiTiail/wishforiTi/.
Detecting Errors in the Flash Document
If the problem with your movie is not with the operating system, there could be a mistake in the Flash document (.fla file). You have published your movie, but it is not functioning the way you intended. Perhaps it is running inconsistently on your system or across several platforms or browsers. Maybe certain elements simply do not work at all. These types of problems are a large part of what will be covered in this chapter. But before you look to your code, there are several troubleshooting steps you can take.
1. Consider the history of building your production and the last point at which it worked correctly. You might want to save a new copy of the movie, and work backward by deleting elements and seeing whether certain older parts of your movie work on their own.
2. Verify that the problem happens in a new Flash document (FLA file). Test individual sections to see if they work by copying and pasting your problematic instances and code into a new Flash document. Your problem may lie in individual sections or perhaps with interactions between these and other parts of the movie. You can narrow down your problems by isolating your error.
3. Consider where you are testing your movie. As strange as it sounds, Flash movies can behave differently in the stand-alone player (or Test Movie mode) than they do in a Web browser. You may need to run your tests in the browser, or perhaps even live on a server. If you are working with several scenes, you can cut down on your troubleshooting requirements by testing individual scenes. You may also consider the earlier step at this point of copying a portion of your movie into a new file and testing it.
4. Check the player versions (including revisions) you are using with the Flash movie. It is also possible to have a different version running in the Test Movie environment within Flash than the Flash Player plug-in you have installed with your browser. Stand-alone players are frequently released at a different time than browser players, so you may find that you have to work with different versions. Regularly check Macromedia’s Web site for the latest versions of the Flash Player plug-in and stand-alone players.
Of course, many of the errors you will encounter and have to troubleshoot will concern ActionScript. Typos and instance or variable naming are two of the most common errors you will encounter. You will learn about how to find these errors and many more in your code in the next section.
Finding Errors in Your Application
After you have taken some time to review the steps mentioned in the preceding section, your movie still may not function properly. This section reviews common problems that occur as you author Flash documents.
It’s common that many of your Flash movies will not be perfect in the first version or draft of the Flash document. As you develop a movie, several problems can happen along the way.
188 Part II ¦ Laying the ActionScript Foundation
This section covers typical problems that occur during development. Walking through these steps may save you a lot of time during the troubleshooting process.
Troubleshooting a movie can often take as long as (or longer than!) the development and production process, particularly if you are working on several integrated Flash movies in a large project or if you are learning the tools or ActionScript features in Flash. However, even seasoned developers run up against common and/or simple errors along the way.
Errors that you will encounter in your Flash application can be categorized as two types: