On using SWCs …

So I’m pretty late to this party. Up until now, I’ve been using 2 methods for sharing assets on my Flash projects:

    1. An assets proxy that a coworker of mine wrote.
    2. Nothing. Ok this doesn’t count.

The assets proxy loads a SWF file and view elements can pull assets from it like


Can it get easier? This does a great job of separating content from code in a reusable way and keeping the main app SWF small, however, you have to wait for the assets SWF to load. And write a lot of boilerplate code to set it up, start it loading and listening/responding to the loaded event.

So what’s another way? Enter the SWC. ActiveTuts has a great tutorial on how to create and use them.

My scenario: I have a collection of learning interactions that have a lot of little clips in the libraries. Many of these are the same across interactions and really should be shared in some way. A lot of them also have class files associated with them since they need a little more functionality than a basis extended Sprite.

These classes were mixed in with my project classes and this created a special case with using a SWC: You have to set it up so that the classes are imported from the SWC instead of the class file in the project folder. It took me a few hours to figure this out – classes specific to assets in your SWC file must not be in the class path of the project file.

So I created a separate directory for all classes needed for my assets SWC and it all started working. For now, I just dumped it all in the lib folder because I can’t think of a better place. The project classes are safely in the src folder, nice and separate.

With this SWC linked in FDT and the SWC added to the library path of the FLA this is a quick snip of my code:

package screen
	// this class is in the SWC, need to import
	import assets.view.WheelList.WheelListItemSprite;

	// stuff

	private function drawList():void
		// stuff
		var item:WheelListItemSprite = new WheelListItemSprite();
		// stuff

The library of my interaction FLA went from over 10 clips to none. And they're all separated and ready for reuse in other interactions.