So you wanna build a Flex application - Part 1- Directory Structure

In our initial article, we introduced Surfing Stats, a Flex application providing a multi-view interface for examining Blog CFC statistics. (download the code using the download link at the bottom of the Intro to Surfing Stats post) As in all programming, code organization is important. For the Surfing Stats application, all source code is located in a src directory located off the project root. Our source files are a mixture of visual assets, css style sheets, MXML files and ActionScript files. In addition to type we also distinguish between purpose. This is the directory structure:


Introducing Surfing Stats

I have finished coding my application for my hands-on session at 360:Flex Atlanta. The goal of the session is to walk attendees through building a simple application. You may download the source code for Surfing Stats using the download link.

The Flex framework is very powerful and offers lots of powerful functionality. I had trouble limiting myself in scope. I only have 4 hours to teach so I want to make sure I leave the students with a functional and instructive application.

Without futher ado, I want to introduce Surfing Stats. This application consumes XML data from my BlogCFC installation at and displays the data in table, bar chart and pie chart format. Each dataset is represented as a tab. Clicking on the tab enables the relevant display options.

In the next few weeks I'll wrap up the course materials of the session. I'll probably blog some to finalize my thinking on the session. I do not expect to trim any base functionality of Surfing Stats, though there are several fancy add-ons in the current version we will cover should the class progress at a quick pace.

As a reminder, 360:Flex Atlanta will be held February 25-27, 2008 in Atlanta, GA. If you would like to learn how to build an XML fed charting application with the Flex Platform, attend my hands on session.

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Fix for annoying Where is the Debugger or Profiler running? popup

Shannon Hicks, who is a wealth of Flex Knowledge, gave me the solution for this problem. Apparently, an earlier version of the Flash Debug player incorrectly assumed debugging mode.

The solution is to use an updated Flash Debug player. You can find a suitable version inside the installation for Flex Builder 3. Mine was located here:

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1C:\Program Files\Adobe\Flex Builder 3\Player\win

I am using Flex Builder 3 Beta 2 and it works. Later beta versions of Flex Builder include the correct version of Flash Player as well.

Thanks Shannon for helping me with this. It was DRIVING ME NUTS!

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Where is the Debugger or Profiler running? Flex Builder Debugger

Where is the Debugger or Profiler running? Why, localhost, I presume.....

Recently I installed Flex Builder 3 on a new machine and experienced an error when running/debugging Flex applications. What would happen is:

  • I run a Flex application
  • A popup loads asking "Where is the debugger or profiler running?"
  • I select localhost
  • The popup briefly disappears
  • The popup returns asking "Where is the debugger or profiler running?"

Another message that showed up is "A connection to the debugger or profiler could not be established by Adobe Flash Player 9"

Clicking the cancel button removed the popup and continued running the Flex application. The debugger was not working properly.

After some searching and some trial and error, I found the Flex Debugger runs on port 3434. Unblocking this port in the firewall allowed the debugger to connect on localhost.

Surprisingly, this wasn't documented very well. I hope this helps someone else. Programming in Flex without the debugger makes Homer something something...

Update The popup has come back! Oddly enough, the debugger runs now. I am very glad for that. However running any compiled Flex/AIR code brings up this silly "Where is the debugger?" popup. If anyone has an idea how to supress this, please let me know.

Update: This has been solved. Details are located here. Thank You to Shannon Hicks for giving me the solution.

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Silverlight ups the Ante - Flex still rules

On October 24th, Rob Zelt presented Silverlight to the Raleigh Durham Adobe User Group. I blogged about this on and promised to keep an open mind.

Silverlight is an impressive piece of technology in its own right. I was impressed by a number of features in the technology. A number of misconceptions I held were dispelled and I throughly enjoyed the presentation.


Fixed error in SQLLite Administration tool

Christophe Coenrates, a man I deeply admire (and whose job I covet) released a sweet SQLite Administration tool. I downloaded it last night and was playing with it. It is a very nice example of an AIR application.

When using the tool, I attempted to execute several sql statements and received an error. The error was caused by single quotes in my sql statement.

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1insert into [ContactType]([ContactTypeID], [Type]) values(1, 'Friend');

Thankfully Mr. Coenrates included the source code for the application so I fixed the error.


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SQLLite Administration Made Easy

I am working on some AIR projects now. AIR has SQLLite embedded into it. While looking around for a good way to manage SQLLite databases, I came across a post by Critter Gewlas titled Easy Administration of an SQLLite Database.

There is a freeware version with a very solid feature set. The professional version adds a trigger management UI, a Query Builder and some other enterprise level features. View the features for both editions on the SQLite Expert website Here are some screenshots:

A data transfer wizard

Index Manager

Trigger Interface

An Image Editor for columns containing images

In short, this is a no-joke program for managing SQLLite Databases. I plan on evaluating this program in the near future and will post my findings.

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Frustrated with MXNA? Get your news as it happens!

This morning MXNA was down once again. Thinking the error was on the specific blog I was on, I contacted the owner. After a few more minutes, I realized it wasn't the bloggers site, but MXNA.

I am a little slow getting started this morning, so it didn't dawn on me to blame MXNA first. Jim, I am sorry for the confusion.

For a seamless aggregator experience, you should be using the more reliable ColdFusion Bloggers or All Your Flex Are Belong To Us or or for up to the minute information.

Here is a little tip, if you want more than the latest 10 results, append a max URL parameter to the RSS feed URL.

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Raleigh - Durham / Triangle Area Adobe User Group Meets Oct 23rd

On the 23rd of October, the Raleigh Durham Adobe User Group (RDAUG) will meet for a presentation on Silverlight. ( Silverlight is an emerging technology by microsoft for Rich Internet Applications)

I do not know much about Silverlight and will be in attendance. I'll try to keep an open mind. This, of course, means no heckling.

After the presentation, there will be a meeting of the Flex Study Group. I am very excited to branch out and meet other Flex Developers in the Raleigh Durham area and am looking forward to my first RDAUG meeting .

Hope to see you there!

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Flex News - Hot Off The Press is a brand new aggregator of Flex information and was recently launched by Scott Stroz, a stand up guy and authority on Flex. is a very lovely looking site and kudos to Scott for donating his time and resources for the community at large.

Flex is in a period of immense growth and it is important to stay informed of the latest in Flex Development tips, tricks and techniques. Subscribe to the RSS Feed today and stay ahead of the curve!

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