Stuff to click on

Tuesday, March 6

360flex - Flex Builder Secrets

presented by ">David Zuckerman

There were some audio difficulties during this preso, so hopefully I caught everything correctly!

Some of the items they are working on for the new version are "find all references", "refactoring" and "language intelligence".

Some tips and tricks that you might not know about Flex Builder:

Importing types
  • When using code insight, if you accept a suggestion the "import" statement will be added to the document.
  • This also works when you type through and complete a tag.
  • In addition, when adding event listeners and other functions tag insight will prompt all relevant actions.

Context and braces
  • bracket highlighting in code to help you find matching braces. Great for nested statements
  • Ctrl(Apple)-Shift-P will jump the cursor to the closing bracket!
  • When an opening brace is typed, a closing brace is automatically inserted on the following line.

Keyboard shortcuts
  • Ctrl(Apple)-Shift-T "open type" list of all types used and available in your current project.
  • Ctrl(Apple)-mouse click on any identifier will jump you to the file & location where it is declared.
  • Ctrl(Apple)-O search for declaration to jump to a location in your code

Tags are automatically closed when the ">" character is typed. Line breaks are created only if appropriate (i.e. mx:String is closed on the same line).

Script blocks are automatically populated with a closing tag and the appropriate CDATA information for AS.

Integrated help
  • Apple-? or Ctrl-1 opens help tag to the side with information relevant to the cursor location.
  • Additional clicks causes the help screen to update. Will show the selected object and any containers.
  • Shift-F2 will open full help window for selected object.
  • Hover over an object for additional information, data type hinting, return type of function, etc.

  • Ctrl-Shift-D (or Source, Add ASDoc)
  • Introspects and adds documentation (comment) block with parameter information

Ctrl-Shift-O removes any unneeded import statements from the current scope.

Versioning and check in
  • Checks in every time you save
  • right click on file and view local history to view file changes
  • can roll back files from local history
  • In Prefs, Workspace, Local history you can set parms for what info to keep

Hacking Flex Builder - do this at your own risk and be careful. Backups are good. The help desk will not help you if you break FB2 with this. Hacks might not work in future versions.

Code coloring
  • settings in an XML file
  • backup your jar
  • open in WinZip (no Mac process)
  • edit colors.xml
  • key values should be fairly self explanatory
  • some may exist but be no-op's (i.e. identifiers)
  • "Sort of" works in FB3/Moxie but the file location is changing

David's mom is in the FB2 credits because she baked them cookies and sent them from Michigan. :)

Graphical Property Inspector (GPI)
  • in design mode, there is a GUI property inspector
  • three main sections: common, style, and size
  • built from XML file so if you create a custom component you can create a GPI for it :)
  • Also works with built in controls, if there is something you use frequently. Cool!

What do you call a fish with no eyes? Fsh. (Crickets chirping...) Hahaa...

Any time a JAR file is changed you need to restart for changes to take effect.

Extending Flex Builder in Java - OK I am gonna try to hang in there for the Java stuff. ;) Looks like I am needing to learn me some Java goodness on top of Flash goodness. My brain is getting full.

FB2 is built on Eclipse so it is extendable. You can add actions to the FB editor. (I am pretty sure I messed up something in this process so please don't take my notes as gospel for this section!
  • create extension point
  • add needed FB IDs
  • change the Eclipse class to trigger

The precursor to FB2 was code named Monk. It was scrapped when the team decided to move to the Eclipse platform. The original was written in C++!

Code model projects allow you to find the parse tree for a given file and access language indices. Supports block level scoping which is at odds with AS3.

One of the FB directors used to be a fairly well know techno DJ in Detroit.

Good information and demos... will definitely need to make myself a cheat sheet with the keyboard shortcuts as these are things I regularly do "the long way". :)

1 comment: said...


can you tell me where is the location of the colors.xml file? i'm using FB 3 with SDK 3.4 in eclipse ganymede.