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Flash 8: The Missing Manual by E. A. Vander Veer

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The Art of Debugging

Imagine, for an instant, that your animation isn't behaving the way you think it should. Testing it on the Stage or in Flash Player and then eyeballing the results, as described in the previous section, is a good place to start tracking down the problem.

But if you've added ActionScript to your animation, chances are you need more firepower. You need to be able to step through your animation frame by frame and examine the inner workings of your ActionScript code—the variables, instance names, function calls, and so on—to help you figure out what's wrong.

You need the Flash debugger, shown in Figure 13-11. Unfortunately, unless you're familiar with ActionScript, much of the information the debugger displays isn't helpful. But even if you're new to ActionScript, the debugging tools you see in this section will give your bug-fixing skills a boost.

Because the Flash debugger shows you a combination of ActionScript code and the Flash object model, its usefulness in debugging your animations is directly proportional to your knowledge of these two things.

Oh, what a difference a faster connection speed makes! Here, every last one of the frames in the animation appears below the red line that Flash has drawn at 10.9 KB, meaning that audiences running T1 connections don't have to wait one split second for the animation to download and begin playing.

Figure 13-10. Oh, what a difference a faster connection speed makes! Here, every last one of the frames in the animation appears below the red line that Flash has drawn at 10.9 KB, meaning that audiences running T1 connections don't have to wait one split second for the animation to download and begin playing.

For example, ...

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