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Category Archives: AS2

I had taken some video tutorials at Flash Extensions.com way back, and I always liked Robert Taylor’s appoach in using the trace command in Actionscript. I would represent this via the “tr” method in each of my classes so that when I am previewing the program, I can know in which class I can find the origin of my trace statements. AS3 is not much different since you can use multiple arguments in your function parameters.

The AS2 version used an undocumented arguments array in the parameters of a function like this:

[cc=”actionscript” tab_size=”2″ lines=”40″]
// This method in a class called MyClass

private function tr(arguments):Void {

if (arguments.length == 0) {
trace(“”);
} else {
trace(“[MyClass] … ” + arguments.join(” : “));
}

}
[/cc]

In AS3,

[cc=”actionscript3″ tab_size=”2″ lines=”40″]
// This method in a class called MyClass

private function tr(… args:Array):void {

if (args.length == 0) {
trace(“”);
} else {
trace(“[MyClass] … ” + args.join(” : “));
}

}
[/cc]

Last year, I used the CasaFramework in my localization projects and pretty much saved me from further angst in Font usage in AS2 Flash development.

Recently, Aaron Clinger and Michael Creighton have released an AS3 version of the library. Also a new AS2 version has been released as well. (v. 1.5) I am sure there are many frameworks and libraries out there. I just mention this because they have a very good community base. I don’t know what I would do with out it in my AS2 development.

You can find the library at: http://casalib.org.

DJ

I haven’t posted in a while because I am full time in development of localized Flash applications in 11 languages with Flash 8 / AS2. The objective was that I include embedded fonts with externalized xml and css content. (Embedded fonts are required since I cannot modify properties with device fonts such as rotation and scaling.) Then I created tags in my xml file to correspond to labels in my animations. This was a tricky job, but I got it worked out.

The hardest aspect of localization development was to embed fonts into flash. There are many sites that addresses localization in flash development. (I realized that such development is getting to be an art form.) The Adobe site unfortunately doesn’t really help that much in this respect.

The free Fontastic engine at http://www.flashextensions.com is a good site. He also gives a quick overview of the intricacies of localization with Flash since Flash Player 7. There are video tutorials, but it has been very difficult to get in touch with the web administrator. I even tried to use three different emails to renew my video subscription but to no avail. Anyways, I had to move on and continue development.

Fontastic inspired me to use font symbols in external libraries. Later, I found that in my development that I was restricted to use only 255 characters. This is great for latin based characters (e.g. English, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese…) Maybe with exception to French. I needed to include the “oe” character, by creating a new font. (I use fontCreator by High Logic. )

Since I had to develop for Japanese, Chinese, and Greek, I was forced to include Unicode. So I thought about scouring the web one last time. But lo and behold, there was the casaframework.org. What the Zend framework is for PHP, the Casa framework is for Flash AS2. (An AS3 is in the works as we speak.) I began using the FontManager class and removed all references to my font library symbols. I had successfully ported over to Japanese and am working on Greek and Chinese.

Notable Links:

Flash and CSS:

http://www.blog.lessrain.com/?p=98

http://www.connectedpixel.com/blog/fonts/cssembedding

Flash Shared Font Libraries:

http://www.quasimondo.com/archives/000227.php

http://www.quasimondo.com/archives/000211.php
Flash and Unicode:

http://polygeek.com/110_adobeflash/actionscript_unicode-in-flash

Flash and Device Fonts: (A hack)

http://polygeek.com

Dynamic Fonts with Flash:

http://kelvinluck.com/article/dynamic-shared-fonts-in-flash

You can find the installation instructions from the Brighton, UK Flash user group at: http://www.flashbrighton.org/wordpress/?p=16

DJ


In my previous blog, I was looking for the means of finding the most adequate way of loading fonts through run time libraries in the most efficient manner. It was practically impossible to figure out how to preload runtime libraries via flash. Although, I had an idea of loading other swfs that point to runtime libraries that seem to work out so that I can launch an event handler on the second frame to say that the font loading process was complete, lo and behold that there was another developer who already got into it and points to a far better implementation of this ever-elusive topic for using runtime font libraries for localization. Enter http://www.flashextensions.com by Robert Taylor. (I am not sure if there are other presenters.) He gave a presentation at last years Flash forward conference regarding localization. Check out the pdf doc he prepared. (Click here.)

