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Using a Data List to define repeating elements

From: Flash Catalyst CS5 Essential Training

Video: Using a Data List to define repeating elements

When you think about building interactive applications, a design will often call for some kind of repeating list. For example, as you see right here in my browser, I have a list of dates and cities for when a certain olive tour is going to be appearing around the country. You can see that I can actually interact with this list by moving my mouse cursor over each entry, and I can also scroll down this list by clicking on this little thumb right here and dragging it down to view the additional cities and dates, or I can click on this button over here on the top to scroll upwards and scroll downwards as well.

Using a Data List to define repeating elements

When you think about building interactive applications, a design will often call for some kind of repeating list. For example, as you see right here in my browser, I have a list of dates and cities for when a certain olive tour is going to be appearing around the country. You can see that I can actually interact with this list by moving my mouse cursor over each entry, and I can also scroll down this list by clicking on this little thumb right here and dragging it down to view the additional cities and dates, or I can click on this button over here on the top to scroll upwards and scroll downwards as well.

Normally, a designer would face several challenges in trying to put this together. First of all, you need to create some kind of a functional scrollbar. Second of all, you would need some way to actually create a repeating element that's actually connected somehow to that scrollbar. For example, as I move the thumb on the scrollbar, you can see additional entries. Perhaps, most important though is the actual data itself; the entries that appear inside of these elements. In this example, that means the dates and the cities. You see normally on a web application this information would be supplied by a database, so that it's always up-to- date, after all as a web designer, I don't want to have to go in and update a web site every time a new city is added to the list.

As we are about to find out, Flash Catalyst can actually help us do all of this. First of all, you already know that with Flash Catalyst you can create functional components such as this vertical scrollbar here. As for creating repeating elements, we will soon learn that Flash Catalyst has another component called a Data List. This Data List component will allow us to enter dummy information or mock data, and link it to the scrollbar so that it acts as a functional Data List component. Finally, as you know, Flash Catalyst always turns everything that I create into code in the background.

So once I have created this functional piece right here and I've shown to a client and I've gotten approval, I can give my Flash Catalyst project to a developer who can hook it up directly to a database. Let's take a closer look at how Data List components work inside of Flash Catalyst. I will open up Flash Catalyst here and you'll see that I have a project opened called cities_datalist. If I take a look at my artboard here, I can click on this object which is actually a Data List component. The information that appears inside of the Data List component, in this case, the dates and the cities, is information that I have added myself directly here inside of Flash Catalyst.

This information which isn't real, but I'm using it simply to show how this list would work, we sometime refer to this as mock data or dummy data, is all controlled through the Design-Time Data panel which you will find at the bottom of your screen. I'm going to double-click on it so that we can see it and you will note that I have two specific text elements in each repeating elements here. Something here called Text 1 and Text 2. Similar to an Excel spreadsheet, I can specify information here that appears inside of the repeating Data List. I will collapse the panel for now, because I want to focus on the component itself.

If I double-click now on the Data List component to isolate it, I will see that I can click on it to reveal something called the Repeated Item. If I double-click again, I can actually view just one of those components and as we'll soon learn, when I am designing a Data List component, all I care about are one of these elements. Flash Catalyst will automatically repeat them for me. So when I am really designing these Data Lists inside of Flash Catalyst, I am thinking about some kind of scrollbar component to allow me to scroll through the list and I am thinking about one of those repeating elements look like.

Once I have turned it into Data List component, I can then use the Design-Time Data panel to add my data. If I go to the breadcrumbs here and I click on DataList1, I can see that in my Properties panel, I have something called a Repeated Item or a Data Group, and if I scroll down here towards the bottom, I'll see that I can actually layout my Repeated Items in a variety of different ways. So as a designer, you no longer have to come up with complex schemes just to show a manager or a client how a list is going to function. You can actually display Repeated Items as a fully-functional Data List component using Flash Catalyst.

