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Central Release Notes

Macromedia Central 1.5 Software Development Kit Release Notes

This document addresses issues not discussed in the Macromedia Central documentation. This document may be updated as more information becomes available.

About the Macromedia Central SDK

Macromedia Central is a rich client environment for interacting with distributed information and creating collaborative desktop applications. The Macromedia Central Software Development Kit (SDK) provides Flash developers with a pre-built infrastructure for creating, distributing and selling applications. Developers can use their existing skills, and Central’s ability to store and share data locally to build a new class of responsive Rich Internet Applications.

System Requirements

The Central 1.5 SDK requires the Flash MX 2004 authoring environment, version 7.2 or higher, to support the new version 2 components. If you have Flash MX 2004 installed, and need to update to the latest release, download the Flash updater.

For information on system requirements for the Central client, see the Macromedia Central system requirements.

Extension Manager

The Macromedia Central SDK requires Extension Manager version 1.6 (installed with MX 2004) or later.

Version 1.6 installs with Macromedia Flash MX 2004, but if you need to update your version of the Extension Manager, you may download the Extension Manager from Macromedia Exchange.

Installing Macromedia Central extensions in the Macromedia Flash MX 2004 authoring environment

Note: Uninstall any previous versions of the Central SDK before installing the Central 1.5 SDK. If you have previous versions of the Central SDK installed in the Flash Authoring environment, go to the Macromedia Extension Manager and uninstall any Central extensions before installing the Central 1.5 extensions.

To install Macromedia Central extensions into the Flash MX 2004 authoring environment, open the Extension Manager and explicitly select "Flash MX 2004 " as the installation environment, by following these steps:

  1. Open the Extension Manager.
  2. Select Flash MX 2004 from the pop-up menu.
  3. Select File > Install Extension, and navigate to the location where you have unzipped the MXP file (for example, C:\Central SDK\Central 1.5 SDK\CentralSDK.mxp).

Improvements for Central 1.5

File Upload/Download

File upload/download gives Central applications the ability to save files from a remote server to the user's machine, as well as upload files from the user's machine to servers that have been configured to handle upload through HTTP. File upload uses HTTP post, with the content-type set to multipart/form-data. This is the same method used by the browser for file upload.

File upload/download can be implemented using the new FileReference object with the methods 'browse', 'download', and 'upload'. The object also supports several broadcast status messages to indicate progress, failures, and successful operations. The FileReference object has also been extended to implement the File I/O functionality. Once a FileReference object has been created and a local file exists, other File I/O operations can be called on the FileReference object.

File I/O

Basic file I/O functionality enables applications to create, read, write and modify files on the user's machine. The implementation of the file I/O API extends the FileReference ActionScript object used by File Upload/Download.

An application can have two different methods of modifying files. The first method uses the FileReference.browse API. Once a FileReference object is set using this API, the application will be able to read this file, but not write to the file. With the current implementation, the other method for accessing files uses the existing Local Internet files cache folder that acts as a location where any file can be created, edited and read without requiring the user to approve the action. Files can be created and accessed only for an application's own exact domain. The rules are similar to the rules for storing shared objects. Files should be specified with a relative path, relative to the current SWF location. File I/O has to obey the current size limits for the Local Internet files cache.

Customizable Default Applications

Central 1.5 has the ability to control the initial default applications that install with Central. This customization is only available on a negotiated basis with Macromedia.

Exact Domain Security

Central 1.5, like Flash Player 7, uses exact domains when determining security requirements. This is a change from Central 1.0, which treated both "foo.yourdomain.com" and "bar.yourdomain.com" as being "yourdomain.com". Additionally, Central places new security restrictions on accessing HTTPS content from an HTTP-delivered SWF. [See also Flash Player security features].

Security Sandbox - If either of two running SWFs in Central are Flash Player 7 content, they can only access each other if their domains are exactly the same.

Data Loading - Any SWF loading data from a remote server must be in the exact same domain as that server. If not, Central will present the cross-domain security dialog box requesting the user's permission to access the data. This is modeled on the functionality of Flash Player 7, except that Flash Player 7 forbids this behavior entirely, rather than asking permission. To avoid this dialog box, you can create policy files on the server that grant permission to Central 1.5 and Flash Player 7. [See About allowing cross-domain data loading].

URL Caches - Central now caches your application's SWFs and Local Internet files in directories that use the exact domain. Previously cached files will still be recognized, but as files are re-cached, Central 1.5 will migrate all cached files to the new directories. This should be entirely invisible to both users and developers.

