Book Review: ActionScript Developer’s Guide to Robotlegs

So quite some time after I got this book on my hands I’ve finally taken the time to sit down and read it and let me open this post saying that I really enjoyed it. ActionScript Developer’s Guide to Robotlegs will guide You through the inner workings of the Robotlegs framework in a very straightforward and concise way, the authors Lindsey Fallow (Stray) and Joel Hooks (who also are part of the Robotlegs core team) do so by taking real-life applications and break them apart showing You how Robotlegs gets things done in the process, each chapter is full of tips equally appealing to Robotlegs newcomers and seasoned users of the framework. The book is written in such a way that has a very “Head First Series” nice feel to it taking You from the basics to more advanced features, troubleshooting, tips, good practices and power-ups in a very clear way.

What I liked the most about this book is the fact that Is really well explained, from the table of contents to the appendixes is a step by step companion as You dive deeper in the core concepts of Robotlegs such as Context, Commands, MediatorMaps and DI ( Be sure to check the Appendix B dedicated entirely on how Robotlegs handles dependency injection).

When You’re entirely new to a framework such as Robotlegs You might find yourself lost in nomenclatures and concepts previously unknown to you, well this book untangles it all for You and gently clears your way as you read along and event when you’ve used Robotlegs before is full of juicy tips and best practices that will surely help you have a better understanding on how you wire your applications using the framework.

You can get the book in digital or print format at O’Reilly in case you haven’t already done so, I definitely recommend it for anyone thinking on using the Robotlegs Framework or anyone who is already using it on a regular basis.

I like to thank Stray and Joel for taking the time to write this book and the Robotlegs team for the efforts on the framework (keep up the wonderful work guys).

Don’t forget to visit for the latest on the framework.

Happy Reading.

Robotlegs Modular + Flash CS5 Project Template for FDT 4.5

Click the image to see working example.

So here it is the updated version of my Robotlegs Modular + Flash CS5 Project Template for FDT 4.5, what it does? it will let You create a Flash CS5+Robotlegs Modular project using Robotlegs version 1.4.0 and Joel Hooks version of Stray’s Utility Modular.

Project Settings

The project is set so You can enter your own package structure e.g. “com.yourdomain.project” it will crate a folder called modules with the all the classes needed it will also create a Flash .XFL with the Views( MovieClips) already mapped to Your classes.

I also gave the design a little make over 😉 see the example above.

So where do You get this template and how to use it:

1.- Download the Project Template form GitHub extra points if You make a fork.

2.- Install the project template in Your FDT folder:
On OSX the path is: (Your User Name) > Library > Application Support > FDT
For windows: C:\Users\{Username}\AppData\Roaming\FDT

3.- Create a project with this template in Your project settings will be on Web>Robotlegs Modular + Flash CS5

4.- Compile the Project and Enjoy 😉

RobotLegs – Flash CS5 Project Template for FDT4

Projects Templates are an extremely useful tool introduced in the version 4 of PowerFlasher’s FDT it lets You write and include Your own project templates  and are available for you to use when creating a new project in: File>New>New Flash Project.

One of the frameworks that I used the most in 2010 ( expect upcoming post on the 10 frameworks that I used the most last year) is Robotlegs created by Shaun Smith a pure AS3 micro-architecture framework that  is pretty handy when You work in large projects, so the project template that I made is a pretty basic setup of Robotlegs It has a loader class and loader. fla and the MainApplication and main.fla, that fla is where all the Robotlegs magic happens it has the main context 3 views and its mediators 3 commands and an event. This template can be used as a sandbox for starting a small Flash CS5 based Robotlegs project.

How to install the project templates:

In mac open up the Finder and navigate to your home folder. After you installed FDT4 you’ll find a folder called “FDT” there. Navigate to FDT/projectTemplates/Web and copy the RobotlegsFlashCS5 folder in there and Youre good to go.

In Windows 7 go to C:\Users\User\AppData\Roaming\FDT\projectTemplates\Web copy the RobotlegsFlashCS5 folder in there and You’re all set.

Hope it helps the code is not commented I’ll try to push a commented version to  github as soon as i have the chance.

Ups almost forgot You can download the ProjectTemplate at my FDT-Resources fork in github.

Matan Uberstein´s Auto Flash Class Panel

The Auto Flash Class Panel is an extension for Flash CS5  that will let You get rid of the tedious work of naming Your library items and believe Me when you working with small projects this is something that you can do by yourself without much effort but as projects get bigger and the amount of things you have to give a class name for working with them in ActionScript the task can really become tedious and cumbersome. Enter Matan Uberstein’s Auto Flash Class Panel.

The panel will let You select and give class names to your library items with a few clicks (literally), for installation You must have the Adobe Extencion Manager if you don’t have it already installed You can download it from here.  To start using the Auto Flash Class Panel you can get the version 2 here.

Once You have it installed fire up Flash and open the panel in Window>Other Panels>AutoFlashClassPanel the the panel is packed with a rich interface split into two sections (see Fig. 1), Selector and Classer. The Selector section automatically selects all the library items that match your criteria. Choose from MovieClips, Bitmaps, Sounds, Fonts or Buttons. Once you are happy with your selection of library items, you simply use the Classer section to automatically insert class, base class and tick the ‘export’ checkbox.

Fig. 1

One of the cool features is that the Class and package names are generated form your library folder structure so to get  your classes in the proper packages all you need to do is to sort your library items in those folders e.g. “com.swfgeek.robotlegs.views.MainAnimation” ( see Fig. 2).

Fig. 2

With one simple click your library is ready for export. Saves you the effort of right clicking on the library item going to properties, ticking the ‘export’ checkbox and typing in the package/class name. In the Classer section you can adjust the base class of your items( see Fig. 3)

Fig. 3

The Auto Flash Class Panel is also fully customizable, to modify how it works or add your custom base classes to the menu click the settings button and customize how you want the panel to work and function(see fig. 4).

Fig. 4

The panel was built with Robotlegs, AS3Signals, MinimalComps and FDT4. I’ve been using it  in my diary projects workflow for over a week now and it’s a really time saver, check out Matan’s post about it and be sure not to miss his upcoming presentation on Asset Loader this  17th of December.

Here’s a video by Matan on how to use the panel.

Don’t be shy and give it a try  You won’t regret it 😉