Flash Builder Burrito Quick Tips

Wow, Adobe MAX 2010 is just wrapping up and it has been quite a blur. I gave my tips and tricks talk yesterday and it was well received. Thanks to everyone who came.

Don’t forget to give the brand new Flash Builder Burrito Preview Release a try. Download it here http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/flashbuilder_burrito. Don’t forget to read all the intro articles too. There’s lots of coverage of the new developer productivity features as well as the mobile features in Flex Hero.

Once I catch a breath, I’ll go in-depth on the new features in Burrito. For now, here are some quick tips for you early adopters.

  • Override/Implement Methods (Source > Override/Implement Methods)
    Quickly generate stub functions
  • Quick Fixes (CTRL+1 windows or CMD+1 mac)
    • Create a local variable or field
      • “doesNotExist = <expression>” creates “var doesNotExist:<return type of expression> = <expression>”
      • “new SomeClass()” creates “var SomeClass2:SomeClass = new SomeClass()”
    • Create a method
      • “(<setter> =)? doesNotExist(<expr1>, …, <exprN>)” creates “function doesNotExist(var1:<return type of expr1>, …, varN:<return type of exprN>):<return type of setter or void>”
    • Covert a local variable to a field
      • “var foo:String” creates “private var foo:String” and removes the local declaration
  • Metadata code hints
    • Add a metadata.xml to your own SWCs for custom metadata hinting. Look at the SDK version of this file in your FB install: <install location>/sdks/4.5.0/frameworks/metadata.xml
  • Code templates (Preferences > Flash Builder > Editors > Code Templates)
    • Take a look at the existing templates as examples for creating your own. Experiment with linked positions (tabbing through parameterized parts of the template).

In my day-to-day workflow working on the Flex Hero mobile components and mobile theme, quick fixes and override/implement methods have made a huge improvement in my productivity. You really have to try it out for yourself.

At my session, I found that there are still a lot of people that don’t know about “CMD+3/CTRL+3”. It’s like a search engine for commands in Flash Builder and Eclipse. It’s a great way to keep your hands on the keyboard instead of reaching for your mouse.

I also found that the audience didn’t know about camel case code hinting. For example, with the code hints popup open, you can type “ADGHHS” instead of “AdvancedDataGridHeaderHorizontalSeparator”. That’s a lot less typing! Keep in mind that camel case support is in code hints and in the open type dialog and is supported in Flash Builder 4.0 and Burrito.

Those are the very quick highlights of the new developer productivity features in Flash Builder Burrito. Remember that FB is installed side-by-side with your existing FB 4 or 4.0.1 installation. Also, keep in mind that Burrito is a preview release and is not feature complete. Don’t forget to file bugs at http://bugs.adobe.com/flex. And lastly, don’t reuse workspaces between installations of Flash Builder.

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