Monthly Archives: January 2010

QuickBox2D Update On the Way

Been meaning to mention that I’m going to release an updated version of QuickBox2D in the next few days… It will have two minor bug fixes, one or two minor new features and will work with the latest version of Box2D…

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | 2 Comments

AS Quiz #4

This quiz contains a few questions about design patterns. I think the best intro book to design patterns is Head First Design Patterns. (the examples are in Java but it is an excellent resource/intro). After that its worth checking out GOF


Number of Questions : 7
Difficulty : If you know patterns this will be easy, if not, it will make very little sense to you.
Topic : Design Patterns

Fill in the blank. The Strategy pattern is used to change the ________ of an object at runtime.





The AS3 display list could be considered an implementation of which of the following design patterns:





Which of the following is true about the Adapter pattern?





Fill in the blank. Using the flyweight pattern can reduce a group of thousands of class instances down to __________.





True or False... The Decorator pattern and the Strategy pattern both make use of composition to add flexibility at runtime.



True or False... It's uncommon and considered bad practice to combine two or more design patterns to fit you needs.



True or False... When implementing MVC, you should only ever have one view running at a time.





Posted in Quiz | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

AS Quiz # 3

Here is another quiz. Tomorrows quiz will be about design patterns…

Number of Questions : 5
Difficulty : Easy
Topic : General

Please go to AS Quiz # 3 to view the quiz
Posted in Quiz | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

AS Quiz # 2

People seemed to do pretty well on yesterday’s quiz. I have lots of questions written that fall into that same category of being somewhere between beginner and intermediate level. I decided to write a trickier quiz for today. Tomorrow I’ll alternate back to some easier questions. This quiz is really more about operators and hex numbers than ActionScript…

Number of Questions : 5
Difficulty : Medium
Topic : Operators and Hexadecimal

Please go to AS Quiz # 2 to view the quiz
Posted in Quiz | Tagged , , , | 14 Comments

AS Quiz #1

This is the first in a hopefully long series of short ActionScript Quizzes I’ll be writing. This is just 6 simple questions… check it out….

Number of Questions : 6
Difficulty : Easy
Topic : General


Please go to AS Quiz #1 to view the quiz

Posted in Quiz | Tagged , , , | 16 Comments

Too Many Buttons

Actionscript:
  1. [SWF (width = 500, height = 500)]
  2.  
  3. var canvas:BitmapData = new BitmapData(stage.stageWidth, stage.stageHeight, false, 0xFFFFFF);
  4. addChild(new Bitmap(canvas));
  5.  
  6. var indexCanvas:BitmapData = new BitmapData(stage.stageWidth, stage.stageHeight, false, 0xFFFFFF);
  7.  
  8. var btnNum:int = 5000;
  9. var info:Array = [];
  10.  
  11. var brush:BitmapData = new BitmapData(10,10,false, 0xCCCCCC);
  12. var border:Shape = new Shape();
  13. border.graphics.lineStyle(2, 0x000000);
  14. border.graphics.drawRect(0,0,10,10);
  15. brush.draw(border);
  16.  
  17. var txt:TextField = TextField(addChild(new TextField()));
  18. with (txt) height = 20, width = 50, background = 0xFFFFFF, selectable = false
  19. var tf:TextFormat = new TextFormat();
  20. tf.align = TextFormatAlign.RIGHT;
  21. txt.border= true;
  22. txt.defaultTextFormat = tf;
  23.  
  24. var redRect:Shape = Shape(addChild(new Shape()));
  25. with (redRect.graphics) beginFill(0xFF0000), drawRect(0,0,10,10);
  26.                                              
  27. var pnt:Point = new Point();
  28. var r:Rectangle = new Rectangle(0,0,10,10);
  29. for (var i:int = 0; i <btnNum; i++){
  30.     pnt.x = r.x = int(Math.random() * stage.stageWidth);
  31.     pnt.y = r.y = int(Math.random() * stage.stageHeight);
  32.     indexCanvas.fillRect(r, i);
  33.     canvas.copyPixels(brush, brush.rect, pnt)
  34.     info[i] = [r.x, r.y, i];   
  35. }
  36.  
  37. addEventListener(Event.ENTER_FRAME, onCheckBtns);
  38. function onCheckBtns(evt:Event):void{
  39.    var currentIndex:int = indexCanvas.getPixel(mouseX, mouseY);
  40.    if (currentIndex != 0xFFFFFF){
  41.      var currentBox:Array = info[currentIndex]
  42.      redRect.visible = true;
  43.      redRect.x = currentBox[0];
  44.      txt.y = redRect.y = currentBox[1];
  45.      if (mouseX <txt.width){
  46.          tf.align = TextFormatAlign.LEFT;
  47.          txt.defaultTextFormat = tf;
  48.          txt.x = redRect.x + 10;
  49.      }else{
  50.          tf.align = TextFormatAlign.RIGHT;
  51.          txt.defaultTextFormat = tf;
  52.          txt.x = redRect.x - txt.width;
  53.      }
  54.      txt.text = currentBox[2];
  55.      txt.visible = true;
  56.    }else{
  57.      redRect.visible = false;
  58.      txt.visible = false;
  59.    }
  60. }

