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Introduction to Flex 2

Book Description

This Short Cut is all about getting up and running with Adobe Flex 2; a perfect title would be "(Almost) Everything You've Ever Wanted to Know about Flex 2 But Were Afraid to Ask." It consists of conversational instruction, along with demonstrative examples, in order to give developers an efficient grounding in how to get their arms around using Flex 2. Especially helpful for those coming from the Flex/AS/Flash universe, but also designed for those coming from Java, .Net, and elsewhere. Six small sections cover:

  • Quick background on Flex 2

  • What's new in ActionScript 3.0

  • How to use Flex right out of the box (so to speak)

  • "Making It Look Good": Design and UI issues

  • Extending Flex

  • Little-known features and capabilities

Roger Braunstein is a developer and designer living in Brooklyn. He's obsessed with beautiful code, motion design, graphics programming, and video games. He also cultivates an interest in cooking, photography, biking, and 8-bit music. One day he hopes to have a real website at www.partlyhuman.com.

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction to Flex 2
    1. Meet Flex 2
      1. It's an XML Declarative UI Language
      2. It's a Windowing Toolkit
      3. It's Based on Flash
      4. Less Talk, More Code
      5. Coming Up
      6. Conventions
    2. ActionScript 3.0
      1. Where Are You Coming From?
      2. Main Features
      3. AVM2
      4. E4X
      5. Regular Expressions
      6. Display List
      7. Core types
      8. Visibility
      9. Type Manipulation
      10. Packages and Classes
      11. Methods and Properties
      12. Arguments
      13. Events
      14. Reflection
      15. Recap
    3. Flex Out Of The Box
      1. All Flex is ActionScript
        1. Tag Names
        2. Tag Attributes
        3. id Attribute
        4. Nested tags
        5. Classes and Files
        6. Adding ActionScript
      2. Containers and Components
        1. Application
        2. Panel
        3. Boxes
        4. Label
        5. TextInput
        6. Grid
        7. Button
        8. TextArea
        9. ColorPicker and Slider
      3. Scripting and Events
        1. Getting Ready
        2. Writing methods
        3. Using Event Attributes in MXML
        4. Setting Up Event Listeners in ActionScript
        5. Executing Code As Your Component Becomes Visible
      4. Binding
        1. Example: Setting Styles on Text
        2. Creating Bindings
        3. Using Binding as Evaluation
        4. When to Use Binding
        5. Bound properties have to be bindable
      5. Model-View-Controller with Binding
        1. Introduction
        2. Data can be embedded in MXML
        3. DataGrid
        4. Binding a Custom Component to a Model
      6. Sending and Loading Data
        1. Loading a File
        2. HTTPService
        3. REST
        4. SOAP and WSDL
        5. JSON
        6. Flash Remoting
        7. Flex Data Services
        8. Sockets
      7. States
        1. Using States
        2. Example: Mail List
        3. States' Rights
        4. Example: Flickr Grid
        5. When (Not) To Use States
      8. Styles
        1. Inline Styles
        2. Common Styles
        3. Setting Styles in ActionScript
        4. Style Inheritance
      9. Cascading Stylesheets
        1. Type Selectors
        2. Class Selectors
        3. Global Selector
        4. Selectors Not Implemented
        5. To CSS Or Not To... Whatever
    4. Making Flex Shine
      1. Assets
        1. Asset Types
        2. Embedding Assets in Styles
        3. Assets in the Runtime
        4. Embedding Assets With ActionScript
        5. Embedding Options
        6. Embedding Fonts
        7. Embedding Symbols
      2. Skinning
        1. Programmatic Skins
        2. Creating a Theme
      3. Effects
        1. Effect Attributes
        2. Building Composite Animations
        3. Common Effects
        4. Common Effect Triggers
        5. Reusable Effects
      4. Transitions
      5. Filters, Masks, Blend Modes
      6. The Application Loader
    5. Extending Flex
      1. Complete Flexibility
      2. Structuring Large Applications
        1. Designing For Separation
        2. Modifying MVC
        3. Choosing ActionScript or MXML
        4. Implicit Accessors in an API
      3. Creating Custom UI Components
        1. Invalidation
        2. Children
      4. Important UIComponent Methods
        1. createChildren()
        2. updateDisplayList()
        3. commitProperties()
        4. styleChanged()
        5. measure()
      5. Component Lifespan
      6. Custom Styles
    6. ... and Everything Else
      1. Cursor Management
      2. Drag-and-drop
      3. Validators
      4. Formatters
      5. Repeaters
      6. Charting
      7. Logging
      8. Internationalization and Localization
      9. Testing
      10. History Management
    7. Summary
    8. About the Author