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IDE Support

 
Vyas Sanzgiri
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What is the IDE support for Flex? I have heard about Flex Builder. Is there any other open source free IDE support available or in the pipeline?
 
Dan Orlando
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Vyas Sanzgiri wrote:What is the IDE support for Flex? I have heard about Flex Builder. Is there any other open source free IDE support available or in the pipeline?


The community edition of IntellijIDEA can be used as an open source alternative. I know several people that have done so, and have only heard positive things about it. There are some limitations to the community edition though, whereas the Ultimate Edition is the full-blown version.

Probably the most potential lies in someday seeing an open source plug-in for Eclipse to code Flex applications, which would really be great to have as I think the Java community would come up with something seriously powerful considering the significantly large adoption of ActionScript and Flex by the Java development community. Such a thing would be incredibly useful for those of us that code many languages at once and therefore have Eclipse environments with a large number of plug-ins, and maybe don't want to install a plugin as heavy as the Flash Builder plug-in. However, there are currently no such projects that I am aware of. FDT is a commercial alternative, and a mighty nice one I might add. If you're just looking for an alternative to Builder and open source would just be an added benefit, then I definitely suggest becoming familiar with the Intellij and FDT offerings.
 
Vyas Sanzgiri
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I hope there is a free edition or plugin to Eclipse in the future. I want to prototype and know the ROI before having to dive into the commercial version
 
Paul Sturrock
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Prototyping without the Eclipse FlexBuilder plugin is pretty easy. Just think back to your days of compiling simple Java programs without a complex IDE.
 
Brick Riccardi
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I prefer IDEA over Eclipse for Flex development. The refactoring is just way better and little things like optimize imports across the whole project, or format across all the files etc. It doesn't have a wysiwyg editor but I never use it anyway.
 
Vyas Sanzgiri
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Brick Riccardi wrote:I prefer IDEA over Eclipse for Flex development. The refactoring is just way better and little things like optimize imports across the whole project, or format across all the files etc. It doesn't have a wysiwyg editor but I never use it anyway.


Can you expand a little more on "optimize imports"?
 
Brick Riccardi
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Vyas Sanzgiri wrote:
Can you expand a little more on "optimize imports"?


For example, you have imports that are no longer needed in your files. You want to get rid of them. In Flex Builder (and I think in FlashBuilder) I was only able to do this on a per file basis. In IDEA I'm able to select the entire project and fix all the imports in the project. Same thing with formatting. It can format the whole project instead of a file at a time.

What bothered me most about Flex Builder's refactoring though was when I even selected refactor->move file and I'd pick a new package... well it moved it but never fixed the imports in all the files that referred to the class! That's just wrong. (Maybe a later release has fixed this, I don't know.) Never mind all the other little extras you get with IDEA when using it.. little things that I just like.. some small yea.. like seeing the color in the gutter of css color, autocomplete in css, color popup in css. Automcomlet when typing path names to assests like to an image you need. In files, it quickly highlights things wrong that eclipse wouldn't catch. Smart completion (eg when in a function it will suggest vars that match what your trying to add as args, listing the most recent ones close to the function which are typically what you want.) Analyze code, etc. It's suggestions to fix things are typically nice also. Once you start using it you just realize it's helping with a lot of small things that make my job easier without even me thinking about it. I should keep list some time as I'm working. To each his own though. I'm no longer religious about my IDE choice... although I still think IDEA is the best for how I like to work (In the Java world hands down IDEA rocks also.. especially if you do anything with Groovy... although the Eclipse groovy plugin is now really getting good.. hats off to those guys for their progress.)
 
Vyas Sanzgiri
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Brick Riccardi wrote:

For example, you have imports that are no longer needed in your files. You want to get rid of them. In Flex Builder (and I think in FlashBuilder) I was only able to do this on a per file basis. In IDEA I'm able to select the entire project and fix all the imports in the project. Same thing with formatting. It can format the whole project instead of a file at a time.

What bothered me most about Flex Builder's refactoring though was when I even selected refactor->move file and I'd pick a new package... well it moved it but never fixed the imports in all the files that referred to the class! That's just wrong. (Maybe a later release has fixed this, I don't know.) Never mind all the other little extras you get with IDEA when using it.. little things that I just like.. some small yea.. like seeing the color in the gutter of css color, autocomplete in css, color popup in css. Automcomlet when typing path names to assests like to an image you need. In files, it quickly highlights things wrong that eclipse wouldn't catch. Smart completion (eg when in a function it will suggest vars that match what your trying to add as args, listing the most recent ones close to the function which are typically what you want.) Analyze code, etc. It's suggestions to fix things are typically nice also. Once you start using it you just realize it's helping with a lot of small things that make my job easier without even me thinking about it. I should keep list some time as I'm working. To each his own though. I'm no longer religious about my IDE choice... although I still think IDEA is the best for how I like to work (In the Java world hands down IDEA rocks also.. especially if you do anything with Groovy... although the Eclipse groovy plugin is now really getting good.. hats off to those guys for their progress.)


I thought you were comparing Eclipse v IDEA. I have not used FlexBuilder so I cannot comment.

As far as Groovy is concerned - I have used Netbeans 6.8 and it is awesome and free!
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://aspose.com/file-tools
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