Back in the days, I actually used to do Flash work. Behind the scenes, I still do. At work, I meet up with Flash at an almost daily basis. As do my many talented co-workers.
More often than not, I find myself building the same preloaders, making the same fade effects and encountering the same debugging problems over and over again.
That’s why I, and a couple of co-workers, built a pack of Flash components to ease the work flow.
Flash provides a way of creating a form of “widgets”. Small pieces of self-contained code, that does specific things within the framework of Flash. Quite fortunate, since Flash at its very core means doing everything yourself. Not anymore for me, no sir.
“Snippets” is a pack of my best components, that I find myself using again and again. Drag and drop a preloader on to the stage, and it’ll show you how much of your movie has loaded. Need some candy on that button? Drag “Rollover Fade” onto it, and have it fade in on mouse over. Need to meet a deadline, and don’t care to set the tab index on every single button and textfield? Drag in “Disable Tab” and forget about it. Need to debug this or that variable, but can’t access
trace() from your server test environment? Drag “Debug log()” onto stage, and use
If you do work in Flash, you need these components. I’m not being overly self-confident by saying this, after all, I wasn’t the only developer on this pack. Credit is due to Tomas and Tobias, especially for their help developing the Debug log. Additionally, it has evolved over a couple of years now, so most serious bugs have been ironed out.
Various components for Macromedia Flash MX (Also works for Macromedia Flash MX 2004). They add functionality, or simplify daily tasks like creating rollover fades and much more. Read more about the Snippets Component Pack.
Snippets Component Pack
Macromedia Extension Manager
The Extension Manager is needed for installing components.
Installation and Usage
Make sure you have the Macromedia Extension Manager installed. This comes with the Flash install, so it should already be there for relevant users. With the Extension Manager in place, just download and execute the component pack, and It’ll be installed.
The component pack resides in the Component panel (
Window > Components). In Flash MX, the Flash UI Components pack is selected by default. To switch to the Snippets pack, click the upper right arrow of the palette, and select Snippets.
To use a component, drag it onto the stage, or onto a movieclip, a button or a textfield. For instance, preloaders and debugging tools are plainly dragged on to the stage, as they are stand alone.
Button effects, such as Rollover Fade and Rollover Scale can be dragged onto almost anything, including buttons, movieclips and textfields.
Other effects, including MovieClip Fade, and Mouse Delay are intended just for movieclips, but will also work on buttons et al.
The Debug log() is probably the most powerful component in the pack. It is an alternative to the
trace() function in Flash, but provides extra features, including support outside of the Flash authoring environment. To use the debug log instead of the trace function, drag the component onto stage, preferably in a layer that spans the entire timeline. Use
log("strings"+vars) to send debug information and output to the log, just like you would using
trace(). You can use both
log() in your movie, without conflict.
MX vs. MX 2004
While these components were built in Flash MX (v. 6), they have been tested in and work just fine in Flash MX 2004 (v. 7). The only difference being that the component icons are sized for Flash MX which has a different icon size than MX 2004. Thus, icons will appear slightly scaled in MX 2004. I plan to release two versions in the future. Don’t worry about the technical aspects though, they work fine in MX 2004.
One known issue is with the “Debug log()”. Currently, it is being instanced in frame 1, thus not ready to receive function calls. Any
log() calls you have in this frame won’t be recognized the first time around.
I know it is possible to instance components prior to frame 1 using
#initclip, but I haven’t really gotten this to work. If you’re a wiz, and able to do this, don’t hesitate to get in touch with me.
Bugs / Suggestions / Questions?
While the current iteration of the Snippets component pack is complete, tested and ready to use, I’m always open to suggestions and/or bug reports.
Update: I have released a new version of the
log() component that’s part of this pack.