Spark Europe – Ted Patrick

Ted Patrick

Ted Patrick‘s first session on the DisplayList API was no doubt one of my favourite sessions of the conference. I thought I was pretty much up to speed with the DisplayList in AS3 but he highlighted some interesting use-cases that I hadn’t considered before (reparenting DisplayList branches etc.)

Can’t really do justice to the topic in a brief summary but here are some of the main things that came up:

– DisplayList holds all visual objects in an application
– you can load things off the display list (i.e. preload images etc.) and only attach them when they need to be visible
– one instance can only be attached at one place in the DisplayList at a time, if you add it at a different place it just reparents (obvious but easy mistake to make if you’re coming from the attachMovie era)
– getObjectsUnderPoint(new Point( x , y )); returns all objects in the DisplayList under the x and y coordinate you specify

On Friday Ted did another great session on, binary sockets in Flex and AS3. Unfortunately one of the coolest demo’s (Darron Shall’s FlashVNC) wouldn’t run. But you can download the SWF from his site and try it out yourself (the source is available from IFBIN).

One great thing that will be a tremendous improvement in helping to secure Flash games etc. is loading in binary data over a socket connection (so straight into the flash player memory). You can basically write code to connect up to any TCP/IP protocol (IRC, XMPP, DNS, POP3, IMAP, SMTP, etc.) and no longer require a middle tier.

This will no doubt be a huge revolution in the way we think about Flash applications on the web!

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