Flash Catalyst best practices article published

An article I wrote on Flash Catalyst best practices for the Adobe Developer Connection site went live yesterday.

Flash Catalyst and Flash BuilderOne of the things I’ve found with Flash Catalyst is that the quality and usefulness of the assets and component skins that you’ll make available for the developers you are working with can vary depending upon how you’ve organized your project, as can the amount of rework and restructuring required on their part when they receive your FXP file. By thinking about naming, structure and being organized throughout the design phase of the project, you’ll help to ensure a smooth flow of assets from design into development.

If you’re considering using Flash Catalyst for creating the user interface for a rich Internet application then I hope the hints and tips shared in the article will help you to make the most from Flash Catalyst and ensure that you’re structuring your projects with the eventual output to the developer in mind.

The article is posted here.

If you have any feedback on the article or additional hints & tips then please do share them using the comments.

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5 Responses to Flash Catalyst best practices article published

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  4. Misterhee says:

    Andrew.

    First of all, thanks for the article. This is invaluable for (brave) people actually attempting to do real work in Catalyst / Fx4.

    My biggest gripe with Catalyst at present is that it uses absolute x/y positioning when dealing with component artwork rather than left/right/top/bottom contraints. This is true whether you are using images or FXG definitions. This means you CANNOT resize a button in Flash Builder 4.

    Catalyst:
    s:Rect x=”0″ y=”0″ width=”69″ height=”20″ radiusX=”2″ radiusY=”2″

    By hand:
    s:Rect left=”0″ right=”0″ top=”0″ bottom=”0″ width=”69″ height=”20″ radiusX=”2″ radiusY=”2″

    By setting constraints, rather than absolutes, you can resize something like a button as expected.

    Another (current beta) pitfall if you want to scale9 any bitmaps – you cannot apply scaleGrid properties to the top level node in your skin class. If you do, NOTHING will render to the screen in your swf (not even other components!).

    You have to apply the properties to each individual embed asset like:
    s:BitmapImage source=”@Embed(‘assets/some.png’, scaleGridLeft=4, scaleGridTop=4, scaleGridRight=75, scaleGridBottom=21)” left=”0″ right=”0″ top=”0″ bottom=”0″ resizeMode=”scale” d:userLabel=”base”

    A more mature beta would most certainly be appreciated 🙂

  5. Totally agree with Misterhee, this is a pain. And if you replace somehow the code using constraints then Catalyst is not able anymore to move the components using those contraints.
    Major pain (among others)!

    (I know Andrew, it’s not your fault).

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