Posts Tagged ‘actionscript’

Flash AS3 versus HTML 5+ (Mike @ Teczno)

Tuesday, December 15th, 2009

canvasmappingtag[Editor's note: Even with Adobe's open sourcing the Flash ActionScript 3.0 compiler, the HTML community continues to push for abandoning the platform in favor newer markup languages that center around the canvas tags. Slowly this is becoming more of a reality as the markup becomes more powerful and the rendering engines faster. We're still not their yet, and I'll be programming in AS3 for a while more yet. But something to ponder.]

Republished from Teczno.

the future is staring us in the face

That’s the line we use around the office whenever the subject of HTML and canvas comes up – we use Adobe Flash for most everything now, but we don’t expect that situation to last forever. The work done by Mozilla on Gecko and Apple on WebKit is one possible future for online design and visualization, and it’s turning slowly to face us right about now.

A few developments during recent years have brought us here.

One of the first widespread demonstrations of canvas viability as an interactive medium came from legendary Javascript developer John Resig, who ported the popular educational / artistic Processing environment to Javascript and released Processing.js to the world in May 2008 or so, just about 1 1/2 years ago. At the time, the library was lauded as an “amazing hack” (Andy Baio). Christopher Blizzard said:

The web is going to win, filling the market niche where Flash and other similar technologies found their hold. And John’s little project can hopefully act as a great catalyst to take us there. Thanks, John!

Continue reading at Teczno and play with live mapping demo . . .

E00Parser, an ActionScript 3 Parser for the Arc/Info Export Topological GIS Format (IndieMaps)

Monday, March 2nd, 2009

[Editor's note: Zach Johnson promo's his ActionScript 3 class for reading in .e00 GIS files to Flash. Useful for creating cartograms and other graphic representations reliant on topological relationships. Originally posted there Feb. 21, 2009.]

First off, why mess with such a retro format as Arc/Info Export (.e00)?– any code written for this ASCII file type in the last few years has been on how to go from e00 to pretty much anything (especially to the non-topological data format, the shapefile).

Put simply, topological information makes a lot of things possible for the intrepid ActionScripter.

Read more at IndieMaps . . .
Get the code . . .

Bullet Graphs for Not-to-Exceed Targets (Visual Business Intelligence)

Wednesday, January 28th, 2009

[Editor's note: The bullet graph is an alternative to circular gauges and meters commonly used on dashboards with a graph that provides a richer data display using less space. The bullet graph consists of five primary components: text label, a quantitative scale along a single linear axis, the featured measure usually as dark black line, one or two comparative or target measures of performance (optional), and from two to five ranges shown as background fills along the quantitative scale to declare the featured measure’s qualitative state like bad, satisfactory, and good (optional) All use the same quantitative scale. Flex component with source code from Agile UI. Google charts version from Dealer Diagnostics. Excel version from Excel User.

Correction on 2010 March 18: The image of the dashboard above is from Robert Allison. Get the SAS/Graph code to create the dashboard.]

Republished from Visual Business Intelligence. Monday, February 4th, 2008 at 2:54 pm.

Image above from Stephen Few’s Information Dashboard Design book seen here.
View PDF format Bullet Graph Design Specification from Stephen Few on the bullet graph. He’s got other useful information design writeups in his Library.

When I designed the bullet graph back in 2005, I did it to solve a particular problem related to dashboard displays. The graphical widgets that software vendors were providing to display single measures, such as year-to-date sales revenue, consisted mostly of circular gauges and meters, which suffered from several problems. Most of them conveyed too little information, did so unclearly, and wasted a great deal of space on the screen. The bullet graph was my alternative, which was designed to convey a rich story clearly in little space.

Bullet Graph Description

Since their introduction, a number of dashboard vendors now support bullet graphs, either as a predesigned display widget or as a display that can be easily constructed using their design tools. Now that bullet graphs are being used a great deal, they are being put to the test, and best practices are being developed to use them effectively.

