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Debugging

The Debugger panel lets you monitor and modify the values of all the variables and properties in your movie as it plays. You can also examine the values of objects that hold data, such as instances of the Date or Sound objects. Use the Debugger to verify that Flash is manipulating the information in variables the way you want it to, and to test certain conditions or the effects of certain variables quickly. For example, imagine that you created an animation with the variable myVelocity controlling the speed of a spaceship. In the Debugger panel, you can modify the variable myVelocity as the movie plays, to see how it affects the motion of your spaceship. Increase or decrease the value of myVelocity until you are satisfied with the results.

The Debugger panel opens and is active in testing mode when you select Control > Debug Movie. Once open and active, the Debugger displays information in several separate parts: a Display list at the top left, Properties, Variables, and Watch lists below it, a Call stack window at the bottom left, and a Code view on the right (Figure 12.49). The Display list shows the root Timeline and the hierarchy of movie clips in that Timeline. You can select the root Timeline or the other movie clips to see the properties belonging to that particular Timeline or to see all the variables within that particular scope. The Code view lets you define breakpoints in your ActionScript so that you can step through the movie line by line to determine where and when some piece of interactivity in your movie is going awry. The call stack at the bottom left displays the names of your function calls as you step through the code.


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