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Flash with Drupal

Travis Tidwell

Build dynamic, content-rich Flash CS3 and CS4 applications for Drupal 6
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Book Details

ISBN 139781847197580
Paperback380 pages

About This Book

  • Learn to integrate Flash applications with Drupal CMS
  • Explore a new approach where Flash and HTML components are intermixed to provide a hybrid Flash-Drupal architecture
  • Build a custom audio and video player in Flash and link it to Drupal
  • Build a Flash driven 5-star voting system for Drupal at the end of the book

Who This Book Is For

This book is written for developers who wish to build dynamic flash applications. Although we will be using Drupal for our Content Management System, the lessons learned within this book can easily be applied to other content management systems such as Joomla or WordPress. Because of this, you are not assumed to be familiar with Drupal. Any interaction with Drupal will be described in full detail so that anyone can follow along. As for Flash, it is not necessary to be familiar with how to use Flash since that too will be covered within this book. However, it is recommended that you have some modest understanding of ActionScript and PHP since there are many code examples within this book.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Flash with Drupal
Why Flash with Drupal?
Who is this book for?
Getting started with Drupal
Getting started with Flash
Creating a Flash application
Adding Flash content to Drupal
Chapter 2: Building a "Hello World" Application
How Flash and Drupal communicate
Chapter 3: Flash and CCK
Overview of a typical recipe web site
Using Drupal's Content Construction Kit
Showing CCK fields in Flash
Creating a Drupal node template for Flash
Chapter 4: Drupal Images in Flash
Image handling in Drupal
Chapter 5: Drupal Audio in Flash
Working with audio in Drupal
Building a custom audio player for Drupal
Adding controls to your custom audio player
Chapter 6: Flash Video in Drupal
Working with video in Drupal
Chapter 7: The Hybrid Approach Part 1: Componentization
What is the hybrid approach?
Creating a media player control bar
Creating a communication gateway
Chapter 8: The Hybrid Approach Part 2: Remote Control
Client-side Flash communication
Chapter 9: Flash with Drupal Views
Using the Drupal Views module
Using the Views Service
Building a Flash Playlist using Drupal
Chapter 10: User Management
Drupal user management
The User Service module
Building a Flash user login block
User handling within Flash
Logging into Drupal
Chapter 11: Adding Content to Drupal
Drupal Services security
Building a node editor in Flash
Adding content to Drupal from Flash
Editing existing content in Drupal
Chapter 12: Build a Drupal Five-star Voter in Flash
Building a custom Voting Service for Drupal
Building a five-star voter in Flash
Creating a Voter class in ActionScript

What You Will Learn

  • Understand how Flash and Drupal communicate
  • Embed Flash applications within Drupal and also learn about the important modules that make it easier to work with Flash in Drupal
  • Learn the asynchronous programming techniques for Drupal's web services
  • Set up Drupal for web services using the services module to handle external interaction
  • Create a custom recipe content type for your Flash application and add new fields and images to it
  • Use Drupal's imageCache module with Flash to ensure that the images are not too large when loaded into our application
  • Create an audio-handling class using ActionScript 3
  • Load and play audio in Flash, and add user controls like on and off
  • Utilize Object Oriented techniques in ActionScript 3 to build a common MediaPlayer class to be used for both audio and video applications
  • Create a playlist of video nodes for our custom media player using Drupal Views
  • Utilize user management within a Flash application to manage its users and protect the content of the site with a permission-based role system
  • Add content to the Drupal web site and also keep it safe from malicious software
  • Build a custom voting service and create a Flash-driven 5-star voter for Drupal using the popular FiveStar module

In Detail

Due to its power and expandability, Drupal has become one of the most popular open source content management systems. At the same time, Flash has been adopted for its ability to create beautiful and dynamic web applications. By combining these technologies, you can create Flash applications that are both visually stunning and rich in content.

This book is an in depth discussion and tutorial on how to integrate Flash applications with Drupal CMS. It will describe the best techniques and practices for integrating Flash technology with the power and flexibility of Drupal by building real-life Flash applications.

Within this book, you will learn how to build Flash applications that show text from within Drupal and also present images, music, and video within a single Flash application. You will also be able to take advantage of the expandable fields and content filtering provided from the CCK and Views modules to add flexibility and power to your Flash applications. Finally, you will learn how to add your own custom functionality to Drupal and then utilize that from within your Flash applications leaving you with a world of possibilities.

This book starts out with a simple introduction to Flash and Drupal technology where you will create a simple Flash application and then embed that within Drupal. From there, each subsequent chapter builds on the previous chapters tackling a new and challenging task.

For each new task, you will take a step-by-step approach to building a real-life application that utilizes the feature introduced within that chapter. You will also explore alternative design approaches that will eliminate the current design challenges that developers face when building Flash-driven Drupal sites; and all this while staying true to the Object Oriented Principles that govern the foundation of the ActionScript 3 language. By the end of this book, you will be able to apply all the lessons learned from this book to any other use case you may encounter.


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