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Lesson 8. Flash Site Architecture

Lesson 8. Flash Site Architecture

Up until this point, everything you have built, both in Flash and Dreamweaver, has been page-based. That is, the primary elements of content are stored in a series of pages. In HTML, each page is a separate entity connected with hyperlinks, while in Flash, the simulations you built were distinguished by page-like keyframe segments, connected with gotoAndStop() actions. Spending our lives, as we do, with books, paper, magazines, and newspapers, we are conceptually comfortable with a page-based architecture, which is why most people find it easy to grasp the “choose your own adventure” architecture of the branching Dante application.

Its conceptual simplicity aside, the page metaphor has limitations. To begin with, real print pages aren't interactive. More important, print pages are fully static—they come into existence the moment the ink hits them, and that's the end of it. Multimedia programs such as Flash excel with a different metaphor, one that's a bit harder conceptually, but much more powerful once you understand it: object-oriented architecture.

Create modular Flash sites using the loadMovie() action, which boosts productivity while empowering the user to control the experience.

Using object-oriented architecture, you can break down large and monolithic files into modular chunks. Each of these chunks, or objects, is quasi-independent, so you can make changes to them without affecting any other elements. In contrast, with a page-oriented program, such as a word processor, if you remove a paragraph, a sentence, or even a single word from text, the entire document reflows to accommodate the change. In Flash, you can make radical changes to content without affecting anything else in the movie. It is the object-oriented nature of Flash movie elements that enables advanced interactivity.

In this lesson, you will learn more about developing object-oriented media, and will see both its productivity benefits and potential for complex interactivity as opposed to page-oriented programs.


In this lesson, you will:

  • Take a modular approach to Flash authoring, enhancing both productivity and advanced interactive possibilities

  • Load and unload external SWF movies at runtime

  • Send data and commands to different timelines and objects throughout the movie(s)

  • Use flow control logic to build a toggle button

  • Create a contextual button that controls the timeline of a loaded external SWF


This lesson takes approximately 1 hour to complete.


Media Files:



Starting Files:


Completed Files:




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