|By Marco Casario||
|April 17, 2009 12:15 PM EDT||
Many applications offer context menus associated with the application’s icon. On Windows systems, these menus are located in the system tray. If you’re working on a Mac OS X system, you’ll find these menus in the dock bar. Generally, these menus have shortcuts for the most common functions of the application you’re using. These menus might also contain commands that must be accessible even when the application is minimized or hidden by the desktop.
The AIR runtime allows you to manage and interact with the system tray and dock bar icons of your application. You can define context menus for them. On Microsoft Windows systems, the icons in the system tray don’t have any default context menus, so unless you have a specially prepared menu to display, it won’t provide a context menu. Mac OS X systems, on the other hand, have a default menu for dock bar icons. The menus you create will be added to the default menu provided by the operating system. You can’t modify or remove the default menus provided by the system for dock bar icons.
The application you will create in the next section will run on both Windows and Mac OS X.
Assigning a menu to an application icon
Start by opening the ch06p04.fla file in Flash CS4. The project, like the previous ones, only has an output TextArea. This TextArea will display the messages regarding the status of your application.
The project, as shown in Figure 6-13, displays an icon in the system tray or dock bar of the local system, which is why a symbol has been prepared in the library. The symbol is a movie clip: Application Icon, which represents the way you want to show the application icon. In the Symbol Properties panel, shown in Figure 6-14, the class name of the symbol has been specified: ApplicationIcon . This class name allows you to instantiate the symbol in the library via ActionScript.
You access the document class of the Flash project by clicking the Edit class definition icon on the Document Properties panel. Like for the other projects in this chapter, the Flash project has been set up to not declare the variables automatically for the elements on the stage. You’ll have to specify them yourself in the class associated with the project.
The class starts by declaring the namespace and the dependence on external classes, as shown here:
public class Ch06p04 extends MovieClip
Then you declare two class properties: one that refers to the component of the TextArea class on the stage of the project, and one to contain the native menu that the application will use:
// onstage components
public var output:TextArea;
// class properties
private var menuRoot:NativeMenu;
Next, the constructor method of the class will call the initialization of the native menu. It will check which options are supported by the local operating system. This method will also assign the menu to the menu bar of the application or window. Finally, it will assign the menu to the icon in the system tray or to the icon in the dock bar, depending on which one is available.
public function Ch06p04()
You call the createNativeMenu() function to instantiate and populate the menu that will be used for the application as well as the application’s icon. Here’s the code:
// generate native menu to use
Next, you check if the operating system supports application-level or window- level menus. After that, you assign the menu to the correct property on the basis of the functions of the operating system. This code accomplishes these tasks:
// assign to application menu if we are on Mac OS X
if ( NativeApplication.supportsMenu )
NativeApplication.nativeApplication.menu = menuRoot;
// assign to window menu if we are on Microsoft Windows
if ( NativeWindow.supportsMenu )
stage.nativeWindow.menu = menuRoot; }
Finally, you call the initIcon() method , which instantiates the ApplicationIcon symbol and uses its graphical representation as the application icon:
To instantiate and populate the native menu, you use the createNativeMenu() method , which assigns an instance of the NativeMenu class to the menuRoot class property. Then you add a submenu to the menu using the addItem() function of the NativeMenu class:
// create a complete native menu
private function createNativeMenu():void
// instantiate main menu object
menuRoot = new NativeMenu();
// append subMenus to menu root
menuRoot.addItem( createFirstSubMenu() );
The submenu is created and returned by the createFirstSubMenu() function , as shown here:
private function createFirstSubMenu():NativeMenuItem
Next, you create an instance of the NativeMenuItem class with a label of App settings. This object will be the element of the menu returned by the function. Then you assign an instance of the NativeMenu class to the submenu property of the element, so as to populate its list of items.
