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Subject: Re: FLASH: Flash and Databases: LONG
From: francis acquaye
Date: Sat, 29 Jul 2000 23:47:21 +0100

flamethrower sounds exciting even though I am only now
getting my "programming" feet wet via Python.
Is Flamethrower something that I would be a ble to
digest now???


--- Wayne Townsend <waynetatabsolute [dot] net> wrote:
> Hi Matt,
> Tell your client this: The real beauty of using
> Flash for the front
> end to a data base over html is that you don't have
> to redraw a page
> when replying to the client, and you only transmit
> the needed data
> back and forth, not html code, which makes it
> faster. It's also a
> better GUI for the client, because you're not
> redrawing "pages" all
> the time. They can look through lots of data and
> yet have the
> feeling of staying in the same place, which they
> like since it's less
> confusing.
> The number of records is a matter for the
> CGI/database engine, not
> the Flash client.
> We're involved with a client who's needs are *very*
> similar to what
> you describe. It's an extremely popular site, so
> they were looking
> for a high-performance custom solution.
> We use Mac G4/500s with WebTen (Unix Apache). The
> performance is
> outstanding, and they are secure, and easy to set up
> and administrate.
> For the CGI engine / Database, we use FlameThrower,
> (http://www.incwell.com) which is a high-level
> language capable of
> building just about any web app you can imagine. It
> has it's own
> internal database structure, which makes it very
> fast when you have a
> lot of database actions to perform. IOW, you don't
> have to go
> outside the CGI to retrieve data. This is good to
> about 100,000
> records in a single data set, but you can have
> multiple data sets.
> Beyond that, you can link it to external databases,
> including an NT
> SQL database if you were so inclined. Flame has an
> english-like
> syntax, which makes it easy to learn and quick to
> develop with. It's
> a mature development tool, based on SuperCard, and
> the SuperTalk
> language, which has been in use since '88, building
> commercial-
> quality standalone double-click desktop
> applications. Oh by the way,
> the SuperTalk language is *ahem*, very similar to
> Director's *Lingo*.
> Except of course that it was on the scene first and
> is quite a bit
> more powerful today. And just to stop any flames
> right here, I
> should point out that to those old enough to
> remember, our beloved
> Jon Gay, the Father of Flash, has roots in Silicon
> Beach, the
> original company that developed Supercard/
> SuperTalk. So it's not
> like we really come from different camps or
> anything.
> At any rate, the Flash client can retrieve the data
> easily enough
> from Flamethrower in real-time, and if needed, the
> Flame CGI can
> write out text files that the Flash client can
> access.
> If you use Flamethrower as your CGI engine, you
> won't have to know
> much about how servers work in order to build very
> powerful server
> apps. Flame takes care of the dirty work for you,
> like html headers
> and such. And you won't have to spend weeks learing
> a cryptic
> language.
> Oh yeah, Flame is a multi-threaded language, which
> means that it
> processes multiple calls at the same time.
> Now, here's how easy this is to do...
> For example, lets say you have a situation where you
> need to pull up
> an individual's contact info.
> In your Flash client, you have text fields for the
> data, say, city,
> phone number, and email address. (using this for
> simplicity's sake)
> You will have named your fields in flash
> appropriately, city, phone, email.
> You key for the lookup is "username". And you have
> a field for that.
> And a "get it" button (with a play action).
> You are going to make flash send the call to the
> Flame CGI, and then
> put it into a loop to wait for a response before
> moving on. You can
> use a simple variable to check for a response. For
> example:
> Set variable status = 0
> As you'll see below, when Flame replies, it will set
> status to 1, and
> that's what you're waiting for.
> In the next frame you do a cgi call. ie. A Load
> Variables action
> that looks like this:
> Load variables(theURL,"",vars=post)
> Don't worry. You don't have to do anything else.
> Flash will send
> all the variable on this timeline to the server.
> This doen't get any
> easier, does it? ;)
> In the next frame you set a looping label like
> "waitloop". Whatever.
> In the next frame you do your conditional check:
> If staus = 0 then goto and play "waitloop"
> On the server side, you have Flame running with a
> handler that looks like this:
> on cgiEvent
> --first you parse out your lookup key:
> put cgiParamValue("username") into username
> --then you go get that person's info:
> put card field "city" of card username into city
> put card field "phone" of card username into phone
> put card field "email" of card username into email
> --then you send it all back to flash with the status
> variable updated to 1
> cgiReply "status=1&city=" & city & "&phone=" &
> phone &
> "&email=" & email
> end cgiEvent
> In about 2 seconds from the call, (depending on
> traffic), the
> variables will pop into your Flash's fields, without
> you doing
> *anything* else and the movie will go on, possibly
> back to your main
> query point with a stop action.
> I'm not kidding you, it's that straightforward and
> simple. Voila,
> you are now a server app programmer. And you
> thought you were just a
> "Flash Artist". ;)
> Seriously, without even cracking a book, if you just
> typed that
> script into your project script in Flamethrower, it
> would work. It
> would take you about 30 minutes to do this whole
> project, Flash and
> all.
> For the photos/images, you can create individual
> flash movies and
> load them with a "Load Movie" command on top of your
> main Flash page
> background. The advantage of setting it up this way
> from the
> beginning is that it becomes very extensible. IOW,
> you can add all
> kinds of stuff to what originally is just an image.
> ie. more images,
> etc, and you can even stream quality voice with the
> folks
=== message truncated ===

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