One of the things I love about Flex is how extensible it can be. You are able to make composite components to do almost anything you want using out of the box components. However, if you really want to take advantage of its power, it helps to have a good or in depth knowing of the interfaces that come with it. The reason to proclaim the importance is that using these interfaces, you will be able to create extremely light weight components, but you will be able to make them do whatever you want (in a programming sense of the phrase).
There are, of course, quite a few different interfaces. I have looked through them and picked out five interfaces that I consider to be the more important ones. For each, I will give a brief explanation of why they are important and where you would normally use them.
Best Practices, Flex, Learn This
Love it or hate it, its hard to ignore Twitters recent explosion in popularity. Not only are they super popular to the masses, but they are nice enough to give us an API to use in order to create our own twitter applications. I don’t use it too much, but I figured it would be worth checking out at least from an API stand point.
Turns out, the API is actually just a series of webservice calls that just return a json or atom string, so it is extremely easy to use (and it explains the mass amount of twitter programs out there). I don’t feel it would be too beneficial to create a bunch of ‘This is how you search for people’, ‘This is how you do a post’, so I decided to turn this into a mashup between this and google maps.
What I decided to do an article on is how to take twitters geocoded search feature and place them on a map within google. This article will explain how to call Twitters search service, parse that and then using Googles Geocoder, plot where those users are twittering from.
Flex, Google Maps API, tutorial
How many times have you hopped into Flex’s source code only to see the modifier “mx_internal”? No public, private or protected, just mx_internal. It is everywhere in there. But what is it? Turns out, according to Adobe, it is a namespace used to flag functions and properties within the framework that may change in future releases. Obviously, since they might change, Adobe, with all its motherly goodness, hides these properties and functions from us behind this namespace. This does not mean we cannot access them though. We just have to jump through a few small loops. This article will go over how and when to use mx_internal, but also what to be careful about when using them.
Best Practices, Flex, Opinion, Random Notes
It is hard to deny that the Google Maps API has a lot of built in functionality to it. I enjoyed writing the last article and I felt it was time to get into it a little more. In my last last article on the API, I focused primarily on how to add a marker to the map and also how to create a custom infoWindow. This article’s main topic will be on how to plot PolyLines on a map, how to get the distance between them, and using Markers to had a little bit more usability to your application.
Flex, Google Maps API, tutorial
Alright designers, lets get one thing straight. I don’t like you and you don’t like me. You design components that are either a)impossible/painstakingly difficult to build or b) has more transitional effects that even make a mac snob would vomit. Dare I complain? Too bad. The client already signed off on it and they loved it. Guess what though, jokes on you! Following my typical fashion, I have made it as easy to style as you have to build it. TAKE THAT EDGY COOL GUY(or girl)!.
Unfortunately, this vicious circle doesn’t help you and it doesn’t help me. You can call me lazy and I can call you a moron but it leads us to the same spot. With this in mind, I’ve recently decided to extend the olive branch. I have sat down with one of the main designers at my job and asked “What can I do to my components that will make your job easier?”. With a warm smile, he thanked me and gave me some good tips on how I can make not just his life easier, but also make my components just that much more versatile.
Best Practices, Flex, Opinion, Random Notes, tutorial