Sunday, February 12, 2006

Did You Know: Flex 2 Beta ViewSource

As you may or may not know, Adobe has added some nifty new functionality to mx.core.Application in the form of viewSourceURL. This in combination with Publish Application Source allows you to easily share the source of your applications. You can see an example of this with my FlickrService test app.

What to do with AS projects tho? Use com.adobe.viewsource.ViewSource.

ViewSource.addMenuItem (obj:InteractiveObject, url:String, hideBuiltIns:Boolean=true);

It's a simple helper that modifies the context menu of the target. It's undocumented tho, so be weary that it may move or be removed in the future.

package {

import com.adobe.viewsource.ViewSource;

import flash.display.Sprite;

public class ViewSourceExample extends Sprite {
public function ViewSourceExample () {
ViewSource.addMenuItem (this, "srcview");


Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Flex 2.0 FlickrService (Beta)

I'm planning on developing a Flash application that makes use of Flickr images and their open API. Partly inspired by Flashr, I've created an API in AS3 to get me started. It was a nice learning exercise and a good way for me to test all the new Flex 2 stuff.

The key bits of the library are the Flickr: Service, Operation, Decoder and Manager.

The FlickrService is essentially the core that bridges into the Flickr API. You won't be calling FlickrService.groups.pools.getPhotos () however, instead, methods like getGroupPoolPhotos have been created. You can always call getOperation ('groups.pools.getPhotos') if you need to, for example if a new method is added to Flickr but is not present in the service.

A FlickrOperation is an HTTPService that pulls its information from a FlickrService to allow signing, authentication and various other added capabilities.

The FlickrDecoder is the default method of decoding the XML result from Flickr. The decoder has some built in functionality that also batches the decoding of the results; this is to help in the case of slower machines that might freeze when decoding large amounts of data.

The final bit is the FlickrManager that houses all of the result objects from various calls. This is to allow the management and data population of single objects and to maintain their relationships with each other.

I've got everything all packaged up and working with the new Flex 2 Beta. I'm still making changes but everything seems to be working well so far... While the library source is ASDoc-ed there is no separate documentation.

FlickrService Library: SWC | View and Download Source

gSOLO Global Library: SWC | View and Download Source

A collection of miscellaneous classes used by the FlickrService.

FlickrService Tests and Examples: View and Download Source

Outside of the auth test, the examples are pretty well undocumented. I'll write up some info or get to that sooner or later.

  • - Plug your API key in here along with your shared secret if you plan on doing any authentication. This is the service used for all of the tests.

  • FlickrAuthTest.mxml - An application to illustrate how to go about authenticating a user and storing that information for future use.

  • FlickrCategoryBrowseTest.mxml - A simple Flickr category browser / group photo pool display. Makes use of the ITreeDataDescriptor interface to format a Tree.

  • - A quick test to make sure your API key is working. Simply echoes some values to the flickr API.

  • FlickrPhotoSearchTest.mxml - An application put together to test binding, states and the general separation of view and controller. It searches and displays photo information too...

  • FlickrSearchInfoTest.mxml - Given an array of tags, this application will test the Flickr API by pulling a list of photos and the information for each photo returned. Just a stress test of sorts.

  • FlickrServiceTest.mxml - Flickr result tester. Tests all of the Flickr apis and allows you to traverse through the various relationships between the decoded results. Just login, move to the Users tab and start clicking on all of the various List that are displayed.

  • FlickrTagSearchTest.mxml - A very quick tag search application. See the example below.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<mx:Application xmlns:mx="" xmlns="*"
viewSourceURL="srcview/index.html" creationComplete="init (event)">
import com.gsolo.collections.PartialCollection;



public const flickr:FlickrService = new FlickrService ("API_KEY");

public function init (event:Event):void {
flickr.addEventListener (ResultEvent.RESULT, searchResult);

public function search (event:Event):void {
flickr.searchPhotos ({tags:tags_txt.text}, null, page_nstep.value);

public var photos:PartialCollection;

public function searchResult (event:ResultEvent):void {
photos = PartialCollection (event.result);
<mx:Label text="Tags:" />
<mx:TextInput id="tags_txt" enter="search (event)" change="page_nstep.value = 1;" />
<mx:NumericStepper id="page_nstep" minimum="1" maximum="{photos.totalIndices}" />
<mx:Button id="search_btn" label="Search" click="search (event)" />
<mx:Panel id="result_panel" title="Result Panel" width="100%" height="100%">
<mx:Tile id="result_tile" width="100%" height="100%">
<mx:Repeater id="result_repeater" dataProvider="{photos}">
<mx:Image source="{result_repeater.currentItem.getURLString ('t')}"
toolTip="{result_repeater.currentItem.title}" />

If you check it out, let me know that you think.

Flex 2.0 Beta 1: Now Available

Labs has been updated and Flex 2.0 Beta 1 is ready to go!

>Adobe Labs - Homepage

'Free' Flex - Adobe to release Flex beta

More licensing changes expected with Flex 2; and I thought just decoupling things from the server was cool, this is even better.

Adobe is expected on Wednesday to release a beta edition of Flex 2.0 and make licensing changes to encourage broad adoption of the Flash development tool set.

I have to say that this is very good news for the smaller non enterprise shops. An overall great move by Adobe.

Adobe is introducing a free, basic software developers kit that includes the Flex Framework, compiler and documentation. The Flex Builder development tool costs $1,000 per developer.

>Adobe to release Flex beta CNET

Monday, January 23, 2006

ActionScript 3 MD5 and SHA1

I've taken the time to convert a publicly available JavaScript MD5 and SHA1 API to AS3.

MD5.encrypt ("password");
SHA1.encrypt ("password");

Not thoroughly tested but it seems to have worked in tha applications I have been building.

>Paj's Home: Cryptography: JavaScript MD5