|s with the release of any new version of a software product, Macromedia Flash MX 2004 introduces a host of features. The most significant of these is what Macromedia calls the ‘Extensibility Layer’?a general term for a set of features that makes it possible for Flash developers to create and implement their own new features directly in the Flash Authoring Environment. Various third parties have already exploited the extensibility layer and are commercially distributing their own extensions to the IDE. For example the makers of SWiSH, the ever-popular text effect tool, are now selling a Flash Extension called SWiSHpowerFX that allows Flash designers to select a text field on the stage and apply to it various SWiSH text effects
The Extensibility Layer makes it possible to write macros that will automate common tasks, write tools that manipulate objects on the stage, create panels that contain graphical user interfaces, write timeline effects that animate objects on the stage and much more.
As this article series is aimed towards Flash developers, I will write with the assumption that most, if not all of you have good knowledge of ActionScript.
|Part 1: Understanding the JSFL DOM|
The key to learning to write your own Flash extensions is to understand the Flash DOM and thus the first article in this series will explain the DOM in detail.
Part 2: From ActionScript to JSFL: Using Classes and Scripts
Part 3: New Tools: Using History and Flash Panels for Faster Development
Part 4: Solving UI Problems with XUL