Made to Order Software Corporation Logo

parameter

Import

Tag Info
Tag Number: 
57
Tag Type: 
Define
Tag Flash Version: 
5
Brief Description: 

Imports a list of definitions that are to be loaded from another movie. You can retrieve objects that were exported in the specified movie. You can have as many import as you like, though you should really only have one per referenced movie.

Tag Structure: 
struct swf_import {
	swf_tag			f_tag;		/* 57 or 71  */
	string			f_url;
	if(version >= 8) {
		unsigned char		f_version;	/* must be set to 1 */
		unsigned char		f_reserved;
	}
	unsigned short		f_count;
	swf_external		f_symbol[f_count];
};

WARNING: in a Version 8 movie you MUST use an Import2 tag instead of Import or it just will not work (Import tags are ignored in version 8 movies).

Appendix A — The geometry in SWF — Edges

Edges are used to define a shape vector based and also coordinates where images need to be drawn. The edges are always coordinates from where ever your last point was to where ever you want the next point to be (a little like a turtle in LOGO).

SWF Params (swf_params)

SWF Structure Info
Tag Flash Version: 
7
SWF Structure: 
struct swf_params {
	unsigned char		f_param_register;
	string			f_param_name;
};

Since version 7 of SWF, there is a new way to create a function allows you to not only name parameters but also to put their content in a register. This is done by specifying a register number along an (optional) parameter name.

The f_param_register specifies whether the corresponding parameter will be saved in1:

  • 1. Note that "neither" is not an option, thus although both the register number and name are optional, at least one of them needs to be defined.

SWF Button (swf_button)

SWF Structure Info
Tag Flash Version: 
1
SWF Structure: 
struct swf_button {
	char align;
	unsigned		f_button_reserved : 2;
	if(version >= 8) {
		unsigned		f_button_blend_mode : 1;
		unsigned		f_button_filter_list : 1;
	}
	else {
		unsigned		f_button_reserved : 2;
	}
	unsigned		f_button_state_hit_test : 1;
	unsigned		f_button_state_down : 1;
	unsigned		f_button_state_over : 1;
	unsigned		f_button_state_up : 1;
	if(any f_button_state_... != 0) {
		unsigned short		f_button_id_ref;
		unsigned short		f_button_layer;
		swf_matrix		f_matrix;
		if(f_tag == DefineButton2) {
			swf_color_transform		f_color_transform;
		}
		if(f_button_filter_list) {
			unsigned char		f_filter_count;
			swf_any_filter		f_filter;
		}
		if(f_button_blend_mode) {
			unsigned char		f_blend_mode;
		}
	}
};

A button structure defines a state and a corresponding shape reference. The shape will be affected by the specified matrix whenever used.

There are many acceptable combinations. The object which is referenced is drawn when its state matches the current state of the button. If only the f_button_state_hit_test is set, then the shape is always displayed.

SWF Any Filter (swf_any_filter)

SWF Structure Info
Tag Flash Version: 
8
SWF Structure: 
/* the filter type */
struct swf_filter_type {
	unsigned char	f_type;
};

struct swf_filter_glow {
	swf_filter_type	f_type;		/* 0, 2, 3, 4 or 7 */
	if(f_type == GradientGlow || f_type == GradientBevel) {
		unsigned char		f_count;
	}
	else {
		f_count = 1;
	}
	swf_rgba		f_rgba[f_count];
	if(f_type == Bevel) {
		swf_rgba		f_highlight_rgba[f_count];
	}
	if(f_type == GradientGlow || f_type == GradientBevel) {
		unsigned char		f_position[f_count];
	}
	signed long fixed	f_blur_horizontal;
	signed long fixed	f_blur_vertical;
	if(f_type != Glow) {
		signed long fixed	f_radian_angle;
		signed long fixed	f_distance;
	}
	signed short fixed	f_strength;
	unsigned		f_inner_shadow : 1;
	unsigned		f_knock_out : 1;
	unsigned		f_composite_source : 1;
	if(f_type == Bevel) {
		unsigned		f_on_top : 1;
	}
	else {
		unsigned		f_reserved : 1;
	}
	if(f_type == GradientGlow || f_type == GradientBevel) {
		unsigned		f_passes : 4;
	}
	else {
		unsigned		f_reserved : 4;
	}
};

