Written by Simon Bailey
I would say that the majority of Flash Platform developers have now used source control.
As a developer are you testing locally, committing to source control and finally manually deploying your SWF’s to staging and production environments?
Do you work on applications as part of a team?
Do you use Continuous Integration (CI) and automated builds?
My answer was yes to all of the above except unfortunately the CI process. As you may well know from my blog and on twitter I have a keen interest with Project Sprouts and recently have also looked at Buildr, particulary Dominic Graefen’s AS3 port: Buildr-as3.
Together with Dominic (share my pain) Graefen (thnx man), I have been determined to setup a CI server using Jenkins on an Amazon EC2 instance which compiles SWFs and runs FlexUnit tests, for example on commit to git.
This was not a straight forward task…in fact it was a Grade A pain in the ar$e but eventually (it would appear) I managed to refine the process down to achieve the goal. Below are the steps that I have taken to set up an EC2 micro-instance with Git, Jenkins, RVM, Ruby, VNC, standalone debugger Flash Player, Buildr-as3 and compile/run FlexUnit tests using a Flex 4 based example! I have setup and torn down at least 6 instances to test and remove surplus instructions so hopefully it’s as lean as possible.
I am sure there could be further refinements made and on one of my test server setups I found I had some odd output which I need to work out why and where?
*(gflashplayer:1490): GLib-GObject-WARNING **: instance of invalid non-instantiatable type `(null)’
(gflashplayer:1490): GLib-GObject-CRITICAL *: g_signal_handlers_disconnect_matched: assertion `G_TYPE_CHECK_INSTANCE (instance)’ failed
But the tests run and all is happy. Micro-instances and rvm/project builds are not fast and I found have a tendency to hang on the first run/install so perseverance is required, but once running, all seems sweet with the world. Any further tips or guidance would be most welcomed! Oh and if you want to see an example of using CI for your Flex/Flash project just take a peek at this super sweet example.
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