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Macromedia Flash is the key to designing and delivering low-bandwidth animations, presentations, and Web sites. It is also a full-fledged programming API with scripting capabilities and server-side connectivity enabling the creation of engaging applications, sophisticated Web interfaces, and interactive training courses. Flash has the ability to easily integrate with, and add interactivity to, complex media types with powerful and intuitive tools. Developers can rapidly develop high performance, accessible content using pre-assembled building blocks; and they can expand their authoring capabilities with custom extensions from independent developers.
Macromedia Flash MX Professional 2004 Unleashed covers these high-end topics, providing a solid and complete reference for developers. The fundamentals are covered quickly in the first part of the book, while the majority of the content is devoted to the intermediate to advanced developers who need to learn about ActionScript and how Flash works with middleware, such as ColdFusion, ASP, and XML.
(NOTE: Each chapter concludes with a Summary.)
I. GETTING STARTED.1. Flash MX Professional 2004: What's New?
The Interface. Save and Compact. Flash Projects. Behaviors. Timeline Effects. Components—Version 2.0. Streaming Media. Screens: The New Timeline.2. Getting Started with Flash MX 2004 Professional.
Humble Beginnings— Where Flash Came From. The Interface. Preferences. Shortcuts. Making a Better Workspace.3. Creating Graphics in Flash.
The Tools. Creating Custom Colors and Gradients. Tips for Creating Graphics in Flash. Graphic Techniques. Importing Bitmap Graphics. Working with Bitmaps.4. Flash Animation.
The Timeline. Creating Animation in Flash. Changing Timeline Views.5. Symbols and the Library.
What Is a Symbol? What Is an Instance? An Overview of the Graphic Symbol. An Overview of the Button Symbol. Motion Tweening. Creating Interactivity with Buttons. The Movie Clip. Nested and Compound Animation. The Library.6. Publishing.
Where to Find Publishing. Versatile Formats. Publishing Profiles. Macromedia Flash Player 7 and the SWF File Format. Version Field. Sound Settings. Other Flash Tab Settings. Alternative File Settings (JPEG, GIF, and PNG). HTML. Standalone Projectors. FS Commands. QuickTime Settings.7. Working with Sound and Video.
Working with Sound in Flash. Adding Sound to Your Movie. Sound with ActionScript. Video in Flash.
II. ACTIONSCRIPT.8. Welcome to ActionScript 2.0.
What Is ActionScript? Object-Oriented Programming. Where Do Objects Come From? Prototyping an Object. Introduction to ActionScript 2.0. Strict Data Typing Variables. Strict Data Typing with Functions. The Actions Panel. Actions Panel Preferences. Reference/Help Panel. Behaviors and the Behaviors Panel. ActionScript Fundamentals. Comments. Code Hints and Naming Conventions. Dot Syntax. The Movie Clip Object. Functions. Conditionals. Loop Statements.9. Strings, Numbers, and Variables—In Depth.
Types of Data Types. The String Data Type. Manipulating Strings. The Number Data Type. Boolean Data Type. Null Data Type. Undefined Data Type. Array Data Type. Variables.10. Statements and Expressions.
Statement Syntax. Object Statements. Flow Modifiers.11. The Movie Clip Object.
Creating Movie Clips. Manipulating Movie Clips. Removing Movie Clips. The Drawing API.12. Functions.
Creating a Function. Running the Function. Using Parameters in Functions. Functions That Return Values. Nested Functions. Function Scope. Mapping to a Function. The _global Identifier. Variables and Functions. The Arguments Class. Functions Built into Flash.13. Arrays.
What Is an Array and How Does It Work? Deconstructing an Array. Creating an Array. Retrieving Information from an Array. Adding Elements to Arrays. Naming Array Elements. Removing Array Elements. Changing Elements in Arrays. Advanced Nested Arrays. Additional Array Methods. Sorting Arrays. Applied Example.14. Events.
Handling Events. Button Events. Movie Clip Events. Events of the Mouse Object. Events of the Key Object. Events of the TextField Object. Cross-Object Events.15. Loading Movies.
Why Load External Content? What Content Can Be Loaded and Where? Loading JPEGs Dynamically. Loading SWF Files into Flash. Loading External Content into Text Fields. Preloaders.16. Components.
What Is a Component? The Next Step in Components. Getting Started with Components. Skinning Components. The dataProvider Property. Data Binding. Creating a Version 2.0 Component.17. Working with Text.
The Text Field Interface. Creating Text Fields. Creating Text Fields in ActionScript. Formatting the Text in Text Fields. Scrolling Text Fields. HTML Text in Text Fields.18. Debugging.
Writing Proactive ActionScript. Naming Conventions. Identifying Bugs. Debugging from Remote Locations. Strict Data Typing. The Error Object.
III. OUTSIDE OF FLASH.19. External ActionScript.
Why Use External ActionScript? #include Versus Classpath. Getting Started with External Class Files. Bringing It All Together.20. Introduction to Data Integration.
Why Dynamic Content? The getURL() Method. The MIME Format. The loadVariables Method. The loadVariablesNum() Method. The LoadVars Object.21. XML and Flash.
What Is XML? Formatting XML. Elements Versus Attributes. XML and Flash. The XMLConnector Component.22. Integrating Flash with PHP.
Why PHP and Flash? PHP Scripting for Dynamic Content. Your First PHP Script: Testing the Server. Exploring Optional Modules. PHP Fundamentals. Receiving Data from PHP to Flash. Sending Data from Flash to PHP (to Flash). Echo Valley Becomes a Wishing Well. Using MySQL. Further Reading.23. Integrating ColdFusion with Flash.
Components. Older Integration Methods. Macromedia Flash Remoting. A Basic Account Management System. Advancing Your Skills.24. Web Services and Flash.
What Is a Web Service? Why Use Web Services? Creating a Web Service. Consuming Web Services with Flash. Flash Remoting. Consuming Outside Web Services. The Web Services Panel. The WebServiceConnector Component. Absorbing the Google Web Service.25. Streaming Media.
Why Stream Media? Creating a Flash Video. The NetConnection Object. The NetStream Object. The Video Object. Streaming Video. The Media Components. The Camera Object.26. Extending the Flash Authoring Environment.
Why Extend Flash? Commands. XML-to-UI Controls. Creating Behaviors. Creating Your Own Panels. Creating Custom Tools. Creating Custom Effects.27. Beyond Flash.
Flash Alternatives. Enhancing Flash Files. Beyond the Web.
IV. APPENDIX.Appendix A: The ActionScript Reference.
Global Functions. Browser/Network. Movie Clip Control. Printing Functions. Miscellaneous Functions. Mathematical Functions. Conversion Functions. Global Properties. Identifiers. Statements. Conditions/Loops. Exceptions. User-Defined Functions. Variables. Operators. Assignment. Bitwise Operators. Comparison Operators. Logical Operators. Miscellaneous Operators. Constants. Built-in Classes.Index.