Flash and XML: A Developer's Guide

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Addison-Wesley Professional, 2002 - Computers - 350 pages

Instead of just "gee-whiz" animation or cool user interfaces, Flash pros need to build truly useful sites that are viable for the long-term. That means interfacing Flash with dynamic content, backend databases, server-based applications, and even with other live users. The key to all these is XML. Now, there's a book that shows you exactly how to build enterprise Flash applications that integrate XML -- and leverage its full power. Flash and XML is structured in 19 progressive lessons. In each lesson, the authors teach a key principle of Flash enterprise integration by first explaining it, and then demonstrating it with working code. The book begins with an introduction to Flash and ActionScript that's ideal for working developers, and also serves as a useful refresher for Flash professionals. Next, the authors introduce XML, review the role of HTTP in Web development, and start writing PHP-based server code for accessing back-end data. Next, they show how to extend Flash and server-side systems to a third-tier, connecting with back-end databases via SQL. Every chapter's code samples build on what's come before, constructing a robust application that encompasses client-side Flash code, server-side XML, back-end remote database access, and even emulated "peer-to-peer" connections. For both Flash professionals (with or without XML experience) and software engineers involved in Web development (with or without Flash experience).

 

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Contents

Flash Backs
1
Practical Flash
2
EventDriven Graphics
3
Building a Button
5
Constructing a Round
6
Making Keyframes
8
Constructing the Responses
11
Finishing Features
13
PHP Basics
147
PHP and XML
150
XMLDriven Flash Client
156
Conclusion
159
Database Fundamentals
161
Advantages of a DBMS
162
Advantages of SQL
163
Keys
164

Conclusionand Beyond
15
FlashActionScript Objects and Events
17
ObjectOriented Theory vs ActionScript Reality
20
Flash Objects
22
Programmable Button
24
Data Encapsulation
29
Conclusion
33
More ActionScript DataDriven Interfaces
35
DataDriven Everything
38
Isolating the Data
41
Dynamic Creation of Graphics
45
Multiple Questions
49
Conclusion
52
XML Fundamentals
55
How XML Works
60
Designing the Data
62
Conclusion
64
XML Structure
67
Name
69
Start Tag
70
End Tag
72
Attributes
73
Text Character Data
74
Entity References
76
Comments
78
Processor Instructions
79
Conclusion
81
XML Validation DTD
83
Valid XML and WellFormed XML
84
DTD Declarations
85
Entities
88
Namespace
91
Conclusion
92
HTTP Connection
95
Structure of HTTP
97
Loading Data from a File
99
Making a SelfLoading High Score Display
101
ObjectOriented Implementation
103
Data File
104
Flash Download Security
106
Conclusion
109
XML Connection
111
XMLload
112
Debugging Flash
114
EventDriven Functionality
122
Conclusion
124
Recursive Approach
127
Recursive Design
128
Recursion
130
Recursion in Practice
132
Graphic XML Browser
136
Interactive Node Viewer
139
Conclusion
141
XML Server
143
Dedicated XML Server
144
Conclusion
169
SQL Syntax
171
Tables
172
Guidelines for Building a Table
176
Types of Data
177
Adding Data to Tables
179
Reading Records from the Table
181
Conclusion
186
Serving from SQL
189
Interaction with a Database
191
Parsing Commands
192
TrialandError Approach
195
Scalable Alternative
199
Conclusion
201
XML Upload
203
Uploading to PHP
207
Conclusion
216
XML Upload
219
Building the PHP Parser
225
Conclusion
234
Cookies
237
Stateless Persistence
242
Conclusion
250
Three Tiers
253
Database
254
Flexible Middle Tier
257
Client Tier
265
Conclusion
269
Flash to the World
271
PHP Proxy
272
Client
280
RSS File
283
Conclusion
290
XML Sockets
293
Advanced Socket Programming
294
XMLSocket
298
Simple Socket System
301
Simple Socket Server
304
Conclusion
309
Multiplexed XML Socketws
311
Chat
312
Client with History
313
Multiclient Server
314
Beyond PHP
319
Conclusion
321
End Note
323
Microsoft Compatibility
325
IIS and PHP
328
Scalable Vector Graphics SVG
329
Tools and Sources
331
Servers
332
PHP Tools
333
INDEX
335
Copyright

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About the author (2002)

Dov Jacobson heads the Big Fun Development Corporation, a small studio that specializes in networked games. He served as vice president of interactive publishing at Turner Broadcasting and directed product development at Pansophic Systems. He is responsible for nearly two dozen commercial titles and four high-tech creative studios.

Jesse Jacobson sat down to the computer at age two. He has since learned how to use it. He has written code for many Big Fun titles. He also worked on research projects at Georgia Tech and the Technion in Israel. He currently studies at Dartmouth College.



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