And while I was going through the tutorials, I thought that this was just what I needed about advanced Actionscripting. I really recommend this site for advanced Actionscript development. Getting the videos and source code is minimal for about $25 for a month, which is plenty of time if you are dedicated to go through them. It will save a lot of headaches banging your head against the keyboard!

-DJ

Aaron Silvers (http://www.flashforlearning.com/) wrote a sample SCORM 1.2 course which uses the ExternalInterface class for AS2. This is a good example for creating Flash e-learning courses.

Thanks Aaron!

– DJ

This was a better turn out than the last meeting. It was very exciting to talk about what’s going on.

Lord Alex talked about his experiences at the Apollo Camp at San Francisco earlier this month. There is certainly some interest out there. (Aparently, the Apollo code name will be likely the product name that will be released.)

Lee Sutton gave a presentation on Adobe Acrobat. He is involved in the Digital Editions project in labs. It’s pretty cool that you can all all kinds of media elements into pdf. So pdf is much more than a print document. You can add all kinds of media elements into it. There is also an emerging e-book market out there. Imagine, download your Disney e-books with added interactivity, videos and text. Brilliant for my kids! Also there is talk about releasing a modified pdf extension .pub which will encrypt all your media content within which includes pdf, swf, movies, etc. There is a lot of flexibility in regards to security on distributing electronic documents.

Martin Arvisais gave a presentation on Flex interacting with Communication server. He whipped up a quick chat application in 15 minutes. Unfortunately, it did not work out on Apollo. Still, Apollo is in beta.

André Bouchard gave a talk on the Delegate class. (He’s Butcho on the montreal adobe user group bulletin boards.) I just realized about the importance of this class in AS 2.0 while banging my head on the key board for a couple of hours. In short the Delegate class resolves scoping issues. What was great was that Francis Bourre that created the pixLib classes developed a better implementation of the class by adding parameters to the class. I have to give a presentation at work. It will greatly benefit.

I also got a spanking new book on “Flash Applications for Mobile Devices” as a thank you from Lord Alex. I was even considering buying the e-book on this. Cool!

A whole bunch of them are also planning a trip to FITC 2007 April 22nd (Sunday) – 24th (Tuesday). Oh how I would like to go, but my fifth child will be born around that time. Maybe next year!

DJ

I just stumbled upon this:

http://www.xleff.org

Antonia De Donatis (author of the Friends of Ed book: Advanced Components) whipped up this site last month. (Feb 2007)
XLEFF stands for: XML  Layout Engine for Flash

Basically it is an xml document that describes the layout of your UI components for use in Flash MX2004 or in Flash 8.

It seems to be an alternative to using Flex. (Antonio seems to lean toward this way. He doesn’t say it explicitly on his site.) At least, you have to use AS2 and the Flash IDE (I suppose you can use an external editor as well with MTASC.)

I’ve used this method since working on Flash 6. (Well, in a very primitive way.) I always preferred using XML to place UI objects on the stage. It’s much better to modify text content in an xml file and let graphic artists concentrate on animating instead of opening up the Flash IDE, and making changes through there.

Antonio does mention though that as we are close to the next version of the Flash IDE (Flash 9), he still expects that it could be useful for the next couple of years. I tend to agree that the clients that I work with are very slow to upgrade, and many of them just upgraded on Flash 8, few to Flash 9. At my job, the company also tends to upgrade software once the first service pack comes out. (Can you believe that I work with Windows 2000?) There is always the issues of security and stability.

DJ

Just wanted to vent my frustration after forgetting to write:

some_xml.ignoreWhite = true;

of which I could not render a simple slideshow.

The obvious benefit of using shared libraries is for re-usablity of assets. I am currently working on a project using localization via xml, css, and shared libraries. This is a challenging task to undertake. So far, I had to load the library in my main presentation swf which loaded separate swfs for each page of content. What’s going on is that the shared library is being loaded everytime I load a new swf. This is very inefficient. I am now looking into preloading and swf management with a single library asset. Somehow, levels implementation might be involved. Stay tuned…

In regard to shared libraries, I recommend to check out: