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Amethyst Beta 3, Flex IDE, Released

Debugging and more...
by Huw Collingbourne
Tuesday 24 February 2009.

Beta 3 of Amethyst (our Visual Studio IDE for Adobe Flex) has just been released today. You can get a copy from the usual Download Page.

This release incorporates features being developed for both the free Personal Edition and our commercial Professional Edition. The beta will last for about 5 months from the date of release. We shall release other betas long before its expiry date.

New Features

These are the principal new additions in beta 3...

- Integrated Debugger with:

  • Breakpoints
  • Step Into
  • Step Over
  • Step Out
  • Continue
  • Restart

- Debug Windows

  • Watch windows
  • Autos
  • Locals
  • Call Stack
  • Quick Watch
IMPORTANT: In order to use the Amethyst Debugger you must install the debug version of Flash Player 10 for Internet Explorer: http://www.adobe.com/support/flashplayer/downloads.html

- Drilldown Debugging. You can expand objects to ‘drill down’ into them in the debug windows and also (by hovering over an identifier) in the code editor.

Import/Conversion Wizard

- Import an existing Flex, AIR or ActionScript project to a new location
- Convert an existing project ‘in place’ (its original location)

Start the Import/Conversion Wizard from File/New/Import or Convert Flex Project.

Other New Features

- Numerous IntelliSense Improvements including...

  • Parameter Completion: when you call a method, its arguments are shown in a tooltip with the current argument in bold...

  • In MXML you may omit ‘mx:’ in order to get code completion in tags - e..g. enter: <b to view a completion list starting mx:BaseListData
  • MXML completion is case insensitive - e.g. enter bu and press Tab to add the tag: <mx:Button

- Go To Definition: Right-click a variable name in the code editor and select Go To Definition from the menu. This will locate the definition in ActionScript code. When no code is available (when you only have the compiled files), you will be shown metadata (for example, try highlighting the String class and selecting ‘Go To Definition’).
- Object Browser: Browse the Flash and Flex classes (View, Object Browser, then select Browse, All Components or Browse, My Solution.
- You can now Build and Debug by pressing F5, by clicking the Debug ‘arrow button’ or by selecting Debug, Debug (in beta 2 run/debug was invoked from the Amethyst menu).
- You may install a secondary browser for use with Amethyst (for example, Firefox in addition to Internet Explorer). To specify a secondary browser, load Tools, Options, Projects, Amethyst, Web Browser (Secondary). To activate the secondary browser, select Amethyst, Use Secondary Browser.

More Information

Amethyst beta 3 retains and extends the features from earlier betas. Refer to the following articles for more information:

- Download and Getting Started Guide
- ActionScript Automatic Code Formatting
- IntelliSense in Amethyst beta 2
- Code Folding in Amethyst
- A Brief Guide To Amethyst

For a preview of the Amethyst Design Environment (in development for Amethyst Professional) see:

- Adobe Flex Visual Designer - Amethyst Professional Preview
- Visual Flex Design and Coding

Plus: other articles relating to Amethyst.

We will have detailed guides to the Debugger and Import/Convert Wizard on the Blog soon.

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