One challenge that is faced by any graphical display of a single measure compared to another, such as a target, is the fact that the target usually functions as a point that the measure should reach or exceed, such as a sales target, but sometimes it functions as a point that the measure should stay below, such as an expense target. Here is a series of bullet graphs, which are designed in the typical manner:

Bullet Graphs for Not-to-Exceed Targets 1.jpg

Two of the measures—expenses and defects—work the opposite of the others in that the goal is to remain below the target. The background fill colors on these bullet graphs, which vary from dark gray to indicate “poor performance” through to the lightest gray to indicate “good performance,” are arranged from poor on the left to good on the right for revenue, average order size, and new customers, but in reverse for expenses and defects. The reversed sequence serves as a visual cue that expenses and defects should remain below the target. This cue, however, is not strong. It would be useful if something that stood out more signaled this difference.

We might be tempted to replace the varying intensities of a single color—in this case varying intensities of gray—with distinct hues, to make the reversal of the qualitative scale more apparent, such as by using the traditional traffic light colors that are so popular on dashboards.

Bullet Graphs for Not-to-Exceed Targets 2.jpg

This does cause expenses and defects to more clearly stand out as different from the other measures, but at what cost? Even if we ignore the fact that most people who are colorblind (10% of males and 1% of females) cannot distinguish green and red, we are still left with an overuse of color that makes the dashboard appear cluttered and visually overwhelming, as well as a dramatically weakened ability to use color to draw viewers’ eyes to particular areas that need attention. Is there a better way to make certain bullet graphs look different without introducing other more troubling problems?

Here’s a suggestion: not only reverse the sequence of the qualitative scale, but also the direction of the quantitative scale. Using expenses as an example, the quantitative scale could run from 0 at the right of the bullet graph with values increasing leftwards. The bar that encodes the expense measure would then also run from the right edge of the bullet graph leftwards. The bar running from right to left serves as a stronger visual cue that the target works differently, as you can see below:

Bullet Graphs for Not-to-Exceed Targets 3.jpg

Although it is not conventional for a quantitative scale to run from right to left, except in the case of negative values, this is easy to read and the unconventionality actually causes it to pop out more clearly. In fact, expenses and manufacturing defects are measures that we can easily think of as negative values (for example, expenses reduce profit and defects reduce manufacturing productivity).

I would like to encourage all the vendors out there that support bullet graphs to support this functionality and for those who use them to take advantage of it.

Take care,

Signature

Mac OS X Mouse Wheel Support for ActionScript 3 Flash Applications (v.2+) (Hasseg)

Thursday, January 8th, 2009

[Editor's note: While Flash is great, sometimes it's omissions are vexing. Notable among them is true mouse wheel support on the Mac version of Flash player. Hasseg introduces a solution.] 

Republished from Hasseg. Originally posted there on April 26, 2008.

In my current job I have been programming user interfaces for applications that display networks of data (as in nodes, links etc.) with the Adobe Flex framework, and the UI paradigm I have been utilizing is a kind of a Zoomable User Interface (ZUI). The idea there is to enable the user to view and manipulate objects on a two-dimensional plane, and navigate around that plane by zooming and panning.

Now, the easiest way (at least for me) to control the zooming is to use the mouse wheel. Mouse wheel support for Flex is implemented by registering an event listener of type MouseEvent.MOUSE_WHEEL with the DisplayObject that would dispatch the event. Sadly, mouse wheel support is not available in the Mac OS X version of Flash Player. This prompted me to create a custom solution, as my main computer is a MacBook and I would like to be able to test the mouse wheel navigation with my development machine. . . .

So I’ve finally updated the solution I’ve made earlier for enabling Mac OS X mouse wheel support in Flex applications to a second version. I didn’t want to continue adding stuff into the original post, so I decided to write a separate post just for this new version. As you can see from the title, this version should work in any Flash project you’re writing in ActionScript 3, as opposed to just in Flex projects. This change was contributed by Pavel Fljot, and all the other stuff I’ve added since have been added on top of that. Deployment should now be a lot easier and some features that were missing in the first version have also been added.

