Archive for December, 2004

Sorting by Date in the DataGrid

The DataGrid’s built-in sorting capabilities do not extend to Date objects. The DataGrid can easily sort Strings and Numbers, but it converts Dates to Strings before sorting them – which is not typically what you want to happen.

This article shows you one way to get the best performance sorting Date objects.

Download sample files

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Gauge Component

I recently had the privilege of attending a customer-training session given by one of our Flex architects. The session covered component creation in Flex. I volunteered a component I wrote a while back as a test case to have our expert help us write better components.

This gauge component is one outcome of that session (another is an article I wrote which will appear on the Macromedia site early next year). Feel free to download the component. It includes some skin files, too. I placed comments throughout to help guide you when building your own components.


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Cell Renderers

Cell Renderers in Flex is always a hot topic. I was recently involved with several cell renderer issues. The download contains several interesting examples.

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Note: The solutions to some of these were a team effort.

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Here is a simple ticker, or marque, that moves text across the screen. The key is the doLater method which just advances the text by a specific amount.

The sample test file shows how you can change the text on the fly and adjust its speed, too.

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Accessing SWFs from Flex and Vice-Versa

I’ve seen a number of questions regarding the interaction between a SWF and Flex. The idea is that you create some Flash content, perhaps a navigation bar, and you want to have events that happen within the SWF processed by the Flex app in which the SWF is embedded. Or you have the reverse: controls in the Flex app modify the behavior of an embedded SWF.

Both types of interactions are possible. You will be able to cook up more elaborate and elegant solutions, but this should get you started.

Download samples

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I’ve finally gone and done it – I now work for a company that makes products that I use and love. I’ve been a big fan of Macromedia for a number of years and now I’m on ‘the inside’.

My official title is “Senior Flex Product Support Engineer”. I’ve been using Flex since 1.0 was introduced. I’ll explain my passion for Flex later, but suffice to say that Flex and I were made for each other.

Before joining Macromedia I was a customer. I downloaded free trials, I read the online documentation, I looked at the samples, etc. I tried to write my own programs, use the tools, and so forth. I did the things our customers do.

I am going to try very hard not to lose the customer’s perspective and bring that point of view inside Macromedia. I believe this will benefit everyone.

In my new role I will help you write better applications and get the most out of our products. There is a wealth of knowledge and talent here that can be tapped.

Macromedia’s success is your success and I’ve never worked for a company more aware of that and more focused on making its customers successful. The team I am now part of is clearly committed to this.

I will use this weblog to post solutions to problems that I common to many customers. Check often to see if there’s something you can use. And please write in if you find a solution.

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