My favorite Flash Builder Code Templates

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I hate typing the same code over and over, and DRY can only take you so far. I also hate making the same changes over and over. So I've "tweaked" some of the templates that came with Flash Builder and I've added many to automate the tasks I do frequently. I've made them available for download. You'll need to unzip the file and import the template file into your ActionScript code templates, or you can copy and paste any you find useful.

My version of the fori

I loop through lots of things other than Arrays, and when I do loop through Arrays, I don't like to read the length on every loop. So I've modified the fori template.
for (var ${index}:int = 0; ${index} < ${loopVar}; ${index}++) {
 ${line_selection}${cursor}
}

Looping through MovieClip/Sprite Children

A lot of times, I have a Class where I just know I'll have "some" instances of a specific type, but I don't want to dictate in advance how many that will be. So often I'll have code to find those children. I call this template "childLoop."
var loops:int = numChildren;

for (var i:int = 0; i < loops; i++) {
 var ${varName}:${search_type} = getChildAt(i) as ${search_type};
 if (${varName}) {
  ${cursor}
 }
}

Push into an Array/Vector

Often, inside a child loop, I'm inserting the children that match into a Vector. It's supposed to be faster to use the length property of an Array or Vector to add to it instead of using push(), so when I'm adding to the end of one of these, I use my "fastpush" template.
${arrayOrVector}[${arrayOrVector}.length] = ${newItem};

Sort the Vector

Often, the instances aren't added to the stage in the correct order to match each with the piece of data that goes with it, so I have various sorting functions on hand, such as "leftToRightSort" that can be applied as the sort function to the Vector.
protected function leftToRight(btnA:DisplayObject, btnB:DisplayObject):Number {
 return (btnA.x - btnB.x);
}

If setter value has changed

Flash Builder has a great feature to generate a getter/setter pair from a variable declaration. Even through I'm working in Flash, I often check the box that allows you to dispatch a custom binding event (which doesn't do much in Flash, unless you wire it up yourself). What I do get from that is auto-generated code that checks to see if the variable's value has changed before doing something, such as removing/adding event listeners. Sometimes I forget to check that box or I decide that I don't want the overhead of having the event dispatched and I think that deleting that extra code is more effort than what advantage I get out of using the check box. In those cases, I add essentially the same code with the "ifValueChanged" template.
if(${myVar} != value) {
 ${myVar} = value;
 ${cursor}
}
Do you have favorite code templates? Please share in the comments section.

3 comments:

Paul Robertson said...

Thanks for sharing your templates. I'm a big template fan. I wrote some posts with tips for using templates a while back:
http://probertson.com/articles/category/flex-builder/code-templates/

I also share all my original and modified templates on github:
https://github.com/probertson/FlashBuilder-templates

Amy B said...

Nice. And with such a wide variety, it's a great tutorial on how to write your own snippets. A lot of this stuff isn't well-documented, so anything that helps people figure it out is great!

Naniana said...

Thanks for sharing your templates, Amy. To my regret, I haven't any templates of mine to add to your's, but I shared your post with my numerous collegues from custom software development services. I think some of them may have a couple.