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This video is part of

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Flash Catalyst CS5 Essential Training

66 video lessons · 19564 viewers

Mordy Golding
Author

 
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  1. 9m 24s
    1. Welcome
      1m 29s
    2. Key concepts
      4m 33s
    3. When should I use Flash Catalyst?
      2m 51s
    4. Using the exercise files
      31s
  2. 33m 12s
    1. Creating a new project
      5m 14s
    2. Defining components
      6m 26s
    3. Adding pages
      5m 41s
    4. Adding interaction
      6m 20s
    5. Adding transitions
      7m 12s
    6. Publishing options
      2m 19s
  3. 21m 37s
    1. Planning your project
      8m 11s
    2. Starting your project in Illustrator
      4m 9s
    3. Starting your project in Photoshop
      4m 22s
    4. Starting your project in Fireworks
      3m 10s
    5. Starting your project in Flash Catalyst
      1m 45s
  4. 30m 55s
    1. Understanding components
      5m 14s
    2. Creating a button component
      7m 10s
    3. Creating a checkbox component
      3m 55s
    4. Creating a radio button component
      5m 10s
    5. Creating a toggle button component
      2m 4s
    6. Creating a text input component
      1m 35s
    7. Creating horizontal and vertical slider components
      2m 46s
    8. Creating horizontal and vertical scrollbar components
      3m 1s
  5. 31m 55s
    1. Using the drawing and selection tools
      5m 52s
    2. Setting object properties
      4m 48s
    3. Importing artwork
      2m 27s
    4. Editing artwork in Illustrator
      6m 29s
    5. Editing artwork in Photoshop
      4m 27s
    6. Working with text
      3m 39s
    7. Optimizing artwork
      4m 13s
  6. 28m 56s
    1. Understanding pages and layers
      9m 50s
    2. Editing pages and states
      7m 24s
    3. Using grids, guides, and rulers
      1m 40s
    4. Aligning and arranging objects
      2m 27s
    5. Moving elements between pages and states
      4m 33s
    6. Using the Library panel
      3m 2s
  7. 54m 43s
    1. Understanding interaction types
      8m 24s
    2. Creating conditional interactions
      3m 6s
    3. Understanding the timeline
      7m 40s
    4. Creating smooth transitions
      7m 44s
    5. Defining Move transitions
      3m 33s
    6. Defining Resize transitions
      3m 53s
    7. Defining Rotate transitions
      2m 53s
    8. Defining Rotate 3D transitions
      3m 35s
    9. Adjusting basic timing
      5m 57s
    10. Creating an action sequence
      7m 58s
  8. 18m 11s
    1. Creating Flash video files
      3m 32s
    2. Placing video into a project
      3m 51s
    3. Controlling video playback
      3m 51s
    4. Adding sound effects
      3m 17s
    5. Integrating Flash content
      3m 40s
  9. 25m 53s
    1. Using a Data List to define repeating elements
      4m 11s
    2. Creating a basic Data List pt. 1: Building the components
      5m 31s
    3. Creating a basic Data List pt. 2: Adding the data
      3m 8s
    4. Planning a complex Data List
      1m 57s
    5. Creating a complex Data List pt. 1: Building the components
      6m 33s
    6. Creating a complex Data List pt. 2: Adding the data
      4m 33s
  10. 12m 14s
    1. Publishing an SWF file to view locally or offline
      2m 30s
    2. Publishing an SWF files to upload to the web
      2m 35s
    3. Integrating an SWF file into a web page with Dreamweaver
      2m 25s
    4. Integrating an SWF file into a web page with an HTML text editor
      2m 48s
    5. Publishing an Adobe AIR file
      1m 56s
  11. 7m 52s
    1. Creating custom components
      4m 27s
    2. Working with Library Packages
      1m 47s
    3. Using the Code view in Flash Catalyst
      1m 38s
  12. 22s
    1. Goodbye
      22s

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