Continue reading at Hasseg blog . . .

Building the Data Desk: Lessons From the L.A. Times (Knight Digital Media Center)

Thursday, December 4th, 2008

[Editor's note: Great article on how data, including GIS, maps, and Google mashups can be leveraged in news media environments from a veteran of the LA Times. Thanks Aly! (and bon voyage)]

Republished from Knight Digital Media Center (OJR). By Eric Ulken on Nov. 21, 2008.

In early 2007, when the Los Angeles Times launched its Homicide Report blog — an effort to chronicle every homicide in Los Angeles County — it was clear that there were important geographic and demographic dimensions to the information that a blog format wouldn’t fully capture. What we needed was a ChicagoCrime.org-style map that would let users focus on areas of interest to them, with filters that would enable them to “play” with the data and explore trends and patterns for themselves. Problem was, the web staff (of which I was a part) lacked the tools and the expertise to build such a thing, so the blog launched without a map. (Sound familar?)

It took several months to secure the tech resources and a couple more months to create wireframes and spec out requirements for what would become the Homicide Map, with the help of a couple of talented developers and a project manager on part-time loan from the website’s IT department. We were fortunate, of course: We actually had access to this kind of expertise, and since then we’ve hired a couple of dedicated editorial developers. I’m aware that others might not have it so good.

Last week, Robert Niles argued that news organizations should be in the business of creating “killer apps”. Put another way, there is a need to develop tools that hew to the content rather than the other way around. But creating the functionality Robert describes takes a closer connection between news thinking and tech thinking than is possible within news organizations’ traditional structures and skill sets.

In this post, I’ll try to squeeze some wisdom out of the lessons we learned in the process of assembling the Times’ Data Desk, a cross-functional team of journalists responsible for collecting, analyzing and presenting data online and in print. (Note: I left the Times earlier this month to work on some independent projects. I am writing this piece with the blessing of my former bosses there.)

Here, then, are 10 pieces of advice for those of you building or looking to build a data team in your newsroom:

  1. Find the believers: You’ll likely discover enthusiasts and experts in places you didn’t expect. In our case, teaming up with the Times’ computer-assisted reporting staff, led by Doug Smith, was a no-brainer. Doug was publishing data to the web before the website had anybody devoted to interactive projects. But besides Doug’s group, we found eager partners on the paper’s graphics staff, where, for example, GIS expert Tom Lauder had already been playing with Flash and web-based mapping tools for a while. A number of reporters were collecting data for their stories and wondering what else could be done with it. We also found people on the tech side with a good news sense who intuitively understood what we were trying to do.
  2. Get buy-in from above: For small projects, you might be able to collaborate informally with your fellow believers, but for big initiatives, you need the commitment of top editors who control the newsroom departments whose resources you’ll draw on. At the Times, a series of meetings among senior editors to chart a strategic vision for the paper gave us an opportunity to float the data desk idea. This led to plans to devote some reporting resources to gathering data and to move members of the data team into a shared space near the editorial library (see #8).
  3. Set some priorities: Your group may come from a variety of departments, but if their priorities are in alignment, disparate reporting structures might not be such a big issue. We engaged in “priority alignment” by inviting stakeholders from all the relevant departments (and their bosses) to a series of meetings with the goal of drafting a data strategy memo and setting some project priorities. (We arrived at these projects democratically by taping a big list on the wall and letting people vote by checkmark; ideas with the most checks made the cut.) Priorities will change, of course, but having some concrete goals to guide you will help.
  4. Go off the reservation: No matter how good your IT department is, their priorities are unlikely to be in sync with yours. They’re thinking big-picture product roadmaps with lots of moving pieces. Good luck fitting your database of dog names (oh yes, we did one of those) into their pipeline. Early on, database producer Ben Welsh set up a Django box at projects.latimes.com, where many of the Times’ interactive projects live. There are other great solutions besides Django, including Ruby on Rails (the framework that powers the Times’ articles and topics pages and many of the great data projects produced by The New York Times) and PHP (an inline scripting language so simple even I managed to learn it). Some people (including the L.A. Times, occasionally) are using Caspio to create and host data apps, sans programming. I am not a fan, for reasons Derek Willis sums up much better than I could, but if you have no other options, it’s better than sitting on your hands.
  5. Templatize: Don’t build it unless you can reuse it. The goal of all this is to be able to roll out projects rapidly (see #6), so you need templates, code snippets, Flash components, widgets, etc., that you can get at, customize and turn around quickly. Interactive graphics producer Sean Connelley was able to use the same county-level California map umpteen times as the basis for various election visualizations in Flash.
  6. Do breaking news: Your priority list may be full of long-term projects like school profiles and test scores, but often it’s the quick-turnaround stuff that has the biggest immediate effect. This is where a close relationship with your newsgathering staff is crucial. At the Times, assistant metro editor Megan Garvey has been overseeing the metro staff’s contributions to data projects for a few months now. When a Metrolink commuter train collided with a freight train on Sept. 12, Megan began mobilizing reporters to collect key information on the victims while Ben adapted an earlier Django project (templatizing in action!) to create a database of fatalities, complete with reader comments. Metro staffers updated the database via Django’s easy-to-use admin interface. (We’ve also used Google Spreadsheets for drama-free collaborative data entry.) … Update 11/29/2008: I was remiss in not pointing out Ben’s earlier post on this topic.
  7. Develop new skills: Disclaimer: I know neither Django nor Flash, so I’m kind of a hypocrite here. I’m a lucky hypocrite, though, because I got to work with guys who dream in ActionScript and Python. If you don’t have access to a Sean or a Ben — and I realize few newsrooms have the budget to hire tech gurus right now — then train and nurture your enthusiasts. IRE runs occasional Django boot camps, and there are a number of good online tutorials, including Jeff Croft’s explanation of Django for non-programmers. Here’s a nice primer on data visualization with Flash.
  8. Cohabitate (but marriage is optional): This may be less of an issue in smaller newsrooms, but in large organizations, collaboration can suffer when teams are split among several floors (or cities). The constituent parts of the Times’ Data Desk — print and web graphics, the computer-assisted reporting team and the interactive projects team — have only been in the same place for a couple months, but the benefits to innovation and efficiency are already clear. For one thing, being in brainstorming distance of all the people you might want to bounce ideas off of is ideal, especially in breaking news situations. Also, once we had everybody in the same place, our onetime goal of unifying the reporting structure became less important. The interactive folks still report to latimes.com managing editor Daniel Gaines, and the computer-assisted reporting people continue to report to metro editor David Lauter. The graphics folks still report to their respective bosses. Yes, there are the occasional communication breakdowns and mixed messages. But there is broad agreement on the major priorities and regular conversation on needs and goals.
  9. Integrate: Don’t let your projects dangle out there with a big ugly search box as their only point of entry. Weave them into the fabric of your site. We were inspired by the efforts of a number of newspapers — in particular the Indianapolis Star and its Gannett siblings — to make data projects a central goal of their newsgathering operations. But we wanted to do more than publish data for data’s sake. We wanted it to have context and depth, and we didn’t want to relegate data projects to a “Data Central“-type page, something Matt Waite (of Politifact fame) memorably dubbed the “data ghetto.” (I would link to Waite’s thoughtful post, but his site unfortunately reports that it “took a dirt nap recently.”) I should note that the Times recently did fashion a data projects index of its own, but only as a secondary way in. The most important routes into data projects are still through related Times content and search engines.
  10. Give back: Understand that database and visualization projects demand substantial resources at a time when they’re in very short supply. Not everyone in your newsroom will see the benefit. Make clear the value your work brings to the organization by looking for ways to pipe the best parts (interesting slices of data, say, or novel visualizations) into your print or broadcast product. For example, some of the election visualizations the data team produced were adapted for print use, and another was used on the air by a partner TV station.