This is a simplified example of the technique discussed in yesterdays post. The idea is to use a BitmapData image to store index values for a large number of elements that need to be able to act as if the have MouseEvents. For a more detailed description of this technique see yesterdays post.

Have a look at the swf on wonderfl

Posted in BitmapData, arrays, misc | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

~20,000 Rollovers

Actionscript:
  1. [SWF(width = 500, height = 500, frameRate = 30)]
  2.  
  3. var canvas:BitmapData = new BitmapData(stage.stageWidth,stage.stageHeight,false, 0xFFFFFF);
  4.  
  5. var indexCanvas:BitmapData = new BitmapData(stage.stage.stageWidth, stage.stageHeight, false,
  6.                                             0xFFFFFF);
  7. addChild(new Bitmap(canvas));
  8.  
  9. var s:Shape = new Shape();
  10.  
  11. var lineData:Array = [];
  12. var dataIndex:int = 0;
  13.  
  14. trace(0xFFFFFF - 1)
  15. var totalLines:int = 20000;
  16. var iterations:int = 9;
  17. var linesPerIter:int = totalLines / iterations;
  18.  
  19. var xp:int = stage.stageWidth / 2;
  20. var yp:int = stage.stageHeight / 2;
  21.  
  22. var stepAmt:Number = 60;
  23. var halfStepAmt:Number = stepAmt / 2;
  24.  
  25. addEventListener(Event.ENTER_FRAME, onDraw);
  26. function onDraw(evt:Event):void {
  27.      if (lineData.length <totalLines){
  28.         generateData(linesPerIter);
  29.      }else{
  30.         stage.quality = "high";
  31.         addChild(s);
  32.         s.x = 0;
  33.         s.y = 0;
  34.          
  35.         removeEventListener(Event.ENTER_FRAME, onDraw);
  36.         addEventListener(Event.ENTER_FRAME, onRun);
  37.      }
  38. }
  39.  
  40. function onRun(evt:Event):void {
  41.    var currentIndex:int = indexCanvas.getPixel(mouseX, mouseY);
  42.    var currentLine:Array = lineData[currentIndex];
  43.    
  44.    s.graphics.clear();
  45.    if (currentIndex != 0xFFFFFF){
  46.           s.graphics.lineStyle(3, 0xFF0000);
  47.           s.graphics.moveTo(currentLine[0], currentLine[1]);
  48.           s.graphics.lineTo(currentLine[2], currentLine[3]);  
  49.    }
  50. }
  51.  
  52. function generateData(num:int):void{
  53.     var rxA:int, rxB:int, ryA:int, ryB:int;
  54.     var g:Graphics = s.graphics;
  55.     for (var i:int = 0; i<num; i++){
  56.         rxA = xp;
  57.         ryA = yp;
  58.        
  59.         xp += Math.round(Math.random() * stepAmt) - halfStepAmt;
  60.         yp += Math.round(Math.random() * stepAmt) - halfStepAmt;
  61.        
  62.         if (xp> stage.stageWidth){
  63.             xp = stage.stageWidth - halfStepAmt;
  64.         }else
  65.         if (xp <0){
  66.             xp = halfStepAmt;
  67.         }
  68.         if (yp> stage.stageHeight){
  69.             yp = stage.stageHeight - halfStepAmt;
  70.         }else
  71.         if (yp <0){
  72.             yp = halfStepAmt;
  73.         }
  74.        
  75.         rxB = xp;
  76.         ryB = yp;
  77.          
  78.         lineData[dataIndex] = [rxA, ryA, rxB, ryB];            
  79.         s.x = rxA;
  80.         s.y = ryA;
  81.         var endX:Number = rxB - rxA;
  82.         var endY:Number = ryB - ryA;
  83.         var m:Matrix = s.transform.matrix;
  84.         g.clear();
  85.         g.lineStyle(1, 0x000000, 0.3);
  86.  
  87.         g.lineTo(endX, endY);
  88.         stage.quality = "high";
  89.         canvas.draw(s, m);
  90.        
  91.         g.clear();
  92.         g.lineStyle(3, dataIndex);
  93.        
  94.         g.lineTo(endX, endY);
  95.         stage.quality = "low";
  96.         indexCanvas.draw(s, m);
  97.        
  98.         dataIndex++
  99.     }
  100. }