Persistent Shared Object - Flash Player 7 SWF content stores Shared Objects in directories that use the exact domain. Pre-Flash Player 7 content continues to use the old directories. This change does not impact applications until developers try to update applications to target Flash Player 7, at that point they can no longer access their old Shared Objects. However, you can use the following workaround: load a "shim" SWF that targets Flash Player 6. Then, your updated application can migrate data from the old, Flash Player 6, shared objects into the new Flash Player 7 shared objects.

ActionScript 2 Class Definitions

The Central 1.5 SDK includes intrinsic class definitions for Central's APIs. These definitions enable you to target Central's APIs while using ActionScript 2. Please note that the Application, Pod, and Agent are implemented as interfaces, not classes, and must be used with the "implements" keyword.

ContextMenu Support

Central 1.5 supports Flash Player 7 custom context menus. Users access the context menu by right-clicking (or Ctrl-clicking on Mac) within Central. Application developers can add custom menu items by attaching a ContextMenu object, populated with ContextMenuItem objects, to the "menu" property of a MovieClip, TextField, or Button.

However, Central's handling of context menus differs from Flash Player 7. Central 1.5 looks at the TextField/Button/MovieClip that the user clicked on, and if a MovieClip and its parent both have menus defined, Central uses the child's ContextMenu setting. Flash Player 7 does not acknowledge ContextMenus set in child MovieClips.

Notices API Changes

The noticeData object now has an "unread" property that has a Boolean value (true if the user has NOT read the notice, and false if they have read it).

Shell Window resizing behavior changes

The window resizing logic has changed for this release to make the application shell window resize less often when switching between applications. The window now only resizes if the new application's minimum size is larger than the current window size, or if the current application requests a larger window size from the shell via Shell.requestSizeChange(). It is no longer possible for an application to request a window size that is smaller than the current size, or to lock a window to a fixed size and prevent the user from resizing it. Specifically, Application.getMaximumSize() has been deprecated and is no longer used to determine the maximum window size.

The new maximum size is the smaller of your current screen size or 1900x1620. Also, Shell.requestSizeChange() has been modified to resize only the window if the requested size is larger than the current window.

Automatic Network Detection

Central automatically updates to reflect the state of your actual network connection, which means you will no longer need to manually toggle Central on or offline. In Central 1.0, users controlled the known state of the network by either clicking on the lightning bolt icon or by selecting File >Work Offline menu option. In Central 1.5, clicking the lightning bolt icon tells Central to ignore the automatically detected network state and to stay “offline” until the icon (or menu item) is activated again.

V2 Components

Central 1.5 includes full support for the v2 component architecture introduced in Flash MX 2004. The Central 1.5 SDK includes a component library that is specifically tailored to the use of v2 components as cross-domain runtime shared libraries. These components are the same ones that shipped with Flash MX 2004 v7.2. They have been modified so they can be used as global runtime shared libraries in any Central application, regardless of the web domain they are hosted in. Full documentation on porting existing Central applications to the v2 architecture as well as basic usage is available in the Central 1.5 SDK.

Macromedia Flash MX 2004 or Macromedia Flash MX Professional 2004 Central Product Wizard

The Central Product Wizard feature allows you to publish and test Central applications directly from the Flash Authoring environment. In Central 1.0, you had to upload your application files to a web server, install the application from the server, and then change your Publish Settings to continue to test your application in the Central environment. The Central Product Wizard bypasses this process by allowing you to test your application in Central by launching/installing from a SWF panel in Flash MX 2004 or Flash MX Professional 2004. Note that only Flash MX 2004 and Flash MX Professional 2004 version 7.2 support this feature.

Pod UI Changes

The application icon now displays in the pod title bar, making the association between any given application and its pods stronger. Right clicking on a pod can also launch the associated application in the shell.

Small Toolbar State

You can now specify a small toolbar state in Central 1.5. The large toolbar will continue to be the default, but users can choose the smaller toolbar by accessing the View > Use Small Toolbar menu option. All toolbar functionality remains the same in the small toolbar as it is for the large toolbar (rearranging app icons, removing app icons, launching apps, etc). Application icons scale to the smaller size (with no text), and the application name is visible in a tooltip.

Application Drawer

For Central 1.5, we added a new way to view and launch all applications installed in Central. The toolbar now has an Application Drawer, listing all applications installed within Central in alphanumeric order. This drawer replaces the toolbar overflow menu. Currently, the drawer can be accessed via the "Show" button to the right of the toolbar. You can also show the drawer by selecting the View > Show Application Drawer menu option, or using the shortcut keys (ctrl/cmd+L). In addition, you can now remove less frequently accessed applications from the toolbar, and still be able to launch them from the Application Drawer and the View menu.