When I shared this post with Meredith Artley, latimes.com’s executive editor and my former boss, she pointed to the formation about a year ago of the interactive projects team within the web staff (Ben, Sean and me; Meredith dubbed us the “cool kids,” a name that stuck):

“For me, the big step was creating the cool kids team — actually forming a unit with a mandate to experiment and collaborate with everyone in the building with the sole intention of creating innovative, interactive projects.”

And maybe that should have been my first piece of advice: Before you can build a data team, you need one or more techie-journalists dedicated full-time to executing online the great ideas they’ll dream up.

What else did I miss? If you’ve been through this process (or are going through it, or are about to), I hope you’ll take a minute to share your insights.

Want to track Adobe Flash? Now you can! (Google)

Monday, November 24th, 2008

[Editor's note: Google releases AS3 classes and components for Flash and Flex IDEs to allow easy and professional tracking within SWF files at the same level of service as the earlier Javascript based tracking code base for normal HTML pages. Better understand how your Flash movies are actually used.]

Republished from Google.com, original 17 Nov. 2008.

Image of Analytics Flash Visual Component in Flash CS3

Today, at the Adobe MAX Conference in San Francisco, in a joint collaboration with our friends at Adobe and a few ace third party developers, we announced a simplified solution for tracking Flash content for everyone, called Google Analytics Tracking For Adobe Flash.

Working at Google over the past couple of years, I’ve had the opportunity to work with with many of our top clients to implement Google Analytics, who have found the power to identify and analyze trends on their web sites highly useful. But, one of the most common implementation challenges has been tracking Flash content on their pages. In the past, Flash tracking was not provided out of the box, and every implementation had to be customized. Moreover, there was a lack of standards, and new developers who tracked Flash had to create their own processes to get it working. With this launch, tracking your Flash content has never been simpler.

What It’s All About
This feature is a translation of the current Google Analytics tracking code into the ActionScript 3 programming language that dramatically simplifies the ability to track Flash, Flex and AS3 content. This new Flash tracking code provides all the rich features of the current JavaScript-based version, including campaign, pageview and event tracking and can be used to track Flash content such as embedded videos, branded microsites and distributed widgets, such as online games.

Now it’s simple for Flash content developers to answer questions like:

  • How many people have watched my video?
  • Are we developing the right creative that attracts new users?
  • How effective is my content at getting people to take action?
Recently, we talked with Matthew McNeely, VP of Engineering at Sprout, a company that helps advertisers design rich media content, about how Sprout has used the code to track distributed content across MySpace and iGoogle:

Supported Platforms
We know there are many levels of experience in the Flash/Flex community so we tried to make it easy for both non-technical designers as well as seasoned ActionScript programmers to take full advantage of this Google Analytics Tracking For Flash. We’ve provided tracking libraries for both Flash and Flex which can be downloaded as a ZIP file here. The libraries include:

  • Flash visual component
  • Flash AS3 library
  • Flex MXML component
  • Flex AS3 library

And you can learn more about how to use them through this developer documentation.

Open Development
At the same time, we know that things change quickly online, and developers might want to review and improve the code. So we’re providing our entire AS3 code base under the Apache 2 License as Open Source, available here.

For me, this is one of the most exciting aspects of this project. If you are a developer and want to improve the code’s functionality, you can contribute to the code base. Or, if you are a company that is running a content platform, such as Sprout mentioned above, you can seamlessly integrate the Flash tracking codebase into your existing architecture.

So while many features get launched at the end of their development cycle, we see this as just the beginning.

And A Special Thanks
This feature has been an open collaboration of a number of very talented people across the globe. We’d like to personally thank our amazing third party developers Zwetan Kjukov and Marc Alcaraz who’ve spent countless hours developing the code base. We’d also like to thank Matt Chotin, Puneet Goel, Rani Kumar and Ajit Gosavi from Adobe who helped us also overcome the obstacles of migrating to an all-AS3 environment.

