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Adobe Flash Catalyst CS5 : Merging Changes from Catalyst into Flash Builder

12/8/2011 3:29:28 PM
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Once a project has been opened and edited in Flash Builder, you will no longer be able to open it in Catalyst. In an ideal workflow, this would not be necessary; the design phase of the project will have been completed in Catalyst, and all that will remain will be editing it in Flash Builder.

However, ideal workflows rarely, if ever, apply in the real world. The unfortunate fact is that there will be times when edits need to be made to the visual interface of the project, and it may be easier to complete those edits in Catalyst rather than in Flash Builder. Therefore, you can open a back-up copy of the project in Catalyst, edit it, and then merge those changes into Flash Builder. Follow these steps:

  1. In Catalyst, choose File => Open Project.

  2. Select the back-up copy of the project.

  3. Click Open (see Figure 1).

    Figure 1. Selecting the back-up copy of the project to be opened in Catalyst
  4. Make any needed changes to the project. In this example, the heading text in the HomeState component is being changed (see Figure 2).

    Figure 2. Editing the project in Catalyst
  5. Choose File => Save to save the project in Catalyst (see Figure 3).

  6. Choose File => Save As to create a new back-up copy of the project. Once the changes are merged into Flash Builder, you will be unable to open the current back-up to the project in Catalyst for further edits, so you should make a new back-up. Of course, you could pass the new back-up off to Flash Builder, and continue using the current one as your Catalyst file.

  7. Type a new name or navigate to a new location to save the back-up (see Figure 4).

    Figure 3. Saving the project
    Figure 4. Saving a new back-up of the project
  8. Switch to Flash Builder.

  9. Choose File => Import Flex Project (FXP).

  10. Click Import new copy of project (see Figure 5).

  11. Navigate to the location of the new file from Catalyst. The changes will be opened in Flash Builder as a new project.

    Figure 5. Importing a new copy of the project
  12. To merge those changes into the existing project, right-click (+click) the new project in the Package Explorer.

  13. Select Compare With (see Figure 6), than select the original project. If it is the only other project currently open in Flash Builder, it will be the only item on the list.

    Flash Builder examines the code in both projects and display a dialog box detailing the differences it discovers between the two. Depending on the size and complexity of the files and your computer's resources, this process might take some time to complete.

    Figure 6. Selecting the Compare with command
  14. Expand the src folder, then the components folder, and then double-click HomeState.mxml. The component opens and the first difference between the files is highlighted.

  15. Click Next Difference to move to the next change. If necessary, scroll to the right to see the highlighted differences (see Figure 7).

  16. Click Copy All from Left to Right (see Figure 8).

    Figure 7. Changes highlighted in the code
    Figure 8. Accepting the changed code
  17. Click Close on the Compare window's tab (see Figure 9).

    Figure 9. Closing the Compare window
  18. Click Yes to save the comparison (see Figure 10).

  19. Right-click (+click) the project in the Package Explorer and select Close project (see Figure 10).

Figure 10. Saving the file comparison

Closing the project ensures that you will not accidentally begin editing it, instead of the other version of the project. You may want to actually delete the project from Flash Builder by right-clicking (+clicking) it and selecting Delete project.

Should you find yourself making multiple edits in Catalyst that need to be merged with Flash Builder, you will need to develop a clean naming convention for the new projects to avoid confusion. You may also want to treat the files to be merged as temporary files, deleting them immediately after merging into Flash Builder, so that you only keep two copies of the project:

  • The copy being edited in Flash Builder

  • The back-up for editing in Catalyst

You should also work with your Flex developer to attempt to limit the number of times changes need to be merged; for example, you may not want to send the developer a new copy of the project for every change, but instead wait to try to combine several changes together.

Figure 11. Closing the new project in Flash Builder
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