Flash Builder 4 and Flex 4 Essential Training

with David Gassner
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Flash Builder 4 and Flex 4 Essential Training
Video duration: 0s 10h 28m Beginner

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Adobe's open source programming framework, Flex SDK, combined with Flash Builder (formerly named Flex Builder) simplifies and streamlines the process for building rich internet applications, or RIAs. Author David Gassner explores the newest release of this powerful toolset in Flash Builder 4 and Flex 4 Essential Training, explaining critical information for developers who are upgrading from Flex 3, but also for those who are new to RIA development. The course culminates in the development of a complete application, integrated with a PHP application server and a MySQL database. Exercise files accompany the course.

Topics include:
  • Understanding the history of Adobe Flex
  • Installing the Flash Builder components
  • Using Eclipse views and editors
  • Programming with MXML and integrating MXML and ActionScript
  • Debugging Flex applications
  • Adding visual controls to a Flex application interface
  • Displaying images and dynamic data
  • Formatting with CSS
  • Skinning Spark components with MXML graphics
  • Creating data entry form components
  • Integrating with Apache, PHP and MySQL
Subjects:
Developer Web
Software:
Flash Builder Flex
Author:

Welcome

Hi! My name is David Gassner. I'd like to welcome you to Flash Builder 4 and Flex 4 Essential Training. Adobe Systems has been working on this critical upgrade to the Flex development platform for about two years. There are plenty of new features in both the Software Developer's Kit and the Integrated Development Environment, Flash Builder 4. In this series, I'll show you how to build and deploy Rich Internet Applications, including how to use the MXML and ActionScript 3 programming languages, and how to use the Flex implementation of Cascading Style Sheets, and create an MXML-based component skins with the new Spark component architecture.

I'll give you a tour of the newly renamed Flash Builder 4, formerly known as Flex Builder. You'll see examples of the product's new code generation and debugging features and how to integrate Flex applications with application servers, using Flash Builder's new data-centric development tools. This course is designed for anyone who wants to learn how to develop Rich Internet Applications for Flash Player 10, but it also contains great information for developers who have some experience with earlier versions of Flex. I hope you find that the Flex 4 SDK and Flash Builder 4 give you all the tools you need for building dynamic applications for the web and the desktop.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Flash Builder 4 and Flex 4 Essential Training .


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Q: After importing the Debugging.fxp file following the steps outlined in the “Importing and exporting projects as FXP files” video, several of the applications will not run.
When I attempt to debug or run the Variables.mxml or Watchpoints.mxml  applications, I am unsuccessful. Pressing F11 to debug causes Flex to look for an application it CAN run, and runs that one. If I Right-Click one of the aforementioned applications and then click Run Application, an error appears that says “This file cannot be launched.”
What is causing this problem?
A: This is a common issue with Flash Builder. Before pressing F11 (or right-clicking and choosing Run Application), set the current MXML application file as the "default" by right-clicking it and choosing "Set as default application".
This should ensure that the application you want to preview opens in the browser when you press F11.
Q: When trying to specify the fontStyle as italic in both ways described in the first and second videos of the “Using Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)” chapter, only the literal string "italic" seems to work. If I use the constant for the same value like this:
fontStyle="{FontPosture.ITALIC}"
I get a warning that reads:
"Design mode: Error during component layout. Choose Design > Refresh to refresh design mode."
Even if I try to refresh, design mode will not work until I change it back to the literal string. I made sure the import for this namespace was there by pressing Ctrl+spacebar, refreshed design mode several times, and even restarted Flash Builder. However, the only solution seems to be to use the literal. Is there a fix for this?
A: The use of constants and bindings in MXML style attributes results in unpredictable results in Design View, as evidenced by this error. Unfortunately, the best you can expect is that design view will render the presentation, but won't show the results of the style setting, because Design View isn't capable of evaluating MXML bindings without the benefit of Flash Player's runtime capabilities.
Q: Is Flash Builder compatible with Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion)?
A: Yes, Flash Builder 4.51 is compatible with the most recent version of Mac OS X. (The original Flash Builder 4 is not compatible with Lion; if you want to upgrade Mac OS X, you'll also need to upgrade Flash Builder.)

Unlike previous versions of Mac OS X, Lion does not include a default Java development environment. Before running the Flash Builder installer, you should install Java for Mac OS X. Failure to do this will result in Flash Builder 4.5, rather than 4.5.1, being installed on the system.

You can trigger the installation of Java with these steps:
 
1. Open Terminal.
2. Type 'java' and press Return.
3. Follow the prompts to download and install Java.
 
There is one usability issue that will affect all users of Flash Builder on Mac OS X 10.7–right-clicking in the package explorer may stop working after prolonged use of Flash Builder. To resolve the issue Flash Builder must be restarted.

Finally, the Flash Builder installer includes a version of Flash Player that is not recommended for use with Mac OS X 10.7. Rather than installing the default version, you should download and install the latest debugger version from http://www.adobe.com/support/flashplayer/downloads.html.
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