// create submenu
var subMenu:NativeMenuItem = new NativeMenuItem( "App settings" );
// initialize child container
subMenu.submenu = new NativeMenu();
You’ll add three methods to the menu, which will allow you to do the following:
Access the description of the application
Minimize the active window
Close the application
Each menu item is registered to an event listener method for the selection event, as shown here:
// create first child, register event listener for
// selection event and assign to submenu
var aboutCommand:NativeMenuItem = new NativeMenuItem( "About.." );
aboutCommand.addEventListener( Event.SELECT, getInformation );
subMenu.submenu.addItem( aboutCommand );
// create second child, register event listener for
// selection event and assign to submenu
var minimizeCommand:NativeMenuItem =
new NativeMenuItem( "Minimize" );
subMenu.submenu.addItem( minimizeCommand );
// create third child, register event listener for
// selection event and assign to submenu
var closeCommand:NativeMenuItem = new NativeMenuItem( "Close" );
closeCommand.addEventListener( Event.SELECT, closeApplication );
subMenu.submenu.addItem( closeCommand );
The event listener functions for the three items on the native menu are the following, and have already been explained in detail in the previous exercise regarding application menus:
// get application description
private function getInformation( evt : Event ):void
// access to application XML descriptor
var appDescriptor:XML =
// retrieve XML descriptor namespace
var nsDeclaration:Namespace = appDescriptor.namespace();
// read description node from XML
var informationText:String = String( appDescriptor.nsDeclaration::description[ 0 ] );
// write into textarea 'output' description contents
output.appendText( "Adobe Air, test application for "
+ "menus functionalities." + File.lineEnding );
output.appendText( informationText + File.lineEnding );
// close application
private function closeApplication( e : Event ):void
// minimize application
private function minimizeApplication( e : Event ):void
Preparing the application icon
Now all you have to do is correctly prepare the application icon. This is the task of the following initIcon() method , which is called at the end of the class constructor method:
// set up application icons
private function initIcon():void
First, you have to obtain an object of the BitmapData class to use as a graphical representation of the application icon. To do so, you have to instantiate the ApplicationIcon symbol in the ch06p04.fla project library .
Then create a local icon property, to which you assign an instance of the ApplicationIcon symbol. The local icon property is declared as a MovieClip, not an ApplicationIcon. This is possible because the ApplicationIcon symbol extends the MovieClip class , so it’s correct to say it’s a MovieClip. Inheritance is a fundamental concept for object- oriented programming languages like ActionScript 3.
// instanstiate icon symbol available in proj library
var icon:MovieClip = new ApplicationIcon();
Creating an object for raster representation
Now that you’ve instantiated the ApplicationIcon symbol, you have to create an object to be its raster representation. Begin by creating a BitmapData object . You specify the dimensions of its canvas as the dimensions of the icon instance you’ve just created. Then you draw the instance of the icon in the raster object using the draw() function of the BitmapData class. The draw() function allows you to draw any object that implements the IbitmapDrawable interface on the canvas of a BitmapData object. You can use this function to draw any object that implements the interface on the canvas of an object.
In ActionScript, this interface is implemented by the DisplayObject class and the Bitmap class . The following code accomplishes these tasks:
// access and save bitmapdata of icon
var iconImg:BitmapData = new BitmapData( icon.width, icon.height );
iconImg.draw( icon );
Next, you assign the raster representation of the icon for the application to the bitmaps property of the icon object of your AIR application. The bitmaps property is an array of raster representations of icons provided by an AIR application.
The runtime will use a representation with dimensions as similar as possible to the ones you’ve chosen (but exactly how similar depends on the local operating system and its graphical settings). The definition of the list of available icons for the application doesn’t depend on the local system, and you
always proceed as follows:
// define application icon
NativeApplication.nativeApplication.icon.bitmaps = [ iconImg ];
Using the correct class type for an application icon
According to the local operating system, the icon property of the nativeApplication object of the NativeApplication class can refer to instances of various classes. On Microsoft Windows systems, the icon represents an instance of the SystemTrayIcon class .
On Mac OS X systems, the icon represents an instance of the DockIcon class . You can check which type of icon is supported by checking the Boolean supportsDockIcon and supportsSystemTrayIcon properties of the NativeApplication class , which let’s you know if the system supports dock icons or system tray icons, respectively.
Here’s an example of the NativeApplication class :
if ( NativeApplication.supportsDockIcon )
If the system supports DockIcon icons , you simply assign the native menu to the menu property of the icon object. The menu will be added on the one that is natively provided by the operating system. Here’s an example of the DockIcon icons:
// assign dock icon custom menu
DockIcon( NativeApplication.nativeApplication.icon ).menu = menuRoot;
}else if ( NativeApplication.supportsSystemTrayIcon )
If, on the other hand, the system supports SystemTrayIcon icons , you also define a string of text to be used as the icon’s tooltip. SystemTrayIcon icons don’t have a menu from the operating system—just the one you provided them. DockIcon icons don’t support tooltips.