So please visit the project page to learn more:
http://code.google.com/p/gaforflash/

We look forward to hearing success stories about how you’ve implemented Google Analytics Tracking For Adobe Flash!

Collision Detection Kit in AS3 (lessthanthree)

Tuesday, November 18th, 2008

Collision Detection Kit: Pixel-precise, shape-based collision detection for ActionScript 3.0

Republished from the Google Code page.
Download the source code here.

The Collision Detection Kit is a package of classes created for pixel-precise, shape-based collision detection for all display objects. It is written in Actionscript 3.0 and meant for Flash Player version 9 and higher. The Collision Detection Kit comes with several features to control how collisions are detected, and provides data for the user of the class so they can do something about the collision:

  • Set an alpha threshold to ignore colors below the threshold.
  • Specify colors and color ranges to exclude from collision detection.
  • Receive an angle of collision for each collision. We’re not talking about bounding boxes here – the angle is calculated based on the shapes of the display objects at the site of the collision. Great for when you’re working with physics!
  • Receive the amount of overlapping pixels between colliding objects. Combined with the returned angle, and your physics engine will have no problems traversing complicated shapes.
  • Takes transformations (scale, rotation, color transforms, etc.) of individual instances of your display objects into account.
  • Add items for collision detection regardless of their nesting.
  • You can have as many CollisionGroup and CollisionList instances as you want, allowing you to easily manage different interactions and behaviors.
  • Works with all display objects – MovieClips, Sprites, Bitmaps, TextFields, FLVs, and on and on!

To learn more about this package and how to use it, please reference the links for examples and documentation.

New Web 2.0 APIs Make GIS Access and Integration Capability Available to Everyone (ESRI ArcNews)

Thursday, November 13th, 2008

[Editor's note: 2 of 2 articles of note from the Fall 2008 ESRI ArcNews magazine. This about new ArcGIS web 2.0 API services for JavaScript and Flex / Actionscript / MXML allow Google Maps style mashups. Includes informative podcast.]

Republished from ESRI ArcNews.

ArcGIS Server 9.3 Radically Simplifies Users’ Experience

click to enlarge An executive dashboard mashup created with ArcGIS Server that provides city staff the ability to monitor the status of capital improvements, 311 calls, and police patrols.

With the release of ArcGIS 9.3, ESRI provides a new set of application programming interfaces (APIs) that extend the range of what developers can do with mashups. These APIs give mashup developers more opportunities to rapidly build lightweight, focused applications on top of ArcGIS Server using JavaScript, Flex, Silverlight, and many other scripting languages. As a result, organizations can begin deploying an entirely new pattern of mashups, which involves combining internal and external data sources to create an application that solves a particular problem. These mashups more closely match the types of relationships, workflows, and administration developers need to support on a daily basis.

GIS-powered mashups empower users to solve real problems by incorporating the business knowledge and resource investments made by the organization and putting it in the hands of the decision makers and analysts who need to rely on trusted information. For example, a city government might build a mashup that focuses on vacant properties or brownfields to support community planning and economic development. In this case, parcel data might be combined with tools to analyze the development potential of a property based on different scenarios. The tools would appear as a simple button or drop-down menu of choices but, when executed, would access internally hosted information, such as zoning, crime, and infrastructure, and perform server-side analytics on the GIS server. The user would be presented with a hot spot or graduated-color map highlighting the areas that best met the selected criteria. This type of mashup could be used at the front counter or on the desk of an economic development specialist to help engage business and industry owners interested in moving their operation to the community. It would provide access to authoritative data not readily available on the Internet.

click to enlarge ArcGIS Server offers a rich set of tools to build lightweight Web applications.

Until recently, mashups have been thought of as Web applications that aggregate data feeds from multiple Web services into a simple and often social or consumer-oriented Web application. Mapping mashups show the locations of points of interest generated from available services and GeoRSS feeds that contain spatial information, such as addresses or coordinates. Now, organizations are adopting the concept that mashups can be useful for conducting business and providing critical functionality to their users and business partners either over the Web or through internal distribution. Enterprise systems, like customer relationship management (CRM) or asset management systems, can be coupled with ArcGIS Server services to provide business and government managers and analysts with unique access to their authoritative knowledge bases. This means that an enterprise mashup must efficiently and seamlessly blend the GIS platform with the organization’s underlying systems architecture.