I'm working on a data visualization that contains a long path made up of approximately one million points. There is some information associated with every two sets of coordinates that needs to be displayed when the user rolls their mouse over any part of the line.

I took a little time to think about the best way to do this and came up with a few techniques. The first one I tried seems to work nicely - this snippet is the proof of concept for that first technique. I tested this snippet with 1,000,000 xy coordinates and it works nicely. It takes a little while to draw though, so for the purposes of this demo I've just included 20,000 coordinates.

Have a look at the swf over at wonderfl.net

The way this works is by drawing lines to two different BitmapData instances. I draw anti-aliased slightly transparent lines to a BitmapData instance called "canvas" (this is added to the display list) - I then draw aliased lines to a BitmapData called "indexCanvas" (this is never added to the display list) - each aliased line uses an incremental value for its color - this incremental value is also the index for a two dimensional array containing the coordinate information for the aliased line. I use getPixel() on the "indexCanvas" and use the return value as the index for the 2D array. The data from the 2D array is used to draw a red line with the graphics class. This technique enables you to have many many rollovers and all you ever have to do is call getPixel() and use the returned color value to look up info about what you're mouse is touching.

There are a few cool ways this could be repurposed and this is really only one solution to the problem of having many many things that you need to be able to rollover... there are others that don't use BitmapData at all... I may write those up in the next couple of days.

Posted in BitmapData, Data Structures, UI, arrays, display list, graphics algorithms, matrix, misc, pixel manipulation, return values | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Array map

Actionscript:
  1. var a:Array = [1,2,3,4,5,6];
  2. var double:Array = a.map(function():int{return arguments[0] * 2});
  3. trace(double);
  4. /*outputs:
  5. 2,4,6,8,10,12
  6. */

A condensed example of Array.map()

Here is the same thing written in haskell:

a = [1,2,3,4,5,6]
double = map (*2) a

main = print double
Posted in arrays, functions | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Recursive Countdown

Actionscript:
  1. loop(20);
  2.  
  3. function loop(i:int):void {
  4.     if (i <0) return;
  5.       trace(i);
  6.       loop(i - 1);
  7. }
  8.  
  9. /* outputs:
  10. 20
  11. 19
  12. 18
  13. 17
  14. 16
  15. 15
  16. 14
  17. 13
  18. 12
  19. 11
  20. 10
  21. 9
  22. 8
  23. 7
  24. 6
  25. 5
  26. 4
  27. 3
  28. 2
  29. 1
  30. 0
  31. */

This snippet uses a recursive function to count down from some number. Recursion is pretty useless in actionscript, it will eventually cause an error... If you were to try to countdown from a higher number it would choke pretty fast...

Been writing haskell lately so I have recursion on the brain.

Posted in functions, misc | Tagged , , | 7 Comments