Thursday, April 7, 2011

Flash XML Aplications

Format : PDF
Author : Joachim Schnier, Ph.D.
Publisher : Focal Press Company
ISBN: 978-0-240-80917-5
Pages  : 327
Size : 6.2 Mb

Indowebster Server:

XML, the other markup language, is used by many server-side applications to handle complex datasets. Recent additions include Web services and RSS feeds. While we can write our own XML files for certain applications and determine how we want to parse XML, RSS feeds and Web services have a given XML file structure, for which we need to write a parser. The XML object was first introduced in Flash 5, but at that time did not get as much attention. Parsing XML in Flash 5 was harder because white space had to be considered for the parser. With the introduction of dynamic loading of objects such as images and audio in Flash MX, and the introduction of the ignoreWhite Boolean, which eliminates the white space during parsing of XML, the use of XML as a data-holding tool became more fashionable. This allowed the development of XML-driven slideshows and MP3 players, to mention some applications. An advantage of XML is that, without opening and compiling the original Flash movie, we can update the application by adding or removing data. While this is also possible with simple text files, it is clear that complex data can be much more logically structured using XML. In Flash MX2004 many Flash components that use XML as a data source have been introduced.

As to which XML books can be recommended, I once read a comment that parsing XML depends on the individual application and is in many cases unique. This would make books that specifically focus on parsing XML in Flash unnecessary. I disagree, because there is a certain methodology that can be used and learned to access every piece of data in an XML file and create virtual XML files using Flash ActionScript. The existence of predetermined XML files from RSS feeds, Web services, and large data banks and the use of XML in components justifies specific literature that focuses on XML parsing.

ActionScript 2 and 3
XML parsing itself is only one part of an application. Once we have accessed the data we need to do something with it. The scripting language in Flash is ActionScript (AS). Early Flash versions such as Flash 4 had very primitive ActionScript and creating applications was limited. More complex applications were possible with Flash 5 and MX. However, ActionScript version 1 is not precise and is lacking data typing, for example, or allows compilation of scripts with undefined variables within equations. It makes applications error-prone. It changed with the introduction of AS2, which allowed data typing and for the first time made it possible to write ActionScript in the form of external classes (Flash MX 2004). The compilation of ActionScript 2, however, was still similar to that of AS1, because it used the same virtual machine, which is referred to as AVM1 (ActionScript Virtual Machine 1). The introduction of AS2, however, made Flash more attractive to developers who were used to other programming languages such as Java or C . Although this book has a short tutorial on some basics of AS2, the reader is referred to other books that deal with basic concepts of AS2 in more detail. AS2 has its limits and one of the limits is how ActionScript is compiled. This led to the development of the AVM2, which is now used to compile AS3, the newest version of ActionScript. The basics of AS3 are introduced in more depth in this book than those of AS2, because there is less basic literature available. AS3 adds many more features to create Flash movies that are lacking in previous ActionScript versions. It also brings changes to the way XML is parsed and introduces a new XML class.

Section 1 Introduction to XML Applications and ActionScript 2 .......... 1
Chapter 1 XML Introduction .......... 3
Chapter 2 ActionScript 2 Revisited .......... 10
Chapter 3 XML and XMLNode Classes .......... 20
Chapter 4 Tutorial: Creating a Universal XML Load/onload Class .......... 38
Chapter 5 Parsing XML with AS2 .......... 46
Chapter 6 Tutorial: Creating a Universal XHTML Parser .......... 53
Chapter 7 XML Server-Side .......... 63

Section 2 Components .......... 73
Chapter 8 The Menu, MenuBar, and Tree Components .......... 75
Chapter 9 The ComboBox Component .......... 85
Chapter 10 Connector Components .......... 90
Chapter 11 Creating an RSS Feed Reader .......... 102

Section 3 Creating a Real Estate Web Site .......... 111
Chapter 12 Creating Your Own Menu Bar .......... 113
Chapter 13 Creating the Database (Part 1) .......... 121

Chapter 14 Creating the Database (Part 2) ..........146
Chapter 15 Content Management .......... 171

Section 4 ActionScript 3 .......... 203
Chapter 16 ActionScript 3: Basic Tutorial ..........205 
Chapter 17 XMLDocument, XMLNode, XML, and XMLList Classes .......... 226
Chapter 18 Menu Bar and ComboBox .......... 262
Chapter 19 The Search Engine (Part 1) .......... 278
Chapter 20 The Search Engine (Part 2) .......... 301

Index .......... 317

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