The amazing adventures of Doug Hughes

A while back I went to install Mylyn on my copy of FB3 Standalone and was rebuffed by the installer because, it claimed, I needed to be running the Eclipse Plugin Development Environment (PDE) to install it. I asked Tim Buntel about it and he forwarded my plea for assistance to an engineer, but the road ended at the fact that FB3 is running a stripped-down version of Eclipse with no extras and I was pretty much out of luck. Until, that is, today.

I was looking to install the Data Tools Platform because I’m tired of having ADS and Eclipse open all the time, and it has prerequisites for the Eclipse Modeling Framework… so I started poking around in the Help > Find and Install… window. On a whim I selected Eclipse Updates and hit Finish… what popped up next blew me away. There were updates for Eclipse 3.3.2 (which is what FB3 standalone is based on)… and they included the full PDE stack, updates to Eclipse 3.3.3, and a bunch of other stuff! So, with a bit of trepidation (and knowing that if it blew up I’d be reinstalling Eclipse+Plugins today), I selected all the 3.3.2 updates I could find and hit the “Intstall all them thar updates” button.

This took a while, but once it was done I restarted Eclipse, I had 3.3.3, I had the PDE, and I had an even bigger surprise. On an entirely non-scientific basis, FlexBuilder 3 is now about 100% to 150% faster than it was before the update!! Seriously, it blew me away, opening Flex applications, switching between perspectives, toggling between code and design view in MXML components, everything… extremely much tons faster.

The one thing that really surprised me is that Adobe never suggested I do this! So, now that I have this installed, I am going to install the Data Platform Tools, Eclipse Modeling Framework and, finally Mylyn. Alagad uses Trac and Subversion and having them integrated into Eclipse via Mylyn is going to be awesome… although that’s a whole other set of blog posts.

Keep one thing in mind: I don’t know if this is a supported configuration or not, so follow this process at your own risk. What I do know is that after restarting FlexBuilder 3 and running some cursory checks everything seems to work fine. Thinking about it, it does make sense that, since FlexBuilder can be installed on Eclipse as a plugin, it would work just fine.

More than anything I was wondering about Eclipse 3.3.3 compatibility, but like I said, it seems more than compatible, it drastically improves performance. As always with nonscientific observations like that: your mileage may vary.

Still, if you’re running FlexBuilder 3 and want Eclipse updates or even to add the PDE libraries to your Eclipse installs, don’t despair, just go to Help >Software Updates > Find and Install…, choose “Search for new features to install”, click the Eclipse Updates button and install all the Eclipse 3.3.2 updates the next panel lists. It takes a few minutes, but it works great! Once you get this stuff all installed, FlexBuilder will prompt you to restart your workspace and BOOM, you’re back in business using what is now a lot more like Eclipse with the FlexBuilder plugin than it is your original FlexBuilder 3 Standalone.

Good luck!

Comments on: "FlexBuilder 3 Standalone, Eclipse 3.3.3 and Eclipse PDE: It can be done!" (10)

  1. Thanks for this post. I just updated FB3 to Eclipse 3.3.3. A speed boost would be great considering I’m running FB3 & Zend Studio 6 at the same time, with only 1 gig of RAM.


  2. Jared Rypka-Hauer said:

    No problem… please come back and comment on your observations regarding performance? I’m very interested to know if this was “just me” or if other folks notice the same thing. Thanks!


  3. I don’t use FB3 much, so unfortunately I wouldn’t be a good judge on speed increases. However I have noticed some weird behavior – not sure if this existed in FB3 prior to the Eclipse update. When using auto-completion, my import statements are either being deleted, or re-arranged. In one class I had “import flash.display.simpleButton;” and whenever I would use auto-complete, that line would disappear. Right now I’m working with another class and am importing “events.*” and “display.*”. When I use auto-complete, the order of the two imports are switched, putting “display” above “events”. Again, not sure if this behavior existed before, but it’s a real pain. I’m going to reinstall FB3 and see if this persists.


  4. Forgot to mention that I’m working with an AS3 project, not an MXML application.


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  6. I’m having same issue as Steven. Autocomplete of anything that would add an import statement, wipes out all the import statements in the file. Very annoying.


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