Daniel Dura

All About the Adobe Flash Platform

Archive for May, 2003

Flash IDE Tip

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Every day you learn something new. ANd the one I learned today is the best yet. If you are addicted to code hints, but not to fond of the Macromedia provided suffixes (ie _mc, _pb, _txt, etc.) then there is a VERY quick way to change this, right from within the Flash IDE, as you are coding.

Lets say that you want to create a new XMLObject. But, you do not want to use the ‘myvar_xml’, you want to call you new XML Object ‘xmyvar’. To be able to see the Code Hints, add this comment above your code:

//XML xmyvar;

And you are done! Basicall the syntax is below, and make sure not to forget the semicolon at the end.

//Object variablename;

Thats it. Now, maybe I was on the dark side of the moon or something, but I did not know about this, and now really wish I had. And also, let me thank Chafic Kazoun for this one.

Written by Daniel Dura

May 29th, 2003 at 8:39 am

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A New Project

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Just this last week, I completed a project for Fujitsu Network Communications, here in Dallas. I just thought that I would point you over to the site. (http://www.fnc.fujitsu.com/supercomm2003/index.jsp) There is a link to the project on the bottom right section of the screen.

*** NOTE ***
This flash movie is intended to be viewed using a broadband connection or higher.
*** NOTE ***

I must say that this has been an extremely large project, mainly becuase of the backend that runs the ‘Virtual Tradeshow.’ All information regarding the content and videos is stored externally in XML files so that individuals who are not knowledgable about Flash development can easily make changes to the system. The 3D model was built using Swift3D, and has changed numerous times from its first inception. Also, each object within the Virtual Tradeshow is encapsulated into its own component. For example, the window that appears when the user clicks on a product or solution, is a component. Also, the button set within that window is a component, etc. I will probably give a more detailed explanation of some great tips I learned on this project at a later date. I will be doing a more thorough ‘postmortem’ in about 2 weeks to examine what went well on this project, and what could be improved. This has become a ritual for me, and I encourage you to do this on your projects.

Right now, I have about 6 more projects that need to be completed by next week, or I will be toast. Also, just a short note that this is v1 of this project, and much more will be added in its functionality within the next few months. Feel free to let me know what you think, but don’t be too tough.

Written by Daniel Dura

May 22nd, 2003 at 8:14 am

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Flash Naming Conventions

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If you do not user the provided suffixes in your ActionScript, you should. If you want to see why, read this entry by Sean Voisen. He also gives suggestions on how you can modify the Flash MX configuration files so that they better meet your own personal coding conventions. I just thought that I would put together a complete list of all the standard suffixes, for quick reference.

When creating a large and complex application, with many custom components, I will usually give the components thier own suffixes and documentation, which helps me to keep my code clean and organized and prevents me from mistyping a method name, etc. But, with the growing number of components, it is becoming easier to create a conflict in the suffixes used. So, I put together this quick list, and thought I would provide it to you. If you have any suggestions, or additions, please post them in the comments. I can assure you that I missed out on a couple :)


Written by Daniel Dura

May 18th, 2003 at 10:03 am

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A Better IDE

with 120 comments

Lately I have been doing quite a bit of reasearch regarding IDEs to use when developing Flash Applications. Until now, I had been using SciTE Flash, or EditPlus. These offered great coding features such as auto-completion, color coding, etc. But, in essence, they were just glorified text editors. I was really looking for something that could save me valuable time in development.

A week or two ago, Ralf Bokelberg posted on his blog regarding the Eclipse IDE. This java based application looks like it might actually be what I am looking for. It is a highly extensable, IDE that has numerous plugins available. The CVS integration is amazing, and the coding plugins make coding a breeze. Of course, the IDE is geared towards Java development, but because of the ability to add plugins, it can be geared towards ActionScript. In fact, Ralf created an extension to the color coding plkugin, and now ActionScript files will also ‘show thier true colors,’ so to speak. I even integrated Flush into the Eclipse IDE and was able to recompile .fla files from within Eclipse.

Macromedia seems to have something up its sleave as it has teased us with information regarding Royale. Hopefully they will integrate many features such as this into it. (My personal wishes are the ability to interact with CVS from within the IDE, and command line compilation of .fla files) But, until we learn more about Royale, check out Eclipse.

Written by Daniel Dura

May 14th, 2003 at 1:52 pm

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Time to Switch

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Unfortunately, it seems that a battle that has been going on in my mind for a while has finnaly been settled, and it isnt looking good for my pocketbook! I am going to buy an Apple. In the beginning of my techno life, me and Josh had a Apple SE II Plus: 20MB harddrive, 9 inch grayscale screen…etc. Since then, it has been a PC world. But now, it seems that it is time for me to switch back. The past few years have seen quantum leaps in the architecture and design of the Apple machines, and I have decided to take the plunge and buy one.

BUT, I need your help. I am looking at getting a Powerbook, but which one? Any ideas, suggestions, warnings, etc., would be greatly appreciated. So, post away!

Written by Daniel Dura

May 1st, 2003 at 2:24 pm

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