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Flash and ActionScript are ideal for creating flexible, easily updatable web sites that are both unique in design and small in file size. In Creating a Portfolio Web Site Using Flash CS4 Professional, Adobe Certified Instructor Paul Trani shows how to exploit Flash to create a web site that showcases work to clients and prospective employers. Find out how to add dynamic navigation, animation, and video to a page, and how to load, sort and display XML that enables portfolio content to be updated without opening Flash. This course is designed to take your existing tweening skills and gotoAndPlay code and walk away with a fully functional Flash site. Exercise files accompany the course.
Loading XML content into Flash isn't quite as easy as, say, loading in a JPEG, but knowing that the XML content can contain anything you want makes it totally worth it and very powerful. So in the Assets folderm in the design folderm if you look in this portfolio folder, you'll find this XML file. So this is what I want to copy and use in my Flash file. So I'll just copy it over to the appropriate place, into my portfolio folder, I will paste it right in there and this is the file I want to load in.
So I'm just going to open up my portfolio.fla file. As I open it up and know that if I close this Actions panel, I'm actually right here on this first frame of the AS layer. So Window>Actions, I'll open this back up and you can see all this code written to load in all of the various thumbnails. But right at the top, if I just hit Return a couple of times, I can make room for loading in the XML. So I'm going to start off just by writing a comment, just going to type in XML and this is going to load in XML is what I want to do.
And the first thing I need to do is create a variable and this is going to be the XMLURLLoader variable. It's a URLLoader and I'm going to create a new one. The URLLoader is great for loading in text content such as XML or TXT file, any sort of text content, I want to use the URLLoader. So I've instantiated, or made a new URLLoader, called XMLURLLoader.
So I encourage you to just always copy and then paste to use any instance name you might have typed in. What I need do to now is go ahead and load in that specific file that I just placed in the portfolio folder. So I'm going to create a new URLRequest right in here, just like that code hinting tells me, and I'm going to do an open parenthesis and open quotes and type in 'portfolio.' This is going to be the URL, of course, portfolio.xml.
That's what I want to load in. So I'm going to close that quote and close the parentheses. And remember there's two parentheses here so I need to add another one right there. So make sure you do that. That's looking good. Now once the XML is loaded, I want to just trace out some of that data, but I do need to create a Listener. So I'm just going to do a Command+V because the XMLURLLoader is what I want to use and I want to add an EventListener for it. And it's going to be an Event and I am going to listen for the COMPLETE.
Once it's completed loading then I want to create a function called processXML. So I've just kind of made up the name of this function, but I do have to remember it because, just below that, I need to create the function to processXML. It's going to go ahead and be an event: Event. It's going to be the method so I need to make sure these two words match up, right now it's looking good and then open curly brace, close curly brace.
So once this XML has been completed loading in, it's going to fire off this function and all I'm going to do is trace and I'm going to trace out the XMLURLLoader and I'm going to get the data from it, because since I'm using this URLLoader class, it enables these various functions to be available. And what I'm accessing here is this data property. So it's going to take this XML and put all the information from that XML into this data property and all I'm doing is tracing it out.
So I'm going to check syntax. It does tell me that it doesn't contain any errors. So I'm feeling pretty good about this. I'll go to Test Movie and this is what I currently have, but if I look in my Output panel, I can see all of that XML content. All of it is in the XML file and now it's in Flash and available and ready to use. So really, if I go back to my Actions panel, you can see that through these lines of code, I'm able to load in an XML file. And of course, the next steps would be to access and start using all of this content, but now that my content is separate from my Flash file, it makes this really powerful when updating my portfolio.
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