|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).
Chuck Piluso will present a study of cloud adoption trends and the power and flexibility of IBM Power and Pureflex cloud solutions. Speaker Bio: Prior to Data Storage Corporation (DSC), Mr. Piluso founded North American Telecommunication Corporation, a facilities-based Competitive Local Exchange Carrier licensed by the Public Service Commission in 10 states, serving as the company's chairman and president from 1997 to 2000. Between 1990 and 1997, Mr. Piluso served as chairman & founder of International Telecommunications Corporation, a facilities-based international carrier licensed by t...
Apr. 27, 2015 09:30 AM EDT
SYS-CON Events announced today that Creative Business Solutions will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Creative Business Solutions is the top stocking authorized HP Renew Distributor in the U.S. Based out of Long Island, NY, Creative Business Solutions offers a one-stop shop for a diverse range of products including Proliant, Blade and Industry Standard Servers, Networking, Server Options and Care Packs. As a trusted supplier, CBS guarantees quality controlled stock levels thanks to an Auto...
Apr. 27, 2015 09:15 AM EDT Reads: 4,363
SOA Software has changed its name to Akana. With roots in Web Services and SOA Governance, Akana has established itself as a leader in API Management and is expanding into cloud integration as an alternative to the traditional heavyweight enterprise service bus (ESB). The company recently announced that it achieved more than 90% year-over-year growth. As Akana, the company now addresses the evolution and diversification of SOA, unifying security, management, and DevOps across SOA, APIs, microservices, and more.
Apr. 27, 2015 09:15 AM EDT Reads: 2,437
GENBAND introduced its Real Time Communications (RTC) Client for Lync* to seamlessly combine real-time communications with Lync Instant Messaging (IM) and Presence. “We’re shaking up the economics of delivering Unified Communications (UC) and offering a compelling way to integrate previously bespoke communications technologies,” said Carl Baptiste, GENBAND’s Senior Vice President, Enterprise Solutions. “We’re offering enterprises the best of both worlds by combining our own high availability voice, video and collaboration with Lync’s IM and Presence; creating a single, web centric, client. O...
Apr. 27, 2015 09:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,732
The list of ‘new paradigm’ technologies that now surrounds us appears to be at an all time high. From cloud computing and Big Data analytics to Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) and the Internet of Things (IoT), today we have to deal with what the industry likes to call ‘paradigm shifts’ at every level of IT. This is disruption; of course, we understand that – change is almost always disruptive.
Apr. 27, 2015 09:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,530
After making a doctor’s appointment via your mobile device, you receive a calendar invite. The day of your appointment, you get a reminder with the doctor’s location and contact information. As you enter the doctor’s exam room, the medical team is equipped with the latest tablet containing your medical history – he or she makes real time updates to your medical file. At the end of your visit, you receive an electronic prescription to your preferred pharmacy and can schedule your next appointment.
Apr. 27, 2015 09:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,443
SYS-CON Events announced today that kintone has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. kintone promotes cloud-based workgroup productivity, transparency and profitability with a seamless collaboration space, build your own business application (BYOA) platform, and workflow automation system.
Apr. 27, 2015 09:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,724
Can call centers hang up the phones for good? Intuitive Solutions did. WebRTC enabled this contact center provider to eliminate antiquated telephony and desktop phone infrastructure with a pure web-based solution, allowing them to expand beyond brick-and-mortar confines to a home-based agent model. It also ensured scalability and better service for customers, including MUY! Companies, one of the country's largest franchise restaurant companies with 232 Pizza Hut locations. This is one example of WebRTC adoption today, but the potential is limitless when powered by IoT.
Apr. 27, 2015 09:00 AM EDT Reads: 5,294
SYS-CON Events announced today that Optimal Design, an Internet of Things solution provider, will exhibit at SYS-CON's Internet of @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Optimal Design is an award winning product development firm offering industrial design and engineering services to the consumer, medical, and defense markets.
Apr. 27, 2015 09:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,691
There are lots of challenges in IoT around secure, scalable and business friendly infrastructure for enterprises. For large corporations, IoT implementations are one of the top priorities of the decade. All industries are seeing a competitive need to sustain by investing in IoT initiatives. The value addition comes from improved customer service, innovative product and additional revenue streams. The data from these IP-connected devices can be leveraged for a variety of business applications as well as responsive action controls. The various architectural building blocks of an IoT ...
