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What is the Significance of Tiny PCBs?

A PCB board with drawings of the wires

It’s a common refrain that our electronics are always getting smaller. While there may be some up-and-down fluctuation between one phone release and the next, the broader trend is clear: From speakers, to laptops, to home appliances, we can pack a lot more power into a lot less space these days.

This trend leads to some near-fantastical speculation about where tech can go from here. For instance, Quartz posted about limits in processing power back in 2017, and speculated that light could be built into processing chips as a substitute for what we’d now think ...

jsMath Installation


In order to use the jsMath for displaying mathematics with TeX Drupal 6.x module you need:

Push Data

SWF Action
Action Category: 
Action Details: 
Action Identifier: 
Action Structure: 
struct {
	unsigned char   f_type
	<type>          f_data
} f_push_data[<variable>];
Action Length: 
-1 byte(s)
Action Stack: 
push <variable> (a)
Action Operation: 
a1 = f_data[0];1
a2 = f_data[1];
a3 = f_data[2];
an = f_data[n];
  • 1. Notice that the first data in the action is the last accessible on your stack.
Action Flash Version: 
See Also: 

Push some immediate data on the stack. This action was introduced in V4.0. The supported data types vary depending on the version of the player you have. As many values as necessary can be pushed at once. The f_push_data structure will be repeated multiple times as required. For instance, to push two strings on the stack at once, you would use the following code:

Get Property

SWF Action
Action Category: 
Action Details: 
Action Identifier: 
Action Structure: 
Action Length: 
0 byte(s)
Action Stack: 
pop 1 (n), pop 1 (s), push 1 (a)
Action Operation: 
n1 := pop();
s2 := pop();
r := s2[n1];
Action Flash Version: 

Query the property n1 of the object named s2 (a field in a structure if you wish), and push the result on the stack. Note that since version 5, it is preferable to use Get Member or Call Method when a corresponding variable or function member is available on the object.

The following is the list of currently accepted properties or fields for the Get Property and the Set Property actions. Note that the properties can be specified with either an integer (type 7, requires V5.0+) or a single precision floating point (type 1, V4.0 compatible). And since strings are automatically transformed in a value when required, one can use a string to represent the property number (type 0). It works with a double value, I even tested a Boolean and null and it works. Obviously it isn't a good idea to use these. The default should be a single precision float. Please, see the Push Data action for more information about data types.

WARNING: Adobe is trying to phase out this functionality. It is very likely not working in ABC code and it is not necessary since objects have member functions that can be used for the exact same purpose and it is a lot cleaner to use those instead.


Float Decimal Name Comments Version
0x00000000 0 x x position in pixels (not TWIPs!) 4
0x3F800000 1 y y position in pixels (not TWIPs!) 4
0x40000000 2 x scale horizontal scaling factor in percent (50 — NOT 0.5 — represents half the normal size!!!) 4
0x40400000 3 y scale vertical scaling factor in percent (50 — NOT 0.5 — represents half the normal size!!!) 4
0x40800000 4 current frame the very frame being played; one can query the root current frame using an empty string ("") as the name of the object; note that the first current frame is number 1 and the last is equal to the total number of frames; on the other hand, the Goto instruction expects a frame number from 0 to the number of frames - 1 4
0x40A00000 5 number of frames total number of frames in movie/sprite/thread 4
0x40C00000 6 alpha alpha value in percent (50 — NOT 0.5 — means half transparent) 4
0x40E00000 7 visibility whether the object is visible 4
0x41000000 8 width maximum width of the object (scales the object to that width) 4
0x41100000 9 height maximum height of the object (scales the object to that height) 4
0x41200000 10 rotation rotation angle in degrees 4
0x41300000 11 target return the name (full path) of an object; this can be viewed as a reference to that object 4
0x41400000 12 frames loaded number of frames already loaded 4
0x41500000 13 name name of the object 4
0x41600000 14 drop target object over which this object was last dropped 4
0x41700000 15 url URL linked to that object 4
0x41800000 16 high quality whether we are in high quality mode 4
0x41880000 17 show focus rectangle whether the focus rectangle is visible 4
0x41900000 18 sound buffer time position (or pointer) in the sound buffer; useful to synchronize the graphics to the music 4
0x41980000 19 quality what the quality is (0 - Low, 1 - Medium or 2 - High) 5
0x41A00000 20 x mouse current horizontal position of the mouse pointer within the Flash window 5
0x41A80000 21 y mouse current vertical position of the mouse pointer within the Flash window 5
0x46800000 16384 clone this flag has to do with the depth of sprites being duplicated 4

Declare Function (V7)

SWF Action
Action Category: 
Action Details: 
(256 variables)
Action Identifier: 
Action Structure: 
string     f_name;
unsigned short   f_arg_count;
unsigned char   f_reg_count;
unsigned short   f_declare_function2_reserved : 7;
unsigned short   f_preload_global : 1;
unsigned short   f_preload_parent : 1;
unsigned short   f_preload_root : 1;
unsigned short   f_suppress_super : 1;
unsigned short   f_preload_super : 1;
unsigned short   f_suppress_arguments : 1;
unsigned short   f_preload_arguments : 1;
unsigned short   f_suppress_this : 1;
unsigned short   f_preload_this : 1;
swf_params   f_params[f_arg_count];
unsigned short   f_function_length;

WARNING: the preload/suppress flags are defined on a short and thus the bytes in a Flash file will look swapped.

