Review: Flash with Drupal
Flash with Drupal shows you how to integrate Flash and, well, Drupal.
There are at least three forms of plausible use of Flash on a Drupal site: a) standalone Flash applets, b) Flash applets which interacts with data stored in Drupal, c) full Flash website based on data stored in Drupal. The book only covers the first two of these.
An example of a standalone applet are video players on sites like youtube. It's relatively simple to paste the embed code into a node body (such as the following youtube video), however out of the box Drupal does not allow the required
Flash with Drupal relies on a small set of contributed modules to facilitate flash applets which use drupal as a backend service.
The book consists of 11 chapters showing 11 progressively more in-depth projects which utilize Flash to access content in a Drupal site. In actuality most of the book has the reader sitting in the Flash IDE implementing Flash code, and very little time implementing stuff in Drupal. This perhaps demonstrates the power of Drupal as a back end service that the Services and AMFPHP modules make it straightforward to service a rich client application.
The first significant app has you define (with CCK) a Recipe content type with several fields suitable for recipes. Once you have the content type defined and the services wired up, the actionscript code required in the Flash UI exposes Drupal content in a very Drupal-like data structure. An example function is:
// Called when Drupal returns with our node.
function onNodeLoad( node:Object )
// print out the node title
title.text = node.title;
// print out the description
description.htmlText = node.body;
// show the ingredients and instructions
ingredients.text = node.field_ingredients["value"];
instructions.text = node.field_instructions["value"];
The "node" object exposed to the Flash programmer is identical in structure to the "node" object inside Drupal. This means an experienced Drupal programmer can get going in Flash programming with just a simple change of syntax from
The book has a great amount of detail on the methods and walks you carefully through using the Flash IDE to build the required Flash applets. There is a lot of code to wade through, most of it in the flash client rather than Drupal.
Highly recommended if you are interested in implementing rich client experiences on a Drupal site. There are other rich client technologies than Flash which could conceivably play in this same niche, using Drupal as a backend service for a rich client. Obviously this book is not showing ways to implement rich clients using other technologies than Flash, but it could serve as an inspiration to someone already experienced in those other technologies as to the possibilities.
This book has quite a bit in it about using the Flash IDE. To me as a non-experienced Flash programmer I'm feeling confident this book contains enough to teach a beginners level ability with using Flash.
It appears this book has enough in it about use of the Flash IDE to help jumpstart someone to developing Flash applets.