Having A Hard Time Finding Flex 3 Language Reference

Having A Hard Time Finding Flex 3 Language Reference

Posted by Brad Wood
Oct 08, 2008 08:43:00 UTC
I feel dumb saying this, but I am having a heck of a time finding consistent information about Flex 3 classes. I am just starting in Flex and it isn't TOO hard to find an example out there that is close to what you are doing, but often times examples don't cover all the bases, and I'll need to look up a method to get its exact signature. (How many arguments, what type, etc) Generally, I'll turn to the livedocs for this, but I have been wasting a lot of time Googling and I don't think it should be this hard.It's not hard to find information and examples on Flex, but what I am mainly struggling on is find the correct language references. First of all, I am using Flex 3. Flex 2 seems to always be on the top of Google, but I'm afraid to use it because it might be out of date. So then, I will add "Flex 3" into my Google search. Sometimes that will bring up what I want, but other times I still won't see the livedocs.adobe.com language reference page anywhere in the first two pages of results. I've even tried adding "language reference" to my search terms. By the way, the "Language Reference" pages I am talking about are the ones that list out all the methods and properties like this one: CategoryAxis Earlier I probably spent 20 minutes trying to find the reference page for my <mx:verticalAxis> tag. I'm convinced one doesn't exist. Perhaps ColdFusion has spoiled me. I've NEVER had a problem finding the livedoc page for any given ColdFusion tag. Of course, that stuff was always baked into ColdFusion Studio with a press of the F1 key. And if push ever comes to shove, I can always bring up www.cfquickdocs.com, specify CF8, and bring up just what I want. There's got to be a secret to finding the Flex classes I want on livedocs, but I haven't figured it out yet. Even the search on Adobe's site, is likely to return Flex 2 information, or pages of examples that may or may not be useful. I also think the majority of Flex 3 docs are the same as Flex 2 and because of that Google hides the Flex 3 docs in favor of Flex 2. Anyway, tell me what your secret is. Let's say your coding flex, and you want to know everything there is to know about that <mx:horizontalAxis> tag you just pasted in from somewhere. What's the easiest, quickest way to go straight to the livedocs page on it for you?


Brian Kotek

LiveDocs is probably what you want (I have it and a ton of other API lists bookmarked, like Spring, Java 6, Blaze, etc.). http://livedocs.adobe.com/flex/3/langref/index.html


Most of the documentation I find for Flex 3 is in this page: http://www.adobe.com/support/documentation/en/flex/

For the language reference see: http://livedocs.adobe.com/flex/3/langref/index.html



If you want to quickly lookup method signatures and other information in the language reference, you can use the shortcut SHIFT + F2 while your cursor is on the tag in question. I find it to be very handy and use it all the time.

Hope this helps.



Right on phil, thats where I go for flex 3 language reference.


Brad Wood

@Brian, @Phill, @Alfio: Thanks for the links. I will add them to my bookmarks. My main beef with http://livedocs.adobe.com/flex/3/langref/index.htm has been that if I'm not sure what package a class is in, or I don't see what I want in the class list (for instance, I STILL haven't found a page that tells me about the verticalAxis or horizontalAxis tags) then I resort to the search feature. Unfortunately, the search is NOT specific to Flex 3, and mostly pulls tech notes and examples-- not language reference pages.

@Chinmay: Thanks so much. The Shift-F2 thing is just what I was looking for. I tried F2 earlier, but I forgot about the shift part.
Interesting, when I hit that while my cursor is in the verticalaxis or horizontalaxis tag I get taken to the cartesianchart docs (the super class of my columnchart). Apparently those are not representing classes, but rather properties. I wonder why the examples I used employ a child MXML tag instead of an attribute to the columnchart tag...

Josh Tynjala

"I wonder why the examples I used employ a child MXML tag instead of an attribute to the columnchart tag... "

Because properties are accessible both ways in MXML, attribute or child element. In general, you should use an attribute first, but complex content, such as components that can must be defined as MXML or even HTML content for text properties, need to go in child elements.

Common examples where a child element might be used rather than an attribute to define a property on an MXML component:

DataGrid's "columns" property to define DataGridColumn instances in MXML. "verticalAxis" and "horizontalAxis" on charts. "itemRenderer" on List and other controls that support custom data renderers. "htmlText" on Label and other text-based controls


select the text then use Help menu -> Find in documentation.

Brad Wood

@Josh: That makes so much sense-- thanks!

Pardon the pun, but Flex is extremely flexible when it comes to how you can describe your application. There seems to be many ways to program anything. The MXML vs ActionScript gig made sense by the same reasoning that web browsers let me create elements via HTML, or JavaScript. Being able to supply tag attributes via a child tag trampled my paradigm a bit though.

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