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Professional Adobe® Flex® 3 by Joe Berkovitz, David Hassoun, Andrew Trice, Tom Sugden, Todd Prekaski, Jun Heider, Peter Ent, Joseph Balderson

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Chapter 40. Deep Linking

This chapter describes techniques for deep linking in Flex applications, in which the browser URL and the state of the application are tightly coupled.

We begin with a definition of the term and a simple example of the idea. An initial example demonstrates the fundamental Flex API for deep linking. We also explore the underpinnings of the technology and then present two increasingly complex and realistic examples of applications. The chapter concludes with a note about some important related technologies.

Deep Linking on the Web

The term "deep linking" was first applied to HTML websites, well before before the advent of Flash and Flex. A deep link is any hyperlink that points to a location within the site, as opposed to the home page or some other main page. For example, a deep link into a news site might take the form http://news.example.com/2005/boston/man-bites-dog.html. Following it would take one straight to the story about that ill-fated encounter, rather than to the news.example.com home page. The link is "deep" because it bypasses all the manual navigation a user would otherwise have to go through. Instead of the user accessing the site's home page, choosing to view stories from 2005, further clicking through to a page showing 2005 stories from Boston, and finally clicking through the "Man Bites Dog" story headline, this deep link takes the user directly to their destination.

Deep links in HTML are very useful, for many reasons familiar to Internet users. ...

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