Flex 3 Beta 2 Documentation Improvements

Today, we released Flex 3 Beta 2 on Adobe Labs. We’re all very proud of this release and I’d like to take a minute to describe some of the improvements that have been made to the learning resources:

  • The Flex 3 Getting Started Experience, which is fully integrated with the Flex Builder 3 Start Page, provides a series of modules designed to help new users dive into Flex. With the aid of Inquiriuum, an Instructional Design firm, we put a lot of effort into this and the improvements include:
    • Code, code, and more code – Each module displays all the code involved, all modules are available in a ZIP file, suitable for importing into Flex Builder, and certain modules are displayed in Code Anatomy format (Code Anatomy is an innovative Flex application, written by NJ, and enhanced by our friends at Trilemetry).
    • Step-by-step tutorials – Show you how to create the applications in Flex Builder.
    • Learn more links – If you’re not a sequential learner, we provide links to all sorts of related material, include Adobe Training, LiveDocs, Quick-Starts, Blog postings, and chapters from O’Reilly books.
    • Finally, it’s on online, wiki-based experience – By using a wiki, we’ll be able to make continuous improvements and to respond quickly to your feedback.
  • LiveDocs pages now use the CS3 format and they load much faster. Yeah!
  • Runnable code examples in LiveDocs pages now include the running SWF. This looks much cooler than it sounds. To see what I mean, click on the SWF at the bottom of http://livedocs.adobe.com/labs/flex3/html/createeffects_14.html.
  • Flex 3 documentation is now in the Flex Builder Help system. The Help system also include AIR for Flex documentation and quick-starts. As usually, you can link from the Help system to LiveDocs.
  • Items that you might find particularly interesting include:
    • Create application from database – In Flex Builder, select Data > Create Application from Database, and follow the wizard to automatically generate a CRUD application that accesses one of your existing databases. For instructions, see http://livedocs.adobe.com/labs/flex3/html/data_03.html. (Please ignore the %embedded% lines. After all, this _is_ a Beta release…)
    • OLAP – Flex SDK now supports OLAP through the OLAPDataGrid control. Check it out!
    • Profiler – People have been anxiously awaiting the profiler. The documentation is part of Using Flex Builder.

Useful links

Bugs and known issues

The Eclipse 3.3 online Help engine requires XHTML-compliant HTML and it throws a servlet error when it encounters and offending page. If you run into this, please file a bug in the public bugbase.

10 Responses to Flex 3 Beta 2 Documentation Improvements

  1. superabe says:

    I installed the FlexBuilder 3 beta (Eclipse Plugin) and I see docs missing for some chart related topics. LineSeries and ColumnSeries are missing their reference pages. Other Chart pages seem to be there

  2. matt horn says:

    This issue is due to a doc bug that was not fixed before the Beta 2 release. The doc bug is described here: http://bugs.adobe.com/jira/browse/FLEXDOCS-151The gist of the bug is that several classes are not showing up in the language reference. The problem was caused by an included JavaScript file.The workaround is to use the Flex 3 LiveDocs pages for reference info on those classes (chart series, chart effects, and an advanced datagrid class). For example, for LineSeries, the livedocs page is:http://livedocs.adobe.com/labs/flex/3/langref/mx/charts/series/LineSeries.htmlIf you have FireFox, you can change the help viewer in Eclipse (Window > Preferences > Help) and use your browser as your help viewer.hth,matt hornflex docs

  3. The new documentation is great improvement but there appears to be a lot of detail missing or incomplete. I can’t find the link to the zip file for the download and there is no documentation on the web service introspection for .Net

  4. The link is at the bottom of the posting under Useful Links. It is http://download.macromedia.com/pub/labs/air/air_b2_docs_flex_100107.zipThe docs on Web Services introspection are still in progress, but you can find beta docs at http://livedocs.adobe.com/labs/flex3/html/data_13.html#151327.Regards,Randy NielsenFlex Documentation Manager

  5. Q Axyf says:

    Having been an early supporter of Flex2 – one thing that I’ve noticed is that the quality of solutions to the Flex2 framework issues diminished seriously in the last few months. If last year a question would quickly have people offering you at least workarounds technical limitations, lately that turned into indifference. On yahoo flexcoders I can see almost daily important issues beeing raised and no responses at all. Meanwhile bell & whistles occupy much time. Flex 3 and new features are nice but to people that made a commitement to deliver enterprise Flex2 application tommorow – fixing Flex2 first is much more important.

  6. Randy Nielsen says:

    You have an interesting point. My experience is that Adobe’s Flex developers have been pretty responsive on the FlexCoders Yahoo group. But I’ll bet you’re right and that their participation has slowed in the last few months. I see this as a natural part of the product development process, though: During crunch time, something has to give. In this case, time spent participating in FlexCoders goes down as Flex 3 development time goes up.I know that in past releases, I’ve had to minimize time spent on LiveDocs comments in order to get the docs done in time, so I know what they’re going through.That said, it hurts to leave questions unanswered. I wonder if there’s a way to view unanswered postings in Yahoo Groups.-Randy

  7. Muzak says:

    I’d like to see some info added about using ASDoc with FlexBuilder.FlexBuilder (actually Eclipse) has a built-in mechanism called External Tools which allows one to add Configurations.Would be nice to see this explained in the flex docs.

  8. Randy Nielsen says:

    I’m sorry to say that FlexBuilder has no built-in support for ASDoc, which is why it isn’t explained in the Flex docs. Or are you saying that one should be able to create an external tool configuration to run the ASDoc utility?

  9. Muzak says:

    Yes it does, that’s why I ask to add it to the docs.External Tools is a built-in mechanism that allows you to setup configurations much like Run/Debug does for compiling a Flex Project.I’ve taken some screenshots to show the process. This only takes a few minutes to configure after which you can execute the saved configuration from the External Tools menu:http://muzakdeezign.com/flex2/external_tools/external_tools_config.jpghttp://muzakdeezign.com/flex2/external_tools/external_tools_location.jpghttp://muzakdeezign.com/flex2/external_tools/external_tools_directory.jpgI assume most people use ASDoc through ANT or through a bash (.bat) file. Nothing against that 😉 except that there’s alot of people out there not familiar with ANT and/or the command line (eg people coming from a Flash background rather than a Java etc.. background).

  10. Muzak says:

    I’ve created an enhancement request here:http://bugs.adobe.com/jira/browse/FLEXDOCS-306