Flex Builder 3 and Eclipse Galileo (3.5) [UPDATE]

Jun 27, 2009

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I have found a show stopper so my bellow statements that it works as expected are incorrect. See the bottom of this post after the jump for more information and also check out FB-21284 on Adobe's JIRA bug system.

This week the developers at the Eclipse Foundation have released Eclipse Galileo aka Eclipse 3.5. As you may or may not know Flex Builder 3 is built on Eclipse rather it is Eclipse. Using the Flex Builder 3 Plug-in you can add the power of Flex Builder onto your existing Eclipse install. This of course means that you can install Flex Builder into Eclipse 3.4 (if your copy of Flex Builder is the latest version). But for those of us who like to be on the bleeding edge so to speak well want to use Eclipse 3.5 before Adobe gets around to officially updating Flex Builder to support it. Fortunately unlike when Eclipse 3.4 was released there are no show stopper issues installing Flex Builder 3 into Eclipse 3.5. Actually it works quite well in Eclipse 3.5 aside from a few minor bugs it appears to be working normally. If you have the standalone version of Flex Builder 3 your serial number will still work on the plug-in version so if you want to be on the bleeding edge or just want a much improved version of Eclipse (considering Flex Builder 3 is Eclipse 3.3). If you want to do the upgrade to Eclipse 3.5 (which I do recommend) Ill give you a bit of a warning about the bugs I have found so far using Eclipse 3.5 with Flex Builder 3 after the jump.

Flex Builder 3 in Eclipse 3.5 does work and quite well unlike when Eclipse 3.4 came out. You will notice that your projects compile like normal and run like normal. In my brief experience since the 25th of June with Eclipse 3.5 I have noticed a few issues although minor they can be a bit annoying.

The first one I noticed was that Flex Builder 3 was no longer aware of the Flex SDKs installed. This is easily fixed and once it is fixed the design view and compiling will work again. To fix this one just open the preferences for Eclipse and expand the Flex option. In there you will find an option talking about the installed Flex SDKs. If there are none listed you just click add new and browse to the correct folder containing the SDK. See bellow for the default paths on Windows and the Mac OS.

Windows: C:\Program Files\Adobe\Flex Builder 3 plugin\sdks

Mac: /Applications/Adobe Flex Builder 3 Plug-in/sdks

Select the folder that is the version number of the sdk you want to use at the time of writing this is 3.2.0. Apply these settings and hit OK, now your project should compile and after re-opening any mxml files and css files their design views should start working again. You may have to hit refresh on the design view to get rid of the error message that may or may not appear. This issue is probably caused by the configuration folder not containing information about the plugin.

The next bug appears to be just a visual problem, if you look at your project you will probably notice that application and module mxml and as files do not have their correct icons/label decorations. They still function like normal and are still configured correctly they just don't show right in the Navigator view. Not a major issue but definitely a bit annoying. I hope that their will be a patch from Adobe to fix this but I highly doubt it with Flash Builder 4 (aka Flex Builder 4) just around the corner.

All and all taking the time to install the Flex Builder 3 plug-in into Eclipse 3.5 is worth the time and the odd inconveniencing bug for the many improvements (and the more stable) in Eclipse 3.5. Oh and one last thing the Flex Builder 3 plug-in installer probably wont work so install it into a install of Eclipse 3.4. Then just simply copy the file called com.adobe.flexbuilder.dolphin from your Eclipse 3.4 installs dolphin folder into your new Eclipse 3.5 installs dolphins folder. Then just launch Eclipse with the --clean option and you should be able to use Flex Builder 3 in Eclipse 3.5.

UPDATE

So I recently started working on a project (my first from scratch sense moving to Eclipse 3.5, and I've noticed another bug. This time its a bit of a show stopper, first lets start with the creating a project. For a traditional Flex project this process appears to go as planned, it just works like you'd expect it to, the wizard finishes and sets up your project like you'd expect. With AIR applications this wizard gets stuck after the first screen, clicking finish does nothing and clicking next goes to the "Configure Output" screen where even next does nothing. If you have an existing project and want to try and create a new application that wizard fails as well. If you do some how manage to create a project like I did, it'll never compile. You'll get the lovely generic "An internal build error has occurred right click for more information". I have filed a bug on Adobe's JIRA (FB-21284) in hopes that this issue will get fixed, but it's unlikely because of Flex Builder 4 on the horizon (aka Flash Builder 4 **cringes**) Adobe is traditionally bad with support of their legacy products (just look at Flash CS3 it hasn't seen updates in nearly or over a year).

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