What Flex Builder 1.5 Really Does

I’ve read all the posts this morning about Flex Builder 1.5, but they don’t say what it really does in summary, nor accredit it’s cool new features. Let me get that for you:

– first off, you now have percentage based layouts, so like in HTML, width=”100%” and height=”100%” actually render in the Design Mode. They worked before in Flex Builder 1 published for Flex 1.5, you just couldn’t see your design without publishing; pain in the arse for Central development, hehe. Still, kind of neat to be able to use an older product to author for a newer compiler (although, Macromedia recomends you use the same versions of Flex Builder and Flex).

– secondly, for those of you code freaks, you can actually remove Design View entirely. This provides significant performance enhancements when running Flex Builder, and uses a lot less RAM. I was using 190 megs Sunday, we’ll see how much better that gets.

– third, she’s got some new components (already has all the cool ones Flash MX 2004 doesn’t). The best are the charting components which integrate with the CSS styles, and existing effects. The List’s have been improved, now inheritantly supporting variable row height, word wrap, and data tips. The first 2 are so in demand in Flash; that question gets asked ALL the time on the mailing lists on how to implement it in Flash. You can also change orientatation, like horizontal and tile. Finally, the components in the Extras folder were added in, but for some reason, they added 2 in there and not internally; ColorPicker and ImageButton.

– Skinning is made easier with additional styles added to components, as well as examples and documentation for both Flash Designers and Flex ActionScripters.

– Performance of runtime has improved too; both in application startup, layout with additional control on init order of components via a CreationPolicy, as well as effects themselves and how they are implemented on some components in particular, such as Panel (the most popular guy).

– Finally, support for RSL’s. The people who should care about this are Central developers. Now, our Flex apps can be really small AND utilize some of the Central specific components (I think). I’ll work on an entry explaining how to use them in Flex Builder.

More info here.

4 Replies to “What Flex Builder 1.5 Really Does”

  1. I haven’t delved into this stuff at all, but one thing that a work colleague keeps bringing up/desiring for Flash is the hourglass cursor thingy. Is that automatic or is it build into the API?


  2. Yes, it is included. It’s a watch that spins, like the Mac one… but I’m sure a knowledgable Flasher can modify it with an hourglass symbol in 2 seconds via 3 mxml tags, and 1 line of code.

  3. Can Flex Buidler 1.5 be used for the development of ColdFusion based only applications.

    I understand that it is indeed based upon Dreamweaver MX.

    Having installed Flex Builder 1.5… Can I now simply bin Dreamweaver MX in place of this newer release and continue to develop ColdFusion applications that will one day leverage the benefits of Flex and other Macromedia based technologies.

    In short… Do I still need Dreamweaver MX 2004.

    A speedy response would be appreciated so I can setup my development workstation asap.

    Thanks in advance.

  4. They’re practically the same program, so uh… not sure, ask one of these guys:




    I would… I mean, I’m not really sure what they’ll do with Dreamweaver frankly. I still use it, but only for legality purposes per my free non-commercial Flex license.

    Frankly, though, I wouldn’t uninstall it; you never know.

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