Tutorials, extensions, and source files for ActionScript, Flash, and other Adobe products.


AS3: Layout classes update

Posted October 02, 2008 by senocular

I've just posted updated Layout classes. The primary change includes a fix taking care of an ambiguous error when used with newer compilers, notably CS4/Flash Player 10. There have been some other updates as well such as a new maintainAspectRatioPolicy property that determines how constrained scaling is applied to objects whose aspect ratio is being retained. The 4 options are favorWidth, favorHeight, favorLargest, and favorSmallest - each of which have respective constants in the LayoutConstraint class.

Dollar Sign ($) in ActionScript Identifiers? It's a No-no

Posted September 11, 2008 by senocular

Do you use $ in your ActionScript for class or member names? (I know I've seen it used sometimes in place of the underscore (_) for private members.) If you do, maybe you shouldn't.

I recently caught wind of this little paragraph in the ECMAScript language spec (section 7.6):

"This standard specifies one departure from the grammar given in the Unicode standard: The dollar sign ($) and the underscore (_) are permitted anywhere in an identifier. The dollar sign is intended for use only in mechanically generated code."

This came up as a result of some issues I was having sorting out class member definitions that did in fact use the dollar sign in their identifier names. Tisk tisk.

UML to ActionScript 3.0 Update + Tutorial

Posted September 11, 2008 by senocular

I've updated my latest little pet project (a source export for ActionScript 3.0 from UML) with some new features including greater support for Events and Errors. Most importantly, though (I think), is there are also now around 30 different options for the export include preferences concerning indentation style as well as how much source the export should really attempt to create for you.

All of these preferences and much of how the export works (and instructions on installing it) are covered in the new tutorial:

The latest build of the export is beta2. For bugs or other issues, contact me directly.

New UML to ActionScript 3.0 Source Generation Template

Posted September 02, 2008 by senocular

I've been wanting to do a little more with UML lately, moving beyond my standard post-it note chicken scratch for class diagrams. I've looked into UML tools before, but coming back to it this time, I think I've decided to stick with StarUML (Windows, free).

One of the problems with StarUML, and this is probably the case with most UML tools (especially the free ones), is that there is no ActionScript 3.0 source export - at least not built in. I have found some information about exporting to ActionScript 3.0 from StarUML here:

which is based on what someone posted here (which I can't read):

However, I was unable to get these export templates to work with my current project. And looking at the templates' source files, it seems that they are just refactored from the PHP export, something I felt was a little hacked (especially given that both Herman [digitaldogbyte] and his colleague were editing them further).

Nevertheless, the potential was there so I spent some time this weekend starting a new, dedicated ActionScript 3.0 export script for StarUML. Here are the results (!):


For more information, see Using StarUML to Generate ActionScript 3.0.

Note that this is technically still "beta" and if you have any problems, just let me know. I think, for the most part, though, everything should come out as you expect. I can't recall any liberties I took in how UML elements normally relate to each other but I make no promises ;).

JSFL Command: Replace associated class text

Posted July 21, 2008 by senocular

I have trouble making up my mind. So much that I can have a fairly substantial project in the works and suddenly decide that I need to rename the package path in which all my classes are stored. Luckily, code-wise, some simple search-replacing/refactoring can take care of any changes needed in the .as files. However, since this project is also based in the Flash Authoring tool, I'm left with a lot of classes associated with items in the Flash library which still reference the old package names. The solution? A search and replace JSFL command that replaces text in all items with associated classes in the library (plus the document class).

Get the command:
Replace associated class text.jsfl

Flash Player 10 (Astro) Beta 2

Posted July 02, 2008 by senocular

I haven't seen much attention given to this, so I thought I'd post a note. Adobe labs has posted Beta 2 of Flash Player 10 (code named Astro). Not only were a great number of bugs fixed (especially with the new features), but more features were even added including... wait for it... [limited] keyboard support in full screen! Security unfortunately limits us from allowing full keyboard support, but hey, we'll take what we can get.

San Flashcisco: 3D without an Engine

Posted June 23, 2008 by senocular

For anyone who missed it, the presentation and source files of the examples I covered in the San Flashcisco June Meet are now available.

One thing I should point out is that the source files are in Flash CS3 format. They should, however, work in Flash 8, so if you need them in Flash 8 format, just let me know.

Also, though I didn't have time to cover it at the user group meeting, if you're interested in what's different in the Flash Player 9 and 10 versions of the spin gallery, see the class file ImageMesh3D.as.

senocular - the college years, now online

Posted June 02, 2008 by senocular

I found and uploaded a bunch of projects I did in college. Many are down-right embarrassing despite their purpose mainly being based on the exploration of the technology (and of course in some respect, getting a good grade). I can blame some of that on the fact that they were group projects, but not all, heh.

Others, I'm quite proud of (considering), including:
Our Unnecessary Complications
Twisted Audio (good luck with this one; most people have trouble figuring it out)

All the projects can be found under:

In case you didn't know, I graduated from the University of Maryland with a BA in Visual Art.

Dreamweaver, Fireworks, Soundbooth - all CS4, all now on Labs

Posted May 26, 2008 by senocular

A number of pretty big apps just made their way to Adobe Labs. These include Dreamweaver CS4 beta, Fireworks CS4 beta, and Soundbooth CS4 beta.

Needless to say, I'm pretty psyched about Fireworks. Some of the new features are small but a great help to making my work flow a lot smoother. You never realized how much you needed smart guides until you've had them. The ability to save out and dynamically update styles is also awesome.

I'm sure the other products are also as equally as exciting...

Flash Player 10: Language Reference (API Documentation)

Posted May 21, 2008 by senocular

I know that a lot of people were looking for this, so along with Ryan Stewart, I'm passing it on that the Flash Player 10 Language Reference is now available for download.

Currently the documentation is only available in its entirety as a zip (6.45 MB); I am not aware of any online version.