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KapInspect: X-Ray Glasses for Debugging and Maintaining Flex/AS3 Applications

Posted by julienrevel | December 2, 2008 .

This is the first in a three-article series on KapInspect.

What is KapInspect?

KapInspect is a free debugging and introspection tool that will help Flex and AS3 developers to inspect their applications at runtime. Its main features are:

  • Display list hierarchical browsing for applications as well as for popups
  • Dynamic display list tree, reacting to add and remove children on your application, and always displaying its current state
  • Capture tool to pinpoint any UIComponent in the application
  • Inspect the public variable of any object (including UIComponents) recursively: objects, array, dictionaries
  • Event console for logging standard Flex events dispatched by objects and components, with event filters, including capture/target/bubble phase
  • Statistics on display objects: count of children by type
  • Outline class definition: parents, interfaces, methods, attributes
  • Multi-tabbed architecture allowing loading of multiple inspectors at the same time on different objects
  • Plugin architecture allowing third-party plugins to be developed
  • Display memory consumed by FlashPlayer in real time

Where to find KapInspect ?

KapInspect is freely provided by Kap IT, a French company specialized and committed to Flex development since 2005. KapInspect is freely available for download on KapLab (after registration), as well as other great components for Data Visualization (see the end of this article for a short description of them). KapInspect  and other KapLab components may also be found on the new Flex3 Component explorer, known as TourDeFlex provided by Adobe.

Useful links

KapInspect Overview

KapInspect preview

Packaging

KapInspect is packaged in two different and complementary ways:

  • As a static SWC to be linked into your application. This SWC contains all classes, inspectors, as well as the main popup. It will add about 1000 Ko to your application size, so one should be careful not to link this library into production code.
  • As a combination of very light SWC module loader (KapInspectModuleLoader.SWC) and a Flex SWF module (KapInspectModule.SWF). Using this method will only add a few Ko to your application, but it requires to deploy the SWF module along with your application (it may be a way to prevent production application to display KapInspect, if you “forget” to deploy the module).

In our next post, we will drill down into KapInspect features and capabilities.

About KapLab

KapLab is the result of a deliberate effort to develop innovative components for Flex, as we are committed to playing a role in the Flex community.

We provide great components for free, as shown below:

  • Flex Diagrammer (with Layout algorithms):    diagramer visu1 KapInspect: X Ray Glasses for Debugging and Maintaining Flex/AS3 Applications
  • Graph visualizer:                                                 visualizer visu2 KapInspect: X Ray Glasses for Debugging and Maintaining Flex/AS3 Applications
  • Radar Chart:                                                         radarchart visu1 KapInspect: X Ray Glasses for Debugging and Maintaining Flex/AS3 Applications
  • Treemap:                                                              treemap visu1 KapInspect: X Ray Glasses for Debugging and Maintaining Flex/AS3 Applications

Please feel free to try and use them.

All components that we provide are 100% free, and may be used in any product that you develop with them (they cannot be resold as components though). We publish new versions very often. You are welcome to leave comments and encouraged to submit bugs or feature requests through our integrated JIRA database. Each component has a user guide, an integration guide, ASDoc, and live demonstration.

You will have to register first on KapLab to be able to download any component, or to post comments or bugs.

As Cyril Daloz, CEO says: “Kap Lab exists because in innovation we trust. Enjoy our products and help us to give you the best.

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2 Comments so far
  1. Kevin Crawford  December 2, 2008 11:44 am

    Nice article.

  2. Kevin Crawford  December 2, 2008 11:47 am

    Very good article. Some of the layout alg. have existed for a while. The treemap is really not that new but I really thought the building of associations in the Flex Diagrams was pretty innovative.

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