Issues for Both Windows and Macintosh

The following lists known issues with Central 1.5 development on both Windows and Macintosh operating systems:

Central Product Wizard:


Canceling the publish process may not succeed

Depending on when in the publish process you hit the Cancel button, the cancellation may not take place and the application may be installed anyway.

Cut, Copy, and Paste shortcuts
Cut, Copy, and Paste shortcuts do not work in the Central Product Setup wizard.

Unsupported characters for product name
"<", ">", "\" characters are not supported in product name when using the Central Authoring Extensions.

"Localhost" not supported
Localhost is not supported as a domain to publish from using the Central Product Wizard.

No support for high ASCII or double-byte character filenames
You will not be able to use files whose file names contain high ASCII or double-byte characters.

Only writes SWF file types
The Central Product Wizard only writes SWF file types to a new product XML. If your icon source file is set to publish a JPG only, for example, you may experience a file load error.

Output panel opens, even if no errors reported
When publishing, the Central Product Wizard will check if there are any errors during the publishing process. If there are errors, they will appear in the Output panel. If there are no errors, the Output panel will still open, but it will be empty.

Other Features:

Canceling Preferences changes may not succeed
Canceling the Preferences editing session does not cancel edits made in New Location or Edit Locations dialogs.

Application Finder response time may be delayed when installing applications
The AppFinder can sometimes take a long time to respond when installing applications if the server hosting the application is down.

Adding graphics to the AccordionTab component
In the AccordionTab component, adding a graphic symbol creates too much white space from text and cannot add content using addItem.

Only one open application can receive a blast
If you have two applications open to receive a blast, only one of the apps will receive the blast.

Need to specify a domain for installing applications
When using the File > Install Application from URL menu option, you must specify a domain or the installation will not succeed.

Updated applications must have new version numbers
When building and updating a Central application, ensure that your product has an actual number for the version. This will ensure that users can update your product. Updates for version numbers like 0.1.001 will not be detected by Central.

Tooltips do not recognize layering
Tooltips do not recognize layering and therefore will show up even if they are covered up by other SWFs or movie clips. Currently, you cannot disable a group of tooltips.

Combining v1 and v2 components confuses the Tab order
Tab order will not work correctly when some v1 and v2 components are both used in an application. We recommend that people use v2 components whenever possible.

Reserved linkage IDs for v2 components
The v2 shared components in Central retain the same linkage IDs as those in the authoring tool. If you have any of the following linkage IDs in your product you may run into conflicts:

  • Alert
  • Button
  • CheckBox
  • ComboBox
  • DataGrid
  • DateChooser
  • DateField
  • Label
  • List
  • Loader
  • Menu
  • MenuBar
  • NumericStepper
  • RadioButton
  • UIScrollBar
  • ScrollPane
  • TextInput
  • TextArea
  • Tree
  • ProgressBar
  • Window
  • SimpleButton

Help files may not be updated
When upgrading Central, the help files will not be updated. New Central help files will download, but the old versions are not overwritten. To resolve this issue, delete the help files in:

  • Windows
    C:\Documents and Settings\<user>\Application Data\Macromedia\Central\#Central\<random directory>\download.macromedia.com\pub\central\core\en\help

  • Mac
    [Macintosh HD]/Users/<user>/Library/Application Support/Macromedia/Central/#Central/<random directory>/download.macromedia.com/pub/central/core/en/help

ComboBox disabled state
A square can appear over the dropdown arrow when the ComboBox is disabled. This bug will only occur if the ComboBox has been disabled once, then the application unloaded and reloaded, and the ComboBox disabled again. The bug is due to an erroneous declaration of this symbol as an instance of the SimpleButton class. The line below will effectively remove the effects of that declaration. To work around this problem, add this line of code to the first line of your application:

Object.registerClass("ComboDownArrowDisabled", MovieClip);

Focus can be lost in a window with a ComboBox v2 component
A ComboBox v2 component inside a window may cause unexpected Focus Manager behavior. Specifically, if you add a ComboBox to a window, then use PopUpManager to open the window, when a user clicks outside the open ComboBox (with list showing), the focus does not return to the window as expected. A workaround is to add the following to the close event of the ComboBox:

SystemManager.addFocusManager(this._parent);

Global styles and custom styles inconsistency
When using V2 component styles, global and custom styles do not work consistently. In addition, global styles can propagate to other applications in the domain. We recommend that developers use only the instance styles for customizing the V2 components.

Restart the Application Window when replacing a SWF in cache
If you are writing your application in AS 2.0 and republish a SWF over another one in the cache, your changes are not reflected in Central until you restart the Application Window.

Uninstall any previous versions of the Central SDK before installing the Central 1.5 SDK
If you have previous versions of the Central SDK installed in the Flash Authoring environment, go to the Macromedia Extension Manager and uninstall any Central extensions before installing the Central 1.5 extensions.

