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In this chapter, we are going to talk about working with XML data in Flash. Before we talk about working with XML in Flash, we will talk about what XML is. If you're following along, you can open up the images.xml file and that's inside of the data folder in the Chapter_03 folder in the Exercise Files folder. And you can just open up this file in any text editor. Let's talk about how this file is organized and how XML works. XML stands for Extensible Markup Language. You can kind of think of it like HTML, except instead of the tags being table and other things like that, you can make up your own names for tags and make them meaningful.
In this file, I have an opening tag. Tags have brackets around them or less than and greater than signs. I have an opening tag called images and a closing tag called images. Notice the closing tag looks just like the opening tag, except for it has a forward slash, right before the word images. And that's how opening and closing tags work in XML and also in HTML. Inside of the images tag, we have a bunch of single image tags and these represent the location of images and thumbnails in the Chapter 3 folder.
The opening tag for each image contains the source or the large image. This is called an attribute, and that's where inside of an opening tag there is some name that means something, an equal sign, and an then a value inside of quotes. So, we have the source at images/Image1. jpg and the thumb is referring to the path of the thumbnail. Inside of the tag, we have a value, and that's just the description of the image.
I kept it pretty generic, so it's pretty easy to read and understand. But when using XML yourself, the names of the tags don't have to be images. They can be any name you want, and that's why it's extensible, because it's dynamic depending on what you choose to name them. So, you have tags that have meaning. I could easily open this file and tell that this file contains a bunch of images. Because that's the name of the first tag. Now that we have a basic idea of how XML works, let's talk about how to work with XML in Flash.
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