Components are wondrous little widgets that add functionality to your projects with little to no programming required. Used by ActionScript neophytes and veterans alike, their feature sets range from simple to complex. Usually, they contain a graphical front end and integrated code to assist in or complete their purpose. However, code-only components are also sometimes used as ActionScript libraries to expand the capabilities of the language.

Components make it possible to accomplish goals without having to reinvent the wheel. That is, when you need a video player, a component can save you the need to create one on your own. This is especially true of oft-used items such as buttons, scroll bars, menus, and other user interface controls. In this chapter, you will look at all of these kinds of components and more, and you will add some to your portfolio project. Components will enhance the portfolio by giving users the ability to load external content and display details of images too large to fit on the screen. In Chapter 13, you will complete your portfolio project by adding video to the Gallery screen using a video component.

There are, of course, limitations that go along with having these features provided to you in a precreated package. For one thing, because you didn’t create the component yourself, it may not match the look of your project. This is usually not a big problem for applications, but the more unique your project looks, the more components ...

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