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Author: Lewis Cobley | Website: http://www.lewiscobley.co.uk
Begin with a new document and set the size to 800x600 pixels. In the 'Data Components' section of the 'Components' menu drag and drop an 'XMLConnector' anywhere on to the stage (it doesn't matter where you put it as it will be invisible when you run the application). Give the 'XMLConnector' a name, for this tutorial I used 'xmlcon'. Now in the 'Component Inspector' click the 'Schema' tab. Now we need to import the Halo 2 XML file into flash, to do this go to your Bungie.net stats page and there should be a orange image with 'XML' on it, Right click this and choose Save Target As, save this somewhere accessible to you. (If you do not have a Bungie.net account don't despair you can download mine by using this link, http://www.bungie.net/stats/halo2rss.ashx?i=5185&k=1745259161, Right click this and choose Save Target As, save this somewhere accessible to you. Now we have our XML file go back into flash and click the 'results:XML' text and then select the icon with a white box with a downward facing blue arrow in the right hand section of the 'Schema' section. When prompted locate the XML file we just saved and open it. There should now be 18 objects imported. Now click onto the 'results:XML' text again and change its 'read only' value to 'true', (this should change all the double pointed arrows to single pointed ones). Ok, now the first part of the XML has been configured, we will finish it off later. Now we can build the form itself. Start off by dragging a 'List' component and 4 'TextArea' components on to the stage. Re-size the 'List' to take up the upper left quarter of the stage, one of the 'TextArea' boxes to take up the lower half of the stage and the other 2 'TextArea' boxes in the upper right quarter. Chang the the instance names for the components to as follows:

'List' - game_list
'TextArea' in the lower half - game_description
'TextArea' in the top upper right quarter - main_title
'TextArea' in the middle upper right quarter - game_title
'TextArea' in the lower upper right quarter - game_link

Also change the 'html' value to true for the 'game_description' and the row height for the 'game_list' to '20'.Next to bind the XML to the form. Select the 'XMLConnector' and the 'Bindings' tab in the 'Component Inspector'. Click the little '+' sign to bring up a dialogue box, select 'title : String' under 'channel : Object' and click 'OK'. Now 'results.rss.channel.title' has been added to the list, click it and then double click the white box next to 'bound to', in this new dialogue box select 'TextArea, ' and then 'text : String', click 'OK' to confirm. Now select the '+' sign again, this time open 'item : Array', bind this to 'List, '. The next '+' add 'title : String' the one under '[n] : Object' tree, bind this to 'TextArea, '. The next one you need to add is 'link : String' also under '[n] : Object', bind this one to 'TextArea, '. And the final one to add is 'description : String', bind this to 'TextArea, '. Now we need to link the 'TextArea' boxes to the 'List' component, to do this we need to select each item in the 'Bindings' list with a '[n]' in it and the double click the white box next to 'Index for 'item'', in this box unselect the 'Use constant value' check box, now you can select 'List, ' and then 'selectedIndex : Number' and then 'OK'. Once this is done for all 3 'TextArea' boxes (not the 'main_title' box) we can finish the XML part off. Click the 'XMLConnector' again and there will be a box in the 'Properties' section called 'URL', now you would think to put the Bungie.net XML URL in there but don't, if you do the application will only work locally, not when it is uploaded online. It won't work because of a new feature in Flash Player 6 and 7 which requires the server hosting the XML feed (i.e. Bungie.net) to have a file called a 'Cross Domain Policy' which they don't, or at least won't add you to. So to overcome this we need to take the Bungie.net XML feed and output it into a new feed, keeping all the original data intact. This is done using a simple ASP template. Open 'Notepad' and paste this into it:

dim strURL
strURL = "http://www.bungie.net/stats/halo2rss.ashx?i=5185&k=1745259161"

dim sxh
set sxh = server.createobject("MSXML2.ServerXmlHTTP.3.0")

sxh.open "GET", strURL, False

response.contenttype = "text/xml"

If sxh.status = 200 Then
response.write sxh.responseXML.xml
response.write ""
end if

set sxh=nothing

(Note: Where if you are using your own Bungie.net feed replace my link on line 4 of the code]

Save the file as 'halo2rss.asp' in the same folder the flash file will be exported to.

Now back in flash enter in the 'URL' box in the 'XMLConnector' 'Properties' menu 'halo2rss.asp', and change the 'direction' to 'receive'.

Finally press 'Ctrl + Enter' to preview the application, the list box should display your (or my) recent games on Halo 2, when you click any of the games it will display the information for that game in the 'TextArea' boxes.

Well, that is that, you can now do your own customizations to the app to tailor it to your needs.

If you experience any proplems I will try to help as much as I can.

Here are some of the prople who made this all possible:
XML guide - FlashFAQ
JasonFollas at the ASP.NET forums - he provided the ASP code.
LuigiL at the Macromedia Support forums - he told me why the Bungie.net URL didn't work.

» Level Basic

Added: 2005-08-10
Rating: 6 Votes: 4
» Author
I am fairly new to Flash myself, but I will contribute to te community when I can.
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