Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

2007 Adobe Systems Incorporated. All Rights Reserved. 1 Deepa Subramaniam Software Engineer Adobe, MAX, 2007 Customizing the Flex Framework aka How to.

Similar presentations


Presentation on theme: "2007 Adobe Systems Incorporated. All Rights Reserved. 1 Deepa Subramaniam Software Engineer Adobe, MAX, 2007 Customizing the Flex Framework aka How to."— Presentation transcript:

1 2007 Adobe Systems Incorporated. All Rights Reserved. 1 Deepa Subramaniam Software Engineer Adobe, MAX, 2007 Customizing the Flex Framework aka How to get what you need.

2 2007 Adobe Systems Incorporated. All Rights Reserved. 2 Performance and Customization was on the forefront of our mind when designing the Flex framework. Dont like one of our components? Write your own! Customization Buckets UI Data Management Data Display Control Behavior How was Flex built for customization?

3 2007 Adobe Systems Incorporated. All Rights Reserved. 3 For the most part, MXML tags map to an ActionScript class Every tag attribute turns into a property, style, event handler on the object Some tags have no class mapping and are hard-coded into the compiler: Every MXML file corresponds to a new ActionScript class where the name of the MXML file is the name of the ActionScript class You can see the ActionScript code that is generated with the compiler option: keep-generated- actionscript = true MXML objects with ids correspond to member variables of that ActionScript class Recipe Example (source/asToMXML) ActionScript classes to MXML tags

4 2007 Adobe Systems Incorporated. All Rights Reserved. 4 How often have we seen UIs like this! Skinning and Styling infrastructure built into the framework at the component level Effect infrastructure built into the framework at the component level Use these mechanisms to change your application/component look and feel Bucket 1: Customizing UI

5 2007 Adobe Systems Incorporated. All Rights Reserved. 5 Styles are applied to individual components or across broad sets of components, setStyle(color, 0xFFCC00), External CSS Stylesheets, You can only get so far with styling – at some point you will need to turn to skinning. Skinning: Modifying appearance of a component by substituting in images, SWF files, or class files with drawing commands Skins represent the look of a component in its different states For more information, attend Peter Flynns session – Building Stunning Applications with Flex and CS3 Styling & Skinning

6 2007 Adobe Systems Incorporated. All Rights Reserved. 6 Effect classes live in mx.effects.* package Effects are paired with triggers which initiates a Flex effect on a target component Default effects library include effects like: Wipe, Fade, Zoom, Glow, etc. Effects are split into 2 categories: Simple effects that do not require an effect to play over a period of time (ie: Pause, Sound, etc) – These effects extend mx.effects.Effect Effects that play out over a period of time, like an animation (ie: Resize, Zoom) – These effects extend mx.effects.TweenEffect Effects Architecture

7 2007 Adobe Systems Incorporated. All Rights Reserved. 7 Can composite effects together via the mx:Parallel and mx:Sequence tags Can subclass existing effects like a custom Wipe or a custom Zoom Can write a new effect by extending one of the effect base classes (Effect or TweenEffect) Would require creating a custom effect factory class and a custom effect instance class Effect factory class manages the creation/destruction of the effect instance(s) I want to create a custom Shake effect - similar to the Mac login effect when you enter an invalid username/password. How will I do this? Shake Effect Example – source/shakeCompositeEffect Writing Custom Effects – Shake Effect

8 2007 Adobe Systems Incorporated. All Rights Reserved. 8 Customizations can be built directly into the data management classes. Custom dataDescriptor Custom collection Bucket 2: Customizing Data Management

9 2007 Adobe Systems Incorporated. All Rights Reserved. 9 Hierarchical data-aware controls include: Tree, Menu, MenuBar, AdvancedDataGrid These controls support arbitrary data Data Descriptors are used to walk the dataProvider and describe it to the control. Describes information like: 1. Is this node a branch or a leaf? – isBranch() 2. What attribute on a node describes child collection (the sub collection) – getChildren() Can use a custom data descriptor to do things like the following: 1. Lazy loading of data/load on demand: Build up the sub collection when a folder is pressed in the getChildren() call of your data descriptor. 2. Hierarchical data does not fit the format supported by the default descriptor (ie: children field does not exist). Would extend DefaultDataDescriptor. Data Descriptors for hierarchical data-aware controls

10 2007 Adobe Systems Incorporated. All Rights Reserved. 10 Managing data in Flex is easy Can use underlying ActionScript objects like Array, XML, XMLList as dataProviders to your data-aware controls. Can use Flex classes to create collections: ArrayCollection, XMLListCollection, etc. 2 interfaces for creating collections IList: Simple interface for indexed access to linear data ICollectionView: More advanced interface to access data that is not guaranteed to be linear Data aware controls can take input from a dataProvider that is any of the objects mentioned above, or a derivative of those objects Managing data sets

11 2007 Adobe Systems Incorporated. All Rights Reserved unique data fetches result in a single set of data that my DataGrid needs to display Scenario: User IDs + Credit Scores = ? User IDs: Credit Scores: I could pull down 1000 User objects and 1000 Credit Score objects and then take the 2 collections returned and merge them into a single collection of 1000 objects and then display, like, 12 in my DataGrid. Uhm. Yuck. That is a very wasteful and poorly performing way of doing, what is basically, a join operation on the client.

