Archive for the actionscript 3.0 Category

Yahoo AS3 Maps: Real Estate Schtuff

A couple months ago, I created a Yahoo! map component for a real estate project my team worked on. I have talked about the Yahoo! Map API before, and well, just figured I’d post this project.

I really like how easy it is to integrate your own graphic elements into Yahoo! maps. Adding markers is also a breeze. You can associate a marker with a groups for easy referencing ( marker management was a pain in the previous version ).

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Google Maps AS3 API

I am excited to see that Google has finally released a AS3 api for Google Maps ! While I have not really spent any time playing around with it, I did have a quick look at the API Reference and it looks promising. The one thing that caught my eye was the GroundOverlay class, which lets you attach an image to a lat/lon bounding box. Pretty neat.

All in all Google Maps will have a tough time winning me over from the amazing Yahoo! Maps API, but perhaps if they start to integrate Street View and some of the other features that make Google Maps so cool, Yahoo! will have some close competition.

A nice bonus with the Google documentation: it provides the best tutorial I have seen on how to setup the free Adobe AS3 SDK I have seen. When I make something with the Google Maps API, i’ll be sure to post it….

Public, Private, Protected, Internal: Access Modifiers in AS3

Wow, I really went away for a while. Between working, wedding planning and the holidays I really lost track of posting! Ohhh where to begin again :) . Since I have gotten a number of questions regarding access modifiers in AS3, thats seems a good place to start.

What is an access modifier?

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Understanding root and the Document Class in AS3

Hopefully, we all know the _root object is gone in AS3. While use of _root was generally frowned upon in the Actionscript dev community, it had its uses. It was a quick and easy way to reference your project’s main timeline. Moving into AS3, we let go of _root and embrace the concept of a Document Class.

The purpose of the Document Class in AS3 is to extend your project’s main timeline (just a MovieClip instance) with a custom MovieClip subclass. While a similar effect was achievable in AS2, it required using a work-around. It’s nice to be able to assign your project a ‘main’ class right from the properties panel in Flash CS3.

You may be thinking that comparing the ‘AS2 _root’ to the ‘AS3 Document Class’ is like comparing apples to oranges, and you would be right. The _root object in AS2 was a reference to the project’s main timeline, whereas the Document Class is not a reference at all; it is a subclass of the MovieClip object that serves as the Actionscript’s entry point into your project.

Sooooo, why does it make sense to talk about them together…? In order to understand the concept of root (not _root!!!) in AS3 you need to understand the concept of the Document Class.

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Yahoo! Maps: AS3/Flex vs. AS2/Flash

Given the visibilty of mapping APIs today, it is not a supprise that many of our clients are requesting mapping elements on their site. Since I am a flash developer, I hold a particular affinity for creating solutions with Yahoo! maps over Google maps.

Since the Yahoo! maps component is an AS2 movie at its core, the AS3 API essentially wraps the AS2 map and communicates with it via the Yahoo! AS3 Maps Communication Kit. While the AS3 API lets you use all the AS2 functionality, the big kicker: it requires you use the Flex framework (adding 200kb+) to your project.

Now, if you are building a Flex app and want to add a mapping component, then you are all set, but if you are just building a mapping widget to compliment a website, then the using AS3 for your map starts to look wwaaaayyy less appealing.

I am not sure why Yahoo! decided to depend on the Flex framework, but that dependancy on that translates into embedding the entire Flex runtime into your SWF. That means no pure AS3 projects using Yahoo! maps.

It would rock to see a native AS3 mapping component solution in the future. I can’t imagine that is too far away.