Extending Flex’s logging framework to write custom log files

In these days I played with Flex’s logging framework and I extended it to write log messages to files, both plain text .log files and dynamic HTML, CSS formatted and Javascript powered files with the ability to filter message type (debug, error, fatal and so on).

The logging framework is a powerful feature that comes with Flex’s sdk and it’s composed by the classes under mx.logging package, which includes the two “subpackages” mx.logging.errors and mx.logging.target.

Java developers should be already confident whit such framework, because logging api are commonly used in Java programming,  Actionscript /Flash/Flex developers may find this tool a novelty (as I did).

The objective of logging framework is to provide a tool that offers a far better, flexible and centralized way to debug an application than simple use a lot of trace() callings. With Flex’s debugging framework we are able to print and filtering among different types of message based on their severity, such:

  • INFO
  • WARN

We can also print the timestamp of the message and the class it refers to, and finally we can simultaneously print messages to different targets.

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Using bitwise operators with Actionscript to create arguments flags

Among all books I bought (including Java books), I haven’t one which explain in depth and in a clear manner what bitwise operators are and how to use them. Almost all books has at least a page about the argument but none is able to give an exhaustive explanation. So, after searching the net, I found an extreme useful article by Joseph Farrell on gamedev.net (direct link: http://www.gamedev.net/reference/articles/article1563.asp), which explains bitwise operators in C starting from an introduction to Numbers and number system. The article is valid to Actionscript, Java and other languages too. I started to try to understand bitwise operators, after looked to Flex’s Alert class, which can accept several options (different buttons) as an unique argument (flags). This can be accomplished by using the bitwise OR operator |  (a pipe), which “joins” together different constants:

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Learning design patterns with Actionscript 3: episode 1 – Singleton pattern

In these Christmas holidays I bought some new books, among them I purchased “Actionscript 3 design patterns” (written by William Sanders and Chandima Cumaranatunge) and I’m actually studying this one. I never faced before the world of design patterns (which is, for those that never heard about, a way to write code and solve problems by implementing tested strategies that will guarantee flexibility and extensibility), or better I knew what a design pattern is, but I’m trying to learn to use them for the first time.
Unfortunately the first thing I learned about implementing design patterns in Actionscript 3 is that for some stuff we have to use workarounds, because actually as3 doesn’t provides 2 little useful things: abstract classes (on which most of the patterns are based) and not public constructor (in Java we can declare a class constructor as private, in as3 we must declare it as public), anyway with some little efforts, we can do everything :-)

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Playing with Google maps API – part two: Create custom controls

Today we are going to see how to realize custom controls to add to our Google maps powered map.

The only concept that should be clear, in order to achive the goal, is what prototype is and why we must use it.

Javascript is not a really object oriented language, so we can’t really talk about classes and subclassing (using extends like in Java or Actionscript), but however we can create functions that act as constructor for new js objects, and we can inherit properties from an object to another by using the prototyping technique.

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Adobe Flex 3 – Training from the Source… a new book to read :)

Adobe Flex 3 - Training from the sourceDirectly from Adobe’s Canadian headquarter and with the amazing efficiency of FedEx shipping (2 days only from Canada to Italy!), this morning I’ve received a new interesting and fresh book to read: “Adobe Flex 3 – Training from the source”… yes it talks about Flex 3, Actionscript and RIA and is part of an official books series from Adobe.

I would like to thanks Mike Potter, for the gift. I’ve appreciated it very much, and I hope to enter in the active Actionscript/Flex community as soon as possible.