As much as I like Flex, its five-hundred dollars tool has a LOT of room for improvements. I’m sure, Flash developers who did not see any better are happy with Flex Builder, but I came from Java World where excellent and free compilers and IDEs are the norm of life.
My main complain is that it’s extremely slow. Just to be fair, I need to acknowledge the fact that Flex compilers have to work much harder than their Java peers, because they need to perform additional duties like conversion of MXML to ActionScript, generation of the event listeners MXML components, binding support… But still, I want it to work faster.
How good is an incremental compilation if a recompile of a pretty simple application after changing the width of a label takes 20 seconds (I use 1.6Ghz laptop with 1.25Gb of RAM)? You call this incremental? Please…
I was hoping that adding -incremental=true as an additional compile option would help. No difference, and documentation helpfully explains that this option is already turned on by default in Flex Builder.
I’ve been using Eclipse with my Java programs for years and I did not know that I have to close projects that are not used at the moment. Now I know that if I won’t do this, Flex Builder will be even slower than it is now.
I never knew before that I may need to play with the heap size parameters and request more memory (xMs and xMx) for this memory addict.
mxmlc compiler is written in Java and comes as mxmlc.jar, which implies that you have to have Java Runtime Environment installed…and Adobe provides a four years old JRE of version 1.4. I guess they did not know that Java 5.0 was released more than two years ago. But it’s not that bad, you can install the fresher JRE on your own and reconfigure Flex Builder on your own to use it. But why ship a product in 2006 with an old JRE in the first place?
What about code refactoring that existed in Eclipse for years?
Oh, well you can’t get blood from a stone. If someone would ask me, “Name the most important improvement that Flex 2 needs badly”, I’d say, “Take care of Flex Builder. Now.”