Book Image

Flash with Drupal

By : Travis Tidwell, Dries Buytaert
Book Image

Flash with Drupal

By: Travis Tidwell, Dries Buytaert

Overview of this book

Due to its power and expandability, Drupal has become one of the most popular open source content management systems. At the same time, Flash has been adopted for its ability to create beautiful and dynamic web applications. By combining these technologies, you can create Flash applications that are both visually stunning and rich in content. This book is an in depth discussion and tutorial on how to integrate Flash applications with Drupal CMS. It will describe the best techniques and practices for integrating Flash technology with the power and flexibility of Drupal by building real-life Flash applications. Within this book, you will learn how to build Flash applications that show text from within Drupal and also present images, music, and video within a single Flash application. You will also be able to take advantage of the expandable fields and content filtering provided from the CCK and Views modules to add flexibility and power to your Flash applications. Finally, you will learn how to add your own custom functionality to Drupal and then utilize that from within your Flash applications leaving you with a world of possibilities. This book starts out with a simple introduction to Flash and Drupal technology where you will create a simple Flash application and then embed that within Drupal. From there, each subsequent chapter builds on the previous chapters tackling a new and challenging task. For each new task, you will take a step-by-step approach to building a real-life application that utilizes the feature introduced within that chapter. You will also explore alternative design approaches that will eliminate the current design challenges that developers face when building Flash-driven Drupal sites; and all this while staying true to the Object Oriented Principles that govern the foundation of the ActionScript 3 language. By the end of this book, you will be able to apply all the lessons learned from this book to any other use case you may encounter.
Table of Contents (17 chapters)
Flash with Drupal
About the Author
About the Reviewer

What is the hybrid approach?

Many Flash web sites today are constructed as a single Flash application (SWF) that is built to behave like a web site. Although this approach is great for many use cases, it does not work well with content management systems. This is because the content in content management systems is constantly changing, or there are many different forms of content such as comments, user profiles, and so on. For these web sites, an approach is needed where Flash and HTML are inter-mixed to give the best user interface for each component on the web site. This approach is called a hybrid approach, where we integrate Flash into Drupal.

To illustrate this, let us take an example of a typical all-or-nothing Flash implementation for a Drupal web site, where the entire user interface is provided through Flash. In the following illustration we can see a block diagram showing how a Flash application would look if it was embedded to take up the entire page.

This diagram may look very...