ArcGIS Server gives organizations the ability to manage and deploy Web services for mapping, data management, and geospatial analytics. These ArcGIS Server Web services allow organizations to leverage their internal GIS resources, as well as services hosted on other GIS servers, and put them to work in enterprise mashups. Because ArcGIS Server is built on industry and Web standards to support service-oriented architectures (SOAs) and hundreds of data formats, organizations are provided with an integration platform for creating and managing enterprise mashups.

In-depth description of the JavaScript and Flex APIs and podcast links on the next page…

(more…)

ActionScript 2.0 to ActionScript 3.0 Migration (Flashcoder)

Monday, July 28th, 2008

[Editor's note: I'm just getting the hang of AS2 and now it's time to learn AS3 to take advantage of the speed optimizations and new features only available in AS3 like the Google Maps Flash Component. The languages are just enough different yet the same to be a pain. This tip sheet should ease the transition.]

Republished from Flashcoder.cn.

Full list there in a prettier graphic design table format. Example below, partial for the MovieClip class. Hyperlink goes to Adobe documentation for property.

AS2 MovieClip Class
AS3 flash.display.MovieClip

Note: Many of the MovieClip methods have been moved to other
classes in AS3. All event handlers have been replaced by event objects in
the new event model.

_alpha Property
flash.display.DisplayObject.alpha
Moved to DisplayObject class. Initial underscore in name
removed.

blendMode Property
flash.display.DisplayObject.blendMode

cacheAsBitmap Property
flash.display.DisplayObject.cacheAsBitmap

_currentframe Property[read-only]
flash.display.MovieClip.currentFrame
Initial underscore in name removed.

_droptarget Property[read-only]
flash.display.Sprite.dropTarget
Moved to Sprite class, initial underscore removed from
name, and changed to CamelCase.

enabled Property
flash.display.Sprite.enabled
Moved to Sprite class.

filters Property
flash.display.DisplayObject.filters

focusEnabled
Property Removed.

_focusrect Property
flash.display.InteractiveObject.focusRect
Moved to InteractiveObject class, removed initial
underscore from name, and changed to use camelCase.

_framesloaded Property[read-only]
flash.display.MovieClip.framesLoaded
Removed initial underscore from name, and changed to use
camelCase.

_height Property
flash.display.DisplayObject.height
Moved to DisplayObject class, removed initial underscore.

_highquality Property
Removed.hitArea Property
flash.display.Sprite.hitArea
Moved to Sprite class.

_lockroot Property
Removed.

menu Property
Removed.

_name Property
flash.display.DisplayObject.name
Moved to DisplayObject class. Removed initial underscore
from name.

opaqueBackground Property
flash.display.DisplayObject.opaqueBackground

_parent Property
flash.display.DisplayObject.parent
Moved to DisplayObject class. Removed initial underscore
from name.

_quality Property
flash.display.Stage.quality

_rotation Property
flash.display.DisplayObject.rotation
Moved to DisplayObject class. Removed initial underscore
from name.

scale9Grid Property
flash.display.DisplayObject.scale9Grid

scrollRect Property
flash.display.DisplayObject.scrollRect
Changed to data type Rectangle.

_soundbuftime Property
flash.media.Sound.soundBufferTime
Moved to Sound class, and renamed to full wording without
initial underscore.

tabChildren Property
flash.display.DisplayObjectContainer.tabChildren

tabEnabled Property
flash.display.InteractiveObject.tabEnabled

_target Property[read-only]
Removed.