struct swf_filter_blur {
	swf_filter_type		f_type;	/* 1 */
	unsigned long fixed	f_blur_horizontal;
	unsigned long fixed	f_blur_vertical;
	unsigned		f_passes : 5;
	unsigned		f_reserved : 3;
};

struct swf_filter_convolution {
	swf_filter_type	f_type;		/* 5 */
	unsigned char	f_columns;
	unsigned char	f_rows;
	long float	f_divisor;
	long float	f_bias;
	long float	f_weights[f_columns × f_rows];
	swf_rgba	f_default_color;
	unsigned	f_reserved : 6;
	unsigned	f_clamp : 1;
	unsigned	f_preserve_alpha : 1;
};

struct swf_filter_colormatrix {
	swf_filter_type	f_type;		/* 6 */
	long float	f_matrix[20];
};

struct swf_any_filter {
	swf_filter_type			f_fitler_type;
	swf_filter_blur			f_filter_blur;
	swf_filter_colormatrix		f_filter_colormatrix;
	swf_filter_convolution		f_filter_convolution;
	swf_filter_glow			f_filter_glow;
};

A filter defines how to transform the objects it is attached to. The first byte is the filter type. The data following depend on the type. Because each filter is much different, they are defined in separate structures. You can attach a filter to an object using an ActionScript or the PlaceObject3 tag.

The following describes the different filters available since version 8.

PlaceObject2

Tag Info
Tag Number: 
26
Tag Type: 
Define
Tag Flash Version: 
3
Brief Description: 

Place, replace, remove an object in the current display list.

Tag Structure: 
struct swf_placeobject2 {	/* and swf_placeobject3 */
	swf_tag			f_tag;		/* 26 or 70 */
	/* NOTE: the following flags can be read as one or two bytes also */
	if(version >= 8) {
		unsigned	f_place_reserved : 5;
		unsigned	f_place_bitmap_caching : 1;
		unsigned	f_place_blend_mode : 1;
		unsigned	f_place_filters : 1;
	}
	if(version >= 5) {
		unsigned	f_place_has_actions : 1;
	}
	else {
		unsigned	f_place_reserved : 1;
	}
	unsigned		f_place_has_clipping_depth : 1;
	unsigned		f_place_has_name : 1;
	unsigned		f_place_has_morph_position : 1;
	unsigned		f_place_has_color_transform : 1;
	unsigned		f_place_has_matrix : 1;
	unsigned		f_place_has_id_ref : 1;
	unsigned		f_place_has_move : 1;
	unsigned short		f_depth;
	if(f_place_has_id_ref) {
		unsigned short		f_object_id_ref;
	}
	if(f_place_has_matrix) {
		swf_matrix		f_matrix;
	}
	if(f_place_has_color_transform) {
		swf_color_transform	f_color_transform;
	}
	if(f_place_has_morph_position) {
		unsigned short		f_morph_position;
	}
	if(f_place_has_name) {
		string			f_name;1
	}
	if(f_place_has_clipping_depth) {
		unsigned short		f_clipping_depth;
	}
	/* 3 next entries since v8.0 */
	if(f_place_filters) {
		unsigned char		f_filter_count;
		swf_any_filter		f_filter;
	}
	if(f_place_blend_mode) {
		unsigned char		f_blend_mode;
	}
	if(f_place_bitmap_caching) {
		/* WARNING: this is not defined in the Macromedia documentation
		 * it may be that it was part of the blend mode whenever the person
		 * who defined this byte was testing (I copied that from somewhere else!).
		 */
		unsigned char		f_bitmap_caching;
	}
	/* since v5.0 */
	if(f_place_has_actions) {
		unsigned short		f_reserved;
		if(version >= 6) {
			unsigned long	f_all_flags;
		}
		else {
			unsigned short	f_all_flags;
		}
		swf_event		f_event[<variable>];
		if(version >= 6) {
			unsigned long	f_end;	/* always zero */
		}
		else {
			unsigned short	f_end;	/* always zero */
		}
	}
};
  • 1. Assuming that this PlaceObject2 references a DefineSprite, this name becomes the name of this instance of the sprite. This feature enables you to place the same DefineSprite multiple times in your display list each time using a different name.

This tag will be used to specify where and how to place an object in the next frame. The PlaceObject is much different and is presented separately.

The f_depth field is used to indicate at which depth the character is inserted in the current frame. There can be only one object per depth value (thus a maximum of 65536 objects can appear on a single frame).

