The public release of my ActionScript framework is now available. Check out the shiny new site where you can find documentation and a user guide to help you get started. To make it even more simple, the site comes with Boilerplate, a utility that creates either a Flex or pure ActionScript project at a single click of a button.
I really think that the learning curve for this framework is minimal compared to some of the big names out there. I think that this is important for some less experienced programmers and some jobs that just don’t need a giant framework to get it done.
I don’t know how much I’ll be updating this framework, it really depends on the community. If it finds a place out there, then I will add to it and make it better. It also depends on jobs I get where I need to make something in ActionScript. If this framework is suitable for the project, I will probably improve upon it as I see where it needs improvement as I work.
A special thanks to Markus Winkler for taking a look and giving his input. You can check out his site here. You can follow the Cyntaxic framework on Twitter.
I just finished up the first public beta release on my ActionScript MVC framework, Cyntaxic. There is going to be a site launch for it coming soon. Right now, the beta can be checked out from my SVN repository. Comments are very welcome. The best place to put those comments is here until the site launch. The documentation can for the framework can be found here. I may make this prettier, or just less Adobe docs looking, but we will see about that for the official site launch.
Also, check out the demos built with Cyntaxic. The Stickies demo is a pure ActionScript application showing off view management and the Cyntils demo is a Flex application displaying the Cyntaxic’s utility classes. The Stickies demo can be checked out from here and the Cyntils demo can be checked out from here.
One thing I don’t like about the AddThis API is that it doesn’t give you the ability to get all services to make your own custom visualizations. You can only make a bookmark URL one link at a time. If there was some way to get all the services listed you could loop through them in any programming language and make your own organized listing of all the services and attach the link accordingly. Whether that was a just a scroll box or some kind of crazy over-the-top 3D Flash thing it would be possible with such an API. I suggested this idea of a Supported Services Data API on the AddThis forum. Read more …
While bug hunting I came across this very unusual bug. In a project that I am working on, I am using multiple unique instances of the LocalConnection object to communicate between an AS3 master and an AS2 slave. These LocalConnection instances use a random number to keep them unique, so each time the program is reloaded it makes a new LocalConnection instance. After refreshing the browser exactly 8 times the LocalConnection object stops sending out messages. I remember reading about an 8 connection limit somewhere, but I didn’t connect the dots until right now. These dots suck to connect. Read more …
I am working on a project that is going to have an API that allows the user to insert video. The API is basically an ActionScript class that attaches a property when the user publishes their SWF. When the SWF is loaded into the main SWF program, it has access to the special functions in the SWF file. First, I just used the FLVPlayback and a registry function so the app would have access to it’s functions. That’s fine, but the user has to host an FLV for this to be effective. Not everyone has a server at their disposal, so this is the reason to build on existing video sites. Also, your not shit as a dev guy unless your mashable Web 2.0 savvy.
Fortunately, the popular sites have APIs out there ready and available to get content and media. A developer is expected to know what they have available to them and what will make the job easier for them. Being in the know about Facebook shit is actually a job requirement.
So, first one I thought of was the giant, YouTube. YouTube’s player is AS2 and to use it in an AS3 project you need to wrap it in an AS3 SWF and use LocalConnection to interface with it. There are a few solutions out there but in the end it is a band aid, until YouTube puts together an alternative player API. After fumbling with this, and saving the failing code to my repository for later, I went to Vimeo.
Vimeo has a pretty cool player and the thing that puts it over the top for my app is that it is written in ActionScript 3. But, as with everything, it isn’t perfect. YouTube has a good API page, and some decent forums, and support of the widespread dev community. Vimeo does not. Their API page is nothing short of pathetic, to say the least. They have one example and it doesn’t work. I found a working example on their fourm. At the top of the API page (as of this posting) they have a blurb that says this: You may have noticed that there are some inaccuracies in this documentation. We working on improving it. How about now? In the time it took to put up that asinine message you could of updated the code. That is annoying. Also, there is no public functions to be seen what so ever. Searching on the forums, someone found play, load and unload, which kind of works like stop. I also needed an event at the end of the video. Pretty standard stuff as far as a video API goes. Looks like I am going to have to Sherlock Holmes this shit. Read more …
I wanted to find a way to make my ActionScript library files into a SWC file for easy distribution. There are definitely ways to go about it, but I wanted to find a way that wouldn’t open a Pandora’s box of workarounds, learning curves, and bullshit. So, time for research.
First, I found the rather insane way of going about it by manually writing every single import statement into a document class. In this guy’s defense he is only doing one class and he is making a MXP out of it, so it’s different than what I was looking for.
I’ve heard about ANT tasks, now that I am a Eclipse and Flex user. So, I did some research on this and it seemed closer to what I was looking for. I found one or two places with some stuff to get me started. So I modified this one. After the learning curve blues, I got it to work, minus compiler warnings and a problem with the Vector class not in the Flex 3 SDK. It’s cool that ANT build files are XML so it feels familiar, but it’s a whole world to learn about. Read more …
Sometimes when I check out other people’s code I see things that I never do when I program. Sometimes they are kind of cool and if I like it enough, it becomes part of my workflow. While looking at some code the other day I saw something that I have never seen before. Variables defined in a comma delimited list. Below is how I normally go about defining variables.
The above can also be defined shorthanded using a few less lines. It’s a little thing, but you end up not rewriting the variable declaration every time this way.
var red:uint, grn:uint, blu:uint;
var i:Number, f:Number, p:Number, q:Number, t:Number;
When externally loading a SWF, the file is casted to a MovieClip object. The top left position is preserved when it loads in but you lose a few things that could be helpful. First of all your background color is gone (As far as I know). This is the color that is set in the Properties panel in Flash or the SWF meta tag in Flex. The other thing is that the dimensions aren’t preserved either. If you trace the SWF file’s width and height it will return the width and height of content inside and not the bounding of the original SWF file. But there is somewhere that this information is preserved. Inside the LoaderInfo object. To obtain the size of the loaded object just write something like this. This short example is an example of snytax and is not actual functional code.
trace(extFile.loaderInfo.width + " " + extFile.loaderInfo.height);
There is the other information that the LoaderInfo object retains like actionscriptVersion and frameRate. A full list can be found in the reference guide. Like everything else AS3.
Here are some quick one line wonders. From reading some stuff here and there I was able to fashion 2 functions for handling the conversion between hex strings and unsigned integers. Most of the time a uint is asked for when it comes to color, but some things like the StyleSheet object asks for a string value of a hex color like you would use in CSS.
I guess these function names got a little long, but they are very descriptive to what they do, and when you use Flex with it’s completion function name brevity isn’t as much of an issue as it is with Flash.
return uint("0x" + hex.split("#"));
return String("#" + (num.toString(16).toUpperCase()));
If you want to get a query string off a SWF file name there is a short line of code that does it. This is one of those things that I just can’t figure out logically; I just have to memorize how to do it. I’ve done this once or twice before in AS2 and it was a little bit easier then. This points to the LoaderInfo of the main SWF file. Then you get the parameters property from there. The FlashVars parameter in the SWF’s HTML page does the same thing as adding a query string to the file name.
var paramObj:Object = LoaderInfo(this.root.loaderInfo).parameters;
For the SWF file name “player.swf?src=video.flv” the code to get the src value would be the following.
var src:String = paramObj["src"]; //would get "video.flv"
var srcAlso:String = paramObj.src; //same using property instead