Flash RA & Local File Access

Discussion going on the JSAPI (JSFL) list about DLL’s & JSAPI. I had an idea for an RA (Rich Application); a Flash app that had local file access, but could also write to the local disk as well. Basically, this one developer posted an Asteroids game. It allowed you to play Asteroids inside of Flash… that’s right, on your stage. He updated it to use the drawing layer and it was pretty fast.

Guy Watson chimed in about writing a special DLL that has the required header and API and then you place in the Flash External Libraries configuration folder so you can then utilize the methods of the DLL in JSAPI like so (via <a href=”http://mxblogspace.journurl.com/users/compiled/index.cfm?mode=article&entry=1096″>Compiled</a>):

sample.dll in folder

fl.trace(Sample); /// [Object object]

and running through the props:

for( var i in Sample )
fl.trace( i + ” – ” + Sample[i] );


name Sample
MM__path – path\Sample.dll
MM_loaded – true

In Compiled’s example.

It got me thinkging about an RA…

Remember all those people (you may be one of them) that wanted local file access? Guy Watson mentioned that he was developing a DLL for use in JSAPI that could read & write files & folders because he was an official, 3rd party extension developer. Now, you can run Flash in a Flash Panel which allows you to have Flash movies have access to JSAPI. Therefore, you could have a Flash app, as well, that runs in a Panel AND give it access to that DLL which in turn gives Flash access to the local machine.

Again, after seeing that Flash game in action running INSIDE OF FLASH, I could see a plethora of people writing mini-applications, in Flash, in Flash… or using a SWF in a Panel inside of the Flash IDE. Although Central will soon give us local file access, why not develop your RA for the Flash IDE? Granted, Screenweaver and other 3rd party apps do this, but there is still a lot of opportunity and different features available here.

Postulations & Ideas…


3 Replies to “Flash RA & Local File Access”

  1. Just to note Jesse, im not an official third party extension developer for Macromedia, Macromedia shared the information with me for conference sessions.

  2. I don’t have specific ideas to offer at the moment, but I just had to comment on the similarity I notice between your idea and the concept of “Tool Xtras” that has existed in Director for quite some time. Tool Xtras are Director movies running inside of the Director IDE. They, too, can have local file access. Maybe if we examine what was done with Tool Xtras by the Director community it would provide a glimpse of what may come to be in Flash? Just a thought. It appears that everything old is new again!


  3. Dude, there are so many IDE similarities (go figure).

    Behaviors = Components
    Behavior Panel = Behavior Panel
    Behavior Controls = Custom UI/XUL

    I remember hearing a lot of the windows in Director were actually just DCR’s running as a MIAW. Good idea!

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