I finally made the switch to FDT. My munificent employers stumped up the 599£‚ for the enterprise version which is a fairly substantial outgoing. Up till recently I have been doing all my AS editing in TextMate, which at $50 is considerably cheaper and in many ways rocks. I love it’s straight forward interface and customisable features.
TextMate is flexible. With a bit of help from some eager contributors from the TextMate community I had some really great additions to my workflow. You can publish swfs directly from the TextMate interface using the open source AS2 compiler MTASC (see this post) or Adobe’s free MXMLC compiler ( I haven’t managed to get it to work with the faster FCSH yet) along with integration with ANT build scripts for fast and easy multi-swf builds (see Simon Gregory’s blog for the AS3 bundle and the ANT bundle).
So what does FDT offer? Well as-you-type code checking, and cross referencing of your custom classes for one. Automatic organisation of imports is a massive time saver. Refactoring of classes, methods and properties is also something that is trivially easy in FDT. I seem to be spending a lot less time maintaining the boring stuff and more time concentrated on the ‘real’ bits of code.
I still miss a few things about textmate, being able to drag any project on to textmate and have it opened in a few seconds. Vertical text selection and editing. In the end the features of FDT are just too powerful to resist. For an Actionscript project, especially if you are working with frameworks or AS3 where there are many packages to remember it saves a lot of time.