ASTRA Badge Kit
The Badge Kit is an an XML-based framework for rapid development of small interactive Flash applications. You can learn how to use the Badge Kit very quickly, and most of the usage scenarios require no knowledge of Flash.
Badge Kit (deprecated)
What is the Badge Kit?
The Badge Kit is an XML-based framework for rapid development of small interactive Flash applications. You can learn how to use the Badge Kit very quickly, and most of the usage scenarios require no knowledge of Flash.
Please read the overview documentation below and when you are ready you can download the kit here:
What kind of applications can I build with the Badge Kit?
Since the Badge Kit is extensible (more on that below), there's theoretically no limit to what can be built in it (aside from the limits imposed by the Flash player itself). However, the intended usage of the Badge Kit is for building badges or badge-like applications: that is, small Flash apps (both in terms of file and screen size) with some interactivity, capable of displaying dynamic data and accepting user input. Examples of such applications include:
- A Flickr badge that displays the web page owner's latest photos
- A Finance badge that allows the user to enter a stock quote and displays a chart.
- A Yahoo! Messenger badge that allows the user to send messages to the website owner.
The Badge Kit applications are not pre-compiled and instead generated on-the-fly from provided XML files. This allows for dynamic badges where the content of the badge itself can be determined on the server side from arbitrary parameters.
Who are the Badge Kit users?
The Badge Kit usage architecture is three-tiered, and targets Flash developers, badge designers, and end users. A typical workflow from the lowest to the highest badge development level is as follows:
For the initial release of the Badge Kit, we are providing a number of components and services that can be used out-of-the-box, without additional Flash development. These components include the set supplied with Flash CS3 IDE, the ASTRA components released by the Yahoo! Flash Platform team, as well as a number of Yahoo! data services.
How do I start using the Badge Kit?
To set up the Badge Kit, download the latest version
and unzip it in a convenient location.
Note the directory structure of the Badge Kit:
folder contains the latest compiled version of the Badge Kit, along with a starter content.xml
. The swfs
subfolder holds a base_components.swf
file, which by default contains all of the standard CS3 and ASTRA components, as well as some of the provided services. This file can be modified and recompiled by modifying the base_components.fla
file, available in the top-level Build
Feel free to move the Badge.swf
to another location. As long as config.xml
remains in the same folder as Badge.swf
, and all of the path definitions in config.xml
(relative and absolute) are correct, the badge will function. A sample Badge.html
is provided for your use as well -- it uses Adobe Flash Embedding Kit to properly embed the Badge into the page; feel free to replace it or modify as necessary.
You can now access the starter badge from the browser. Be advised that if you choose to access it via local directory structure, you will need to permit access to that location in Flash Security Settings
You can also take a look at the following examples to get started:
What files are included in the Badge Kit framework?
The Badge Kit uses XML description files to render a badge and provide it with the necessary interactivity. The following files are necessary for the framework to function correctly:
- badge.swf – the actual rendering engine for the badge. This is the swf that the end users will be embedding into their pages.
- config.xml – this file by default resides in the same directory as Badge.swf [specify the location of config.xml via flashvars] and provides a number of configuration parameters for the badge. These parameters include:
- The path to the content.xml file (described below)
- Definitions for shorthands for any other paths (e.g., %SWF% = “/myresources/swfs”)
- Definitions for classpaths of components used in the badge (e.g., “fl.controls”)
- Definitions for animations used in the badge.
- content.xml – this file is located either in the same directory as Badge.swf, or at a location specified in config.xml, and provides the primary description of the badge content and interactivity.
What else should I know about the Badge Kit?
Here are a few more good reads: