XML in Flash, 1st edition

  • Craig Swann
  • Gregg Caines

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XML in Flash is an excellent introduction to creating state-of-the-art Flash applications with XML. XML is quickly becoming the most popular way to store and manage data. Flash's XML Socket makes it possible to network Flash front-ends to an application server. This allows developers to use a Flash interface for applications such as message boards, real-time chats, surveys, news feeds, and games.

XML in Flash begins by illustrating the basics of XML and the Flash XML Object. In Part I, Flash is used as a teaching aid as you learn the basics of Flash/XML integration. Part II covers how Flash works with middleware languages, such as PHP and ASP, as well as performance and optimization. You will also create a Flash message board with a database. Part III delves into the advantages of XMLSocket. Hands-on projects include creating a stock market ticker to receive XML data from servers. Finally, the appendixes include invaluable reference information on XML, XMLNode objects, and XMLSocket objects, as well as Frequently Asked Questions.

The example applications also illustrate the key concepts necessary for understanding the Flash/XML relationship. You will be able to use the applications on the accompanying Web site regardless of whether or not you spend the time to read and learn about their inner workings.

Table of contents

(NOTE: Each chapter concludes with Summary and So What's Next? Section.)



1. An Overview of XML in Flash.

What Is XML? Why XML? What Can Flash and XML Accomplish Together?

2. The Details of XML.

The Basics. A Familiar XML Document Type: XHTML.

3. Getting Your Feet Wet.

Importing XML into Flash. The Basics of Flash's XML Object.

4. Using XML Data in Flash.

Whitespace, Thine Enemy. Rewriting the toString() Method. Creating a Custom toHTML() Method. A Graphical Representation of XML in Flash. Interactive Display of XML In Flash.


5. Importing Dynamically Created XML Documents.

Server-Side Integration. Web Server Integration Methods. A Simple Flash/XML áHello World” Example. Creating a Directory Tree.

6. Creating XML Documents in Flash to Send to the Server. Transmitting Data from Flash to the Server. Creating a Dynamic News Box or Web Log. Importing Dynamically Created XML from the Server.

7. XML/Flash with Database Connectivity.

Structuring Your Data. Structuring the Flash File. Becoming a Member of a Message Board.

8. Performance and Optimization.

Performance Problems. loadVariables() Versus XML.load(): The Cage Match. Whitespace Handling.


9. Introduction to the XML Socket.

The Purpose of the XML Socket. XML Socket Advantages. XMLSocket Difficulties.

10. Socket to Me!

Connecting to the Socket Server. Socket Event Handlers. Creating a Simple XML Server. Creating the Server in Java.

11. Creating a Multiuser Chat Application.

Establishing a Protocol: Let's Play Client and Server. Examining the Flash/Server Protocol Via a Telnet Connection. Deconstructing the Flash Client. Meanwhile, on the Server Side….

IV. Appendixes.

Appendix A. The XML and XMLNode Objects.

Methods of the XML and XMLNode Objects. Properties of the XML and XMLNode Objects. Collections for the XML and XMLNode Objects. XML() (Constructor for the XML Object Prototype). XML.appendChild (also XMLNode.appendChild). XMLNode.attributes. XML.childNodes (also XMLNode.childnodes). XML.cloneNode() (also XMLNode.cloneNode()). XML.contentType. XML.createElement (also XMLNode.createElement). XML.createTextNode (also XMLNode.createTextNode). XML.docTypeDecl. XML.firstChild (also XMLNode.firstChild). XML.ignoreWhite. XML.hasChildNodes() (also XMLNode.hasChildNodes()). XML.insertBefore() (also XMLNode.insertBefore()). XML.lastChild (also XMLNode.lastChild). XML.load(). XML.loaded. XMLNode.nextSibling. XMLNode.nodeName. XMLNode.nodeType. XMLNode.nodeValue. XML.onData(). XML.onLoad(). XMLNode.parentNode. XML.parseXML(). XMLNode.previousSibling. XMLNode.removeNode(). XML.send(). XML.sendAndLoad(). XML.status. XML.toString() (also XMLNode.toString()). XML.xmlDecl.

Appendix B. The XMLSocket Object.

Methods and Properties of XMLSocket. XMLSocket() (Constructor, Not Object). XMLSocket.close(). XMLSocket.connect(). XMLSocket.onClose(). XMLSocket.onConnect(). XMLSocket.onXML(). XMLSocket.onData(). XMLSocket.send().

Appendix C. FAQ.

Appendix D. Resources.

Flash Resources. XML Resources. ASP/XML: Resources. PHP/XML Resources. Socket Servers.


Published by Sams Publishing (December 18th 2001) - Copyright © 2002