For the seasoned Flex developer, we’ve been accustomed to using the Flex Component Explorer as a reference. However, this is set to change with a great new application called Tour de Flex.
Tour de Flex is a desktop application, built using AIR, with the goal of providing a way to explore Flex’s capabilities and resources, including the core Flex components, Adobe AIR and data integration.
Created by James Ward, Greg Wilson and Christophe Coenraets, Tour de Flex has three main purposes: provide non-Flex developers with an overview of what is possible; provide seasoned Flex developers with a visual reference tool; and finally, provide commercial and non-commercial Flex developers a platform to showcase their skills.
Probably the greatest feature of this application is the integration of a variety of third-party components, effects and skins. The application contains examples from the following and we are told that this list will be regularly updated when new content becomes available:
- Acrobat.com Share
- AOL Instant Messenger
- Google Language
- Intuit Quickbase
- Yahoo Weather
Below is a selection of screenshots from the application:
(Click on the images to see a larger view)
Included with the Tour de Flex project is an Eclipse plugin, built by Holly Schinsky, that provides a search interface to the 200+ examples available in the main Tour de Flex application. The plugin allows you to search by component name, tag or author and double-click any item in the results to immediately see the component in Tour de Flex.
To install the plugin, add the following URL to your Eclipse software update sites:
Once installed, a new Tour de Flex view is available to add. The plugin has been tested with Eclipse 3.4 and with Flex Builder 3.x.
The official Tour de Flex page and install can be found on the Flex.org website.