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ActionScript: The Definitive Guide by Colin Moock

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Creating a Flash Fill-in Form

Our example includes all of the necessary components of a Flash form, cited earlier, but stripped down to the simplest level. This tutorial demonstrates how to send a single text field variable from Flash to a Perl script, named echo.pl, and how to receive a response in Flash back from echo.pl. Functioning versions of the example files are available from the online Code Depot. Let’s get to it, shall we?

Building the Frontend

Unlike HTML, Flash does not have an integrated mechanism for the creation of forms. In HTML, creating pull-down menus and radio buttons is simply a matter of using the <SELECT>, <OPTION>, and <INPUT TYPE="RADIO"> tags. In Flash, those devices must be built by hand. Flash’s only built-in form device is the user-input text field (the equivalent of HTML’s <INPUT TYPE="TEXT"> or <INPUT TYPE="TEXTAREA">).

Tip

Though form widgets are not built directly into the Flash authoring tool, radio buttons, checkboxes, and pull-down menus are available as Smart Clips included with the product. To access the form-widget Smart Clips, choose Window Common Libraries Smart Clips.

In our form, we’ll have a user-input text field and a Submit button. We’ll place these two elements into a movie clip so that we can easily identify the variables to send to the server. First, we’ll create a new document and the formClip movie clip, as follows:

  1. Start a new Flash document.

  2. Select Insert New Symbol. The Symbol Properties dialog box appears.

  3. In the Name box, type ...

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