Here’s an example of a SystemTrayIcon icon:
SystemTrayIcon( NativeApplication.nativeApplication.icon ).menu
// tooltip for tray icon, available only on Windows
SystemTrayIcon( NativeApplication.nativeApplication.icon ).tooltip = "Application settings";
Go back to the Flash ch06p04.fla project to execute the application and see the results of your work (Control > Test Movie). You can see the application icon with its activated context menu in Figures 6- 15 and 6- 16. The application will work both on operating systems that support SystemTrayIcon icons (Microsoft Windows) and systems that support DockIcon icons (Mac OS X).
All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - computers, smartphones, tablets, and sensors - connected to the Internet by 2020. This number will continue to grow at a rapid pace for the next several decades. With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo, November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be.
Sep. 3, 2015 06:45 PM EDT Reads: 110
Containers are not new, but renewed commitments to performance, flexibility, and agility have propelled them to the top of the agenda today. By working without the need for virtualization and its overhead, containers are seen as the perfect way to deploy apps and services across multiple clouds. Containers can handle anything from file types to operating systems and services, including microservices. What are microservices? Unlike what the name implies, microservices are not necessarily small, but are focused on specific tasks. The ability for developers to deploy multiple containers – thous...
Sep. 3, 2015 06:00 PM EDT Reads: 145
Too often with compelling new technologies market participants become overly enamored with that attractiveness of the technology and neglect underlying business drivers. This tendency, what some call the “newest shiny object syndrome,” is understandable given that virtually all of us are heavily engaged in technology. But it is also mistaken. Without concrete business cases driving its deployment, IoT, like many other technologies before it, will fade into obscurity.
Sep. 3, 2015 04:30 PM EDT Reads: 428
The 3rd International WebRTC Summit, to be held Nov. 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, announces that its Call for Papers is now open. Topics include all aspects of improving IT delivery by eliminating waste through automated business models leveraging cloud technologies. WebRTC Summit is co-located with 15th International Cloud Expo, 6th International Big Data Expo, 3rd International DevOps Summit and 2nd Internet of @ThingsExpo. WebRTC (Web-based Real-Time Communication) is an open source project supported by Google, Mozilla and Opera that aims to enable bro...
Sep. 3, 2015 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,605
As more and more data is generated from a variety of connected devices, the need to get insights from this data and predict future behavior and trends is increasingly essential for businesses. Real-time stream processing is needed in a variety of different industries such as Manufacturing, Oil and Gas, Automobile, Finance, Online Retail, Smart Grids, and Healthcare. Azure Stream Analytics is a fully managed distributed stream computation service that provides low latency, scalable processing of streaming data in the cloud with an enterprise grade SLA. It features built-in integration with Azur...
Sep. 3, 2015 02:45 PM EDT Reads: 386
With the proliferation of connected devices underpinning new Internet of Things systems, Brandon Schulz, Director of Luxoft IoT – Retail, will be looking at the transformation of the retail customer experience in brick and mortar stores in his session at @ThingsExpo. Questions he will address include: Will beacons drop to the wayside like QR codes, or be a proximity-based profit driver? How will the customer experience change in stores of all types when everything can be instrumented and analyzed? As an area of investment, how might a retail company move towards an innovation methodolo...
Sep. 3, 2015 02:30 PM EDT Reads: 509
SYS-CON Events announced today that HPM Networks will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For 20 years, HPM Networks has been integrating technology solutions that solve complex business challenges. HPM Networks has designed solutions for both SMB and enterprise customers throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
Sep. 3, 2015 02:30 PM EDT Reads: 962
SYS-CON Events announced today the Containers & Microservices Bootcamp, being held November 3-4, 2015, in conjunction with 17th Cloud Expo, @ThingsExpo, and @DevOpsSummit at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. This is your chance to get started with the latest technology in the industry. Combined with real-world scenarios and use cases, the Containers and Microservices Bootcamp, led by Janakiram MSV, a Microsoft Regional Director, will include presentations as well as hands-on demos and comprehensive walkthroughs.
Sep. 3, 2015 02:15 PM EDT Reads: 414
Contrary to mainstream media attention, the multiple possibilities of how consumer IoT will transform our everyday lives aren’t the only angle of this headline-gaining trend. There’s a huge opportunity for “industrial IoT” and “Smart Cities” to impact the world in the same capacity – especially during critical situations. For example, a community water dam that needs to release water can leverage embedded critical communications logic to alert the appropriate individuals, on the right device, as soon as they are needed to take action.