Action Length: 
-1 byte(s)
Action Stack: 
Action Operation: 
create a function on the current target
Action Flash Version: 

Declare a function which can later be called with the Call Function action or Call Method action (when defined as a function member.) The f_function_length1 defines the number of bytes that the function declaration uses after the header (i.e. the size of the actions defined in the function.) All the actions included in this block are part of the function body.

  • 1. A function is limited to 65535 bytes.


Tag Info
Tag Number: 
Tag Type: 
Tag Flash Version: 
Brief Description: 

Define a list of glyphs using shapes and other font metric information.

Tag Structure: 
struct swf_definefont2 {
	swf_tag			f_tag;		/* 48 or 75 */
	unsigned short		f_font2_id;
	unsigned		f_font2_has_layout : 1;
	if(version >= 6) {
		unsigned	f_font2_reserved : 1;
		if(version >= 7) {
			unsigned	f_font2_small_text : 1;
		unsigned	f_font2_reserved : 1;
	else {
		unsigned	f_font2_shiftjis : 1;
		unsigned	f_font2_unicode : 1;
		unsigned	f_font2_ansii : 1;
	unsigned		f_font2_wide_offsets : 1;
	unsigned		f_font2_wide : 1;	/* always 1 in v6.x+ */
	unsigned		f_font2_italic : 1;
	unsigned		f_font2_bold : 1;
	if(version >= 6) {
		unsigned char	f_font2_language;
	else {
		unsigned char	f_font2_reserved;
	unsigned char		f_font2_name_length;
	unsigned char		f_font2_name[f_font2_name_length];
	unsigned short		f_font2_glyphs_count;
	if(f_font2_wide_offsets) {
		unsigned long		f_font2_offsets[f_font2_glyphs_count];
		unsigned long		f_font2_map_offset;
	else {
		unsigned short		f_font2_offsets[f_font2_glyphs_count];
		unsigned short		f_font2_map_offset;
	swf_shape		f_font2_shapes[f_font2_glyphs_count];
	if(f_font_info_wide) {
		unsigned short		f_font2_map[f_font2_glyphs_count];
	else {
		unsigned char		f_font2_map[f_font2_glyphs_count];
	if(f_font2_has_layout) {
		signed short		f_font2_ascent;
		signed short		f_font2_descent;
		signed short		f_font2_leading_height;
		signed short		f_font2_advance[f_font2_glyphs_count];
		swf_rect		f_font2_bounds[f_font2_glyphs_count];
		signed short		f_font2_kerning_count;
		swf_kerning		f_font2_kerning[f_font2_kerning_count];
/* DefineFont3 is the same as DefineFont2 */
typedef struct swf_definefont2 swf_definefont3;

It is common to use the DefineFont2 tag in order to create an array of shapes later re-used to draw strings of text on the screen. This tag must be used whenever a DefineEditText references a font; and in that case it is suggested you include a full description of the font with layouts.

Appendix B — History of the SSWF reference

Dec 2, 2009

Moved the monolithic documentation to a multi-page hierarchical document that includes everything we had before plus many links, many terms attached to all pages (tags, English words.) And revision of most of the text for better English and clarification in some places.

Strengthen the formatting with CCK fields so all declarations look alike.

Broken up the actions from one large table to a set of pages.

Dec 14, 2008

Started work on the Load() feature of the SSWF library. This helped fixing several small mistakes in the documentation.

May 18, 2008

Fixed the ...

SWF Button (swf_button)

SWF Structure Info
Tag Flash Version: 
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 Action 3 (swf_action3)

SWF Structure Info
Tag Flash Version: 
SWF Structure: 

Not documented here yet.

Since Flash version 9, actions can be saved in a new format named abcFormat by the Tamarin project from the Mozilla organization.

The code itself (action script) is the same, but the structure of an swf_action3 holds object oriented information about classes, methods and such in a really clean way (really! in comparison to the old way, that's dead clean!).

At this time, the swf_action3 structure is documented in the abcFormat.html file.

I will duplicate and test the structures at a later time.

SWF Any Filter (swf_any_filter)

SWF Structure Info
Tag Flash Version: 
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.