I use FlexBuilder in my work, and, overall, it's a decent tool. Eclipse gets a lot of points for being free; Flex SDK gets a lot of points for being free. FlexBuilder doesn't get points because it's basically the above two items glued together along with a GUI builder, and it costs real cash.
Wait, I'm off track already. The price isn't the issue for me. Rather, I want to know why FlexBuilder doesn't feature incremental compilation.
Hold up again, actually, I guess I want to know how Adobe defines incremental compilation since they insist that it is present and switched on by default in FlexBuilder.
Interesting take on incremental compilation. See, I thought the whole idea was to allow compilation of some, ah, compilation unit -- say a file, or a class -- into an intermediate format which would then be linked, stitched or, in the case of Java .class files, just ZIPped into a final form.
Besides allowing compilation in parallel, this design allows for an easy way to only recompile the units that have changed: just compare the date on the intermediate output file to the date on the source file. If the source file has changed later, then recompile it. It does not appear that this is how the tool is behaving.
Perhaps this logic is already built into FlexBuilder -- mxmlc, really, since that's the compiler -- and the minutes of build time are spent on linking everything into a SWF. Since Adobe revs Flash player regularly, and many movies are compiled with new features to target only the new player, it should be possible to update the SWF format a bit in the next go-around, so that linking doesn't take egregiously long.
Apparently, at MAX this year, Adobe has started referring to the Flash "platform" -- meaning all of the related tools and tech involved around the runtime. Fair enough, it is a robust ecosystem. But "platform" kind of implies that the tools support writing real -- and big -- applications, not just a clone of Monkey Ball or another custom video player for MySpace pages.