WordPress Flash Navigation

Consider this beta, and not heavily tested. Just wanted to get it out there while I’m still working on it.

For a recent project a client wanted more control over the display of their WordPress navigation. They wanted to be able to use any font. They also wanted a dynamic fold-able navigation that enables access to all categories without re-loading the page. This was a perfect project for me since I use WordPress all over the mofo place. For example, you can see the navigation in use over there to the right. Also, as I’ve stated previously, I’m a big fan of leveraging the many publishing outlets I already use. So, I buit the nav in Flash connecting to WordPress via XMLRPC using some classes from http://mattism.com/. This essentially allows me to use WordPress as a content management system for Flash. You could obviously see how this could be applied to entire sites, like I have with my homepage. I’ve thought about building this a WordPress plugin, and maybe down the road I will, but I doubt it as I’ll probably jump ship and start another project per usual. Besides, everyone knows you can’t make money writing WordPress plugins.

How It Works:
Flash calls _rpc.call(“wp.getCategories”) to xmlrpc.php which returns an array of categories. I use this array to create a bunch of MovieClip()s. These clips add TextFields as children, are sorted and have events applied to them that enable the interactions. Two fonts reside in the library. One for the top node and one for the child and grandchildren nodes.

Features [the current goods]:

  • Dynamic – Works dynamically with WordPress categories. You update your categories in WordPress, they show properly in Flash
  • Sorting – Dynamically sorts top nodes. Controlled by WordPress plugin my category order. For this to work I had to make a small addition to the WordPress xmlrpc.php, located in your WordPress root folder, to return the category term order. Added line 2776 – $struct['order'] = $cat->term_order;
  • Page recognition – Recognizes the page you’re on and dynamically opens navigation to the parent node of said page onload. I could have used XMLRPC tomake this call, I’m sure. However, I opted to pass in the page url via Flashvars and run a check to find a match. When a match is found the nav opens to it’s parent node.
  • Folding – Uses Grant Skinner GTween for interactions.
  • Multiple – Allows posts to live under multiple category nodes.

Wish List [the future goods]:

  • Multiline – Currently only supports single line category titles, so you’re limited in char length
  • Scrolling – Currently the length of your category list is limited to the length of the swf. I plan to add functions to enable scrolling of the list based on mouseY. This will free up the nav to be as long as you desire.
  • Post count – Do people really use this though? Probably not as its annoying.
  • Levels – Currently the nav only supports 3 levels. It would be nice to be infinite.
  • Build in the rest of WordPress feature support for tag cloud, recent comments etc.

Total devel time: 2 days, or about 12 hours.

I’d love to see where other people take the code and what people build with it.

Source Code:
wpNavMain.as

/**
* wpNavMain by Chris Teso. Mar 19, 2009
* Visit www.christeso.com/blog for documentation, updates and more free code.
*
*
* Copyright (c) 2009 Chris Teso
*
* Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person
* obtaining a copy of this software and associated documentation
* files (the "Software"), to deal in the Software without
* restriction, including without limitation the rights to use,
* copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell
* copies of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the
* Software is furnished to do so, subject to the following
* conditions:
*
* The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be
* included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software.
*
* THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED "AS IS", WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND,
* EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES
* OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND
* NONINFRINGEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHORS OR COPYRIGHT
* HOLDERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER LIABILITY,
* WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING
* FROM, OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE SOFTWARE OR THE USE OR
* OTHER DEALINGS IN THE SOFTWARE.
**/
package
{
        import flash.display.*;

        public class wpNavMain extends Sprite
        {

                /*
                ========================================================
                | Constructor
                ========================================================
                */

                public function wpNavMain ()
                {
                        stage.align = StageAlign.TOP_LEFT;

                        // add nav
                        var wp:Wp = new Wp()
                        addChild( wp )
                }
        }
}

Wp.as

/**
* Wp by Chris Teso. Mar 19, 2009
* Visit www.christeso.com/blog for documentation, updates and more free code.
*
*
* Copyright (c) 2009 Chris Teso
*
* Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person
* obtaining a copy of this software and associated documentation
* files (the "Software"), to deal in the Software without
* restriction, including without limitation the rights to use,
* copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell
* copies of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the
* Software is furnished to do so, subject to the following
* conditions:
*
* The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be
* included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software.
*
* THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED "AS IS", WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND,
* EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES
* OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND
* NONINFRINGEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHORS OR COPYRIGHT
* HOLDERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER LIABILITY,
* WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING
* FROM, OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE SOFTWARE OR THE USE OR
* OTHER DEALINGS IN THE SOFTWARE.
**/