_totalframes Property[read-only]
flash.display.MovieClip.totalFrames
Removed initial underscore and changed capitalization.

trackAsMenu Property
flash.display.MovieClip.trackAsMenu

transform Property
flash.display.DisplayObject.transform

_url Property[read-only]
flash.net.URLRequest.url

useHandCursor Property
flash.display.Sprite.useHandCursor

_visible Property
flash.display.DisplayObject.visible
Moved to DisplayObject class and removed initial underscore
from name.

_width Property
flash.display.DisplayObject.width
Moved to DisplayObject class and removed initial underscore
from name.

_x Property
flash.display.DisplayObject.x
Moved to DisplayObject class and removed initial underscore
from name.

_xmouse Property[read-only]
flash.display.DisplayObject.mouseX
Moved to DisplayObject class, changed name to mouseX and
removed initial underscore from name.

_xscale Property
flash.display.DisplayObject.scaleX
Moved to DisplayObject class, changed name to scaleX and
removed initial underscore from name.

Top Flash ActionScript Forums (Ideaography)

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2008

ideaography logoReprinted from Ideaography, first published January 27, 2008.

Don’t you hate it when you’re working on a flash project and hit a brickwall with a certain issue you just can’t seem to fix?

I know I’ve been in the situation many of times, especially when I was working as the sole flash designer/coder at my previous company, and most of the times I could find the answer by either trolling through the many flash forums I visit or creating a new thread when the answer is not available in an existing thread.

So here are the top flash forums around in no particular order and some statistics to give you an idea of the amount of content that’s available. The stat’s were taken around a day or so ago so the figures might have changed since then.

kirupaForum – http://www.kirupa.com/forum/

Currently Active Users: 237 (19 members and 218 guests)
Threads: 246,609, Posts: 1,938,884, Members: 101,559

ActionScript.org – http://www.actionscript.org/forums/

Currently Active Users: 612 (9 members and 603 guests)
Threads: 149,950, Posts: 678,229, Members: 64,411, Active Members: 5,943

Flashkit forum – http://board.flashkit.com/board/

Currently Active Users: 361 (14 members and 347 guests)
Threads: 657,112, Posts: 3,393,596, Members: 608,654

Sephiroth’s forums – http://www.sephiroth.it/phpBB/index.php

Currently Active Users: 147 (0 members and 147 guests)
Threads: 9,031, Posts: 30,783, Members: 20,696, Active Members: 579

flashdevils – http://flash-forum.flashdevils.com/

Number of Active Users Today: 41
Members: 21,586, Threads: 8,492, Posts: 45,949

gotoAndLearn – http://www.gotoandlearnforum.com/

9 users online :: 2 registered, 0 hidden and 7 guests
Total posts 75025 • Total topics 13483 • Total members 5765

Adobe Flash Support Forums

no real stats on members and guests
Threads:over 150000 threads

Ultrashock forums – http://www.ultrashock.com/forums/

Currently Active Users: 66 (5 members and 61 guests)
threads: 87,511, posts:669,642, Members:229,229

Other Forums and Forum Etiquette

Out of the forums I mentioned above, I mainly visit Kirupa and Actionscript.org as they probably have the most active users of them all, helping most in need. Sephiroth is one of the main contributors in the forums as well as having his own forum, so keep a look out for him if possible.

Also there a number of design forums around like Australian Infront and designers talk that have active members of the flash community always willing to lend a hand. Keep in mind it might a good idea to find one that’s in your local time zone if asking for help on something urgent.

A couple of things to remember though before starting a new thread in one of these forums are:

  • Always make sure that you have thoroughly searched through the forum on your issue before starting a new thread, as starting a new thread on a topic that’s already been covered a million times will make the natives angry.
  • Don’t demand help, ask as nicely as possibly if someone can help you with your issue.
  • Try to explain your issue in as much detail as possible. People would be able to provide assistance with a 2 line description.
  • If possible, provide the fla with the problem that your working. This shows people that you have at least attempted to solve the issue on your own.
  • Don’t ask people to create a solution for your issue unless your going to offer them compensation for their efforts.

That’s all I can think of for now, I hope this helped some people out there looking for help.