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Chapter 3. More ActionScript: Data-Driven Interfaces

Chapter 3. More ActionScript: Data-Driven Interfaces

This chapter completes our brief survey of advanced ActionScripting. We fulfill the goals we developed in the last chapter, focusing on data-driven solutions—design and logic that respond to internal data. This approach includes the dynamic creation and destruction of graphic elements. We build up skills with internal data so that after we learn XML we will easily be able to create presentations driven by external data.

Throughout this book we concentrate on Flash as thin, flexible clients. A thin client presents data that comes from elsewhere; it focuses on the graphic and interactive function, where Flash shines. A flexible client can take a wide variety of inputs and adapt to what it gets; it does not require careful input. There are wins in system maintenance and upgrades, multiplatform support, version control, and download time. But our primary interest in a thin client is to more clearly expose the data inside—to study XML. Our aim is thin, pliant Flash that wraps itself around a fairly visible XML skeleton.

This chapter is less involved with the rules of ActionScript language than with the practical problems of building smart graphics. It demonstrates a useful approach to the problems and is designed to stimulate readers to invent other approaches.


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