Flash Script – Load XML Data into Flash

Georgina Laidlaw
Georgina Laidlaw
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Here, I’ll show you how to load xml data into Flash. Note that this tutorial assumes that you have a very good knowledge of xml. Download the sample files here.

1. Let’s start by creating a xml document. Open notepad and insert:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="iso-8859-1"?> 
  <xmltest>
      <parentnode>
        <node1>First node value</node1>
       <node2>Second node value</node2>
       <node3>Third node value</node3>
       <node4>Fourth node value</node4>
       <node5>Fifth node value</node5>
      </parentnode>
  </xmltest>

2. Save the file as flash.xml.

3. Open a new movie in Flash. I have set the movie properties at width:370 and height:200.

4. Now, create dynamic text, and give it a variable name “txt”. Be sure to check html in the text options pallete.

5. Right click on the first and only frame in the movie, and select Actions. Insert:

XML_var = new XML(); 
// now load up the url.
XML_var.load("http://www.flashcircle.com/swffiles/flash.xml");
// when xml is loaded call functon displayXML
XML_var.onLoad = displayXML;
// display in txt xml is loading
txt = "Loading XML data...";
function displayXML()  
{
mainTag = new XML;
elementTag = new XML;
articleList = new Array;
elementList = new Array;
mainTag = this.firstChild.nextSibling;
articleList = mainTag.childNodes;  
txt = "";
//loop through xml
for(i=0;i<=articleList.length;i++)
{//start for
elementList = articleList[i].childNodes;
//start for
for(j=0;j<=elementList.length;j++)  
{//start for
elementTag = elementList[j];
head = elementTag.firstChild.nodeValue;
if(elementTag.nodeName.toLowerCase() == "node1")
{txt += head +"";}
if(elementTag.nodeName.toLowerCase() == "node2")
{txt += head +"";}
if(elementTag.nodeName.toLowerCase() == "node3")
{txt += head +"";}
if(elementTag.nodeName.toLowerCase() == "node4")
{txt += head +"";}
if(elementTag.nodeName.toLowerCase() == "node5")
{txt += head +"";}
}//end for
}//end for
}

Let me explain how each line works.

XML_var = new XML()
...declare XML_var as a new xml object.

XML_var.load("http://www.flashcircle.com/swffiles/flash.xml")
...load the xml file.

XML_var.onLoad = displayXML
...if file is loaded, call the displayXML()/#epc#/ function.

for(i=0;i<=articleList.length;i++)
...iterate using for loop through xml file to display the elements.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Loading XML Data in Flash

How Can I Load XML Data into Flash Using ActionScript 3.0?

Loading XML data into Flash using ActionScript 3.0 involves creating an instance of the URLLoader class, which is used to load data from a URL. You then add an event listener to the URLLoader instance to listen for the completion of the load operation. Once the data is loaded, you can parse it using the XML class. Here is a simple example:

var loader:URLLoader = new URLLoader();
loader.addEventListener(Event.COMPLETE, onLoaded);
loader.load(new URLRequest("data.xml"));

function onLoaded(event:Event):void {
var xml:XML = new XML(event.target.data);
trace(xml);
}

What is the Role of XML in Flash?

XML (eXtensible Markup Language) plays a crucial role in Flash as it allows data to be stored in a structured format that can be easily read and manipulated by Flash. This makes it possible to create dynamic content in Flash applications, such as loading text, images, and other data from an external source. XML is also used for configuration files, data exchange between Flash and server-side scripts, and much more.

How Can I Parse XML Data in Flash?

Parsing XML data in Flash involves creating an XML object and passing the loaded data to it. Once the data is in the XML object, you can access its elements and attributes using E4X (ECMAScript for XML) syntax. Here is an example:

var xml:XML = <root><element attribute="value">Text</element></root>;
trace(xml.element.@attribute); // Outputs: value
trace(xml.element); // Outputs: Text

How Can I Handle XML Loading Errors in Flash?

You can handle XML loading errors in Flash by adding an event listener for the IOErrorEvent.IO_ERROR event to the URLLoader instance. This event is dispatched when an input or output error occurs that causes a load operation to fail. Here is an example:

loader.addEventListener(IOErrorEvent.IO_ERROR, onError);

function onError(event:IOErrorEvent):void {
trace("Error loading XML: " + event.text);
}

How Can I Load XML Data from a Different Domain in Flash?

Loading XML data from a different domain in Flash requires a cross-domain policy file on the server hosting the XML file. This file grants Flash Player permission to access data on the server. Without it, Flash Player’s security model prevents access to data from different domains.

How Can I Use XML Data to Create Dynamic Content in Flash?

You can use XML data to create dynamic content in Flash by loading the XML data, parsing it, and then using the parsed data to create and manipulate display objects. For example, you could load an XML file that contains image URLs and captions, and use this data to create a dynamic image gallery.

How Can I Load and Parse an XML File with Namespaces in Flash?

Loading and parsing an XML file with namespaces in Flash involves using the namespace keyword in E4X syntax. Here is an example:

var xml:XML = <root xmlns:ns="http://www.example.com/"><ns:element>Text</ns:element></root>;
var ns:Namespace = new Namespace("http://www.example.com/");
trace(xml.ns::element); // Outputs: Text

How Can I Load XML Data Asynchronously in Flash?

Loading XML data asynchronously in Flash is done by default when using the URLLoader class. The load() method starts the load operation, and then control immediately returns to the code that follows. The data is not available until the Event.COMPLETE event is dispatched.

How Can I Convert XML Data to a String in Flash?

You can convert XML data to a string in Flash using the toString() method of the XML class. This method returns a string representation of the XML object, including all its children and attributes.

How Can I Load XML Data from a String in Flash?

Loading XML data from a string in Flash involves creating an XML object and passing the string to it. Here is an example:

var xml:XML = new XML("<root><element>Text</element></root>");
trace(xml.element); // Outputs: Text