Author Archive: Randy Nielsen

Any ColdFusion developers out there who are new to Flex?

Hi all,
The documentation group is conducting a brief survey to learn more regarding how customers get information about using Flex. In particular, we’re studying how ColdFusion developers get started learning Flex. So, if you’re a ColdFusion developer who is new to Flex, we’d like your feedback. Please click the link below to take a brief survey on the following topic:

Creating data-driven applications in Flash Builder 4

Thanks in advance,

Get involved! Adobe Cookbook – Recipe Requests

This is from our old friend, Ed Sullivan.

The Adobe Cookbooks application is your one-stop shop for finding and sharing community generated code samples.  One of the great new features of the recently re-designed Cookbooks application is the recipe request feature. This lets users who cannot locate their desired code sample put out a request to other community members. Additionally, fellow community members can vote for specific requests so you can determine at a glance which requests are the most popular.

You can see a list of recipe requests on the home page for each of the supported technologies, (Currently, the Flex Cookbook has the most unanswered recipe requests.) You can also easily stay current on the request queue by subscribing to the uber RSS feed, or you can be notified of requests for specific technologies like Flex.

And while answering a recipe request won’t bring you fame and fortune, it will give you:

  • The opportunity to have the request you addressed featured in the Adobe Developer Connection
  • That warm fuzzy feeling you get from assisting your fellow developers
  • The potential to have your recipe included in an upcoming version of the O’Reilly Flex Cookbook
  • Visibility on via Adobe Cookbook contributor recognition features

And, for a limited time only, every person who addresses a recipe request will be sent a free copy of the Getting Started with Flex 3 Pocket Guide.  Just email Ed Sullivan with a link to the recipe request you plan on addressing and after you publish it, just sit back and wait for your book to arrive!

So if you know how to create a simple shopping cart with Flex 3, what are you waiting for?!

More about Flex 4 Beta 2 documentation and learning resources

NOTE: Flex 4 shipped on March 22, 2010. Click here to read a blog post that describes the documentation set. Also, I suggest that you bookmark the Flex Developer Center Documentation tab for quick access to all Flex Learning Resources.

Are you going to MAX 2009 in Los Angeles?

Hi everyone. Are you going to MAX this year?

The Adobe Learning Resources group is putting together some sessions (with snacks and drinks, of course) to get feedback on the new version of Community Help with an all new AIR interface and some exciting new features.

The sessions will be held at these times:

  • Monday 10/5/09 11:30 am – 1 pm
  • Tuesday 10/6/09 4:30 pm – 6 pm

Please contact if you think you can make either of these sessions at MAX and she’ll send you more details.


PS: Once again, I’ll be working as a TA in the Flex, ColdFusion, and LCDS lab-based courses, so please stop by and introduce yourself.

The Flex 3.4 ActionScript Language Reference is live

Today, the Flex SDK team pushed the 3.4 milestone build live and you can get it from the Flex 3 SDK Downloads page.

Note (updated 8/10/10): As of Flex 4, the most up-to-date Flex class documentation is available from the Platform Reference:

Did you know…

  • DataGrid is the most popular search term.
  • ArrayCollection is the second most popular Flex search term, although Array and XML are second and third, respectively.
  • UIComponent is the most viewed page.
  • DataGrid, AdvancedDataGrid, and ComboBox are the second, third, and fourth most viewed pages, respectively.
  • If you happen to land on a language reference page for an old version, you can use the version pod to navigate to the correct version. The version pod displays towards the top right of each page and you can hide it by clicking the right arrow icon.

In the weeks to come, I hope to write a series of posts that cover the kinds of things our group is doing to improve the overall experience with Adobe learning content.

We need help with a Flex and AIR documentation usability study

Hi all,
Our friends on the Flash Platform documentation team are looking for usability study participants in a Flex/AIR study. They are offering Amazon gift certificates as an incentive.

For more information, see


The Blueprint Eclipse plug-in is live on Adobe Labs (for Flex Builder 3 and Flash Builder 4)

I want to tell you about Blueprint, which we released on Adobe Labs last week and just last night updated to include support for Mac, Windows, Flex Builder 3, and Flash Builder 4.

