Developing the Amethyst Flex Designer in Amethyst
It’s been a while since we last talked about the visual designer which will be integrated into Amethyst Professional. The past few beta releases have all concentrated on core editing, debugging, IntelliSense and refactoring features.
The plain fact of the matter is that, in order to put the finishing touches on the Amethyst Designer, we needed to arrive at the stage where the Amethyst IDE itself was sufficiently powerful to use for the development of the Amethyst Designer. We are now at that stage and (as we’ve mentioned before) all development of the Amethyst Designer is now being done in Amethyst.
This leads to a rather interesting development process. This is how it works. First we load up the Visual Studio project (mainly C#) in which the Amethyst IDE is written. When this is run, it pops up a new instance of Visual Studio running Amethyst. I now load a Flex (ActionScript) project into this second copy of Visual Studio/Amethyst. Here I can develop the Amethyst Designer. But the version of Amethyst in which I am writing the code of the Amethyst Designer already has its own integrated working version of the Amethyst Designer. Now, when I make changes to the Amethyst Designer code, I compile these changes using Amethyst and then when I next view the Amethyst Designer (the one that’s right inside the same version of Amethyst in which I just compiled it) all my changes are there before my eyes!
Developing an IDE in itself is a strange experience that takes a bit of getting used to. But it has the great benefit of giving us real-world experience of using Amethyst to create a truly complex Amethyst (Flex/Flash/ActionScript) application - one that is not just a ‘test’ application but is, on the contrary, vital to Amethyst itself.
The first public beta of the Amethyst Designer will be released later this summer.
Oh how I just can not wait to use this... I use VS2008 all the time for Web C# development. Soon I will be able to use Amethyst to work with Flex projects. What is the ETA?
We haven’t announced a release date of the final version of Amethyst yet but it will probably be after the release of the final version of the Flex 4 framework. In the meantime, the current betas are all pretty fully featured and these will take you through to the time of the final product release. The first public beta to include the Amethyst Designer will be later this summer. Watch the Blog for more details.