The ability to include user interaction into a JSFL script can provide a significant level of flexibility and feedback. Flexibility and feedback are especially useful when you plan to distribute your extension to others. Flexibility allows the script to run differently depending on current conditions. Is there a document open? Are items selected in the Library? Etc. If so, you can ask the user how to proceed. Feedback lets the user know that the script has run properly (or not), so that he/she can proceed with confidence. This tutorial will cover the primary types of user interaction available in JSFL.
Part of being a solid Flash user and a good collaborator is maintaining clean, navigable files. This means naming layers and library items clearly, deleting unused material, keeping folders organized, etc. Because these actions must be applied to all files and are quite repetitive, they’re good candidates for automation. You can use JSFL to script all of these actions into a single keystroke or mouse click. This tutorial will focus on creating a Command (saving a Command is explained in the first tutorial) that will clean up the items in the Library.
The ability to create extensions is one of my favorite features in Flash Pro. You can extend Flash to include new features and automation in the form of Commands, Panels, and Tools. This series of tutorials will show you how to create your own extensions for Flash. There is a special scripting language that allows you to control Flash, and it is known as JSFL.
Well, 2010 was a pretty exciting year for Ajar Productions. We released a new Flash animation book with Chris Georgenes (I served as co-author, and AJ as tech editor). I spoke at the Adobe MAX conference in LA again. Shortly after MAX, we released SmartMouth, our first commercial product. SmartMouth licenses have been selling pretty regularly ever since. At some point, we hope that our software products will become our primary source of revenue. The income from commercial products should make it easier to continue releasing free products and leave time to produce more tutorials (we hope).
We’ve hit the ground running this year as well. I collaborated with Adobe to produce a video that was featured on the Flash team’s Youtube and Facebook pages, and received some fantastic feedback. Last week, I was also delighted to learn that I’d been selected to become an Adobe Community Professional.
With one month already over in 2011, we’ve got a lot to look forward to in the remaining 11 months. We’re going to be pushing some updates for SmartMouth in the coming months and we’d love to hear from you. Let us know what you think about the product—good, bad, indifferent—the more details the better. We’ve also got a long list of ideas for new tools. We’ll probably only have time to focus on a select few, and we’ll post updates as we have more information available. If you have ideas for products you’d like to see from us, let us know using this form.
I hope to include more tutorials on the blog this year, probably starting with a series on learning JSFL. It sounds like AJ will be involved with some more books this year, more on that later. Let us know in the comments if there’s anything particular that you’d like to see on the blog this year.
We very much appreciate all the donations last year! Thanks for another year of reading and supporting us!