Keypress handlers do not work in Central
Keypress handlers do not work in Central. Use Key listeners instead. Example of unsupported code:

on(keyPress "<space>")
{ }

Automatic Network Detection is not supported on Win98 or WinME
On Win98 and WinME, Central will behave as it did in 1.0; the end user must manually toggle Central online or offline when the network state changes.

Updated XML intrinsic class
An updated version of the XML.as intrinsic class is available in the Utilities\classes folder of the SDK. If you place this file at the root of your Flash classes folder, or somewhere in your ActionScript classpath, it will let the ActionScript compiler recognize the Central-specific XML.setType() method. The original XML.as intrinsic class file that comes with the Flash MX authoring tool does not contain the setType() method.

Windows-only Issues

Windows 2000 Central Product Wizard publishing does not bring Central to foreground
(Windows 2000 only) Publishing an application from the Central Product Wizard does not cause Central to come to the foreground.

Balloon notices do not recognize timeout parameter
Balloon notices, which pop out of the Central task bar icon, do not recognize the timeout parameter of a notice. This is controlled by the Windows OS. Notices will stay up for 10-30 seconds if the computer is actively being used (i.e. mouse is moving, keys being typed, etc.). If the machine is idle, the notice will stay up longer, until the machine is no longer idle.

Firefox may not load Central Help
You may not be able to load the Central Help via the Help > Macromedia Central Help menu option (or F1) if you have Firefox installed as your default browser.

FileReference.locate does not work with Firefox browser
FileReference.locate does not work if Firefox is set as your default browser.

Windows 2000 AccordionTab.getContentBounds() incorrect values
(Windows 2000 only) AccordionTab.getContentBounds() xMax and yMax returned values are incorrect. We recommend using other methods to resize content.

Windows XP recursive object references close the trace panel
(Windows XP only) Recursive object references close the trace panel.

Central Button Component may display improperly
(Windows XP only) Button Component displays improperly after being disabled and then enabled.

Macintosh-only Issues

Updating to Central 1.5 from Central 1.0 on Macintosh OS 10.1 may result in a download error and corruption of some Central installed files. If this occurs, Central will start up but the shell and the console will not be viewable. The workaround is to uninstall and install a new version of Central. Uninstall Central by going to the menu bar and selecting File and Uninstall Central. Then go to the Central installer badge on the macromedia web site and install a new version of Central 1.5. Note that in doing this, you will uninstall any previously installed applications.

Accuweather and Movie Finder applications require a restart after a Central update
If you update Central 1.0 to Central 1.5, movieFinder and Accuweather do not work until you restart Central.

Mac OS X 10.2 continues to read from old Central application executable file after a Central update
(Macintosh OS X 10.2 only) After you update Central to a new version, your Application shortcut will still read from the Central.exe binary in the Trash. To fix this problem, follow these steps:

  1. Exit Central
  2. Open your Trash. You should see the Central application icon in the Trash folder.
  3. Empty your trash.
  4. In the Applications folder, remap the Central alias to:
    [Macintosh HD]:Users:<username>:Library:Preferences:Macromedia:Flash Player:www.macromedia.com:bin:Central:central.
  5. Click the Central application shortcut to launch Central.

Mac OS X 10.3 is required to install the Central Authoring Extension
The Central Authoring Extension , included in the SDK, is only supported on Mac OS 10.3.

Possible blank dialog box after a Central update
In some cases when upgrading from Central 1.0 to Central 1.5, after updating all of the applications a dialog box opens and displays no content. To complete the update process, quit Central (using the Command-Q keyboard shortcut) and restart Central. Then go to the general tab in Central Preferences and select "Check now" to finish the update.

Reporting a Bug to the Macromedia Central Team

Additional technical information can be found at Macromedia's Developer Center for Central.

Found a bug? You can contact Macromedia Technical Support. They can help you resolve issues; and they can also log bugs. You can also file a bug yourself by using the Macromedia Software Feature Request and Bug Report form.

Note: Due to the high volume of e-mail we receive, we are unable to respond to every request.

Thank you for using Macromedia Central, and for taking the time to send us your feedback!

Notices, Terms, Conditions, and Attribution

Copyright (c) 2004 Macromedia, Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Macromedia, the Macromedia logo, Central, Macromedia Central, Flash, Macromedia Flash are trademarks or registered trademarks of Macromedia, Inc. in the United States and/or other countries. Other marks are the properties of their respective owners.

This computer program is protected by copyright law and international treaties. Unauthorized use, reproduction, or distribution of this program, or any portion of it, may result in severe civil and criminal penalties, and will be prosecuted to the maximum extent possible under the law.