The Code snippets feature in Flash CS5 is no good.

I’ve been playing with the new Flash CS5 trial and went to the “what’s new” page on the Adobe site. So far so good. I watched the first video about the improved Text Engine. Very nice. Columns ftw! But upon the second feature I started to scratch myself behind my ears. What the %*$# went wrong with the new “Code Snippets” feature? Adobe has placed it on number 2 on their list. But they shouldn’t have. Here’s why.

  1. One of the first things I did was “add new code snippet”. I immediately wanted to created my very own snippets folder, but couldn’t see anything that allowed me to do so. Too bad. I just created a new “code snippet” in stead. A popup jumps up, I saved my new fantastic piece of code and … nothing. The snippet wasn’t added anywhere. Opened all the default snippets folders, but my snippet was gone! Let’s try again. This time it worked. A “custom” folder was created in the code snippet panel and my code snippet was added as expected. Mmmm … not a great start, but maybe it’s just me.
  2. So I clicked on the code snippet and it was inserted nicely in the actions layer of my project, but saw that something was wrong with my script. So I tried to right click the snippet and looked for an “edit code snippet” entry in the context menu. But I didn’t find such entry. I did, however, find a “edit code snippets xml”.
    context menu code snippet entry, no edit code snippet entry to be seen
  3. Ok, let’s do the “edit code snippets xml” action. Flash opens a new tab containing the xml for the code snippets. But half of my code is colored green. Correct XML color syntaxing anyone? Reason: I’ve used a single quote in the description of one of my snippets.
    color syntax coloring not working in code snippet xml editor in flash cs5
    Because the <description> tag doesn’t get CDATA from the code snippet panel, you are left out with just letters and some plain characters if you don’t want to ruin the color syntax in the XML editor tab. Booh!
    It’s also not possible to fix this by manually adding CDATA to the description tag. The code stays green.
  4. A fourth very annoying thing is the lack of intendations in the “create new code snippet” popup. If you press tab on your keyboard, it just jumps around to the next UI component in the popup. That’s very nice, but not when you’re trying to right some reusable code!
    the new code snippet popup doesn't allow intendation

This is where I end my rant on the new – not ready for production workflows – code snippets feature in Flash CS5. It is an great idea to help your fellow collegues with your collection of code snippets, but it lacks a lot of real usage testing in my very humble opinion. The Code Snippet feature in Flash CS5 is not worthy of your bucks until further development has been done.

One thought on “The Code snippets feature in Flash CS5 is no good.”

  1. Yeah, I personally agree with you. When I tried to create my own code snippet, it doesn’t show either.

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