Hi Mark,

Thanks for all the extensive information, think i got all the theory coverd, now it up to uml'ling and then coding.

Thanks!

Sid

Mark Lapasa wrote:
I honestly think from what you've said so far, you're already on track. You've got quite a bit to get started. My only recommendation would be if you can have your client objects either interacting with an Interface class or a Facade instead of accessing directly the concrete class/implementation of your services.

By introducing an abstraction layer, you can 1) change the underlying implementation such that it adheres to a public declared interface. Connected client objects will not be too adversely affected by change since it is loosely coupled to the core implementation details of your api. 2) you can implement stub/dummy/hard code so that when client objects hit your API, they get the expected results in which case they don't know if they are getting the real deal or not. Once you have this in place, it's a matter of getting your internals of the api to actually deliver what the stub/dummy/hard code is responding back to client objects.

I think to a certain degree, you need to wear at least two hats. One is how is your API going to work internally. The other is how easy will it be to access the services your API will provide. I think librarification of code is well worth the trouble if it's going to be reused in more than one project.

Also the other bit of advice that I think people would agree is to keep it as simple as possible. It's very easy to offer an API with a ga-billion methods when client objects are only interested in a few if not one method call.





Sidney de Koning wrote:
He Glen,

Thanks for your post;
What i want to do is this; take data from an external source (an API for some service) and write a wrapper for flash (i found the right termonoligy :) ) But there is not that much documentation on writing this. Any good resources will help.

Thanks,

Sidney

Glen Pike wrote:
Hi,

Do you mean you want to write Web Services or the AS3 code to use these?

For the former, you would probably want to look on other lists as this will be server side code - for PHP, the only thing I can recommend is to look at Pear's libraries for common web services and see if you can extend the base classes to roll your own. There are also lots of other libraries out there - CakePHP had some if I remember rightly. Programmable Web http://www.programmableweb.com/ has a good list of API's available and may also mention some stuff that has been done in Flash already.

For AS3, I would look at the documentation provided by the web-service providers and think about duplicating these functions on the client side...

Have a look at the structure of some of the things I have mentioned - take them apart. You will probably see common functionality:

A set of functions duplicating the server side functions you can call, some error handling and some response handling.

If you are making a solid class, you will probably have to deal with asynchronicity - you can't block your client code waiting for something to happen on the server side as this is unreliable, instead, you will need to think about the EventListener model, etc.

I remembered a good tutorial on the Devnet site which is really useful for thinking about any application that talks to servers somewhere:

   http://www.adobe.com/devnet/flex/articles/blueprint.html

The article provides source code to download, but the main point is that it separates the services from the rest of the application really nicely - what you want to do.

Have a look at Flashr too - this was a nice example of something that provided a really nice interface to the Flickr web service.

   Glen

Sidney de Koning wrote:
Sounds like a very good tip :)

The thing is i want to start writing my own api's. But i have no idea where to begin, what is a good starting point for me?

Cheers, Sid

Mark Lapasa wrote:
(If you already know about this, my apologies in advance)

A useful API is a well documented one. If you haven't already looked into it, ASDoc is a code documentation tool that will generate your documentation based on how you apply the ASDoc syntax in your code.

Glen Pike wrote:
Hi,
Have not written anything myself, but have played with quite a few AS2 ones.

The SWXFormat project has quite a few API's for some of the services you mentioned, but they are still working on porting SWX to AS3.

I guess one thing to suggest would be to get involved with the project and help them write the API's for these things.

Yahoo is pretty up on Flash and has just released a few useful things.

   http://developer.yahoo.com/flash/

   The Adobe labs site has some examples links here:
http://labs.adobe.com/wiki/index.php/ActionScript_3:resources:apis:libraries

   Hope this helps.

   Glen
Sidney de Koning wrote:
Hi List,

Are there people who write their own AS3 apis for web services? for instance twitter, the nabaztag rabbit, amazon? Do you have any good documentation on how and where to start? Special steps to take concerning events, things to keep in the back of your mind when coding. Or is there a Hitchhikers guide to writing flash api's?

Any help would be highly appreciated1

Sid


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