Archive for March, 2010

Time Saver: Auto Indent

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Here’s how the new Auto Indent feature saves you time:

  • Indent on paste – Yes, copy and paste code from the web without having to fix indentation
  • Indent on newline – Based on the MXML tag or ActionScript block scope, indentation is inserted automatically
  • New language specific preferences – Under Flash Builder > Indentation: ActionScript and MXML
  • Tabs vs. Spaces – There’s been some confusion about this in the past. We don’t use the Eclipse general text editor preferences in Flash Builder 4. You can specify tabs, spaces and indentation width preferences in Flash Builder > Indentation

I know what you’re thinking, it’s not a full code formatter. I hear ya. I know that many users in the community have used the Flex Formatter plug-in http://flexformatter.sourceforge.net in Flex Builder 3. It’s worth taking a look at, though I haven’t exhaustively tested it with Flash Builder 4.

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Open ASDoc Language Reference in Browser

If you prefer to see help content in the browser instead of the Adobe Community Help application, do the following:
  1. Open Adobe Community Help
  2. Edit > Preferences
  3. Select “General Settings”
  4. Select “Open Help in browser”
Beware that this will affect all Adobe applications, not just Flash Builder.
Users of prior versions of Flex Builder are accustomed to opening the language reference in a browser. I should point out that for the Flex 4 SDK, available ASDoc content appears in code hints, tooltips and in the ASDoc view that appears in the default Flash perspective.
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Installing Plug-ins in Standalone

The standalone version of Flash Builder 4 doesn’t come with any Eclipse update sites by default (see http//bugs.adobe.com/jira/browse/FB-26149). To see the standard set available plug-ins for Eclipse 3.5 (Galileo), add this update site http://download.eclipse.org/releases/galileo/.

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Time Saver: Package Rename Refactoring

Feature: Package Rename Refactoring. In Package Explorer, use F2, “Rename…” in the Package Explorer context menu, or “Rename…” in the top-level File menu

Problem: In Flex Builder 3,
in order to refactor packages…well you couldn’t. You’d have to do this manually or use another tool. Ouch.

Solution: Implement package rename refactoring. Thanks, Scott!.

package rename.png

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Installing Subclipse in Flash Builder 4

Subclipse is one of the most frequently used plug-ins with Flash Builder. Here are some simple instructions for installing Subclipse and importing an existing project.

  1. Help > Install New Software…
  2. Add…
  3. Name=Subclipse, Location=http://subclipse.tigris.org/update_1.6.x
  4. Select the plug-ins shown in the screenshot below. Note: I’ve deselected a few plug-ins here in order to minimize plug-in dependencies that sometimes have issues resolving.

    subclipse1.png

  5. Finish the wizard. When prompted, restart Eclipse.
  6. On Mac, since JavaHL is not available, be sure to select SVNKit for your SVN interface
    1. Window > Preferences
    2. Team > SVN
    3. Change SVN Interface to SVNKit
  7. To import your projects from SVN
    1. File > Import…
    2. SVN > Checkout Projects from SVN
    3. Create or select a repository location
    4. Select your project root folder
    5. Finish
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Update Subclipse, Seriously

There’s a known data loss bug when using Subclipse and performing a package rename refactoring that includes subpackages https://bugs.adobe.com/jira/browse/FB-24990.

Please go to the Subclipse download page http://subclipse.tigris.org/servlets/ProjectProcess?pageID=p4wYuA or simply use this update site http://subclipse.tigris.org/update_1.6.x to get the latest version of Subclipse.

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Targeting Flash Player 10.1 Beta in Flash Builder 4

flash_player_beta.png

  1. Install the Flash Player 10.1 Beta http://labs.adobe.com/downloads/flashplayer10.html
  2. Install the debugger player from the same location
  3. Download playerglobal.swc http://download.macromedia.com/pub/labs/flashplayer10/flashplayer10_globalswc.zip
  4. Copy playerglobal.swc to the following folder …/Adobe Flash Builder
    4/sdks/4.0.0/frameworks/libs/player/10.1/playerglobal.swc
  5. In your project properties, under Adobe Flash Player options, select “Use a specific version” and choose 10.1.0.

To do this with SDK 3.x, replace the player/10/playerglobal.swc with the 10.1 version of the SWC. You may want to make a backup copy before you do this.

FYI: Because Flash Player 10.1 is still in beta, it is not included in the the Flash Builder 4 release.

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Flex 4 SDK and Flash Builder 4 on Adobe Forums

The Flex Forum at http://forums.adobe.com/community/flex/flex_general_discussion is a great place to ask Flex and Flash Builder questions. Community members and Adobe staff are there to help with your questions and issues.

Another good resource is the Flex bug database at https://bugs.adobe.com/flex. If you find a bug in the Flex SDK or Flash Builder, please file it. You can also find existing bugs and features to vote on for fixing in a future release

Twitter is one way of getting noticed, but it doesn’t fully substitute for threaded conversations in the forums or in our bug database for classification, triage, and resolution. It’s easier for us to reference a bug link than a tweet. It’s also surprisingly easy to miss a tweet and much harder to miss bugs in bug queue’s that get assigned to real people.

Thanks for your feedback!

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Snow Leopard, Cocoa and the 64-bit Problem

Let’s just get to the details:

Therefore, Snow Leopard users may see issues launching Flash Builder. To fix this, switch the default JVM to 32-bit http://kb2.adobe.com/cps/405/kb405284.html.

  1. Launch Applications > Utilities > Java Preferences
  2. Under Java Applications, drag and drop to re-order the Java versions so that a 32-bit version is the first one in the list

grab2.gif

If you have an account on our bug database, you can watch FB-15844 and be notified when the bug is fixed.
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Time Saver: Run to Line

run_to_line.png
With all the great new data-centric development features in Flash Builder 4, it’s easy to miss the quick time saving features. Especially the ones that we take for granted in other IDEs. One of my missions here on Flash Builder Tips is to highlight these simple, time saving features.

Feature: Run to Line, CTRL+R / CMD+R

Problem: In Flex Builder 3, in order to break on a line you would either have to set a new breakpoint on the desired line or, while suspended, step over lines until you reached the desired line. This was a bit annoying since many other IDEs for other runtimes support run to line.

Solution: Um…implement Run to Line. While suspended, set the cursor on the desired line and press CTRL+R / CMD+R.

Stay tuned for more tips like this one.

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