Let me now review the term method and discuss how you can create custom methods in ActionScript. Methods are essentially functions associated with a class. You can declare a method much like you would declare function using the function keyword. You can think of a class object, let's say our MP3 Jukebox player could be a class object. Here is a basic setup for a Jukebox class object in ActionScript 3.0. If you open up the Jukebox underscore Method.as File in the Work Files Folder, you'll see this script right here. This is an external ActionScript file with a custom method that we're going to integrate into an fla file. The other fla you want to open up is custom class and that will look like this with this script. Let's start off with the Jukebox underscore Method ActionScript File. Inside of this you can see a class that we've declared and we've declared a Boolean. Remember that a Boolean returns either a true or false value. This is a variable called play status to check the status of the Jukebox to see perhaps whether it's playing music or not. So we have public up here. Here's the package. We'll be talking more about packages in the next movie. Here's my class, public class, Jukebox method extends movie clip. Then I have a variable here, play status. There's an underscore before the play status. There's my Boolean. Then I have my public function Jukebox underscore Method. Now, it's kind of tricky here is this Jukebox underscore Method needs to be the same name as your file, as your ActionScript file. If you try to copy this script into a different ActionScript file that's not called Jukebox underscore Method, none of this will work. More about that in the next movie as well. But you can see that I'm setting the play status to false when this function first runs. And I'm tracing in the output panel. Jukebox's play status is currently this play status, which is currently false. This is called constructor code. It'll be executed immediately when the class is initialized. So what these two lines do is first declare the Jukebox status for the play status that we declared earlier as a Boolean variable as false and then send a trace statement to return the current value of the Jukebox. The next two functions here, public function get and public function set enables the Jukebox class to get and set the current status of the engine. Now, all that's left to do is call this class from an external source. This is the fla file. Open up the Custom underscore fla file and click on the first frame, press F9 to open up the Actions Panel and you'll want to enter in this code right here. This first line initializes an instance of the Jukebox class that we created over there in the ActionScript file variable underscore Jukebox underscore Method colon Jukebox underscore Method equals new Jukebox underscore Method open close parenth, semicolon. Remember, that's the same name right there as the external ActionScript file. That's the only way to set up these custom classes and custom methods here. Now, as I mentioned previously, the code inside of this constructor will be executed immediately when the Jukebox class is initialized. Therefore it will return a trace statement in the output window. It'll tell us that the Jukebox play status is currently false. For example, it's not playing any music. Now let's modify the Jukebox status and change it to true. That's the next line. Underscore Jukebox underscore Method.playstatus equals true. And finally, let's check if the Jukebox is now true. So we trace here in the output panel Jukebox play status is changed to whatever the play status is currently for the jukebox method. Now, you'll know that all of this is working, this custom method as well as the custom class, Jukebox method, by doing a Control Test Movie and you should see the following traced in the output panel. Here is the swf file. There's nothing in there because I didn't put anything on the stage but here is the first play status currently set to false. That's from the constructor and then that last line there notice changed the status to true and then output it here in the output panel. As we've discovered, classes are essential in ActionScript 3.0. The class is the basic building block of all ActionScript 3.0 based applications so it's very important that you master the basics of writing a class. One good way to do this is to learn how to create custom classes and then write the classes by hand. So let's do that. Let's move on to the next movie and learn how to create custom classes in ActionScript 3.0.
|Course:||Adobe Flash ActionScript 3.0 for Designers|
|Duration:||9.5 hrs / 101 lessons|
|Captions:||Available on CD and Online University|
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