XML Driven Accordion Slider

Well, it’s a been a few months since I’ve posted anything on here, or on Twitter. I’ve been finishing up school (I AM DONE NOW!), finishing up final projects, as well as moving across the country. I’m currently living in San Diego, California working at a new job at Chumby Industries. On top of all that, I have been learning AS2 and brushing up on Lua. So, I’ve been busy! I promise I will be working on more posts, tutorials and fun code.

Now to the important part: Something fun with AS3. A couple months back I noticed something both annoying and surprising. I noticed that I could not easily find a configurable and free to use accordion slider. While helping one of my class mates with a project, I remember looking for an accordion slider to help bring the interface together. The bad news is I couldn’t find one. The good news it that it inspired me to write my own!

Source code and example files are available here!

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LoaderMax & Data Transfer between Flex and SWFs

This last week I have been doing some research for my capstone course in my major, WDMD480. Our project involves working with the CNR to take a twenty year old fish farm simulation and modernize it. To do this, we are using Flash, Flex and PHP to not only create the simulation, but an administrative panel and content management system for teachers who might use the program. My goal this week? Take a SWF and load it into Flex, then have two way communication between the two levels. I had a hard time with having this done seamlessly in Flex4, but in the end I ended up creating two way communication using both LoaderMax and custom events.

While trolling for resources to get me started, I found that I could find few, if any, real ‘tutorials’ on the subject of using LoaderMax in a Flex environment, so I figured I could expain not only how to use Flex with LoaderMax, but my way to transfer data from a SWF to Flex and vice versa.
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ActionScript 3 Custom Events Explained

­­­­­­­­As we know, ActionScript is an event based language.  Every project you write, you are dealing with events from many different sources like timers, mouse clicks, and enter frames.  But there are times when you want to create some kind of an event that isn’t included in the base Flash events. For example, you want your classes to listen and know about when the state of another class has changed.  To do this, you can create and dispatch custom events.

Today, I will go through the process of creating your own custom event class, naming your custom events, listening for your custom events, and dispatching events for the listeners to actually catch.
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Globally Linked Classpaths

In my last post, I discussed how to link folders of classes to individual projects in both FlashDevelop and Flash Professional CS5.  There are certain things you can’t live without in a project, however.  Everyone has a class or two that they import into every project for functions they use themselves or an engine they use all the time.  When this happens, Global Classpaths come in handy.

Today, I will briefly discuss advantages and disadvantages of using global classpaths, and how to create a global classpath in both Flash Professional CS5 and FlashDevelop.
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FlashDevelop: The Basics

Over the past couple weeks of research and practice, I’ve learned a few things about my workflows and how to improve them. When I was doing research on Box2D, I ran across an awesome set of video tutorials which introduced me to using FlashDevelop for more than just a basic code editor. FlashDevelop is an open source IDE designed specifically for the Flash platform (AS2/AS3), although it supports other languages, too. With FlashDevelop you are able to create and organize your Flash projects and easily import and use external libraries with some excellent code hinting and shortcuts.

Since FlashDevelop has helped me so much and I feel stupid for not realizing its true potential before, I thought I would share what I have learned through a quick tutorial on how to set up FlashDevelop to work with a Flash Professional project and how to link to an external library without having to make a copy of the library. In order to keep this brief, I will only cover these two simple but AWESOME topics.
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Hello world!

Hello, everyone.  I’m Jeff.  I will be posting about stuff that interests me, including programming, Flash, video games, and possibly awesome music.

Over the next while I will be building plenty of pages to show off the work I have done over the past few years both at the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point and on my own.

If you have any suggestions, comments, questions, or requests feel free to comment in my posts or throw me an email!