The f_place_has_move and f_place_has_id_ref flags are used to indicate what to do at the given depth. The following table presents what happens depending on the current value.

f_place_has_move ...

SetBackgroundColor

Tag Info
Tag Number: 
9
Tag Type: 
Display
Tag Flash Version: 
1
Brief Description: 

Change the background color. Defaults to white if unspecified.

Tag Structure: 
struct swf_setbackgroundcolor {
	swf_tag			f_tag;		/* 9 */
	swf_rgb			f_rgb;
};

This tag is used to specify the background color. It should always be included at the start of every .swf file (after the FileAttributes and Protect tags). Only an RGB color can be used (i.e. there is no alpha channel for that color, whatever the SWF version.)

To create a Flash animation that's transparent (so we can see the website gradient, for example) you use the wmode parameter in the HTML tag with the value "transparent", in which case the background color will be ignored and replaced by a fully transparent background. For example:

<embed width="440"  ...

DefineBitsJPEG

Tag Info
Tag Number: 
6
Tag Type: 
Define
Tag Flash Version: 
1
Brief Description: 

Define a JPEG bit stream.

Tag Structure: 
struct swf_definebitsjpeg {
	swf_long_tag		f_tag;		/* 6, 21, 35 or 90 */
	unsigned short		f_image_id;
	if(f_tag == DefineBitsJPEG3 + f_tag == DefineBitsJPEG4) {
		/* sizeof(f_encoding_tables) + sizeof(f_image_data) + 2 when JPEG4 */
		unsigned long		f_offset_to_alpha;
	}
	if(f_tag == DefineBitsJPEG4) {
		unsigned short fixed	f_deblocking_filter_parameter;
	}
	if(f_tag != DefineBitsJPEG) {
		/* when DefineBitsJPEG, use JPEGTables instead */
		unsigned char		f_encoding_tables[<variable size>];
	}
	unsigned char		f_image_data[<variable size>];
	if(f_tag == DefineBitsJPEG3 || f_tag == DefineBitsJPEG41) {
		unsigned char		f_alpha[<variable size>];
	}
};
  • 1. JPEG4 optionally accepts the f_alpha field. [To be verified]

These tags define an image saved using the JPEG compression scheme.

DefineBitsJPEG (V1.0) does not include the encoding tables which are defined in the unique JPEGTables tag instead. All the DefineBitsJPEG of an SWF file use the only JPEGTables tag. Yes... This means you need a tool that is capable of reusing the same tables over and over again to make sure that all your DefineBitsJPEGs work properly (or use it just once.)

The other tags incorporate their own version of the JPEG encoding tables.

The DefineBitsJPEG3 and DefineBitsJPEG4 support an alpha channel bit plane (8 bits.) ...

File Header

Tag Info
Tag Number: 
-1
Tag Type: 
Format
Tag Flash Version: 
1
Brief Description: 

Although it isn't a tag per say, we consider the file header as being a tag because it represents a block in the flash file. Since version 8, it can be complemented by the FileAttributes tag.

Tag Structure: 
struct swf_header {1
	unsigned char		f_magic[3];	/* 'FWS' or 'CWS' */
	unsigned char		f_version;
	unsigned long		f_file_length;
}

struct swf_header_movie {2
	swf_rect		f_frame_size;
	unsigned short fixed	f_frame_rate;
	unsigned short		f_frame_count;
};
  • 1. This part is never compressed
  • 2. Although considered part of the header, this part is compressed in the 'CWS' format.

The file header is found at the very beginning of the file. It should be used to determine whether a file is an SWF file or not. Also, it contains information about the frame size, the speed at which is should be played and the version (determining the tags and actions possibly used in the file).

The f_magic[3] array is defined as the characters: 'FWS' (it is going backward probably because it was supposed to be read in a little endian as a long word). A movie can be compressed when the version is set to 6 or more. In this case, the magic characters are: 'CWS'.

The f_version ...

The assert() macro in C/C++

 

This is a subject that comes back all the time in C/C++ boards.

Should you use assertions?

The answer is clearly yes. But the C/C++ assert() function is usually defined using a macro. Macros have several problems. The most common ones are: they offer no type checking, they do not warn you about weird side effects, they have a different syntax than the C/C++ language itself.

One good thing: for a fast program, the debug code used to check parameters, results, etc. is gone.

One really bad thing: if the expression in the macro has a side effect, the release program is different from ...