Download (direct link):
Note Unless you are developing object-oriented programming structures in your Flash movies,
chances are that you can continue coding your Flash movies just as you did in previous versions of the Flash authoring environment — publishing your movies as ActionScript 2.0. Most of this book is dedicated to teaching you how to use ActionScript 2.0 with your Flash MX 2004 documents.
If you are an aspiring coder, you will find ActionScript consistent and approachable. Part of what has made Flash so popular is the gentle learning curve that allows you to get started easily and to make progress quickly. Many interactive tasks such as a mouse click on a button that directs the Web browser to a new URL are relatively simple to accomplish. In fact, you can develop large projects without knowing complicated ActionScript code.
Cross- Flash MX 2004 introduces the Behaviors panel, which can be used to quickly add scripts to
Reference your Flash movie elements. Behaviors are discussed in Flash MX 2004 Bible, by Robert
Reinhardt and Snow Dowd (Wiley, 2004).
Chapter 1 ♦ An Introduction to Flash MX 2004
Flash MX 2004’s ActionScript language includes several new classes that expand the capabilities of your Flash movies. You can create or load external CSS (cascading style sheet) files with the TextField.StyleSheet class. Loading external Flash movies (SWF files) or JPEG images at runtime is much simpler with the aid of the MovieClipLoader class. Add right mouse-click (or Control-click on the Mac) menu items to hyperlinked text with the ContextMenu class. With the new PrintJob class, you have precise control over print output generated by your Flash movie. These are just a few of the new additions to the ActionScript language that can be used with Flash Player 7.
Tip You can use these new classes in either ActionScript 1.0 or 2.0. ActionScript 2.0 is a new style of
constructing your code—the classes and objects used in either version are essentially the same.
Flash MX Pro 2004 continues to improve data integration with server-side technologies, and now supports Web services as a data source at runtime. You can also still use data technologies introduced in early versions of Flash, such as form-encoded name/value pairs and XML.
In addition, you can tap data from Flash Remoting MX-enabled gateways on Macromedia ColdFusion MX or JRun servers. Flash Remoting MX is also available as an add-on product for J2EE and Microsoft .NET application servers. Macromedia Flash Communication Server MX 1.5, another server-side technology, allows a Flash movie to connect to multiple users to share audio and video streams directly from their Webcams and microphones! These server technologies enhance the creation of dynamic and manageable sites, even when working with large projects.
Continuing upon the success of the Flash MX components (now dubbed V1 components), Flash MX 2004 and Flash MX Pro 2004 add several prebuilt components to the authoring environment. Although Flash MX 2004 ships with 13 standard user interface (UI) components such as ComboBox, List, and Button, Flash MX Pro 2004 ships with 30 data, media, and UI components. These components are dubbed V2 components. V2 components use an entirely new architecture (based largely on a new UIObject custom class) incorporating a new listener event model. These components are also compiled. Compiled clips, as they are called in the Library panel, can be thought of as self-contained components whose internal architecture is protected. Once a component is compiled, you cannot view or edit the component’s code or individual assets in the authoring environment.
8 Part I ♦ Conceptualizing Flash
Web You can install or purchase additional components from online resources such as the
Resource Macromedia Exchange (www.macromedia.com/exchange) or Macromedia's DevNet site
Flash Player 7 Improvements
Flash Player 7 has been significantly modified since the last version of the player. In addition to the many enhancements of Flash Player 6 such as Unicode and accessibility support, this release of the Flash Player has been completely overhauled to enable the fastest performance from Flash movies.
Web Services Support
As mentioned earlier in this chapter, you can write ActionScript or add data components to your Flash Player 7-compatible movies to consume Web services data. Flash Player 7 supports Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) based Web services. With SOAP, you can enable Rich Internet Applications to access dynamic data with more ease than previous Flash Players allowed.