Flex2Doc – sneak peek in the trenches

I hold a lucky position here at Farata Systems of a RAD evangelist/architect. It means that I have to make sure that our consultants have an advantage of working better and faster then competition. It means that every scrap of code we write here in the back office is targeted for (painless) reuse.

The way it is usually done is by writing plug-ins(http://flexblog.faratasystems.com/?p=148) that automate all (well, most) of non-creative/configuration work. One of such jewels fell into my hands today…

(fanfares) Flex2Doc plug-in (beta)

Flex 2.0.1 comes with AsDoc command line tool. It is really simple to read documentation, create configuration file and just run AsDoc command. Perfect for production documentation.
Flex2doc is plug-in for daily usage as one of the interactive tools you uses while you build software. It allows you build documentation for your project with a single click:

doc generation

You can instantly upload your documentation/project to the either to flex2doc.org ( our “community” open source projects server) for all community to see or get preconfigured documentation server appliance you can deploy within your organization.

You can do a context search within Eclipse editors using full text search optimized for ActionScript / Flex on all the projects available on our “community” and your enterprise servers:

context search

That was cool, as when you work with open source, there is a tendency of mixing quite a few open source packages. So it was quite a relief to search flexunit, mappr, youtube,corelib and some of our intranet packages in the same time.

Then I walked into the other parts of the plugin. It actually creates Eclipse help you can drop right into you integrated Eclipse help subsystem (that took 2 clicks and one drag-and -drop). I can point, click and get help for my libraries in the Eclipse help – or package it for distribution with the commercial controls. I can also get to (experimental) subsystem on local server here that wraps components and allows distribution of the related SWCs/sources into your application folder.

I am put to shame with miniscule amount of comments/documentation I placed in my components lately. Here comes another late New Year resolution : make my components/tricks usable by Flex community. And I just found perfect tool for it! You can find a sneak previews of other beta plug-ins over here.

Anatole Tartakovsky

Oh. Forgot to mention – You need Flex 2.0.1 (comes with asdoc as part of the update) and Eclipse 3.2 or better to run plugin. And it is beta software, so check in often – more cool things are coming out.