Is AS3 Ready For Prime-Time? (part 3)

– taterboy | September 27th, 2008

Filed under: Flash, Flash AS2 to AS3, Tutorials

Targeting Loaded swfs and Streaming

As we move into the Object Oriented mindset, communication between a host and loaded swf can be a little controversial. Though using bubbling events is great for easy plug and play type communication, establishing a direct connection to pass information can be more efficient.

As a comparison, to load an swf into an AS2 project, all you have to do is tell a MovieClip to load an swf and then that MovieClip will take on all the attributes of the loading swf. To access the loaded timeline you use, MovieClip.gotoAndPlay(2);

In AS3 all loaded swfs are loaded into a loader object that is added to a container. To access the timeline of a loaded swf you would use an instance of the Loader Object’s content.

var loadedSwf:Object = Loader.loaderInfo.content; 
var loadedSwf:Object = Loader.contentLoaderInfo.content; 

Here are a few things to keep in mind when communicating with loaded swfs with AS3.
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Easy Custom Scrollbar Class for TextFields (AS2)

– taterboy | September 17th, 2008

Filed under: ActionScript 2, Design, Flash, Free Components/Classes, Tips

Here is the twin brother of the Easy Scrollbar MovieClip Class that works with TextFields. It does not require the masking and is perfect for Input TextFields. It has all the features of the MovieClip version except for easing. TextFields scroll one line at a time which is not very smooth.
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Tampa Flash, Flex and AIR Developers Group

– taterboy | September 16th, 2008

Filed under: General Info

The Tampa Flash, Flex and AIR Developers Group has launched their website with their first meeting scheduled for October 7th, 2008 at 7:00 PM. They have some cool things planned and some great sponsors. The meeting will be held at the Art Institutes of Tampa and refreshments provided by the International Culinary Schools.

Greg Wilson, from Adobe, will be the presenter for the inaugural event and we can expect frequent visits from Adobe representatives in the future. Find out more at and RSVP if you are in the area.

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Easy Flash Custom Scrollbar Class (AS2)

– taterboy | September 10th, 2008

Filed under: ActionScript 2, Design, Flash, Free Components/Classes, Tips

I know there are some really nice scroll components similar to this on the web, but I think this still has merit. It seems like every job comes with a different scroll bar design, the buttons and scroll bar can be any shape, size or configuration. While most Flash scroll bar components are easily skinned, this is kind of the opposite of skinning. You create the artwork, convert each item to a MovieClip, then apply the class. The code wraps the artwork instead of the artwork skinning the code.

This class started around 3 years ago and has been modified for many different projects and continued to evolve into what we have today. It is not perfect, but it can handle most jobs needing custom scroll bars.
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Session Variables and AMFPHP

– taterboy | September 3rd, 2008

Filed under: AMFPHP, Flash, Flex, Tips

In normal uses PHP and other server/scripting languages are able to store variables for later usage. Due to the fact that the these pages are not actually living in a browser, remoting is one of the exceptions where variables do not live between calls. We have to plan out our Flash to PHP conversations as if PHP has very short term memory and include all the needed data to complete every transaction. For instance, if you have to store information in a database using a userID, even though you have just recieved that userID from php, your next php call will have to include the userID because PHP just can not remember.

Here is a demo of using PHP session variables to temporarily store and read data. Even though normal variables vanish, session information is live and well.
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