Having just got back from an awesome break in Thailand and Taiwan, I just updated my object pooling utility. Thanks to Ostra Ceruzka for raising an issue with its strict mode functionality with me – all fixed now! Serves me right for not writing enough tests, huh?
A couple of years ago, I created an AS3 object pooling utility for a games project I was building. Since then, I’ve used it quite a few times, in order to speed up apps and improve resource management, easing the load on the garbage collector by reusing objects instead of recreating them.
While object pooling isn’t a magic bullet to speed up every use case, it works especially well with custom classes that are heavy to continually contruct and destroy. A good example is my History of the World project, which uses an object pool for item renderers, instead of creating and destroying them as you navigate around – press ALT+CTRL to bring up the resource debugger, which shows a little information on its usage.
I recently updated the utility, improving its performance, adding features and putting loads of unit tests around it. It’s now hosted it over at GoogleCode. Using it is a simple as:
var pool:LoanShark = new LoanShark(SomeClass);
var someInstance:SomeClass = pool.borrowObject();
// Instead of nullifying an object, check it back into the pool
I created this simple utility, called SWFIdle, to enable the Flash Player to lower its CPU usage while the user is not interacting with it. Since it’s possible to have multiple Flash instances embedded in one page (for example, a game and a couple of banners), I recommend that everyone uses this in their projects, so that SWFs needn’t fight for CPU and give Flash a bad name.
You want to embed an entire SWF, full of assets, into a class and retrieve individual symbols from it – but you don’t want to have to embed each asset individually.
SWFAsset – a couple of lines of code and you’re away.
You’re using Flash 10′s native 3-D API and notice the projection goes a little skewiff when resizing the window.
You need to reset the stage’s projection centre on stage resize, like so…
var centre:Point = new Point(stage.stageWidth/2, stage.stageHeight/2);
root.transform.perspectiveProjection.projectionCenter = centre;
In moving to compiling projects with the new Flex SDK 4, I noticed a couple of gotchas to do with the EMBED metatag that I thought I’d share:
Runtime Shared Libraries
If you wish to embed assets in your SWF with the EMBED metatag, so you can manage and update things easily, there’s an extra compiler parameter you must add, in order for your project to compile properly:
This is already added as a new default parameter in FlashDevelop projects. But if you’re planning to build projects from outside a similar IDE, you must add this to your compiler string. Otherwise, the compiler will think you have uninitialised constants and warn you so.
Using the EMBED metatag, or even better runtime loading, for fonts is the sensible way forward. The amount of projects I’ve seen where you need to build from an FLA file full of fonts, which you need to hunt down and install is crazy. With Flex SDK 4, you’ll need to add an extra attribute to your embed tag for fonts, called ‘embedAsCFF’:
[Embed(source='myfont.ttf', fontName='MY_FONT', fontWeight='regular', unicodeRange='U+0020-U+0040,U+0041-U+005A', mimeType='application/x-font', embedAsCFF='false')]
public static const MY_FONT :Class;
With my simple FlashSize script, all you need do is call:
I’ve put the latest version of my Flash/browser scrolling fixer over on GoogleCode and will be updating it there, as necessary.