12 2007 Adobe Systems Incorporated. All Rights Reserved. 12 Ill write a custom collection that does the merging of the data on the client – this is a much better performing solution! 90% of the time – I can write a custom implementation of IList since I know the following point is true: My data allows me indexed access to a linear collection The 3 key points in doing the merge of n separate collections on the client are: A getItem() on the merged collection does a getItem() on the sub collections and builds up the merged object An add/remove/setItem() on the merged collection does the add/removeItem() on the sub collections. Integrate the notification between the sub collections and the merged collection so the merged collection knows to update when one of the sub collections changes Custom IList example – source/mergedList Solution: Write a custom collection!

13 2007 Adobe Systems Incorporated. All Rights Reserved. 13 Three (long) or four (short) bullets go here to describe the image, diagram or screenshot in the pod above Bucket 3: Customizing data display ItemRenderers for List-based controls Custom Validators Custom Formatters

14 2007 Adobe Systems Incorporated. All Rights Reserved. 14 Allows you a way to customize the view of the data for data-aware controls. Drop-in item renderer: A component that implements IDropInListItemRenderer is specified In-line item renderer – Specify an inline component that is used as the renderer. mx:Component tag defines a new scope in the MXML file local to the item renderer. Or specify an ActionScript or MXML Component as an item renderer Read Alex Haruis blog for insights into renderers: Item Renderers

15 2007 Adobe Systems Incorporated. All Rights Reserved. 15 Validators – set of classes in the Flex framework to validate user input Common validators include Validator, PhoneValidator, ZipCodeValidator Validators are bound to source objects and told which property on that object to validate Validation is triggered by an event, by default valueCommit Base class to extend when writing a custom validator: mx.validators.Validator Formatters – allows formatting of data for display purposes, or to send back to the server, etc. Common formatters include DateFormatter, CurrencyFormatter, NumberFormatter Formatters are applied to controls Formatting occurs by calling the Formatter.format() method. Base class to extend when writing a custom formatter: mx.formatters.Formatter Custom Validator example – source/customWordValidator Validators and Formatters

16 2007 Adobe Systems Incorporated. All Rights Reserved. 16 You can always extend existing framework controls to customize behavior. We are not going to talk about this now. Instead – lets look at a powerful technique where, at runtime, we can customize the behavior of objects based on the metadata that decorates them. In other words….Custom Metadata! Bucket 4: Customizing control behavior

17 2007 Adobe Systems Incorporated. All Rights Reserved. 17 Metadata provides information to the MXML compiler about how your component is used Ie: [Style(name="horizontalGap", type="Number", format="Length", inherit="no")] Metadata decorates ActionScript classes and MXML files For the most part, metadata is used only at compile time and is stripped out of the SWF (by the linker) at optimization time so that SWF size is smaller. By default, compiler keeps some metadata in the swf: Bindable, Managed, ChangeEvent, … However, you the developer, can control this! What is Metadata?

18 2007 Adobe Systems Incorporated. All Rights Reserved. 18 Flex 2: had to set compiler option to instruct the compiler which metadata tags should be preserved in the swf mxmlc -keep-as3-metadata or tag in flex-config.xml This was problematic: Users need to know what custom metadata to preserve when using a 3rd party library. So…… Flex 3: SWC libraries now declare what metadata the linker should preserve when linking in code from that library. When a library is used to build an app, the app preserves the union of metadata from all the libraries that contributed code to the app. Custom Metadata Tag Example – source/customMetadata Instructing the compiler to preserve metadata

19 2007 Adobe Systems Incorporated. All Rights Reserved. 19 Custom metadata scenario = Happy QE My company has a homegrown testing library. As developers write custom components, they add testing directives into their ActionScript and MXML code that instruct the test harness what test methods to call. These testing directives are custom metadata tags that decorate testable objects All QE has to do is run the test harness and those components decorated with testing metadata get their test methods invoked automatically! Example

20 2007 Adobe Systems Incorporated. All Rights Reserved. 20 Sometimes you find bugs in the framework… There are a few options available to you for how you can choose to patch the framework for your immediate use. Patching the framework

21 2007 Adobe Systems Incorporated. All Rights Reserved. 21 First and foremost – file a bug (and enhancement requests too) Vote on bugs – voting promotes the issue internally so that it is more likely to be fixed for the next drop Option 1: Extend the offending control and insert your fix Option 2: Copy the class into a separate package and use your fixed version of the component Option 3: Edit the offending source code directly in the mx.* directory ……..WAIT! Fixing bugs in the framework

22 2007 Adobe Systems Incorporated. All Rights Reserved. 22 We (and you) do not want a lot of one offs of the framework floating around Your going to want to manage your changes with patches 1. Keep track of your patches so that integrating with future drops of the framework is easy 2. Submit your patch code back to Adobe via the bugbase Patch Management Software Manages diffs of code so that modifications can be tracked and conflicts resolved when the source code changes Using your framework patches (risky business): Edit the source code directly – newer source files take precedence over older source files Can rebuild the framework with your patches to produce a whole new framework.swc We provide Ant tasks in {FB}/sdks/3.0.0/frameworks to do so: ant clean main Patching the framework

23 2007 Adobe Systems Incorporated. All Rights Reserved. 23 Flex offers developers plenty of ways to customize application and component development Go beyond the obvious! Read framework code – question why we do what we do! Flex BootCamp: Wednesday Slides, codes, thoughts up on my blog: Conclusion

24 2007 Adobe Systems Incorporated. All Rights Reserved. 24 Q & A Slides, code, thoughts on my blog: Thanks.


Download ppt "2007 Adobe Systems Incorporated. All Rights Reserved. 1 Deepa Subramaniam Software Engineer Adobe, MAX, 2007 Customizing the Flex Framework aka How to."

Similar presentations


Ads by Google