Apr. 27, 2015 09:00 AM EDT
@ThingsExpo has been named the Top 5 Most Influential M2M Brand by Onalytica in the ‘Machine to Machine: Top 100 Influencers and Brands.' Onalytica analyzed the online debate on M2M by looking at over 85,000 tweets to provide the most influential individuals and brands that drive the discussion. According to Onalytica the "analysis showed a very engaged community with a lot of interactive tweets. The M2M discussion seems to be more fragmented and driven by some of the major brands present in the M2M space. This really allows some room for influential individuals to create more high value inter...
Apr. 27, 2015 08:45 AM EDT Reads: 5,132
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cisco, the worldwide leader in IT that transforms how people connect, communicate and collaborate, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Cisco makes amazing things happen by connecting the unconnected. Cisco has shaped the future of the Internet by becoming the worldwide leader in transforming how people connect, communicate and collaborate. Cisco and our partners are building the platform for the Internet of Everything by connecting the...
Apr. 27, 2015 08:30 AM EDT Reads: 5,840
SYS-CON Events announced today that Liaison Technologies, a leading provider of data management and integration cloud services and solutions, has been named "Silver Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Liaison Technologies is a recognized market leader in providing cloud-enabled data integration and data management solutions to break down complex information barriers, enabling enterprises to make smarter decisions, faster.
Apr. 27, 2015 08:15 AM EDT Reads: 3,902
Participants will reach the final if their IoT solution is liked. A community vote will determine the best solutions submitted in each country, after which an expert jury will select the national winners and the best international IoT solution. Each country's best solution can win a national marketing campaign worth up to €30,000 and become a partner in Deutsche Telekom's participating markets. The winning international solution can become partner of Deutsche Telekom Group across all eight countries and reach out to a potential of 10,8 million business customers. Deutsche Telekom Group has a...
Apr. 27, 2015 08:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,252
Recent technology advances in miniaturization has positioned the wearables as the pinnacle of technology convergence with the human body. We inquire if wearables are mere standard miniaturized devices extended with the connectivity and present our views on considerations like design, applications, performance, efficiency, interoperability, usage scenarios, human device interaction and consequent trade-offs enabling wearables to impart optimal value.
Apr. 27, 2015 08:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,174
WebRTC Summit has announced today that Peter Dunkley has been named summit chair of WebRTC Summit 2015 New York. The 4th International WebRTC Summit will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in Manhattan, New York. @ThingsExpo anticipates 90% of WebRTC companies & developers will monetize their products & services through IoT by 2016. Peter Dunkley is Technical Director at Acision. He graduated from The University of Edinburgh in 2000 with a BSc (Hons) in Computer Science. After graduation Peter worked on a PSTN switch developing signalling stacks for SS7, ISDN and simi...
Apr. 27, 2015 08:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,194
In this session we look at creating interactive communications via the web by adding messaging, file transfer, and group communication (group chat and audio/video conferencing) into the web experience. We will also discuss potential applications of this technology in areas including B2B, B2C, P2P, and gaming. Peter is Technical Director at Acision. He graduated from The University of Edinburgh in 2000 with a BSc (Hons) in Computer Science. After graduation Peter worked on a PSTN switch developing signalling stacks for SS7, ISDN and similar protocols and creating advanced routing and serv...
Apr. 27, 2015 08:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,232
SYS-CON Events announced today that Windstream, a leading provider of advanced network and cloud communications, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Windstream (Nasdaq: WIN), a FORTUNE 500 and S&P 500 company, is a leading provider of advanced network communications, including cloud computing and managed services, to businesses nationwide. The company also offers broadband, phone and digital TV services to consumers primarily in rural areas.
Apr. 27, 2015 08:00 AM EDT Reads: 5,219
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftLayer, an IBM company, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place June 9-11, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place November 3–5, 2015 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. SoftLayer operates a global cloud infrastructure platform built for Internet scale. With a global footprint of data centers and network points of presence, SoftLayer provides infrastructure as a service to leading-edge customers ranging from ...
Apr. 27, 2015 08:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,817
The WebRTC Summit 2015 New York, to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY, announces that its Call for Papers is 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 16th International Cloud Expo, @ThingsExpo, Big Data Expo, and DevOps Summit.
Apr. 27, 2015 07:45 AM EDT Reads: 2,468