Sep. 3, 2015 01:30 PM EDT
WebRTC services have already permeated corporate communications in the form of videoconferencing solutions. However, WebRTC has the potential of going beyond and catalyzing a new class of services providing more than calls with capabilities such as mass-scale real-time media broadcasting, enriched and augmented video, person-to-machine and machine-to-machine communications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Luis Lopez, CEO of Kurento, will introduce the technologies required for implementing these ideas and some early experiments performed in the Kurento open source software community in areas ...
Sep. 3, 2015 01:15 PM EDT Reads: 105
SYS-CON Events announced today that Pythian, a global IT services company specializing in helping companies leverage disruptive technologies to optimize revenue-generating systems, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 17th Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Founded in 1997, Pythian is a global IT services company that helps companies compete by adopting disruptive technologies such as cloud, Big Data, advanced analytics, and DevOps to advance innovation and increase agility. Specializing in designing, imple...
Sep. 3, 2015 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 367
Consumer IoT applications provide data about the user that just doesn’t exist in traditional PC or mobile web applications. This rich data, or “context,” enables the highly personalized consumer experiences that characterize many consumer IoT apps. This same data is also providing brands with unprecedented insight into how their connected products are being used, while, at the same time, powering highly targeted engagement and marketing opportunities. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Nathan Treloar, President and COO of Bebaio, will explore examples of brands transforming their businesses by t...
Sep. 3, 2015 12:30 PM EDT Reads: 286
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Lee Williams, a producer of the first smartphones and tablets, will talk about how he is now applying his experience in mobile technology to the design and development of the next generation of Environmental and Sustainability Services at ETwater. He will explain how M2M controllers work through wirelessly connected remote controls; and specifically delve into a retrofit option that reverse-engineers control codes of existing conventional controller systems so they don't have to be replaced and are instantly converted to become smart, connected devices.
Sep. 3, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 254
With the Apple Watch making its way onto wrists all over the world, it’s only a matter of time before it becomes a staple in the workplace. In fact, Forrester reported that 68 percent of technology and business decision-makers characterize wearables as a top priority for 2015. Recognizing their business value early on, FinancialForce.com was the first to bring ERP to wearables, helping streamline communication across front and back office functions. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Kevin Roberts, GM of Platform at FinancialForce.com, will discuss the value of business applications on wearable ...
Sep. 3, 2015 10:45 AM EDT
SYS-CON Events announced today that Micron Technology, Inc., a global leader in advanced semiconductor systems, will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Micron’s broad portfolio of high-performance memory technologies – including DRAM, NAND and NOR Flash – is the basis for solid state drives, modules, multichip packages and other system solutions. Backed by more than 35 years of technology leadership, Micron's memory solutions enable the world's most innovative computing, consumer,...
Sep. 3, 2015 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 284
17th Cloud Expo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterprises are using some form of XaaS – software, platform, and infrastructure as a service.
Sep. 3, 2015 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,603
As more intelligent IoT applications shift into gear, they’re merging into the ever-increasing traffic flow of the Internet. It won’t be long before we experience bottlenecks, as IoT traffic peaks during rush hours. Organizations that are unprepared will find themselves by the side of the road unable to cross back into the fast lane. As billions of new devices begin to communicate and exchange data – will your infrastructure be scalable enough to handle this new interconnected world?
Sep. 3, 2015 09:30 AM EDT Reads: 203
While many app developers are comfortable building apps for the smartphone, there is a whole new world out there. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Narayan Sainaney, Co-founder and CTO of Mojio, will discuss how the business case for connected car apps is growing and, with open platform companies having already done the heavy lifting, there really is no barrier to entry.
Sep. 3, 2015 09:30 AM EDT Reads: 212
SYS-CON Events announced today that the "Second Containers & Microservices Expo" will take place November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Containers and microservices have become topics of intense interest throughout the cloud developer and enterprise IT communities.
Sep. 3, 2015 09:30 AM EDT Reads: 651
Manufacturing connected IoT versions of traditional products requires more than multiple deep technology skills. It also requires a shift in mindset, to realize that connected, sensor-enabled “things” act more like services than what we usually think of as products. In his session at @ThingsExpo, David Friedman, CEO and co-founder of Ayla Networks, will discuss how when sensors start generating detailed real-world data about products and how they’re being used, smart manufacturers can use the data to create additional revenue streams, such as improved warranties or premium features. Or slash...
Sep. 3, 2015 09:15 AM EDT