Backbone.js for Flash and Flex Developers


The JavaScript web development community has a significant amount of application development frameworks, specifically around creating scalable applications using MVC/MVP/MVVM/MVPM/MVPV/MVSC, etc. Flash & Flex have the same, although not as many, nor as many library dependencies.

Backbone in particular has some longevity amongst the many frameworks available and has been used in some high profile applications (notably Pivotal Tracker). Since I’ve recently been fixing a web application project with a varied history, I’m diving head first into Backbone, and taking a break from diving into Angular.

In this article, I’ll go over what Backbone is, how its features compare to frameworks Flash & Flex Developers are used to, and some implementation details that will help you compare how JavaScript MVC apps compare to Flash and Flex ones.

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JSFL Script to Ensure Actual ActionScript Classes Exist for Symbols

One way to design or skin ActionScript 3 projects is using the Flash IDE for graphical assets.  You export your FLA as an SWC, and you can utilize those assets in your AS3 and/or Flex project.  Flash CS3/CS4/CS5 have the ability to link to an ActionScript 3 class that represents the code behind the Symbol.  If the Flash IDE doesn’t find the class in its source paths, it’ll create one for you.

The downside is, when you compile, you do not get errors if the Flash IDE didn’t find a class for a particular Symbol that’s set to have one.  Maybe you mis-typed the package path or class name.  Maybe you forgot to set the class path for the FLA.  Maybe the FLA is in the wrong place.  Whatever the reason, your code “won’t work” and you won’t know why.  You may not get code hints in Flash Builder / FDT / IntelliJ, and certain other dependencies may be missing as well and you’ll be left wondering why.

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