Flash Player 8 Niftiness

Was browsing the very cool Open Source Flash website just now, and came across their Undocumented Flash Player 8 wiki page, covering tidbits of new actionscript. Neat! Note that this covers the beta version of the player, so it’s not known how much of this will make it into release.

Still, two things were of interest to me:

  • Script-level access to bitmap data. That’s very cool. It looks like you’ll be able to composite bitmap data on-the-fly too, and apply those new glow and shadow filters programmatically. That is super cool.

  • ExternalInterface API for Javascript-to-Flash and Flash-to-Javascript Communication. Right now, this functionality is not supported very consistently at all in different browsers, making QA a bear. I am hoping that this gets fixed.

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p>And I came across this fabulous Debugger tip to help make the asinine Debugger in MX 2004 more useful. Ordinarily, you can’t set persistent breakpoints in your .as files; you get to load the debugger and reset them every single time you want to have a breakpoint. Yes, this is incredibly lame. You can, however, set them in frame scripts, so the workaround is to define a function in frame 1 of your .FLA file called doBreak() and set the breakpoint there. Then whenever you want to implement a programmatic breakpoint, call doBreak() and the Debugger will kick in. StepOut, and you actually can do something useful in the Debugger without all that tedious and unwarranted pointing and clicking. Sheesh! You still have to “Debug Movie” with the stub .FLA file in the foreground, using CONTROL-SHIFT-ENTER and not “Test Project” via CONTROL-ALT-P. Bah.