If you are fortunate to develop on a Mac or *nix system and run your Mendix project on a shared folder with your Windows VM, there is a little bash script you can use to compress your widget- or theme-artifacts as they change. I’m sure there are other ways of doing this on a Windows machine, and if you know of a suitable approach, please let us know.
The first step is to put your code folder somewhere outside of your project, since you don’t want to commit this to TeamServer™. If you do, use your SVN tools to ignore that folder for the purposes of development. After you’ve set it up, launch your IDE.
The problem I find is, every time I make small adjustments to my code, I have to compress the files back into a zip-file and restart my modeler to see the effects. The same actions apply to theming. You make minor CSS changes and the ritual of compressing restarting repeats.
I Googled around to brush up on bash scripting and I wrote a little looping bash script that executes a command every second, making sure my widget or theme package is always up to date. Here it is, continuous.sh:
while [ 1 ]
do sleep 1
Then you automagically shrink-wrap your package by running:
$ ./continuous.sh “zip -r -u path-to-your-widget/MyWidget.mpk path-of-widget-files-folder/*”
Now every time I make a change to my code, the archive gets updated automatically. I’m not a command-line wizard, but this does the job for me. All I need to do now, is restart my modeler. One day hopefully, I’ll be able to automate this too.
A video explains it a bit better if you have trouble following along: