NEW! Flex Component Explorer – The Downloadable Adobe Evangelist
A few months ago, I blogged about the Flex 3 Component Explorer, a simple one paragraph article intended to raise awareness of the existence of the tool. To my amazement, this post has seen consistent heavy traffic and is in the top 3 posts in my 15 months of blogging. This led me to the conclusion that developers are looking for good Flex resources and that many developers are not aware of the component explorer.
After several discussions with my fellow evangelists and our management, we decided to put together a little side project to build a better component explorer with a much broader purpose. We acquired some internal funding, hired the team at HD Interactive and collaborated for 3 months to bring you Tour de Flex. As you can see in the screen shots below, this ain’t the old component explorer!
We decided to make Tour de Flex an AIR application (after some gentle nudging by Christophe Coenraets) so we could show off desktop capabilities as well as web capabilities. The application showcases core Flex components, AIR capabilities, Flex data access (BlazeDS and LiveCycle Data Services), numerous coding techniques, cloud APIs, and a growing list of community-developed components, effects, skins, and more. There are 217 total samples in Tour de Flex as of this writing. We expect to add more every month and have built in a mechanism to easily push out new samples.
Each sample has a running demonstration, source code, links to related resources such as ASDocs, community commenting, and more.
One step further…
Two weeks after kicking off the project, James Ward had a crazy idea (crazy ideas are not uncommon when it comes to James) 🙂 — James suggested that we later add an Eclipse plugin that allows the various samples to be searched directly from an Eclipse view window. The idea was so crazy, we decided not to wait, and by the next day our project had a new milestone.
I’m proud to announce that the Tour de Flex Eclipse plugin is part of the 1.0 launch!
The Tour de Flex home page is available now at http://flex.org/tour. There you will find the installer, user guide, and instructions on how to submit samples of your own custom components, effects, skins, etc.
I’ll do a followup post soon to provide more “behind the scenes” as to how this tool was built.
If you are attending MAX, find me or any member of the evangelist team and ask us for a copy. We have 1,000 USB Flash drives ready to give out.