Actionscript Developer's Guide To Robotlegs

Actionscript Developer's Guide To Robotlegs


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Actionscript Developer's Guide To Robotlegs by Joel Hooks, Stray (Lindsey Fallow), Stray

Robotlegs is a standout among the ActionScript 3 development frameworks available today. With it, Flash, Flex, and AIR developers can create well-architected, testable, and flexible Rich Internet Applications—fast. This concise guide shows you how the light footprint and focused scope of this open source framework not only solves your immediate coding problems, it helps you gain insight into AS3 architecture on a much deeper level.

The authors provide a walkthrough of specific features in two applications they've written in Robotlegs, complete with code for each application as a whole. You'll learn how to achieve a balance of flexibility and consistency in your own projects.

  • Solve 80% of your coding problems with 20% of the API
  • Gain code-base flexibility with automated Dependency Injection
  • Learn the anatomy of a Robotlegs application
  • Understand the relationships between models, services, control code, and views in the framework's MVCS architecture
  • See how the Robotlegs’ approach facilitates Test Driven Development (TDD)
  • Pick up practical methods for architecting Robotlegs solutions
  • Get expert insights to power-up your existing Robotlegs code

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781449308902
Publisher: O'Reilly Media, Incorporated
Publication date: 08/17/2011
Pages: 140
Product dimensions: 6.80(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.40(d)

About the Author

Joel Hooks is a Flash Platform developer with experience inActionscript 3, Flex, and Python. Joel spent the first 13 years of his professional career as a 3d animator and graphic designer working on computer-based training applications from that perspective. His interest in programming goes as far back as "TELL TURTLE" and he has always been interested in the technological challenges related to developing software making work a little bit easier. With the introduction of Actionscript 3, Joel finally found a platform that allows him to architect useful tools while fully leveraging his experience as a visual artist. Joel is passionate about technology and enjoys exploring the landscape of frameworks, libraries, and toolsthat make his work constantly fun and challenging.

Joel currently resides in Fort Worth and works as a Flex consultant for Universal Mind providing clients with oodles of clean code and a focus on test driven development solutions. Joel can be found blogging on various Flex development topics at

Outside of developing software tools Joel owns a photography studio with his wife who also collaborates on the raising and nurturing of his four home-educated children aged 13 to 4.

Lindsey Fallow (aka Stray) has spent the past decade exploring science and technology as a writer, software developer, and television personality. Following an undergraduate degree in Manufacturing Engineering, she fronted a science show for 8-12 year-olds on Disney, and went on to become a reporter & Associate Producer for Tomorrow's World (the BBC's #1 prime-time UK science and technology show) from 1998-2002. She's stood on the top of the Golden Gate bridge, fed sharks, filmed brain surgery, flown in military planes, and been bitten by a baby tiger, but is the most excited by far when her 16-year-old stepson 'gets' new math concepts.

A Flash developer since Flash 4, Stray blogs on ActionScript, test driven development and the programmer's brain at She is a core contributor to the Robotlegs framework, and actively pushing the ActionScript community to aspire to excellence through the try{harder} collaborative-learning format.

Table of Contents

Robotlegs: Something a little bit special;
Who this book is for;
Who this book is not for;
Conventions used in this book;
Using code examples;
Safari® Books Online;
How to contact us;
Chapter 1: Robotlegs is a lightweight framework for ActionScript 3;
1.1 What does Robotlegs actually do?;
1.2 Do you need a framework at all?;
1.3 Less boilerplate code is a good thing...;
Chapter 2: The Robotlegs dream...;
2.1 80% of the problems can be solved with 20% of the API;
2.2 Coding for Robotlegs shouldn’t tie you to the framework;
2.3 Robotlegs aims to enable and not dictate;
2.4 Most AS3 applications benefit from the MVCS approach;
2.5 Testing, testing! (We test, and we make it easy for you to test);
2.6 Some final things every Robotlegs cadet should know;
Chapter 3: Anatomy of a Robotlegs application;
3.1 Joel’s Personal Kanban;
3.2 Lindz’s Mosaic Design Tool;
3.3 How a Robotlegs application gets things done;
3.4 Getting to grips with Robotlegs architecture;
3.5 User stories as implemented in Robotlegs;
3.6 All of this is possible because of the Robotlegs Injector;
Chapter 4: Automated Dependency Injection;
4.1 So, what exactly is Automated Dependency Injection?;
4.2 You already use Dependency Injection;
4.3 There are different ways to inject dependencies;
4.4 Automated DI gets around the need to ‘pass the parcel’, but keeps code flexible;
4.5 How does Robotlegs Injection work?;
Chapter 5: The Robotlegs context in action;
5.1 Provide the context with a root-view;
5.2 Ask it to run startup()—immediately or when you’re ready;
5.3 Use startup() to provide your injection rules, map your mediators to views and commands to events;
5.4 Shutting down a Context;
5.5 Now you have some Context;
Chapter 6: The CommandMap in action;
6.1 A Command is a concise single-purpose controller object;
6.2 Commands are triggered by events;
6.3 Commands can be any class with an ‘execute’ method;
6.4 Commands should do their thing and then die;
6.5 Commands rely on their injections to be useful;
6.6 Commands know about the injector, command map, mediator map and context view;
6.7 Commands can also dispatch events;
6.8 Great command names pay dividends;
6.9 Use helper classes for shared logic;
6.10 Detain and release when you need your command to hang around;
Chapter 7: Models and services: How are they different?;
7.1 Models and Services usually extend Actor;
7.2 They don’t listen, they only talk;
7.3 Use your API through a Command;
7.4 Distinguishing Models from Services;
7.5 Classes that don’t dispatch events to the shared event dispatcher don’t need to extend Actor;
7.6 Configuring services;
7.7 Working with non-Actor models and services (including third party code);
7.8 Model design tips for Robotlegs;
7.9 Managing the relationships between models and services;
Chapter 8: Connecting views with Mediators;
8.1 Introducing the MediatorMap;
8.2 Mediating your view components;
8.3 Why can’t Mediators be injected into other objects?;
8.4 Working with complex composite views;
8.5 Using the same mediator with more than one view;
8.6 A good Mediator is just a mailman;
Chapter 9: Working with Robotlegs: Rich Examples;
9.1 Feature implementation walk-through: Mosaic Tool;
9.2 Feature implementation walk-through: Personal Kanban App;
9.3 Wait, I want more examples!;
Chapter 10: Testing your Robotlegs application;
10.1 Your test provides the injections;
10.2 Testing models;
10.3 Testing services;
10.4 Testing commands;
10.5 Testing mediators;
Chapter 11: Power-ups;
11.1 Bootstraps can break up fat contexts;
11.2 The ContextEvents help keep control;
11.3 Tag methods with [PostConstruct] to run them after injection is complete;
11.4 Use Signals between complex views and their mediators;
11.5 Modular and multiple-context Robotlegs;
11.6 Extend Robotlegs with utilities and add-ons;
11.7 ViewMap—injection for your views;
11.8 Mediator map performance;
Troubleshooting tips;
Problem: Injection doesn’t occur;
Problem: Things work for a while and then mysteriously stop;
Problem: Event dispatch does not work as expected;
Problem: Mediator isn’t running onRegister;
Problem: Handlers in the mediator are running repeatedly;
Error: Injector missing rule for X;
Warning: Duplicate mapping in the injector;
Error: Call to a possibly undefined method X;
Where to get more help;
Swiftsuspenders: The power behind the Robotlegs Injector;
What does Swiftsuspenders actually do?;
We think limited metadata is a good thing;

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