3 Replies Latest reply on Sep 13, 2010 4:04 PM by Bob Stucky

    rants: Easier way of creating SWF panels with CS5?

    renderhjs2

      Last week I got a fairly advanced SWF panel in Photoshop CS4 running executing JSX scripts. But when I started to look into developing for CS5 everything changed and former SWF panels and their scripts do not work anymore in Photoshop CS5. And honestly I think there are way to many complicated little steps in the way to just get started. I am probably stuck on this for several weeks just to get a hello world demo running- and I am not sure If I want that. Getting the CS4 version running was a matter of 3 nights, even though back then the documentation was really hard to find and often incomplete.

       

      So upon studying the SDK and the tutorials that adobe provides I noticed a few annoying blockers in my way

      • Adobe Flash builder dictation, some things are very restrictive and shown only for just that IDE platform. My choice of scripting environment is FlashBuilder however for various reasons (free and coding speed are 2 of them). The documentations and Tutorials however hide many important steps that are going on in the background. If the compiler gets certain arguments I need to know that, same if some ANT scripts or alike deploy files to certain folders.
      • upon configuring my computer before scripting I had to change a windows registry key (HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Softwarea\Adobe\CSXS2Preferences, playerDebugMode = 1). However that key entry doesn't even exist to begin with on my Windows 7 computer even though Photoshop CS5, Extention Manager and ExtendScript Toolkit are present and installed.
      • I need a special SDK compiler instead of the latest FlexSDK, this makes things only more complicated and confusing. I have it now but to figure that out took a while, as this is completely different from how things used to work with CS4.
      • Everything is flex focused it would be nice if some tutorials could have a focus on pure AS3 as well, for those who don't like the Flex framework or GUI.
      • CS4 and CS5 (Photoshop) seem to be incompatible in the way one can deploy or create SWF panels, this is a major down for any developer that is interested in supporting booth applications. I happen to work in a environment where still a majority of people work with CS4. Also the CS4 documentation (Photoshop) for the SWF panels seem to have vanished, this makes this issue even worse.

       

      So what I want is:

      • The most minimalistic working example straight to the point just to get a SWF panel in Photoshop CS5 running executing some JSX script using eval for example. This is easy in CS4 but very restricted and complicated in CS5 .

       

      dropping a SWF file in the Photoshop/plugins/panel folder works but it resizes wrong (even though stage.scaleMode is set to noScale), and any CSXSInterface methods seem to be ignored (CSXSLibrary-2.0-sdk-3.4-public.swc used).

       

      I think I gave up for now on CS5, to restrictive, complex and incompatible with CS4 are my main complaints- I hope this gets through as some feedback - or maybe there is a answer on all my questions?

        • 1. Re: rants: Easier way of creating SWF panels with CS5?
          DavideBarranca Level 1

          Hello,

          one answer to your last question could be this cookbook, then as you probably already know there's the Photoshop panel developer's guide (the CS5 isn't that different from CS4...)

           

          As the #1 messy coder around (and not that much skilled), I understand your complaints. I'm focused on Photoshop only, and the panel guide for CS4  was more than enough. My learning curve with CS SDK is, to put it mildly, steep (since I've not really any previous experience with Flex - and I agree, using 3.4 SDK and not 4.0 may lead to some confusion), but I'm optimistically confident that CS SDK for CS6 will be far more usable.

           

          I find particularly annoying that to make life easier Adobe created CS Extension Builder, but to get it is nearly impossible (at least for me: I don't know if Gmail can't get thru Adobe mail server spam control, but in the last 4 months I wrote several emails to Roger Risdal, the "Partner Product and Business Developer Manager" in order to get info about the developer partnership required, and I got as the only answer a couple of out-of-office autoreply) Rumors say that Adobe's DevNet will undergo some robust changes (when, I don't know)  - I hope they will change their mind about the way Extension Builder will be (or not be) distributed.

           

          One last optimistic consideration is that the tools needed to deploy an extension (the ucf.jar for instance) and the general workflow (write the manifest.xml, pack everything with that java command line utility into a zip-like file, the .zxp, then write an .mxi to access features like auto-update and re-pack again into *another* .zxp) are far from having a good usability and being straightforward... so far that in my opinion the newer releases will surely be better than this one.

          That said, I understand that experienced developers are happily plunging into CS SDK while I'm having hard times keeping my head above waters, and I'm sure CS SDK will lead to a very interesting future.

           

          By the way, to drop the SWF in the panel's folder isn't a good idea if you want the extension to have the right dimensions (this is something I've learnt) - the manifest.xml is the right place.

          Ciao,

           

          Davide

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: rants: Easier way of creating SWF panels with CS5?
            Bob Stucky Adobe Employee

            Yes, Adobe people read most if not every forum post concerning the SDK.

             

            Most of the bullet points in your post are covered in this document:

             

            http://www.adobe.com/content/dam/Adobe/en/devnet/creativesuite/pdfs/CS_SDK_Guide.pdf

             

            As for the code itself, Ole wrote a fine cookbook entry on moving from PatchPanel to CS5 Extensions,

             

            http://cookbooks.adobe.com/post_Moving_from_PatchPanel_to_the_Creative_Suite_SDK-17403.htm l

             

            Rest assured that we reading your comments and will do everything we can to help you be successful.

             

            Regards

             

            Bob

            • 3. Re: rants: Easier way of creating SWF panels with CS5?
              Bob Stucky Adobe Employee

              Oh, and Davide's posting with the eval example is what you're looking for on that front.

               

              Bob