Blueprint is an innovative code-centric search application, initially delivered as an Eclipse plug-in. It is a custom search tool that searches only for code (for now, it searches just for MXML and ActionScript). So, for example, if you search for DataGrid, it returns a set of code examples that use the Flex DataGrid control. But what’s really cool is that you can easily highlight, copy, and paste chunks of code right into your application, all without leaving Flex/Flash Builder.

For more information, see the Blueprint page on Adobe Labs

Documentation for the Flex 4 and Flash Builder 4 Beta Releases

Note: Flex 4 shipped on March 22, 2010.

The final version of the usage content is available at

The Platform Reference is available at ht

New Adobe Flex forums: tips and links

The Adobe user-to-user forums have switched over to a new underlying software system and there are a few new things to get used to. Here are some of the basics.

You should also read this post on Mylenium’s blog, which provides some additional tips and color commentary.

If you want to discuss the new forum software (rather than the Flex forum specifically), please do so using this forum, which was created for exactly this purpose.


new links and some navigation tricks

Each forum features an RSS feed. The web interface for the forum also sorts threads with recent activity to the top, and the titles are shown as bolder and darker for threads that have unread posts in them. You can navigate to the most recent post in a thread from the list of threads by clicking the “[some time] ago” text in the Last Post column.


disabling automatic flooding of your email inbox

Todd Kopriva answered a question about multiple email messages with a screenshot here.


forcing the forums to use the full width of the browser window

By default, the forum messages only take up a fixed, somewhat narrow part of the browser window. If you want to force the messages to take full advantage of the horizontal space available in a wide browser window, follow these instructions from forum host Andrew Yoole.


using the History navigation tools

If you spend a lot of time on several different forums, you might benefit from bookmarking this page: History page showing recently visited forums (If you haven’t visited any forums yet, or if you’re not signed in, that’s not going to be very useful.) This page gives you direct links to your favorite forums. Or, if you’re just on the Flex forums, then you could bookmark the main Flex page and use the subforum pod on the side.

Many thanks to Todd Kopriva for letting me crib his After Effects forums post.

ColdFusion 8 documentation is now running under Community Help

Hi everyone,
As most of you know, I also manage the ColdFusion documentation and I’m happy to announce that, as of this morning, the ColdFusion 8 HTML-format content (aka LiveDocs) now uses the Community Help commenting system. We first rolled out community help as a pilot project for Flex and then deployed it for all of the CS4 products last fall.

What does this mean?

  • The content under uses a different commenting system. (The original code name for the project was Ion, so you’ll sometimes hear people refer to this as “Ion commenting.”)
  • One difference: Comments display by default and inappropriate comments are moderated out. In the old system, comments were hidden by default and appropriate comments were moderated in.
  • Community Help is more than updated commenting:
    • You will also notice an enhanced ColdFusion Support page, now renamed to Help and Support.
    • When you search, we now use Community Search, which is a custom system than pulls in results from a predefined list of all the best ColdFusion resource inside and outside of Adobe. This is a process of continuous improvement, so if you see that we’re missing a site, just let me know (ranielse [at] adobe [dot] com).
    • Moderators include Adobe employees and external ColdFusion developers. As the system grows, I’m sure that we’ll be inviting more of you to be moderators.
    • We now assign points to helpful comments. Depending on whether you point out a typo or post a 100-line code example, we’ll asign you anywhere from 5 – 50 points. We haven’t quite figured out what to do with the points, but at some point, we’ll ask high-point achievers to join the moderators (and we’ll probably send out swag or something).
  • We don’t have a migration utility, so it’ll be at least a week before I’ve copied existing CF8 comments to the new system. Please be patient.

As always, comments are _not_ for ongoing, threaded Q&A, such as conversations about troubleshooting issues. In most cases, we’ll let these conversations stand, but in general, you’ll get better and faster results in the user-to-user forums.

For more information:

And, finally, there is currently a IE 6 bug in which a Server Communications error displays for pages that have no comments. I’m told that this will be fixed in the next iteration.

Randy Nielsen