“Doc?” – a great Flash/ Flex developer tool (and its free)

! Warning: this post hasn't been updated in over three years and so may contain out of date information.

Doc? logoDoc? is  AIR-based API reading tool. It can be used to build up an indexed set of ASDoc-generated API documents that are held locally on your computer, rather than having to be accessed online. To create a library, one points it at the index.html of all the online (or offline) API sources you use and then you leave it to trawl the sites, generating a local copy of each for you.

As a free application, this ability to create a library of offline API documents would be enough to make me recommend Doc? to every Flex/ Flash developer. However, it has another feature up its sleeve that just makes it an awesome product: it has plugins for Flex/Flash Builder and Flash CS3/CS4. These plugins allow you to rapidly access the API documentation for a class you are trying to use.

Let’s take a (very) quick walkthrough of the process using the AutoSortDataGrid class I created. Firstly I pointed Doc? at the online API documentation for my class, so that it was aware of the docs for that class. Then:

Step 1: Highlight AutoSortDataGrid in the code

Step 2: CLick on the “Doc?” icon in Flash Builder

Doc FlashBuilder plugin in action

Step 3: Doc? launches with AutoSortDataGrid selected

Doc? launched from Flash Builder

Now that’s what I call a useful application!