I love Linux and free (but cool) softwares. But running Linux as a pure environment for Flash development seem to be a mission impossible (at least to the time of this post). Although I have discovered many good alternative programs, the most needed Flash authoring tool – Flash CS4 is not available in Linux. And that prevents me from moving 100% from Windows to Ubuntu.
Here are the list of application choices in Ubuntu which comes from my own experiences that I think necessary for any Flash developers to work comfortably in Linux world:
Note on Linux alternatives
|01||Flash IDE or Fla authoring tool||Adobe Flash CS4||N/A||make do with Virtual Box + WinXP + Flash CS4 (cost a lot of RAM)|
|02||ActionScript editor||FlashDevelop (free and cool)||FDT Basic is free but lacks refactoring and debug tool (however it is comparable with current FD version)|
|03||Flex & MXML tool||Flex/Flash Builder||Eclipse + FDT plugin or Flex Builder 3 alpha||Currently, there is no tool comparable with Flash Builder in MXML design.|
Flex Builder in Linux doesn’t have MXML design either.
|04||Flash trace & debugging||Debugger in Flex Builder and Flash tracer in Firefox.||Flash tracer in FF and MAYBE debugger of FDT||I haven’t tried debugging with FDT.|
|05||Browsers and web debugging tools||Firefox + Firebug|
OR IE + Fiddler
|Firefox + Firebug||It is as ‘comfy’ and easy as in Wins|
|07||Personal web host for testing||IIS or Apache||Apache|
|08||VPN Client||Cisco Systems VPN Client||Built-in Network Manager + VPNC package||Very convenient VPN solution|
|09||Chat / IM||Yahoo, MSN||Pidgin|
Pidgin manages both of my Yahoo & MSN accounts.
|10||Voice conference||Skype||Skype for Linux||Not fully functional like Windows’ counterpart but it’s still the best voice chat application|
|12||SVN client||TortoiseSVN||RabbitVCS + RapidSVN||Inspired by TortoiseSVN, RabbitVCS is an integrated client working as shell commands in Ubuntu’s default file manger – Nautilus. By the time of this post, there’s still an issue with authentication so I need rapidSVN for first checkout.|
|13||Screen capture||Fastone Capture (free version)||Shutter||Shutter comes with a handy drawing tool for taking notes and marking. BTW, the Ubuntu default tool “Take Screenshot” really sucks.|
|14||Remote desktop viewer||Remote Desktop Connection OR VNC viewer||Terminal Server Client OR Remote Desktop Viewer||Terminal Server Client is totally comparable with Windows’ RDC|
|15||Office suite||Open Office or MS Office||Open Office|
|16||Image editing tool||Photoshop||GIMP||Honestly, there is no tool comparable with Photoshop. I can make do with GIMP in some simple tasks but for serious “business” (like my wedding photos :D) I’ll need Photoshop anyway.|
When I first moved to Ubuntu, I though I couldn’t do anything with it. But now I feel quite comfortable and “workable”. Though it still lacks some tools (like Live Writer which I’m using to post this blog) but thanks to its open environment, sooner or later, there’ll be good (and free) alternatives. (As I’m expecting ScribeFire to be sophisticated enough to replace Live Writer).
It’s high time we moved to Linux not only for the sake of free softwares but also because it has become mature enough.
Update: I have added some links to the softwares’ home page for easy reference. However, most of the Linux alternatives can be found in Ubuntu software center