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MovieClip – The flash molecule

August 18, 2006

It seem obvious to people who use flash, but not so clear to other programmers. The concept of a movie clip. Its a stage with a time line that can have frames that has in them either graphics or…. other movie clips. Every movie clip has its own independent timeline that can be controlled programaticaly. Each Movie clip is also the base of all the media that can be delivered thrugh flash. Its an amazing Concept. Just for that, Futurewave, the creators of the first flash program, should get the programmers Oscar.

 But now we are on the 21st century. We want much more the basic manipulations on independent timelines. We want to make movieclips as programmabel as possible. However, due to the structure of the MovieClip, and the fact they (macromedia) wanted to make it as skim as possible, the movieclip doesn’t has all the features nedded to make it a fully programmable Object.

Ok, before the first chair would get thrown at me I’ll explain what I mean.
Movieclips can be manipulated via basic (or maybe more advanced) parameters, like _x _height, _alpha and _catchAsBitmap. It can be duplicated, attached, change depth. Can manage sounds, video, pictures and even transform bitmaps. Can be played, jump on timeline, handle programmatic animations as well as drawn ones and perform code on each frame.

 Amazing stuff. However, they still lack some of the things that can make their programming much much more powerful. The most basic things for me are proper event handling. More versetile timeline handling (something like “play to” and an event when got there). Loading procedure that was later implemented usin “MovieClipLoader”. The verstility in extending the movieclip abillity, more specifficaly classes that extends movieclips. And a proper OOP approach to them.

Now please. Don’t tell me they have all these in AS3. I know they have. But…. well what I think of AS3 is not feet in this post… 😉

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