package
{
        import com.gskinner.motion.*
        import com.mattism.http.xmlrpc.*;
        import com.mattism.http.xmlrpc.util.*;
        import flash.filters.*;
        import flash.media.*;
        import flash.ui.*;
        import flash.display.*;
        import flash.events.*;
        import flash.net.*;
        import flash.utils.*;
        import flash.geom.*;
        import flash.text.*;
        import fl.transitions.*;
        import fl.transitions.easing.*;
        import flash.system.SecurityPanel;
        import flash.system.Security;

        public class Wp extends Sprite
        {

                /*
                ========================================================
                | Private Variables                         | Data Type
                ========================================================
                */
                private var _navArray:Array = new Array();
                private var _rpc:Connection;
                private var _topFont:Font = new topFont();
                private var _roadSign:Font = new roadSign();
                private var _topFmt:TextFormat = new TextFormat()
                private var _currUrl:String = ""
                private var _hideTimer:Timer

                private var _textYPad:int = 16
                private var _navSpeed:Number = .2
                /*
                ========================================================
                | Constructor
                ========================================================
                */

                public function Wp ()
                {
                        loadRpc()
                }

                private function checkPage()
                {
                        // load in title
                        var paramList:Object = this.root.loaderInfo.parameters;

                        // set var to hold text
                        var _currUrl:String = paramList["url"]

                        //_currUrl = "http://www.christeso.com/index.php/category/portfolio/truth/truth-found/"

                        // scan through array and open nav to that one
                        for( var i=0;i MovieClip(mc.parent).origY )
                                        {
                                                yLeap = _navArray[i].mc.origY + ( _totOpen*_textYPad )
                                                new GTween( _navArray[i].mc, _navSpeed, {y:yLeap} )
                                        }
                                        else
                                        {
                                                yLeap = _navArray[i].mc.origY
                                                new GTween( _navArray[i].mc, _navSpeed, {y:yLeap} )
                                        }
                                }

                                // push down child nodes as long as they are below the node you're on and are a child of the node you're on
                                if( _navArray[i].childMc != null )
                                {
                                        if( _navArray[i].childMc.parent == mc.parent )
                                        {
                                                if( _navArray[i].childMc.origY > mc.origY )
                                                {
                                                        yLeap = _navArray[i].childMc.origY + ( _totOpen*_textYPad )
                                                        new GTween( _navArray[i].childMc, _navSpeed, {y:yLeap} )
                                                }
                                                else
                                                {
                                                        yLeap = _navArray[i].childMc.origY
                                                        new GTween( _navArray[i].childMc, _navSpeed, {y:yLeap} )
                                                }
                                        }
                                }

                                // make grandchildren visible
                                if( _navArray[i].grandChildMc != null )
                                {
                                        if( _navArray[i].grandChildMc.parent == mc )
                                        {
                                                _navArray[i].grandChildMc.visible = true
                                                new GTween( _navArray[i].grandChildMc, _navSpeed, {alpha:1} )
                                        }
                                        else
                                        {
                                                new GTween( _navArray[i].grandChildMc, _navSpeed/2, {alpha:0, autoHide:true} )
                                        }
                                }
                        }
                }

                private function hideGrandChildren( e:Event )
                {
                        // amount to go down
                        var yLeap:Number;                        

                        // ok we can prob do this in one big loop
                        for( var i=0;i

Download CS4 AS3 FLA and Classes

Enjoy.

iStream

Media_httpwwwchristes_ahaia

After much back and forth to the drawing board I’ve come up with an idea for my new site that satisfies several needs. Furthermore, I’ve gone ahead and built it. The two main needs for the site are as follows:

1. Maintain the ability to update the site easily by leveraging the many publishing outlets I already use.
2. Aggregate all of the content I create across multiple platforms into one simple easy to use interface.

The solution for number one was to use Yahoo Pipes to aggregate RSS feeds from the various publishing platforms I already use. These platforms are as follows:

1. WordPress – runs my blog, my portfolio and my flash lab experiments
2. Flickr – my photography
3. Vimeo – my movies
4. Google Reader – what I read

Solution #1
Pipes allowed me to marry each disparate RSS feed into one long feed. This essentially allows me to use each platform as a content management system. I had to write a few ASP scripts to enable wordpress specific posts to be translated into an RSS feed before sending it off to Pipes to be assimilated.

Solution #2
I created a simple flash application that hit the Pipes feed and displayed content in an animation that resembled a stream of data or consciousness. Within flash I had to do some custom String manipulation to identify where the various pieces of content may be originating. Once these were classified it was as simple as building out the classes that would run the content manipulation. It was also nice to get to play around with the new 3D api built into Flash 10.

All and all I’m very pleased with the site. It will allow me to continue to use the publishing platforms I like, the platforms that are best at housing content, and still display the content in one central stream.

Check out the new site here : http://www.christeso.com.

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