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No News Is Good News - Flash

Contrary to what you might think, Flash isn't just all tweensand motion blurs. The application comes with powerful data-retrievalcapabilities, which allow you to hook your Flash movie clips up to adatabase (or any other external data source) and dynamically build movieclips that are easy to update and modify. Find out more, in this roughguide to the data-driven Flash universe.

  1. Building Data-Driven Flash Movies
  2. Message In A Bottle
  3. No Hands
  4. No News Is Good News
  5. Alien Invasion
  6. What's On The Menu?
  7. Splitting Up
  8. Linkzone
By: The Disenchanted Developer, (c) Melonfire
Rating: starstarstarstarstar / 71
July 23, 2002

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Now, you can develop some pretty cool applications with power like this...and one of the coolest (and easiest) is a dynamic news ticker, updated from a MySQL database. Let's see how.

First, pop open a new Flash movie and create a dynamic text box symbol, in the manner described on the previous page. Call it "ticker", and name the variable which will contain the data for the text box "content".

Format the appearance of the text box, by adjusting the values in the Window -> Panels -> Text Options and Window -> Panels -> Character dialog boxes. I used a white Arial font, size 12, right-aligned.

Next, we need to create a motion tween to move the text box horizontally across the bottom of the movie. Insert an instance of the newly-minted "ticker" symbol into your movie clip, outside the lower right edge of your movie clip.

Insert a new keyframe in your timeline somewhere around frame 40, and move the symbol instance all the way across to the other edge of the movie clip.

Right-click anywhere between the two keyframes in the timeline and insert a motion tween.

Test your movie. You should see the symbol instance float horizontally across the bottom of the screen.

Of course, it doesn't contain anything yet - which makes it fairly useless. Let's rectify that next. Right-click the first keyframe and insert some ActionScript.

loadVariablesNum ("http://localhost/ticker.php", 0);
This tells Flash to load variables generated by the server-side script "ticker.php" into the movie, and use them wherever required. Let's look at that script next.

>>> More Flash Articles          >>> More By The Disenchanted Developer, (c) Melonfire

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- An Overview of Flash and ActionScript
- Building Web Forms In Flash
- Building Data-Driven Flash Movies
- Flash 101 (part 6): The Final Countdown
- Flash 101 (part 5): Spiralling Out Of Control
- Flash 101 (Part 4): Don't Touch Me!
- Flash 101 (part 3): Bouncing Around

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